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So My Kids Can Watch / Film

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  • Harry Potter:
    • Michael Gambon accepted the role of Prof. Dumbledore in the films specifically so that his grandchildren wouldn't go through the shame of being related to someone who had turned down being Dumbledore. As revealed on the interviews to Prisoner of Azkaban, the kids today aren't impressed by Samuel Beckett.
    • Similarly, Robbie Coltrane has said, "Can you imagine if I'd gone home and said 'Children, I was offered the part of Hagrid, but I turned it down'? Large actor found in the Clyde."
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    • Ditto with Emma Thompson, who played Professor Trelawney.
    • Gambon's predecessor, Richard Harris, initially turned down the role of Dumbledore because he knew he wasn't going to be around for seven movies. His 11-year-old granddaughter heard about it and threatened never to speak to him again. He changed his mind on the grounds that he couldn't do without her.
    • Gary Oldman's own words were something along the lines of "Wanting to do something I could finally take my kids to see." Not the first time. See his Lost in Space entry below. He also said he hadn't worked in over a year and needed the money.
    • Reportedly, Alan Rickman did the movies at the request of his nieces. Can you say "best uncle ever"? Even then, he at first refused the role (Rickman actually didn't like playing villainous characters) but was persuaded when JK Rowling revealed to him, privately, something about Snape's character, most likely his true motivations and allegiance. (At the time, the seventh book had yet to be written.)
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    • A general example with David Thewlis who wanted to make a children's film, having never done one before.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
  • Transformers Film Series:
  • Michael Caine:
    • Played the part of Ebeneezer Scrooge in The Muppet Christmas Carol so his young daughter could see him in a movie. He's also gone on record as saying he had an absolute blast making the film, and considers Scrooge one of his favorite roles he's ever played.
    • On why he accepted a role in the sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D:
      I took the film because I have grandchildren now, and I get to ride around on a giant bumblebee... My grandchildren are... going to say to kids at school, "Can your grandfather do that?"
  • Alec Baldwin said this was why he wanted to be in Beetlejuice. One would wonder how scarred said children are.
  • Johnny Depp, in numerous roles. He still manages to remain incredibly bizarre (even creepy) in these roles. In an interview, he confessed that it wasn't fully motivated by this trope, but he didn't want "the DVDs for his movies all at the back of the shelf".
  • Wild Wild West is reported to be this for both Will Smith and Kevin Kline, despite the fact that Smith was primarily known for his family-friendly sitcom, plus his previous film, Men in Black, was hardly adults-only, and even his rap music tended to reside on the inoffensive side of the scale.
  • Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson seems to be becoming notorious for this. Johnson once recounted a story on Late Show with David Letterman about how he asked the studio to make him a special copy of The Scorpion King — only his scenes, and cutting anything that wouldn't get a G rating, because his very young daughter wanted to see "Daddy's movie." This special cut ran about 5 minutes. He would later go on to play the demigod Maui in Moana for this reason. He also took a starring role in the PG-rated Jumanji Welcome Tothe Jungle which came out soon after an R-rated turn in another remake, Baywatch (and in the midst of his starring in the adult-oriented TV series, Ballers).
  • Robert Rodriguez. Do you know him as the director of Sin City or of Spy Kids? The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl was even "co-written" by his kids.
  • Antonio Banderas also said he did Spy Kids so his kids could watch.
  • Star Wars:
    • Sir Alec Guinness allegedly did A New Hope because of this trope, and would later resent the fact that it became one of his most famous roles. Peter Cushing had a similar reason, but it was more for kids in general.
    • The Phantom Menace has a lot of interesting ideas that were fumbled in execution. But there is one relatively last-minute change which makes it controversial: Anakin was supposed to be 12 and not 8, which makes his relationship with Padme less confusing. But George wanted to make movies for his kids and that's how old they were. Overall this change makes the movie more kid-friendly, which isn't terrible on its own but that's why we have Jar Jar.
