Former Child Stars Mara Wilson And Rick Schroder Discuss The Plight Of Today's Young Stars
Former child star Mara Wilson has given some insight into why so many young stars end up troubled after beginning their acting careers early in a new editorial for comedy website Cracked.com.
The recent troubles of such stars as Justin Bieber, Amanda Bynes and Lindsay Lohan inspired her article, "7 Reasons Child Stars Go Crazy (An Insider's Perspective), in which Wilson gives a detailed look behind the scenes at how kids are treated when they first enter the business. Ultimately most child stars crack when they're no longer the cute kid that everyone wants to see.
"It was generally a good experience," she says of her years in the spotlight, "but every day I'm glad I wasn't Olsen twins famous. 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."
While Wilson said she acted because she liked it, many of her contemporaries were in it for the money -- often pushed by their parents, who ultimately lose control as their kids lose their innocence.
Child stars often go from getting pampered with presents and attention to losing it all virtually overnight once they're no longer cute and hit puberty, she points out. As soon as they have the freedom, child stars get resentful of the public and begin to act out, commit crimes and suffer breakdowns.
Wilson says kids can't escape the stardom and they don't know what they'd do out of the spotlight because they've only known acting since they were small.
"People who meet me as an adult are often surprised that I'm alive and have never been in prison or rehab. (But) 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. They go to (prestigious colleges) Harvard or Yale... and learn to do something besides act..." she says. "If I were to talk to Lindsay Lohan, I'd encourage her to get the hell out of acting and into something soothing. Take up botany or something. But she wouldn't be likely to listen to me - and not only because I'm younger and way less hot than her. It's because she's been acting all her life, she has little education, and in her mind, there's nothing else she could do.
"She's likely to keep doing it even if she's making herself - and maybe also the people she works with - miserable."
Former child star Rick Schroder also spoke out on the plight of child stars, telling ABC News Now, "My heart goes out to them because they're in a place that's not good and there's a lot of people around them that don't care about them and want to capitalize on it. I feel bad for them," the 43-year-old says.
"I just wish that some people would intervene on their behalf."
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