Family Ties

Is Reneé Rapp secretly a nepo baby?

It’s been a fantastic year for Reneé Rapp. Her debut album Snow Angel was a smash hit last summer, and this January she starred in the new Mean Girls movie (leading to an iconically chaotic press tour). But fans think they may have found the secret to her success: a hidden connection with a Broadway legend.

The speculation started with a post on X (formerly Twitter) reading, “Y’all need to stop acting like she’s not literally a nepo baby.” It featured two screenshots from Google: one being a search for Reneé Rapp, and one being a search for Broadway legend Anthony Rapp.

For the uninitiated, Anthony Rapp rose to theater fame for originating the role of Mark Cohen in the musical Rent on Broadway, which he also played in the 2005 film adaptation. He’s also starred on Broadway in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and If/Then.

Plenty of folks were thrown for a loop by the post, wondering why they’d never made the connection between Reneé and Anthony before. The most likely reason? Because it isn’t true.

To be clear, the two Rapps aren’t actually related. Reneé’s parents aren’t even in the entertainment industry, while Anthony has two young sons with his partner Ken Ithiphol, who he’s been engaged to since 2019. They do, however, share a last name, so finding the other common threads between the two is a fun scavenger hunt for fans of both.

For example, might Reneé “sing like the rent is due” because Anthony spent so long singing about rent himself? Did Reneé become a lesbian icon by following in Anthony’s footsteps, considering he was one of the first openly queer stars on Broadway? Perhaps she’s not his biological daughter, but some kind of spiritual reincarnation, filling the niche of a gay, blond musical theater star.

For her part, Rapp has said she’s a “daddy’s girl” — referring, of course, to her actual dad Charles Rapp. “I am a daddy’s girl through and through meaning that right hook is lethal,” she wrote on social media earlier this month. Good to know not to get on her bad side!

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