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Robert Lynch

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Very candid interviews from a different generation of child stars.  What really stood out was that most of these kids were very disappointed by the way their parents acted with them.  Very sad seeing Cameron Boyce and knowing that he died so young. He seemed like a very level headed and intelligent young man.

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I think it was interesting. I always wondered why Henry Thomas didn't take off as a star like Drew Barrymore did. It was sad to hear from the child stars how sexualized these kids are. I watched Jessie when I would babysit young kids and I always thought there was something interesting about Cameron Boyce. I thought he had a very distinct look about him and something stood out with him. I think he could have made the leap from doing Disney projects to more adult projects. His death made me really sad. I think that Marc likes the idea of being famous not having to put in the work to get there. I don't think hes going to make it. I think Demi seemed interested in the business and she seems like a talented kid. There are always a couple of kids that I see in movies and TV that I want to have a good career. Jacob Tremblay from Room seems like a really talented performer and I think if he continues to make the right projects then he could get somewhere. Whomever plays Missy on Young Sheldon has an it factor to me. I just think that it doesn't seem worth it to have so much pressure on these kids! If you have a kid that really really wants it then let them do a couple of commercials maybe a couple of guest stars then let them just be kids! 

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This really felt more like it just scratched the surface. Also, Evan Rachel Wood said she watched a pedophile win a Golden Globe and had to walk out, but who was she talking about? Kevin Spacey? It just felt kind of odd to bring that up as a big deal but not talk about it -- even with Todd Bridges they just flashed back to him talking about it previously.

Truly heartbreaking to see Cameron Boyce so wide-eyed and hopeful. He must've passed just a few months after shooting those interviews.

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This was really interesting and brought up a lot of things I never considered. Like how harsh Siskel and Ebert were when critiquing child actors. 
I go back in forth on child actors. Some seem to really have the drive and thrive in that environment but most seem to be taken advantage of by those who should be looking out for them. I wonder if the parents who could successfully raise a child actor are usually the ones who wouldn’t let there kids go into acting. 

2 hours ago, gesundheit said:

This really felt more like it just scratched the surface. Also, Evan Rachel Wood said she watched a pedophile win a Golden Globe and had to walk out, but who was she talking about? Kevin Spacey? It just felt kind of odd to bring that up as a big deal but not talk about it -- even with Todd Bridges they just flashed back to him talking about it previously.

I was wondering who she was taking about too. It was the 2017 Golden Globes so it can’t be Spacey. Casey Affleck did win that year but none of the allegations against him include pedophilia. 

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Poor Henry. What a shame. 

The one that peaked my interest was Wil Wheaton. Damn, talk about early experiences and directors yelling at Wil during commercials when he was doing them at such a young age. That would traumatized any child in the biz. It sounds like he didn't have a good experience on the set of The Curse film. Sounds like he was mentally/physically abused. Judging the way he spoke about that film he did and had no good experience about....Wil wasn't unattractive looking, but I could see how those Teen Bop photos could make one loathe the whole teenybopper process. I can't blame him for that. To think that crappy movie was for a trip to Rome and all to appease his mother's needs. It was really shocking.

Mila's story was also eye opening. Damn. I remember her from The 5th Element. 

Siskel and Ebert....my opinions still remain unchanged about them.

Edited by Robert Lynch
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10 hours ago, Dani said:

 

I was wondering who she was taking about too. It was the 2017 Golden Globes so it can’t be Spacey. Casey Affleck did win that year but none of the allegations against him include pedophilia. 

I wonder if she was talking about a tv winner?

Henry looks so sad, I really feel for him.  Also, I remember Mila in Dazed and Confused, and interesting that she married the tall guy who played her boyfriend.

 

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1 hour ago, heatherchandler said:

I wonder if she was talking about a tv winner?

Henry looks so sad, I really feel for him.  Also, I remember Mila in Dazed and Confused, and interesting that she married the tall guy who played her boyfriend.

 

And Cameron Boyce dying so young is tragic...He had a lot going on for him.

