Monday, June 03, 2013

Katie Couric looks at issues for child actors as they grow up; some quirks appear

Katie Couric today, on her syndicated daytime show, presented the issue of child actors and how sometimes they stumble.  There was some considerable attention to the “downfall” of “Family Matters” star Amanda Bynes, partly from the viewpoint of vostar Jaleel White and then Mara Wilson.  The link for the episode is here.

The view was presented that children, as stars, get used to having attention given to them all the time, as long as they are “cute”.  After puberty (which is earlier for girls), they are no longer such, maybe. 

There was also a well taken point that for young people, time seems to pass slowly, and “accomplishments” take on enormous importance, because there are not as many of them as there are in a longer lifetime history of an older person.
Jonathan Lipnicki, a former child star of the movie “Jerry Maguire” (with Tom Cruise playing a sports agent), now 23, appeared, and made an odd comment about a chest wax (“it’s free”) as if it were a normal experience for actors, and he actually bled from it.  (Is he old enough?  In any case, the chest cape is viewed as an extension of the beard, totally optional in polite company.)  Nobody talked about this in the 1950s, with actors like Victor Mature (in all those Fox Roman spectacles) and John Wayne.
At the end of the show, the actors played a “Throwback Showdown” game.
Other “child” actors seem to have made the transition to adulthood fine. Logan Lerman played “Bobby” in “Jack and Bobby” – remember that scene when as a 12 year old, he protects his mom from a suitor on a camping trip?  (“You think I don’t see things because I’m just a kid. But I do.”) 
Then there is Gregory Smith, now 29 (on “Rookie Blue”, May 30 – Imdb says he participates in directing the series).   He would have been 18 when starting to play piano prodigy Ephram fo “Everwood”, but had starred in “Small Soldiers” at 14, “Just Ask My Children” at 16, and “The Patriot” at 15, “Harriet the Spy” and “The Climb” at 12..  Imdb says he has co-produced a  NatGeo TV documentary “Training for the Apocalypse” about doomsday preppers; sounds interesting.   

And there is the career of Macaulay Caulkin in the ridiculous “Home Alone” movies.  

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