  • Robin Williams. He didn't start doing it right after his first son, Zachary, was born (1982), though. But after his other two children, Zelda (1989) and Cody (1991) were born, he did stuff like Hook, Aladdin, FernGully: The Last Rainforest... Mrs. Doubtfire might also count as a family film, albeit one that got a lotta crap past the radar. Williams had gone back to the more adult roles sometime in the 2000s, but he still did a few kiddie flicks here and there before his suicide in 2014.
  • Eddie Murphy. Watch Daddy Day Care. Now watch Trading Places. In fact, just watch Trading Places.
    • Another reason for Murphy's stint in family movies was an attempt to change his image after being spotted picking up a prostitute in 1997.
  • Tim Burton doing Big Fish and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory can be justified by the birth of his son and the death of his father.
  • Gary Oldman took the role of Doctor Smith in The Film of the Series of Lost in Space so his kids could watch it. Of course, he's probably the best thing in the movie.
  • Paul Walker admitted while promoting the very R-rated Running Scared (2006) that he made Eight Below (which opened the week before) so he could take his daughter, nieces and nephews to a movie premiere.
  • Spice World;
    • Richard E. Grant has been in many fine and not so fine works, but the one that really excited his daughter was Spice World.
    • Stephen Fry admitted in an episode of QI that he took a role in Spice World because it allowed him to get autographed posters of the Spice Girls for his nephews, which he claimed "was like ten Christmases for them."
  • Tommy Lee Jones became Two-Face in Batman Forever because his son was a big fan of Harvey Dent.
    • Likewise, Tom Hardy's son was a fan of Venom, so he became Eddie Brock in Venom. And given it's an Anti-Hero with a pechant for violence, Hardy snarked at the SDCC that "I wanted to do something my son could watch. So I did something where I bite people's heads off."
  • According to the man himself, Adam Sandler's Bedtime Stories and Jack and Jill were created for his kids, made apparent by the lack of raunchy humor Adam Sandler movies are typically known for in favor of more lighthearted, juvenile gags.
  • Welsh heavyweight thesp Richard Burton wanted to do a film that he could show his kids, so he got his novelist mate Alistair McLean to knock off a rollicking World War II adventure screenplay for him. The result - Where Eagles Dare - remains one of his best-known parts...
  • Kevin Smith's Jersey Girl was made because he'd just had a daughter and wanted to make a movie that wasn't filled with crude humor. Unfortunately, a lot of his fans were angered by their hero "going soft," and he was forced to make a return to form. Watching the movie knowing that it was made for and about Smith's daughter does make the movie much sweeter, though.
    • Smith also inverts this trope by not making a particular movie for his kids, specifically a Dogma sequel he'd been kicking around, which would have centered around the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
  • James Marsden took the role for Prince Edward in Enchanted so that he and his kids could have something to watch together.
  • Raúl Juliá took the role of M. Bison from the Street Fighter film as a gift to his children. He already knew he was dying of cancer and wanted to earn a decent final salary as a legacy to his surviving family members. He let his sons choose his last role from the ones he was currently being offered, and they, fans of the series, chose that one. And did he give himself a send-off. Fans of Raul Julia weren't pleased that he was sent off with such a horrible movie... but those that could slog through the crap he had to deal with were treated to one of the most DELICIOUS supervillains ever.
  • Liam Neeson signed on for 2010's Clash of the Titans remake solely because his children were really into Classical Mythology and thought it would be cool for him to play Zeus.
  • Paul Bettany signed on for Inkheart largely because his kids liked the book. He also lamented the fact that the only role by which his kids were actually impressed was his short voice acting cameo in Iron Man as JARVIS.
  • There are a number of examples connected to Twilight:
    • Michael Sheen took a part as one of the Volturi vampires partially because his daughter is a fan.
    • Peter Facinelli took his part partially for his daughters and his wife.
    • Christopher Heyerdahl took the role of Marcus because his nieces were fans of the book series.
  • Zack Snyder's reason for doing Legend Of The Guardians The Owls Of Ga Hoole.
