Actress and dancer Rumer Willis. (Photo: Instagram)
It sounds glamorous, but being the child of celebrity parents in the Internet age isn’t easy — just ask Rumer Willis. It’s one thing to seek out fame on your own, and it is another to be born into a high-profile family. The 26-year-old daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore (Ashton Kutcher was also her stepfather for a while) is opening up to People about growing up famous in a candid article in the issue that hits newsstands April 17.
Willis is currently a fan favorite on Dancing With the Stars and showing some serious chops on the dance floor. The actress is finally embracing the spotlight, and it shows. But when she was a teenager, it was a different story. Willis, who grew up primarily in Hailey, Idaho, says that her childhood, while happy, was isolating. Other than her sisters, Scout, 23, and Tallullah, 21, Willis related more to adults than kids. She admits that she didn’t have an easy time finding friends.
Once she hit puberty, Willis started attracting the attention of bloggers and social media commenters. However, it wasn’t the kind any young girl would want, especially one who was already feeling out of place. Willis was frequently the subject of vicious online commentary about her looks and her life. She admits that she was “ill-prepared” for the spotlight: “I’d been living in a bubble.” While most actresses get prepped for the cameras and red carpet with hair and makeup, Willis would show up barefaced and be subjected to online insults. The actress says that the experience was painful, but she was somehow expected to be immune to the commentary. “People really started getting ugly [online]. … People always say, ‘You signed up for this, you’re an actor,’ but I used to take it really personally.’”
Rumer Willis performs on Dancing With the Stars. (Photo: Instagram)
Ultimately, however, Willis realized that she couldn’t let the opinions of strangers carry any power over her life: “If you let your value be determined by what other people think, you’re screwed.” It’s a philosophy that she’s clearly taken to heart. Her appearance on Dancing With the Stars seems as much about boosting her profile as it is a journey of confidence. Onstage, Willis is no longer the shy girl. She has a natural talent for performing, and she is fearless.
Willis, who has appeared in films such as The House Bunny and Sorority Row, hopes to continue acting and has her sights set on Broadway. If her success on Dancing With the Stars is any indicator, that just might be in her future.