That's why this wry, wise piece by Mara Wilson (who you may remember from Maltilda, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Miracle on 34th St.) is quite an eye-opener, and frankly, very sad. Wilson was luckier than most — her parents were very protective, she prioritized education, and, most importantly, she stopped the second it stopped being fun.
But, as she describes in this fascinating (and funny) list, 7 Reasons Why Child Stars Go Crazy, that's not the norm. Wilson reminds of the obvious reasons: absent or pushy parents, no social skills, the horrifically common sexualization of young teens. But there are other issues we might not consider. For instance, what happens when your job is being adorable, then puberty hits and you're out of a paycheck? How can you act like a normal teenager when everyone's waiting for your first misstep, cameras at the ready? How does it feel when you're recognized as an adult, working at Starbucks like an ordinary broke twenty-something?
No one's saying child actors should be pitied (or excused), but these are all more than valid reasons why a person might break down, freak out, or otherwise publicly embarrass themselves. Another good reason? We're all still watching. (Cracked)
Photo: via Mara Wilson Writes Stuff