Nepo Baby of the Week: Ronan Farrow’s Paternity Drama Returns

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Getty
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Getty

These are two things I never thought I’d mash together in a sentence, but here goes nothing: RuPaul’s Drag Race and a Martin Scorsese biopic have come together to form a discourse supernova. At the center of it is Ronan Farrow, whose questionable paternity is suddenly relevant again. I’ll be the first to admit that usually, I’d want to avoid discussing something this tacky, but in this case, Ronan himself helped revive the discussion with a spit-take-worthy joke.

Two weeks ago, Farrow—the blue-eyed journalist son of Mia Farrow—appeared as a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race. After a welcome from his host, Farrow dropped an unexpected and absolutely gag-worthy remark: Ru, it is the semifinals!” Farrow said. “I haven’t been this nervous since I took a paternity test.”

Um, sir!?!

As most of the free, pop-culture-consuming world knows, Woody Allen is the father listed on Ronan Farrow’s birth certificate, although the two are now estranged. That said, basically anyone who’s ever laid eyes on Ronan has speculated that his actual father is Mia Farrow’s first husband, Frank Sinatra. Evidently, Mia herself likes a little mess as well, because she helped stoke the theory in 2013 when she suggested that Sinatra could “possibly” be Ronan’s biological father. (MA’AM!!!)

Back then, just like recently on RuPaul, Ronan seized the opportunity for humor. “Listen,” he tweeted at the time, “we’re all *possibly* Frank Sinatra’s son.”

And now, let’s get back to the aforementioned discursive clusterfuck. This week, news broke that Scorsese is working on a Frank Sinatra biopic. And while Marty reportedly wants his frequent collaborator Leonardo DiCaprio to play the lead, social media commenters with a strong senses of humor are pushing for a different idea. As writer Caitie Delaney aptly put it on X, “Come on do the hilarious thing and cast Ronan Farrow.”

Just in case the physical resemblance between Farrow and his alleged baby daddy wasn’t enough, fans who want him to tackle the role have also submitted further evidence into the record: a video clip of a teenage Farrow singing the Stephen Sondheim tune “Not While I’m Around” from Sweeney Todd. Like many an embarrassing mother, Mia Farrow first shared the home video on social media in 2020, when she also revealed that she used to sing the song to her son when he was a little boy.

Here are my thoughts on this clip, in the order they flitted through my rapidly melting Friday brain:

  1. Oh, shit, he really can sing. Can Woody sing? Is singing genetic? Did Ronan practice his Frank Voice in the mirror as a child, because if not… That might be a telltale sign!

  2. This is a kind of weird song to sing as, like, a lullaby, right? Little ominous, maybe? Whatever, it could’ve been weirder.

  3. Is this seriously what Ronan Farrow looked like as a teenager? Like, it seems almost unfair. Where are the pimples? Why doesn’t he skulk around like a nervous, insecure weirdo like the rest of us did? Sure, the haircut could be better, but even as high school haircuts go, this is about as decent as it gets! Maybe it’s a celebrity kid thing—like, maybe children of A-listers are less susceptible to awkward phases because their parents iron it out of them? Then again, maybe it’s time to revisit the genetic thing… Did Frank Sinatra ever look self-conscious a day in his life?

But I digress. All of this to say, it’s been a big week for those who sit around thinking about issues of celebrity paternity. (I am not one of those people, but for those who do love to observe this time-honored tradition, congratulations, your time has come!) Maybe all of this will urge Scorsese to rethink his casting decision, or more likely, it’ll fade into the ether until DiCaprio is—incorrectly, I agree—announced as Sinatra. What can we say? “That’s Life.” But at least we’re all entertained.

Check out our past Nepo Babies of the Week.

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