Growing Up Gretzky
As Paulina Gretzky pouts and smoulders for the camera, FLARE photographer Max Abadian gives her directions. “Chin up, Paulina. OK, slightly to the left. Beautiful!” Click. In four-and-a-half-inch leopard-print heels, she has the slightly skittish gait of a gazelle. But she is poised and seems as comfortable bathing in the glare of flashbulbs as she is under California sunshine. The daughter of Wayne and Janet, Paulina is 16 years old (16 and a half, she corrects me) and this is not only her first magazine cover but her very first professional photo shoot. Although she doesn't have any beginners' jitters, she is a little tired, she tells me, as she runs her hand through a lion's mane of gold curls: she flew in from L.A. last night with her parents and had to wake up, like, super-early for an emergency manicure at the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto.
Paulina is the eldest of five children (the youngest, Emma, is two) and she is as close as you can get to royalty in this country. She talks about her demigod dad like any teen would: with a mixture of admiration and eye-rolling embarrassment. (“My dad is so weird. He’s so goofy.”) Wayne, similarly, plays up to the role of dorky dad. (“My kids know all these songs and groups, and I don’t know anything: I’m from the Paul Anka–Anne Murray era.”) But despite this sort of sitcom routine, Paulina has the onerous type-A job of being the first child of a legend, and she is already working overtime to blaze her own path.