Judd Apatow's Daughters Grew Up To Be Gorgeous

With parents as cool as comedy heavyweights Judd Apatow (director, writer, and producer) and Leslie Mann (actress and Apatow's frequent muse), it stands to reason Maude and Iris Apatow would turn out to be the coolest kids on the block. But growing up in front of the camera, particularly in movies based on their family's actual home life, comes with as many drawbacks as perks. Just because it happens in Hollywood doesn't make it a fantasy life.

Still, as celebrity kids go, the sisters, who are five years apart in age, turned out remarkably grounded and even *whisper it* normal. They're hardly on the road to ruin, their paths marked by drug addiction and infamy. These two are unlikely to even be spotted falling out of nightclubs — instead, they're focusing on making names for themselves in their own right and working hard to achieve their goals. Unsurprisingly, though, given those great genes (okay, fine, it's more Leslie than Judd — sorry, Judd) they grew up to be completely stunning. 

Hollywood love story

As befitting a couple as cool as Apatow and Mann, the two met on a movie set. The 1996 Jim Carrey feature The Cable Guy, in which Mann appeared in a small role and for which Apatow played producer, signaled their first meeting and the beginning of their love affair. As the actress explained to The Telegraph in 2013, Apatow worked hard to make it seem as though he was highly in demand with other women before finally taking her out.

"We wound up going to this basketball game and that's when I realized he was a good guy. At the time I was dating bad boys. ...But Judd was just so nice to me and treated me so well and I remember thinking, 'Oh, this is the kind of guy I should be with' — it was like a light bulb. And then that was that and we fell in love," she gushed. Maude was born in 1997 followed by Iris in 2002, and the rest is Hollywood history. 

Marked out for stardom

They might have fame and fortune but, in a 2017 interview with Variety, Apatow made it clear his family is totally normal. "I feel like my life is basically the same as everybody else's. We all have a family that we're trying to make function. All the issues that our kids have at each stage are the same. And the fact that Knocked Up did well does not make anything easier when it comes to your kids and trying to make your family work," he argued, referring to the hit 2007 movie starring Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogen.

Even so, at least one kid was technically marked out for stardom right from birth. As Mann explained to Interview in 2012, she chose her eldest daughter's name very deliberately. "My favorite movie of all time is Harold and Maude," she said, noting that's where Maude's name comes from, as, "Ruth Gordon, she's funny... I literally watched that every weekend for years when I was in high school. That kind of tone is what I like." 

Art imitating life

As much as they did their best to make life normal for their kids, Apatow and Mann brought them into their star-studded world pretty early on. Maude and Iris featured as Mann's onscreen kids in Knocked Up, This Is 40, and Funny People. They actually played the same characters in Knocked Up and This is 40, too, with their first appearances onscreen at the ripe ages of 10 and 5 respectively.

On working with his kids, Apatow told The Hollywood Reporter in 2012 they're complete naturals — just like their mother. "They play the truth of the moment, and if you play things completely real, then certain ridiculous aspects of people's way of fighting or communicating will pop out. Leslie can just play the drama, and the comedy pops through. ... Maude can do it as well," he explained.

Likewise, Mann told THR she felt incredibly fortunate to work with her kids, but she gets frustrated juggling responsibilities. "If they're having problems or they hurt themselves or they're fighting with each other, I have to deal with that and put out that fire and I have to work, so it's like double the amount of work," she explained.

This is... real life?

2012's This Is 40 was basically the Apatow family life put on screen, with Paul Rudd as the father stand-in. In an interview that same year on Conan O'Brien's Serious Jibber Jabber podcast, Apatow discussed how he gets his daughters to act naturally on camera. "They're not scared that cameras are around. They get sucked into what their real problems are with each other. Like, they're so annoyed with each other that they're not distracted by the fact that they're shooting a movie and it needs to go well, they're more concerned about whatever argument I'm trying to make them have on camera," the director explained.

In a sprawling interview with The New York Times that same year, Apatow admitted he'd been badgering Mann for years to make a movie out of their life experiences. "All sorts of crazy, hilarious, terrifying things were happening. I would say 'you think we should make a movie about this?' And I would pray she would say yes," he admitted. The couple isn't worried about people taking things too literally, however, as Apatow explained, audiences "never walk out of the movie and think it's about us. They always think it's about them." 

Social media shutdown

The same year This Is 40 came out, Apatow and Mann were being far more responsible with their children than their onscreen counterparts. In an interview with Today, the prolific filmmaker explained how, for years, they all shared the one computer so he and his wife could monitor their daughters' online behavior. There was also no Wi-Fi in their house up until relatively recently.

