March 25, 2009
Why do famous kids seem to only play with other famous kids? How do celebrity playdates work?
-Shadi, Culver City, Calif.
First let's make sure we're looking at an authentic messiah-on-messiah playdate. Suri Cruise playing with the Beckham boys? Real. Suri playing with Shiloh Jolie-pitt? Not real. Beckhams playing with Kingston Rossdale, son of Gwen Stefani? Real. And we even have photos proving the truly true, absolute realness of this planet-shaking apotheosis-see?
So how do such summits go down? The publicist for the Cruises-who happens to also rep the Beckhams-wouldn't tell me. But I found a real live Hollywood nanny to dish all the details...
...including how typical playdates get set up in the first place. You may suspect that, when it comes to powerful people, the nannies make the initial outreach. After all, if you've read my book, you know that Hollywood nannies are responsible for pretty much everything else.
But not, interestingly, playdates.
"The stars see other stars at events and say. 'We have to get our kids together'," says Suzanne Hansen, who nannied for star kids before moving into the field of baby sleep coaching.
As for why you never see a star's kid with a member of the American serf caste, there's a reason for that, too.
"It's hard for stars to be able to steer their child into friendships with nonfamous kids, because people are in awe of them," Hansen says. "The stars don't know if the other moms are going to be trustworthy or sell information to the tabloids. Only the B- and C-list ones are open to really getting to know moms that aren't in the business."
Once the celebrity parents deem each other's children worthy of meeting, the stars may punt the actual scheduling to a nanny, or, if the mother is more active in a child's life, pick up the phone herself.