Seeing those old silent Baby Peggy where she is being thrown or pushed by adults is really shocking. I think Mara Wilson and Diana Sierra Cary are so much alike. Both wrote books, too.

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This was a bit of a meandering documentary, but interesting to get perspective from child actors of many different generations. My takeaway from this and from watching entertainment media in general is that usually nothing good comes from involving young kids in showbiz. If I were a director or casting agent in the business, I think I'd feel pretty conflicted about casting kids in my production.

It sounds as if people's experiences range from rote workplace mistreatment to horrific abuse. And the sexual abuse is so much more prevalent than anyone imagined. After seeing the scandals involving people like Kevin Spacey, and Bryan Singer blow up. I now understand that the narrative I grew up with - that kid actors were spoiled, didn't know how to handle success, and blew everything on drugs - had something much more sinister going on underneath. From what I've heard networks like Disney & Nickelodeon are magnets for pedophiles, and abuse is still swept under the rug. Horrifying. I have no idea who Evan Rachel Wood was referring to when she was at the Golden Globes (they briefly flashed on Bryan Singer), but I could feel her distress coming through the screen.

And even if the kid somehow dodges bullets and escapes mistreatment and abuse, if they're successful and work steadily, they don't develop proper life skills. It seems like a no-win situation. Kids should just be kids.

I had no idea Henry Thomas had such a difficult time as a kid, and I didn't understand why he didn't become a big star like his co-star Drew Barrymore. He was recently in The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix, and is very talented - hopefully he will find his way back to work he enjoys - I've always liked him. I was really impressed with how intelligent Mara Wilson & the silent actress who played Baby Peggy were.

Milla Jovovich was (and still is) incredibly beautiful. She released an album when she was still a teenager, and I really liked it. She definitely could have pursued music instead of acting had she chosen that path instead.

I really did not care for the present-day kid they were following around on the audition circuit with his Mom. He seemed to be always "on" and was straight-up unappealing because of it. I thought it was very telling when he was filmed with just the acting coach - he did not seem anywhere near as enthused as he had previously claimed. It seemed this was Mama's dream he was living out. 

 

 

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On 7/18/2020 at 1:55 AM, Cheezwiz said:

This was a bit of a meandering documentary, but interesting to get perspective from child actors of many different generations. My takeaway from this and from watching entertainment media in general is that usually nothing good comes from involving young kids in showbiz. If I were a director or casting agent in the business, I think I'd feel pretty conflicted about casting kids in my production.

It sounds as if people's experiences range from rote workplace mistreatment to horrific abuse. And the sexual abuse is so much more prevalent than anyone imagined. After seeing the scandals involving people like Kevin Spacey, and Bryan Singer blow up. I now understand that the narrative I grew up with - that kid actors were spoiled, didn't know how to handle success, and blew everything on drugs - had something much more sinister going on underneath. From what I've heard networks like Disney & Nickelodeon are magnets for pedophiles, and abuse is still swept under the rug. Horrifying. I have no idea who Evan Rachel Wood was referring to when she was at the Golden Globes (they briefly flashed on Bryan Singer), but I could feel her distress coming through the screen.

And even if the kid somehow dodges bullets and escapes mistreatment and abuse, if they're successful and work steadily, they don't develop proper life skills. It seems like a no-win situation. Kids should just be kids.

I had no idea Henry Thomas had such a difficult time as a kid, and I didn't understand why he didn't become a big star like his co-star Drew Barrymore. He was recently in The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix, and is very talented - hopefully he will find his way back to work he enjoys - I've always liked him. I was really impressed with how intelligent Mara Wilson & the silent actress who played Baby Peggy were.

Milla Jovovich was (and still is) incredibly beautiful. She released an album when she was still a teenager, and I really liked it. She definitely could have pursued music instead of acting had she chosen that path instead.

I really did not care for the present-day kid they were following around on the audition circuit with his Mom. He seemed to be always "on" and was straight-up unappealing because of it. I thought it was very telling when he was filmed with just the acting coach - he did not seem anywhere near as enthused as he had previously claimed. It seemed this was Mama's dream he was living out. 