Although the strict parents were ultimately broken down, Apatow admitted there comes a time in any relationship when one just has to trust everything will work out. "At some point, you need them to want to have an ongoing conversation with you about their habits. But the truth is, they're looking at whatever they want to look at. If you've raised a solid, healthy child, they'll learn how to navigate all of it. But it's still terrifying. It's scary. But my kids are doing great — so far, so good," he said.  

Maude was writing her own story

Funnily enough, around the same time she finally had free reign on the internet, Maude was becoming a bonafide online sensation in her own right. As she told The New York Times in a 2012 interview, at just 14 years old she had over 60,000 Twitter followers and tons of strangers telling her how much they related to whatever she was sharing at any one time. "It's just weird, because I don't know most people who tweet me, so it's kind of scary. But it's nice," she admitted.

The young teen was then on the cusp of starting high school and terrified about what was to come, but her parents still vetted her tweets and checked her grammar from time to time. Maude also noted she and her father often argued about Twitter, admitting, "It could not be more unhealthy." Her impressive social media presence attracted the attention of HelloGiggles and Teen Vogue, both of whom commissioned the youngster to write pieces for them. Apatow remained her biggest supporter, noting at the time, "I just hope that ultimately what she writes is longer than 140 characters."

Family comes first

They might not be the most typical family, but it's clear that, for the Apatows, family comes first no matter what. Mann even told The Independent in the U.K. back in 2014 that her family, in particular her kids, dictates what kind of work she does. However, Mann is aware she can't just store up all that creative energy forever. "I just get to that moment where everything drives me crazy. ...That's when I know I need to find myself a creative outlet outside of the house," she explained, likely echoing the feeling of working mothers worldwide.  

Although the actress described motherhood as the greatest love she's ever felt, she struggled to come to terms with the then-16-year-old Maude growing into her own person, explaining, "My eldest daughter is... so crazy and hormonal right now, I feel bad for her, but she's also awesome and super smart. She's a writer too, like her dad. She tells me when I look really bad and to change my clothes. She thinks she's probably way smarter than me and she probably is smarter than me. Which is kind of annoying." 

Typical teen

As hinted by both her parents over the years, Maude Apatow had a fairly standard time of it as a teenager. In a lengthy 2018 interview with Bustle, the aspiring actress explained how her parents didn't allow her to do any movies without them until she turned 18. Rather than holding her back, this actually prepared the young Apatow to branch out when the time came. "It was really nice to be able to get to do my first movies with [my parents], because they taught me so much and being around them, it was so comfortable. Because I'd done those movies... I felt prepared and ready to do [my own]," she explained.

As for what kind of teenager she was, Apatow revealed that most of her time was spent as an "emotional wreck," staying in all the time crying her eyes out. This prepared her for the role of rebellious teen Meredith in The House of Tomorrow. "I was just so emotional and hormonal, and you get angry because you just don't know what to do with your emotions," she said, echoing what Mann told The Independent just a few years previous.  

Dad don't impress them much

Judd Apatow is one of the biggest names in Hollywood, counting barnstorming comedies like This Is 40, Knocked Up, and The 40 Year Old Virgin as part of his résumé as well as long-running creative partnerships with the likes of Seth Rogen and Lena Dunham (Apatow produced the latter's hit TV show, Girls). It's widely accepted that Apatow knows funny. That is, unless you ask his kids.

Iris Apatow, in particular, just doesn't find her father that amusing. In fact, according to the Hollywood multi-hyphenate, she and sister Maude refer to him as a "Hollywood d**k" whenever he starts acting like he's somebody (for example, when he wants to simply make dinner reservations). This is by Papa Apatow's own admission, as he discussed his ungrateful brood while appearing on Conan back in 2017. According to Apatow, the younger Iris even told him his jokes make her hate all other comedy. Ouch. 

The coolest trio in town

The Apatow girls might think their Dad is lame but they, like the rest of us, are totally obsessed with Mama Mann. Thankfully, the feeling is mutual. Appearing on Live with Kelly and Ryan in 2018, Mann said of Maude, "I love her. She's my favorite person in the world and I'm hers. I think. And why not be with the people you love the most and you like the most? Like we really like each other." 

Iris and Maude frequently show up on set to support Mann even when they're not working, as well as appearing in Jergens commercials together, taking vacations, dressing up, and naturally all the sweet throwbacks the girls share. They walk red carpets together (always looking fierce, of course) and even go to gigs too, proving once and for all Mann is not a regular mom — she's a cool mom. The bond between mother and daughters is so strong, in fact, that, in 2018, Maude and Mann did a super-sweet Mother's Day gift guide for People together, sharing all their top picks for the most important holiday of the year. 

