For children of Hollywood actors, it usually goes one of two ways: either their parents are more than ready to open all doors for their child to join them in the industry, or they want them to have nothing to do with it.
Pamela Adlon falls in the second camp.
“My mom didn’t want me acting when I was younger,” says Odessa Adlon, the 18-year-old middle daughter of Pamela Adlon and Felix O. Adlon, over the phone from L.A. “Like when I was eight, she’d say yes in exchange for not arguing with my sisters, and for an eight-year-old that’s just not going to happen — so I just never got it.”
When she turned 15, her mom let up and she set out for her first audition, for “American Housewife.”
“I was awful, so bad. I will never forget it,” she says. “My manager told me when you read for an audition, no T-shirts with logos on them or designs, and to wear black pants, so I would just go into auditions wearing the plainest thing, and I hated it. Then once I — it sounds cheesy — but once I found myself in the auditioning process, I realized I could wear whatever I want, whatever I feel like fits the character. Now I go into auditions for a little innocent girl and wear a Metallica T-shirt.”
Adlon seems destined to be a Hollywood favorite. There’s an adorable factor to her newness on the scene, but she’s also seemingly more comfortable with herself than seasoned actors above her. She’s uninterested in modern music (save for Big Sean), yet isn’t above posting a whole slideshow from her senior prom.
Her first series regular role, on the CBS sitcom “Fam,” is the beginning of a career of her own.
“Obviously I wanted to be part of it, but it wasn’t like I could choose to be part of it or not because I was waiting for them to talk to me. I can’t cast myself — I wish I could,” she says. “I just really, really wanted to start acting, and the role fit. Even if it was a role that I completely hated, and they told me I got the part, I would still do it.”
She balances passions for acting and music, though acting is the dominate profession for the time.
“It’s kind of frustrating because I’m stuck loving two things equally. I love acting and I love music,” she says. “It’s a really hard thing to be able to pursue both of them and I feel like not a lot of people can really do that. But I’ve done shows with my band before and recently am practicing, because I don’t have anything [acting wise] to do right now. I would hopefully love to put on another show soon. We’re thinking about doing one soon at the Whiskey a Go Go.”
One thing that isn’t high on her list, though, is joining her mom and sister Gideon, who broke out in last year’s “Blockers,” onscreen.
“I would never want anyone to think that I’m acting because of my mom and that she gave me a segue into a very easy path — because I had to audition just like everyone else, and I’ve been turned down for roles just everyone else,” she says. “Once I get more roles and people know me for what I’m doing and not my mom, then I might consider [acting alongside them] then.”
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