 

 

I could not stand that "present day kid" either, what ever his name is. I doubt we will ever know. He doesn't seem to be anything but annoying. I hate to say it but I did not care for Cameron Boyce either. Was sad to see he passed of course even so. This could have been a limited series. From Baby Peggy's time to now. It could have been very interesting if they had interviewed more actors over the spam of films. Is there a book? 

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If you want to see Baby Peggy, there is a Biography from TMC from several years ago. It's worth it. The oldest child star to live to be over 100 and did good in the long run. What are the odds of that?

I wish a limited series as well. Start with the old child stars all the way to the present day child stars(Jacob Tremblay, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, etc.). It would be worth it.

Edited by Robert Lynch
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I enjoyed this doc but, like others, wish it was a limited series.  There seemed to be a LOT more that could have been covered.  I could have done without the present day kids. Although of the three CB was the most engaging and it was sad to be reminded of his untimely death.  I enjoyed the "kids" that were interviewed but they all seemed a bit nervous and afraid of repercussions and maybe they are.  They were all so careful with their words, it was a bit heart breaking.  I didn't know all that Henry Thomas went through and often wondered what happened to him, life before the internet...

Maybe I'm naive, but I don't understand these parents that say "he/she wants this so bad, we just have to let them do it" so they quit their jobs etc. Kids often want something "so bad" and parents don't just let them.  I don't know how these parents can say they are not taking advantage of their kids in some way.  If you're not hoping to get some monetary gain for yourself out of this you would have that kid in school and waiting until they're of age to start working. I'm not articulating well, I was just seriously frustrated with the parents.

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6 hours ago, jah1986 said:

If you're not hoping to get some monetary gain for yourself out of this you would have that kid in school and waiting until they're of age to start working. I'm not articulating well, I was just seriously frustrated with the parents.

Agreed - if I had a kid who was keen, on acting, I would definitely support them in extracurricular activities, like drama classes, theatre workshops & camps etc. But I would want them to prioritize finishing high-school. 

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A limited series at that. And they should focus on the child stars from the silent era. When the talkies came, they were immediately discarded when they open their mouths. Phillipe De Lacy was only 13 when his career was finished. If they show clips of their silent movies VS their talkie films, it shows the contrast to their brief time in Hollywood. You could find Our Gang from the 1929 talkies with some of the kid actors from the silent era speaking for the first time. It seems stilted and bad, but given the era of the time, it's a great lesson as to how Hollywood used kids as commodities then.

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Pretty shocking that 19 year old Cameron Boyce died before 101 year old Baby Peggy. 
 

The present day boy illustrated that the cycle is continuing, but the kid was bland. His dad, however, could find work as a character actor.

Noticed that kids chosen were often emotionally fragile to begin with, due to family situation or just temperament. Thomas weeping in the audition did’t seem emotionally strong. Maybe later problems result from the quality of child employed.

Wil Wheaton was interesting. He might have been the first victim of cancel culture, when bullies on the Internet battered his Star Trek performance for no particular reason..

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That ET audition that Henry Thomas did is what got him the role and at the end, you could hear Spielberg saying, "Okay, kid, you got the job." Say what you want about ET and Poltergeist, but these movies were the key inspiration for Stranger Things. Without these films, I don't think it would have happened.

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So-called cancel culture has existed since the beginning of celebrity culture itself. Wil Wheaton was the victim of pointless bullying, yes, but that's not the same thing.

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On 7/29/2020 at 8:55 AM, Robert Lynch said:

A limited series at that. And they should focus on the child stars from the silent era. When the talkies came, they were immediately discarded when they open their mouths. Phillipe De Lacy was only 13 when his career was finished. If they show clips of their silent movies VS their talkie films, it shows the contrast to their brief time in Hollywood. You could find Our Gang from the 1929 talkies with some of the kid actors from the silent era speaking for the first time. It seems stilted and bad, but given the era of the time, it's a great lesson as to how Hollywood used kids as commodities then.

Something about watching little kids from that era makes me almost physically sick. It’s probably because I know how horribly most of them were treated and how poorly a lot of their lives turned out.

