"It's the most impossible kind of shadow to outrun," the "Catch and Kill" author said.
Ronan Farrow revealed the challenges of growing up as the offspring of uber-famous Hollywood heavyweights.
During his guest stint on the "Armchair Expert" podcast on Thursday, the son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen recalled the immense pressure associated with the scandal of his mother discovering the affair between Allen and his adopted sister, Soon-Yi Previn, who eventually married Allen.
"There's lots of people who deal with the shadow of famous parents of one kind or another -- Lord knows there's worse crosses to bear -- but the particular species of that that I had to deal with which was a kind of generation-defining sex scandal," he told host Dax Shephard and co-host Monica Padman.
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"It's the most impossible kind of shadow to outrun," the "Catch and Kill" author added.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning activist also admitted the notoriety gave him a "chip on my shoulder for doing work that I cared about and wanting to be recognized for that."
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But he also wished he had changed his name to help with the burden as he recalled counseling Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis when they were expecting their first child.
"I remember saying one practical piece of advice that I have, because I think Mila was pregnant at the time was, you know, 'You guys do you, but I kind of wish I had had a not-famous surname.'"
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He also gave actor Troy Garity as an example, whose parents Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden bestowed a different surname. Kutcher and Kunis, however, ended up naming their sons Wyatt and Dimitri Kutcher.
Shepard also pressed Farrow on how being estranged from his father has affected him.
"I think I never had a positive father figure around enough to feel on a conscious level a sense of loss there," Farrow replied. "It would probably require more therapy than I've had. I am not aware of that sense of loss in me, but that doesn't mean it's not there. Certainly, in the cocktail of things that drive me, I don't know, I've been seeking validation from someone."
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