Gracie Phillips is not your typical youth.
Her mother is Kelly Phillips, a former Penthouse pinup. Her father, Lou Diamond Phillips, is a celebrated Hollywood actor, still recognized by fans for the play of a tragic rock star Ritchie Valens in 1987’s “La Bamba.”
And now, at 20-years-old, she is a sought-after model. But Gracie kept her famous father a secret for two years, so she could it on her own.
Phillips spoke with Fox News about her unique upbringing, getting discovered and why she can’t wait to earn her wings.
Fox News: What was it like to grow up with famous parents?
Gracie Phillips: It was almost normal for me to have a father who was in the industry. I think my parents did a really great job of keeping my sisters and me out of the spotlight. I had a normal childhood, at home. Yes, my father and we saw him on TV, but at home he was a normal father.
(The family Phillips)
Fox News: Is it true that you cried after watching “La Bamba” because you thought your father died?
Phillips: the La Bamba came out, before I was born, so when I was 5 I saw it. I didn’t understand the concept of the act. So when I saw it, I was like, “Oh my gosh, my father died!” I cried my eyes out to my mother.
When my father came home and I was very confused. He had to explain things to me, such as “No honey, this is acting. It is all pretend. I had not really die. I’m here.” After that film, I was able to understand it more… I remember that for a show, that he had to dress up as a woman. He came home wearing a wig and long fingernails. Then I was like, “Oh my God, who is this?”
Fox News: Why did you choose to be your celebrity parents a secret?
Phillips: I started modeling just over two years ago, just before I turned 18. And for me, it was not necessarily a secret. When I went to Wilhelmina, I asked them not to confirm our names together when I was deployed to jobs.
I wanted it on my own. I wanted to be known as Gracie Phillips, not Lou Diamond Phillips’ daughter… And a lot of my tasks? I have them on my own, and that is something that I am very proud of.
(The family Phillips)
Fox News: Some claim that the famous parents would be easy to open doors for you.
Phillips: That’s part of the reason why I kept it under wraps. I never wanted someone to say, “She has this job because of her father.” I have my tasks on my own… My father had nothing to do with it. I was not hired because of who my father was. I was hired by who I was. And people can say, “Well, now you’re using your father’s name. You have more possibilities.” I’ve already proven that I could do on my own. As it opens more doors, then that is great. But for me, I know that I can do it myself.
Fox News: What you forced to come forward?
Phillips: … I’m really proud of my father. He is a great actor. He has been nominated and has earned many awards for his acting. And although this is not a secret, I said to myself, “Why should I not be proud and talk about it with people?” After two years on my own, I thought, “What is the point of keeping it under wraps?” I am proud of my father’s work and who he is as a person. And who would not want to be associated with the kind of man he is?
Fox News: It’s been reported your next goal is to be a Victoria’s Secret Angel.
Phillips: I look at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show since I was a child. I’ve never missed. And if it is ready, I put on my angel wings, high heels and walking around the house. My thinking is that every year, I do, I get closer and closer to the runway.
Some may claim Victoria’s Secret is just sexy, it’s lingerie. But for me, I look at the women who are on the job. I follow them on social media. And the way they carry themselves as women is something I admire, that is the reason why I want to be a part of Victoria’s Secret.
Fox News: What is your biggest fear about being naked?
Phillips: My biggest concern is that people still think that I get a job, because of my parents. Because there are children of celebrities out there who have that kind of reaction. And I know how headlines work.
I would never want someone to say something like that about me. I started when I turned 18. My mother was a model and my father is an actor, but I certainly don’t know much about the industry… My biggest fear is that people are going to the fact that I wanted to do this on my own, and I did.
Fox News: How has your father reacted?
Phillips: He was always a great advocate of the idea that I don’t want to talk about. He understood why… He would always say, “This is your decision….” But he wanted to be open about it, because just as I am proud of him, he is just as proud of me.
Fox News: As a model, are you worried about being harassed in the industry?
Phillips: It is a big subject today, especially in my industry. But I think my parents was really, really great job of keeping me out of the spotlight. And I started modeling later in life. Many of these girls when they are 15-16… I think I had a stronger head on my shoulders and I’ve been able to make things for myself. And I am so grateful that they took me out for as long as they.
(Thanks to Clint)
And now that I’m in, I think I have a strong voice, and I can say, “No, this is something I’m not OK.” And I’m not afraid to say no… of what I want to do… Is a positive role model and the use of my modeling platform to encourage self-love and saying no to things that you are not good with… Hopefully, I can be a positive advocate for others.
(With thanks to Dorien)