This documentary was seriously underwhelming, particularly since the subject matter was so intriguing.

I think a big problem was that we mostly focused on the ones that made it to at least some degree. Most kids never get to the level of child star, but I guess that is the name of the documentary, so it makes sense.

It was almost like Milla was cursed with amazing beauty since she really did not like acting. The camera just loves her face.

Edited by qtpye
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On 7/25/2020 at 11:28 AM, Robert Lynch said:

If you want to see Baby Peggy, there is a Biography from TMC from several years ago. It's worth it. The oldest child star to live to be over 100 and did good in the long run. What are the odds of that?

It's a lovely little doc called Baby Peggy - The Elephant In The Room.  She truly was a talented child, and talented adult.  Her books are well worth seeking out, especially The Hollywood Posse and Jackie Coogan: The World's Boy King.  Another child actor was Dickie Moore, and I would have loved to see him included but he did suffer from dementia the last few years before he passed in 2015.  So many of those kids were screwed out of their earnings by family members and shady business people, it's just heartbreaking.    

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3 minutes ago, CherryMalotte said:

It's a lovely little doc called Baby Peggy - The Elephant In The Room.  She truly was a talented child, and talented adult.  Her books are well worth seeking out, especially The Hollywood Posse and Jackie Coogan: The World's Boy King.  Another child actor was Dickie Moore, and I would have loved to see him included but he did suffer from dementia the last few years before he passed in 2015.  So many of those kids were screwed out of their earnings by family members and shady business people, it's just heartbreaking.    

Also, there was probably horrible sexual, physical, and emotional abuse going on behind the scenes. Heck, that is still going on today.

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On 10/15/2020 at 5:42 PM, CherryMalotte said:

It's a lovely little doc called Baby Peggy - The Elephant In The Room.  She truly was a talented child, and talented adult.  Her books are well worth seeking out, especially The Hollywood Posse and Jackie Coogan: The World's Boy King.  Another child actor was Dickie Moore, and I would have loved to see him included but he did suffer from dementia the last few years before he passed in 2015.  So many of those kids were screwed out of their earnings by family members and shady business people, it's just heartbreaking.    

Dickie Moore wrote a book on child actors, too. It wasn't great, but it was very interesting.

I would also recommend both Mary Astor's autobiographies. She wasn't known as a "child star," but she started very early and was definitely exploited by her parents. 

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On 1/3/2021 at 5:58 PM, carrps said:

Dickie Moore wrote a book on child actors, too. It wasn't great, but it was very interesting.

I would also recommend both Mary Astor's autobiographies. She wasn't known as a "child star," but she started very early and was definitely exploited by her parents. 

I think the reason Mary Astor got exploited was due to her very petite figure and having the height of a 12 year old girl.

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4 hours ago, Robert Lynch said:

I think the reason Mary Astor got exploited was due to her very petite figure and having the height of a 12 year old girl.

Nah. They exploited her because she was a meal ticket for them. They didn't abuse her physically she was just worked to death. And she wasn't that short -- she was 5'6" and taller than Bette Davis.

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On 7/27/2020 at 8:31 AM, jah1986 said:

Maybe I'm naive, but I don't understand these parents that say "he/she wants this so bad, we just have to let them do it" so they quit their jobs etc. Kids often want something "so bad" and parents don't just let them.  I don't know how these parents can say they are not taking advantage of their kids in some way.  If you're not hoping to get some monetary gain for yourself out of this you would have that kid in school and waiting until they're of age to start working. I'm not articulating well, I was just seriously frustrated with the parents.

IMO a child should not be the sole supporter of a family. That's the parents' job. I remember reading about how pressured River Phoenix was to keep acting to help support his family. That's just wrong.

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10 hours ago, Writing Wrongs said:

IMO a child should not be the sole supporter of a family. That's the parents' job. I remember reading about how pressured River Phoenix was to keep acting to help support his family. That's just wrong.

I think it all started with that Children of God cult that brainwashed River at such a young age. Jesus, those scumbags...what happened to River was so wrong. 

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