Mara Wilson, 'Matilda' Actress, Weighs In On Troubled Child Stars
Mara Wilson, the precocious child star from Matilda and Mrs. Doubtfire, penned an article for humor site Cracked.com in which she lists seven argues why child stars “go crazy.”
Wilson, 25, having starred in a handful of movies before age 10, is speaking from experience when she catalogues the troubles facing child actors. “It was generally a good experience, but every day I'm glad I wasn't Olsen twins famous,” Wilson wrote. “Not many child stars make it out of Hollywood alive or sane, and at any given time there are at least three former ones having very public breakdowns.” For many, Amanda Bynes, the former Nickelodeon star, comes to mind.
Mara Wilson in 1996's Matilda
In reverse order, Wilson began her list of reasons why child stars oftentimes end up in a downward spiral. Number seven, according to Mara, is that their parent’s won’t help them. “Kids whose parents pushed them into acting often grow up to resent them,” Wilson explained. “They never had a choice, and worse, they never had the chance to be a kid.” Wilson admits though, in the sixth reason, that the parents of child stars can often lose control of their child to their handlers.
Number five is perhaps one of the most obvious on Wilson’s list – “They Get Used to Love and Attention, and Then Lose It.” After comparing the life of a child star to Logan’s Run, Mara wrote, “A child actor who is no longer cute is no longer monetarily viable and is discarded. He or she is then replaced by someone younger and cuter, and fan bases accordingly forget that the previous object of affection ever existed.”
Sexual exploitation makes number 4 on Wilson’s list, followed by “They Need to Rebel, But Can’t” coming in at number 3. Wilson speculates about the hypersexualization of celebrities, as well as about child molestation in Hollywood. Explaining the problem of child star rebellion, Wilson wrote, “Having to live up to your fan base is a little like having to deal with a million strict parents who don't actually love you. “
Lindsay Lohan as Annie James and Hallie Parker in The Parent Trap
Wilson’s one and two reasons why child stars can go crazy go hand in hand – they can’t escape it, and they don’t know what else to do, respectively. “If I were to talk to Lindsay Lohan, I'd encourage her to get the hell out of acting and into something soothing," Wilson muses. “Take up botany or something.”
“Child stars who are best off as adults usually do one or two projects, then get the hell out of Hollywood, at least for the next few years,” continued Wilson. “They go to Harvard or Yale (or my alma mater, NYU, which has been called "Where Child Stars Come to Die") and learn to do something besides act.”
Read Wilson’s full article on Crack.com