  • Ryan Reynolds is most well known for his R-rated roles, particularly Deadpool. He leapt at the opportunity to do something more kid-friendly, the titular star of Pokémon Detective Pikachu, so his children could enjoy a movie he was in.
    • Bill Nighy also gave this reason for being in the films.
  • Tyler Mane wasn't familiar with X-Men before he appeared in the first movie; he prepped for the role with his son, who was a big fan of the comics.
  • Mark Wahlberg did the film Invincible so that his kids could actually see him in a film (most of his films before then were either R-rated or so bad that no one should watch them, no matter the rating).
  • Word of God says this is initially why Viggo Mortensen signed on for The Lord of the Rings: He was offered the part of Aragorn when the actor originally cast backed out, so he'd have to immediately fly halfway around the world and put the rest of his life on hold for an entire year. Naturally, Mortensen was a little hesitant about making that kind of commitment since he had not yet read the books. It was his son who insisted he HAD to take the role or he would regret it forever. Mortensen read the books on the flight to New Zealand and says he was glad his son was so adamant about it.
  • Bruce Willis said in an interview this was pretty much the reason he starred in the 2000 movie The Kid (2000).
  • Wayne Knight said he did Space Jam so kids in general would know him as something other than "the bad guy from Jurassic Park". (That didn't keep him from voicing the bad guy in Toy Story 2, though.) He was aware, however, that adults would still view him as Newman.
  • Michael Madsen did Free Willy so his sons could see him in a movie (most of his previous roles had been in violent R-rated movies such as Thelma & Louise and Reservoir Dogs). It also turned out to be one of the few movies that he's proud of.
  • On a similar note, Madsen's sister Virginia admits that she did the infamous "talking horse" comedy Hot to Trot for similar reasons.
  • Meryl Streep took the role of Aunt Josephine in A Series of Unfortunate Events upon the request of her daughter, a big fan of the books. On the other hand, she starred in Mamma Mia! specifically to embarrass her children.
  • Dustin Hoffman, of all people, lobbied for the role of Mario in Super Mario Bros. so his kids could see him in that role.
  • Joel McHale said this was why he did Spy Kids: All the Time in the World. Jessica Alba appeared in it for her children.
  • Mary Steenburgen played Clara Clayton in Back to the Future Part III (and subsequently in the animated series) because her children begged her. This was quite fortunate for the filmmakers, who regarded her as their first and only choice for the part.
  • For a directorial example, Martin Scorsese made Hugo because he wanted something he could take his youngest daughter (who is a teenager, so this may not count) and his granddaughter to see.
  • Dana Carvey made The Master of Disguise as his first starring role after recovering from a botched heart operation specifically so he could make a film for his kids. Unfortunately, its lack of appeal for adults meant it didn't make for much of a comeback.
  • MGM higher-ups were a bit nervous about asking usually no-nonsense director Victor Fleming to direct The Wizard of Oz. When they did, he immediately said yes, saying that he wants to make a movie that his kids can see.
  • Frank Langella took the role of Skeletor in the Masters of the Universe film specifically because he wanted to do something for his kids. To this day he loves to talk about the role, and how much fun he had playing it.
  • It is believed that one of the reasons why Francis Ford Coppola made Jack was so that his young granddaughter could see one of his films.
  • Neil Gaiman notes that despite his much-lauded work, the thing that earned him the most cred with his son was having the planet Neelgaimon named after him in the Star Wars universe.
  • Despite the film's R rating, Denzel Washington made Virtuosity because his son asked him to do the film.
  • One of the reasons why Russell Crowe took the role of Jor-El in Man of Steel is that he wants his two sons to see him as a father figure in a movie catered to their age group.
  • Jamie Foxx took the role of Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 because his daughter is a massive Spider-Man fan.
  • M. Night Shyamalan said he did The Last Airbender for his kids because they all loved the Avatar: The Last Airbender show.
  • Ice-T did Tank Girl for his son.
  • Lee Meriwether played Catwoman in Batman: The Movie for her kids. In an interview, she explained that she had to do either Batman or Star Trek: The Original Series to please them. (She later appeared in Star Trek as well so presumably, her kids were pleased.)
