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Sarcasm Aside

random thoughts of a self-diagnosed neurotic with the attention span of a five-year old... a blog by Alternati

13 Former Child Stars

Wednesday, March 14, 2007



So I missed my thirteenth post, again.

Anyways... I finally got to see Little Miss Sunshine last week. I haven't heard of the film pre-oscar nomination, and in my opinion, that's one of the good things about the Academy Awards, exposure for relatively unknown independent films. The film wasn't really as phenomenal as The Full Monty, yet another independent film that became famous post-Best Picture oscar nomination, but it was a relatively interesting film.
  • Like The Full Monty, they did the whole dancing thing at the end but it didn't end in a full monty.
  • I love combies (which they called a bus?). Very hippie-chic. And who knew they also did the push the car to jumpstart it maneuver in the first world. An eye-opener.
  • I love the underrated Toni Collette. I first fell in love with her acting in Cosi (1996), where she played a mentally ill patient/ cast mate of a production of a Mozart opera that went successfully awry. I absolutely adore her singing "Stand by Me".
  • Who knew Steve Carrell is attractive when he underacts.
  • This is the first film, I've seen, that showed a Nietzche cameo.
  • Although Alan Arkin was great as the blunt granddad/ non-breathing trunk baggage, I truly found, even if I hate to admit it, that Eddie Murphy deserved the Best Supporting Actor trophy more. For the first time in his long movie career, I found Murphy believable as opposed to his other roles: The nutty professor who talks to animals, and the talking Donkey of Shrek.
  • Those other Little Miss Sunshine contestants looked like brides of Chucky.
Abigail Dreslin was infectious and her supporting actress nomination was well deserved. I just hope that unlike most actors/ actresses nominated at her age, her career wouldn't die a natural death. She has potential.

She inspired my list for the month...


13 Former Child Stars
Tagline: "The sensation is like a 10-year high school reunion."

From a wide-eyed gradeschool student, to the mole with an unflattering Cindy Crawford "moley, moley, mole". The Wonder Years was a big show when I was a kid, and I always get reminded of it when I hear the Joe Cocker version of the Lennon-McCartney written and Ringo Starr sung "With a Little Help from my Friends". What I like about Fred Savage is his willingness to make fun of himself, he ain't cute anymore, but he is still very recognizable... (one of the banes of being a former child star, I guess)


From Charlie the Firestarter to one of Charlie's Angels. Ok, so Drew Barrymore's more popular movie as a kid was E.T. (as seen on the "then" shot) but i just couldn't resist the Charlie correlation. Who doesn't like Drew? Edgy, down-to-earth, foxy and vulnerable. My fave Drew movies include: Mad Love (1995), The Wedding Singer (1998), and Donnie Darko (2001, just a supporting role)... oh and yes, her character's brutal death in the first segment of Scream was ingenious! She was only seen for a few minutes in the movie, but that phone ring/ popcorn/ slasher scene became the mental summary of all Scream movies.


From being the most famous child star to a custody battle, doobie possession, a Michael Jackson case testimony, and a wedding/ divorce. Considering what Macaulay Culkin has been through, He is as normal as humanly possible. I think he's hot, in a Billy Chenowith kind've way. I like 'em dark and twisty.


From a head-turning girl, to a 48 year old head turner. First of all, I am gonna admit I'm a wuss. I couldn't bring myself to use a "possessed" image of Linda Blair in the "then" shot. Watching The Exorcist was no small feat for a child of 14. I wonder if people who meet her ever ask her to do a 360 degree owlish head turn.


From "I see dead people" to "I see a dead career". A victim of the premature oscar nomination. Sure Haley Joel Osment was good in The Sixth Sense and cute as Forrest Gump Jr. and the thing with creating a career dominated by goody two shoed roles is that the roles after multiple DUI charges would become slim pickings. Plus, he didn't age gracefully... this once relatively cute ghost whisperer just looks odd now.


From boy to boy wonder. Just like The Harry Potter movies, Daniel Radcliffe becomes less GP as the sequel number increases. And unlike number 5, he aged quite gracefully. I am envious of Radcliffe because Gary Oldman, THE Gary Oldman taught him how to play the bass guitar.


From Whale Rider to knocked-up donkey rider. Keisha Castle Hughes was phenomenal in her Yentl-ish role as Paikea Apirana in The Whale Rider, and became the youngest actress ever nominated for the Academy Best Actress Award. Her last film, which I haven't seen, was The Nativity Story. New Zealand's got talent, Anna Paquin (Rogue of the X-men movies), also a child star from the country, won Best Supporting Actress for The Piano when she was 11 years old.


From Addams to Eve-ryone's favorite versatile actress, well mine at least. I can honestly say, I love and will love any movie Christina Ricci is in. From her early movies like Mermaids and Now & Then (Even Casper), to the more mature Prozac Nation, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Buffalo 66, Anything Else, Pumpkin, Monster, etc. etc. etc. Even her TV credits for Ally Mcbeal and her guest appearance in Grey's Anatomy were phenomenal.


From then to then. There isn't much physical change if you study closely. Still the same Mr. Burns-ish body frame and the same pre-puberty look. Neil Patrick Harris was the first blogger I've ever known. Well, the Sex and the City-ish journal he kept in Doogie Howser, MD is close enough to a blog. His comedic roles in film and TV are hilarious. He knows he's white, he knows he's puny and he makes the most out of it in his roles and choice of roles. He came out of the closet in 2006.


From Full House to a pair of drama queens. What the Olsen Twins lack in acting ability, they make up for in marketing skills. They are rich. But if you wanna see what growing up in the public eye results in, I give you exhibit 10.


From Hocus Pocus to an American Beauty. Thora Birch is an amazing actress who acted alongside #9 in Purple People Eater and #8 in Now and Then. I've just read from a fairly unreliable source (Wikipedia) that both her parents were porn stars and that she was named after the norse god of thunder... well duh, just add the "a".


From The Never Ending Story to a bitter end. Jonathan Brandis was my image of Bastian Bux. When I was young(er), I was mesmerized by Fantasia (not the American Idol), by the Childlike Empress, even by Xayida, but most especially by Falkor the luckdragon. Brandis passed away in 2003 due to injuries from a suicide attempt.


From Vicki to where is she? Tiffany Brissette played Vicki Lawson, a robot/ daughter in Small Wonder, a huge sitcom in the late 80's. Aside from the obvious instances of illegal child abuse (physical labor, sleeping upright in a closet) I loved this show. It had the look and feel of a typical American sitcom at the time: white picket fences, background laughter, irritating neighbors... Ms. Brissette was last seen singing on the 700 club. Pat Robertson scares the bejezuz out of me.


Abigail, If you happen to stumble on my blog (As if!). Learn from these former child stars. Stay away from Xanax, unflattering moles, stage parents, the 700 club, drunk driving and Paris Hilton.

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