Hollywood child actors and the damage it does to parents who live their dreams through them

Although the success and popularity of films, series or red carpets makes us think otherwise, Being a child prodigy in Hollywood is far from a dream career, especially when there are parents behind them who are only looking out for their own interests and not the interests of their children. This is a more common condition than we usually imagine, and that’s what one of the actresses in the series made us see ice Nickelodeon in a book recounting his experiences after working behind the cameras.

it’s about Jeanette McCurdy, who played the character of Sam Puckett, the protagonist’s best friend, in this teen sitcom. The actress published a book called “I am so glad my mother passed away.”and while the name sounds powerful, it’s very descriptive of The hell he went through due to the pressure his mother put on him to open a hole in the entertainment industryHe speaks of her as a manipulative and controlling person who has caused her emotional and self-esteem problems.

Actress Jennette McCurdy at the 'iCarly' premiere in Los Angeles in 2011. (Photo: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Nickelodeon)

Actress Jennette McCurdy at the ‘iCarly’ premiere in Los Angeles in 2011. (Photo: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Nickelodeon)

McCurdy embodies it by referring to Casting audition where things didn’t go as I hoped. The instructions required her to start crying, but at that moment her mind couldn’t really process the sadness that was inside of her and she couldn’t play the part as she was told.

“I sit in the waiting room collecting all my sadness when something inside me changes. It feels weird”McCurdy wrote in his book about this test in his Friday part Entertainment Weekly. “It hasn’t happened before, but it’s happening now and it scares me. Part of me is resisting my brain by imposing this emotional trauma on itself. Part of me says: No. It is very painful. I will not do thishe completed. “This part of me is stupid. This part of me does not realize that this is my own ability, and that it is good for me, for my family, for my mother.”.

In that moment, she felt that she did not want to continue acting, and that being an actress required situations that she did not feel she could handle. But her mother, fiercely determined to take her daughter to stardom, stood in the way of her decision. According to his words, after the casting test failed, they quarreled in the car on the way home. He tried to make her see how he feels and that the world of acting is not for her, but far from understanding, His mother exploded with a non-peaceful attitude.

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“She hits the steering wheel and accidentally blows her horn. The mascara runs down her cheeks. She’s hysterical, like I was on a Hollywood Homicide audition. His hysteria is scaring me and telling me to take care of myself.”McCurdy Books. The situation affected her to such an extent that the day after she signed it ice She was happy for a completely different reason than one might expect. While his mother celebrated getting the role, McCurdy did so because he believed this would end the torture, and that his mother would calm down seeing that he had finally achieved it.

But it didn’t end there, because he says so The stress caused eating disorders and addictions that continued over the years and worsened in 2013, when his mother died of cancer. In previous interviews, such as one with People in 2021, she said she didn’t feel fully recovered until 2018, after undergoing extensive treatment.

In this intervention, she was not at all benevolent with her mother, noting that since she was young, she has always ‘Heaviness and chaos’It was usual to watch constant physical fights between their parents and that His unhealthy obsession with making her a star has gone too far, bleaching her hair, whitening her teeth and insisting on controlling her calories.. “My mom’s feelings were so erratic that it was like walking a tightrope every day. The mood swings were daily.”As he claimed.

Undoubtedly a difficult story even It has resulted in McCurdy’s inactivity since recovering in 2018. But like hers, there have been many similar cases that make us realize the dark side that may be behind childhood fame. For example, it is known to everyone the case of Macaulay Culkina star Home Alone His father – who is also an actor – was in control of every detail of his career to the point of forcing him to spend nights awake learning scripts or even falling into physical abuse, he said in an interview with Marc Maron’s WTF podcast in 2018.

Culkin has claimed in the past that he felt his father was jealous, because “Everything he tried to do in his life he did before he was ten years old“(Respected). The actor even took his parents to court to prevent them from taking control of his trust.

A similar story is a story Will WheatonTranslator depended on Based on Star Trek: The Next Generation whose parents abused him. The actor himself denounced him in the HBO Max documentary, hollywood kidsAs well as on his site in an article entitled “Yes, I was forced to be a child star. That was not my dream or my idea” and interviews with media such as Access Hollywood. As he says, his parents’ ambition to lead him to fame and high wages resulted in years of going from audition to audition under terrifying stress and a tense and toxic family environment.

‘Stole my childhood to feel popular’claimed about his mother who tirelessly insisted on his acting career, being his manager even when he didn’t want to. “To be honest, I’m relieved she’s embarrassed and maybe a little embarrassed, because at least it means that somewhere in her alcoholic brain, she knows what she’s done to me. She knows I’ve endured all this, in silence and alone, all my life. And when I couldn’t stand it. It’s anymore, when I tried as hard as I could to do all this with her and my father, all they had were excuses, distractions, accusations, and they had no interest in participating in my recovery.”concluded the actor, who has refocused his career on areas such as poker competitions and Internet community management.

“Acting was a given for me. I have very vivid memories of saying over and over again ‘I don’t want to do this, let me be a kid.’” A parent – ​​which all children unconditionally deserve – should do what my mom says. And maybe then Somehow, my father will love me. He said in the interview.

Another case may be more recent Ariel WinterActress, best known for her role as Alex Dunphy modern family Who started acting from a young age in films such as kiss kiss bang bang Or lend his voice to children’s tapes like Bambi 2 also Ice Age: Melting. Like actress iCarly, she He denounced that the show was always an imposition of his mother and that he dealt with abuse and exploitation at work. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she said that he put her on a strict diet, that he controlled her wardrobe and that he always insisted on sexualizing her appearance. “People thought I was 24 when I was 12. If there was a nude scene when I was that age, my mom would have said yes a thousand percent.”As he claimed.

In the end, as much as we were able to enjoy their work on screen, listening to these stories leaves a devastating feeling, because They are basically victims of parents who live fame at the cost of ruining their children’s childhood. And although working in films and series gives them a bad reputation and could open many doors for them in the future, it is known that all these child prodigies were not able to move forward in the industry. And not for a lack of talent, but for a mental health unable to withstand the abuse and pressure from a traumatic childhood. And if we add to this how difficult the world of Hollywood is and the need to adapt to new challenges, it is finally clear that the only beneficiaries here are parents who are looking only for their own interest and not for the sake of luxury. of their children. Which is certainly difficult to accept.

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