Acting up

Younger daughter Iris Apatow understandably took a bit longer to stand out than Maude, who, as the older sister, had a five-year head-start. Iris' IMDb page is sparse, showcasing just a handful of roles, most of which were in her parents' movies. However, the younger Apatow sister got her chance to shine in her own right on her Dad's hit Netflix series, Love, on which she had a recurring role as, hilariously, a spoiled child star.

Apatow's skilled portrayal led many to question whether her character was based on a real person. Bustle got on the case in 2016, positing that Apatow's Aria steals the show so often she must be based, in part, on the girl portraying her. Her father told /Film that same year casting Iris was a no-brainer, noting, "I wanted to use her in it and we were trying to think of fun jobs. It all happens at the same time. What's a fun job? Who are fun people? What could this look like? Iris is really talented and really hilarious now. It isn't an enormous amount of days on set and I think that she'll add something to the show." 

Mirroring Mann

Just as Iris was stepping into the spotlight, pundits began to notice something else — she was turning into her gorgeous mother in front of our very eyes. In 2017, The Huffington Post hilariously dedicated a news piece to breathlessly showcasing how much Iris looked like her mother. To be fair, they're not wrong. Further proof of their twinning can be found on Iris's stunning Instagram page, which is loaded with shots of her looking decidedly Mann-esque.

Even though she definitely resembles her mother, the younger Apatow is also becoming a beauty star in her own right, as noted by Fashion magazine in another similarly gushing post about how stunning the young woman is. In particular, Iris' purposefully unconventional beauty tutorial was heralded as a powerfully normal statement for a Hollywood kid. Iris herself advised that she's not "a professional makeup artist, this is just what I put on day to day," further solidifying her refreshingly laid-back attitude. 

Embracing Stranger Things

If there's a hotter teen star than Finn Wolfhard around right now, we don't want to know about him. The young actor is so hot, in fact, there was that whole business with an older model jokingly looking to date him when he came of age, who then had to apologize for being inappropriate. Thankfully, Iris Apatow was the ideal age to star opposite the Stranger Things star when she was chosen to appear in a music video he directed.

In 2017, as reported by W magazine, Wolfhard worked with friend and former Vine star Josh Ovalle to create a music video for "Sonora," a song by SoCal band Spendtime Palace (who are high school friends of Ovalle). Wolfhard features in the western style video alongside Apatow. As W noted, the two teenagers have known each other for a while, so the kiss they share towards the end of the video thankfully wasn't nearly as awkward as that one Wolfhard had with co-star Millie Bobby Brown (in the Season 2 finale of Stranger Things). 

Finding inspiration at home

With two super-talented parents' experience to draw from, it makes sense that eldest daughter Maude Apatow would look to them for inspiration when venturing into the Hollywood machine herself. In a 2018 interview on the Hollywood Life podcast (via the site's write-up), Maude gushed about how much she loved her folks' work, noting, "I think it's an amazing thing that my dad can help people through hard times, and take their mind off of tough things, at least."

She credited her parents' strong work ethic, which they instilled in her and younger sister Iris, for their longevity in their chosen industry. "I've seen my whole life how hard they work and that's what I've always wanted to be. Because I know how hard it is and hard work pays off," advised the young actress. Likewise, working with her parents on films like Knocked Up and This Is 40 forced her to work even harder to impress, as Maude advised, "I always just wanted to do a good job because I care about what my parents think the most." 

Following in her father's footsteps

Aside from acting, Maude Apatow's growing IMDb page also signals her move into writing and directing, following in her father's footsteps. Her short film Don't Mind Alice screened at the 2018 Santa Barbara Film Festival, as she trilled about on Instagram. Maude rather controversially dropped out of college to pursue her career, a decision her mother publicly supported. "Well, she's obviously an adult and she's gonna do what she wants to do, and I stand behind her. So, if she wants to stay in school, great, and if she wants to start working now, great," Mann told ET at the premiere for her movie Blockers (another story about parent-daughter relationships).

Support is something both parents have in spades, as her father took to Instagram to gush over the Don't Mind Alice premiere, writing, "Congratulations @maudeapatow for showing her first short film at the Santa Barbara Film Festival." His eldest daughter told Nylon back in 2016 that Apatow taught her everything, gushing, "My dad has always said, 'Write for yourself.' Because as an actor, you don't have much control over what happens. ... I want to learn how to write better so I can write for myself."