Lou Diamond Phillips says he’s “incredibly proud” that his daughter Gracie Phillips has chosen to pursue a career on her own.
“I’m incredibly proud of how [my daughter] is going about this,” Phillips, 57, told Fox News. “She’s doing the footwork. She got an agent on her own. She didn’t ask me for any help. As a matter of fact, she did not advertise she was my daughter to other people. She really wanted to earn it.”
In March 2018, Gracie revealed she kept her celebrity father a secret for two years while she worked on launching a career as a model.
The “La Bamba” actor shared Gracie is now considering acting and occasionally asks him for advice on how to stand out.
“There are times when she’ll turn to me for advice,” said Phillips. “She’ll ask me what I think and I certainly appreciate that. But in light of recent events and people cutting corners and lying and cheating to get into college — I’m incredibly proud that obviously there’s a foundation there. There’s character and integrity there. She doesn’t want to do it the wrong way. She wants to do it the right way and I’m very, very pleased with that.”
Back in March 2018, Gracie told Fox News that while she was never ashamed to admit Phillips was her father, she didn’t want to be hired just because of her Hollywood connections.
“I started modeling a little over two years ago, just before I turned 18,” said Gracie at the time. “And for me, it wasn’t necessarily a secret. When I went to Wilhelmina, I asked them not to attach our names together when I was sent out to jobs.”
“I wanted to make it on my own,” she continued. “I wanted to be known as Gracie Phillips, not Lou Diamond Phillips’ daughter… And a lot of my jobs? I got them on my own, which is something that I’m very proud of.”
“My biggest concern is for people to still think I’m getting jobs because of my parents,” Gracie continued. “Because there are kids of celebrities out there who receive that kind of response. And I know how headlines work. I just would never want anyone to say something like that about me. I started out when I turned 18. My mom was a model and my dad is an actor, but I certainly didn’t know much about the industry going in… My biggest fear is that people are going to take away the fact that I wanted to do this on my own and I did.”
Gracie noted that having famous parents would have easily opened more doors for her. However, Gracie insisted she wanted to be hired for her talent, not her name alone.
“That’s part of the reason why I kept it under wraps,” she explained. “I never wanted someone to say, ‘She did this job because of her dad.’ I got my jobs on my own… My dad had nothing to do with it. I wasn’t hired because of who my dad was. I was hired because of who I was. And people can say, ‘Well, now you’re using your dad’s name. You’ll have more opportunities.’ I already proved to myself that I could do it on my own. If it opens more doors, then great. But for me, I know I can do it by myself.”
But these days, Gracie won’t think twice to tell people how truly grateful she is to have Phillips in her life.
“I’m really proud of my dad,” said Gracie. “He’s an amazing actor. He’s been nominated and has earned many awards for his acting. And although this wasn’t a secret, I kept saying to myself, ‘Why shouldn’t I be proud and talk about it with people?’ After two years of being on my own, I just thought, ‘What’s the point of keeping it under wraps?’ I’m proud of my dad’s work and who he is as a person. And who wouldn’t want to be associated with the kind of man he is?”
Fox News’ Jessica Sager contributed to this report.