Henry Stern, 34 — son of actor Daniel Stern (Diner, Home Alone) and writer Laure — spent Christmas 2003 in Iraq, eating Burger King with U.S. soldiers in one of Saddam Hussein’s former palaces. That eye-opening holiday — Henry was accompanying his dad on a USO handshake tour — was the start of his political career.
Despite growing up Hollywood adjacent, the younger Stern never entertained the idea of a job in the entertainment industry, instead going to Berkley Law school and becoming an environmental lawyer (“He’s a very wonky guy,” explains father Stern to THR).
Now, worlds are colliding as the elder Stern, 58, rallies A-list backing for Henry’s run at the California State Senate in the north Valley’s 27th district.
The Democrat enjoys the support of Homeland creator Howard Gordon, agent Joe Cohen and Daniel’s City Slickers co-star Billy Crystal. They’ve opened their homes for Q&As and fundraisers for the younger Stern.
“I am proud to say that I knew Henry back when,” says producer and supporter Laurie David, who employed him as an intern to help with youth outreach in her climate change efforts. “I support him now because I know first hand that he is the real deal and we need more real deals in political office.”
Though not explicitly working in the field, the younger Stern understands the importance of the entertainment industry to the district. He worked with his father and other Hollywood elites to help pass the 2014 film tax credit that would allow for more film and TV the be produced in Los Angeles.
Jokes Henry: “I told myself I wouldn’t be an actor. Now I am out there performing … but for very small crowds.”
A version of this story first appeared in the May 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.