Award Banner
Award Banner

'Nepo babies' term too extreme, says Christopher Lee on celebrities' kids joining showbiz

'Nepo babies' term too extreme, says Christopher Lee on celebrities' kids joining showbiz
Actor Christopher Lee.
PHOTO: Instagram/Christopher Lee

When the children of celebrities enter showbiz, they're sometimes labelled as "nepo babies".

Actor Christopher Lee finds the term "a little too extreme" and explained why in a recent episode of his culinary talk show Dishing with Chris Lee Season 2.

He and his guests, local actresses Xiang Yun, Hong Huifang and Aileen Tan, discussed their children's interest in showbiz.

Xiang Yun, who is married to former actor Edmund Chen, brought up their children Chen Xi and Yixin.

"We weren't approving of it initially because we know it's very tough being in this industry. However, for the children, perhaps they were subtly influenced [by us] over time," said the 62-year-old, adding that she and Edmund, 63, were surprised.

"Take my son for example. He graduated from university, so he should pursue a relevant career. However he said that he wanted to try acting and then just started doing so."

In an interview with AsiaOne last year, Chen Xi, 33, admitted that his showbiz career was rather lacklustre. He graduated from Nanyang Technological University's School of Art and Design Media in 2016 and is currently pursuing a master's degree in arts and cultural management in the UK.

"He still likes acting though. I recently returned from the UK. He told me that acting is actually very fun and I felt a little apprehensive," said Xiang Yun, making the others laugh.

Model-actress Yixin, 24, recently launched her own beachwear label, and Christopher praised her for being "fashionable".

Xiang Yun thanked him, saying: "She really needs the blessing and support of the seniors… I've never set any specific goals for her. I just want her to be happy."

'I find it a little too extreme'


Christopher expressed his worries for his nine-year-old son Zed, whom he has with actress Fann Wong and may possibly be interested in showbiz.

"Our blood flows through our children. At the same time, I don't want my son to join this industry in the future," he said, adding that the boy appeared happy every time he went on stage to speak.

"He inherited it from you!" remarked Aileen, 57, who doesn't have children with her husband, Hong Kong film director Gerald Lee.

Huifang, 63, then mentioned her kids Tay Ying and Calvert Tay, whom she shares with her actor husband Zheng Geping.

"It wasn't the same for my children… They didn't dare to go on stage when they were younger. When they got older, they told me that they wanted to try acting and I was taken aback," she recalled.


While 28-year-old Tay Ying is an active actress, Calvert, 24, appears to be focused on his singing career now.

Christopher shared his thoughts: "When they want to join this industry, we can't stop them. I really dislike it when people call them a 'nepotism baby'".

"I find it too extreme. I feel that they have their own talents and potential… This term insinuates that they joined this industry because of who their parents are."

He said that he "resists" the term even though Zed has yet to enter showbiz: "I simply feel it gives them unnecessary stress."

Aileen lightened up the atmosphere with a joke: "If I wait for your son to grow older, I'll have to act as his grandmother."

Season 2 of Dishing with Chris Lee is now available on demand for free on mewatch and will be shown every Monday at 8pm on Channel 8.


No part of this article can be reproduced without permission from AsiaOne.

This website is best viewed using the latest versions of web browsers.