  • Megan Fox, Will Arnett, and Johnny Knoxville all mentioned this as a factor for their roles in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014). Whoopi Goldberg is a late attempt (as her daughter, who wanted mommy to be in a Ninja Turtles movie, was already grown) that still fits "So My Grandkids Can Watch".
  • George Lucas had wanted to make a movie for his daughters, so Strange Magic was the belated movie. He viewed Star Wars as being for 12-year-old boys, and this movie was for the 12-year-old girls that his daughters used to be.
  • Brooke Shields did Furry Vengeance for her kids.
  • One of the reasons Park Chan Wook made I'm a Cyborg, but That's OK was the realisation that, with his twelve-year-old daughter becoming interested in seeing her father's work, he absolutely could not show her Oldboy (2003).
  • Chris Elliott said he did Snow Day because he hadn't done a kids film yet and he wanted to be in something his kids could watch. However, he also did it as a favor for a friend who worked at Nickelodeon.
  • Julianne Moore's two children were fans of The Hunger Games books, and convinced her to sign on to play Alma Coin in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay.
  • Kate Winslet played Jeanine in Divergent partially for this reason, joking that it's the one film of hers in which her kids won't have to see her naked. She also joked that her kids became very cool at school when word got out that their mother was Jeanine.
  • Liev Schreiber has said this of his role in My Little Pony: The Movie (2017).
  • Donnie Yen said this was one of his reasons for starring in Rogue One, as most of his martial arts movies are too visceral for his children to watch. But when Gareth Edwards first reached out, he wasn't sure if he wanted to go from Hong Kong to London for five months to shoot it. So he asked his kids, and they went wild.
  • Trey Parker of South Park fame took the role he was offered in Despicable Me 3 so his then one-and-a-half-year-old daughter could watch something her daddy was in for once. (Which is kind of funny, because said daughter has also voiced Ike in South Park.)
  • Shakira said she got "cool mom points" from her kids for doing Zootopia.
  • A possible motivation for the decision by Clint Eastwood to follow up a decade of violent westerns and police dramas with two PG-rated comedy films in which his his co-star was an orangutan.
  • James Corden starred in The Emoji Movie and Peter Rabbit so that his three children could watch something he took part in. He also originally recorded lines for Balloon Man in Teen Titans Go! To the Movies for this reason, but it wound up being a Deleted Role.
  • Back to The Emoji Movie, Christina Aguilera played Akikko Glitter for her daughter Summer.
  • Rashida Jones did the voice of Donna Lou-Who in The Grinch for her then soon-to-be-born son Isaiah.
  • While John Oliver's previous roles in child oriented works would fall under "Sesame Street" Cred, his roles in Wonder Park and The Lion King were done so his son Hudson could finally like a project that he worked on.
  • Chance The Rapper played Slice in Trolls: World Tour for his daughter Kensli, since she is a big fan of the Trolls franchise.
  • Rob Riggle played Aloysius O'Hare in The Lorax for his children Abby and George. He would later go on to do Fancy Nancy and The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants for the same reason.
  • Robert Downey Jr. and his wife Susan chose to make Dolittle for their kids after wrapping Avengers: Endgame.
  • Kevin James has been in several animated films for his daughters, including Monster House, Barnyard and the Hotel Transylvania series.
  • Michelle Williams said that her favorite part of starring in The Greatest Showman was making a movie that she could take her daughter and her daughter's girl scout troop to go see, since most of her movies are heavy dramas not remotely suitable for children (eg, Brokeback Mountain, Shutter Island).
  • Sigourney Weaver appeared in Holes because it was her daughter's favorite book and she begged her to play the Warden.
  • Robert Patrick, aka the T-1000, cited this trope word for word on why he starred as the main character's dad in Bridge to Terabithia.
  • Robert De Niro took a role in Shark Tale for his sons Julian and Elliot.
    • Will Smith played the main character, Oscar, in that movie for the same reason.

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