Model Gracie Phillips snagged headlines in March for an interview in the Daily Mail in which she revealed that La Bamba star Lou Diamond Phillips is her father. More than a month later, Phillips, 20, says she’s glad that her story played out the way it did, regardless of the few naysayers she’s encountered.
“So far I’ve gotten a really positive response,” Phillips tells Yahoo Entertainment. “People that I don’t know and who I do know have just been saying, ‘That’s really admirable that you wanted to do it on your own, and that you went in without having your name attached to something, that most kids wouldn’t have done in my position, because it is not taking the easiest way out, but, you know, that’s something that I did think about when I was doing it. Could I have landed bigger jobs or done some bigger things with using that name? Most likely, yes, but that’s something that I was willing to put to the side, because I wanted to do it on my own and prove to myself that I could.”
Phillips, whose mother is former model Kelly Phillips, says she tries to avoid reading the negative comments on social media.
“Just because I’m putting it out now, it does not mean that I wasn’t doing anything with my career, being successful or wasn’t, in a sense, making it, so I needed to pull out my name,” she says. “It’s just something that I was not afraid to talk about anymore.”
After all, Phillips had already signed with the storied Wilhelmina modeling agency and work with brands such as Too Faced Cosmetics and Garnier. She’s happy that everyone knows she’s her father’s daughter.
“Yeah, I’m glad I did it. It wasn’t necessarily a secret to start with,” Phillips says. “When I went into Wilhelmina, I just asked them to not attach our names together when sending me out to clients. But if someone made the connection and asked me about it, I was very open. It wasn’t necessarily a secret. I just didn’t really talk about it. But now that it’s out there, I mean, I am proud of my dad and all of his accomplishments and who he is as a person, so being attached to his name is something that I’m proud of.”
She’s worked with her dad before, when she played a small part in Love Takes Wing, a 2009 TV movie that he directed. The Stand and Deliver star brought Gracie, one of his four children, to the set with him often when she was growing up. She later did an episode of 24 and found that she found acting fun, despite her initial feelings that it must be boring because it was something her dad did. Then she went to high school and, when she was a junior, turned to modeling, making sure to keep earning her diploma as a priority.
“I’m still in school now as well,” she says. “I take all online classes, and I’m studying communications. So, for me, education has always been a part of my life. Just because I’m working and that stuff, I didn’t feel right just dropping it, especially when there’s easy ways to finish, like online.”
Phillips would like to work with her dad again because she’s looking to make a transition into acting. She promises that big things in her career are in the works, but she can’t talk about them just yet.
She does say that even though she’s “open to anything,” she would like to do a comedy.
“Maybe something funny, just because when I’m around my friends and my family and people I know, I’m pretty funny … I would like to think,” she says with a laugh. “But I think any role, really.”
In addition to being an aspiring actress and perpetual student, Phillips is a dedicated social media user, closing in on 25,000 followers. She regularly shares snapshots taken with her family, including her dad and twin sister, Bella, and photos from the sets of her modeling shoots or, sometimes, of herself wearing a bikini.
What does her dad have to say about those?
“You know, he’s very supportive in everything that I do, but when it comes to bikini and lingerie stuff, he does get a little protective,” she says.
After all, he’s still a dad.
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