In the cult of the Hollywood child actor – with all the public tantrums, drug arrests and ego attacks – it’s arguably stranger to see a former child actor rise through the ranks of movie stardom to become a seemingly well-adjusted, balanced human being.
You know, as opposed to the kind of entitled, drug-addicted recidivists that keep Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers in business, papping upskirt shots of troubled young people falling out of nightclubs.
But these five child stars did exactly that. While all around them their child actor peers were probably trying to snort the GDP of a small country through their face holes they just got on with it, grew up and kept churning it out!
Now that he’s such an Oscar-winning mega star, adored by men and women alike thanks to his boyish good looks and hard-boiled performances in a slew of taut thrillers, it’s hard to imagine that Leo was once a teen idol faced with all the pitfalls and trappings of young stardom.
Unlike his peers, Leo was able to forgo full child breakdown mode by keeping his nose clean, starring in top movies and dating supermodels.
Despite being cast as the iconic child wizard Harry Potter in a film franchise that has raked in billions, Daniel Radcliffe has managed to remain surprisingly grounded.
Even if he did go on an entitled drunken rant on a TV talk show you’d still think ‘fair enough’ because he gave his childhood to those damn Potter films, and yet he comes across as gracious, funny and genuinely sound – especially when he flawlessly performed Blackalicious’ Alphabet Aerobics on Jimmy Kimmel.
Star of 80s coming-of-age classic, The Golden Years, and films like The Princess Bride, Fred Savage seemed nailed-on to be speedballing outside The Viper Room until being granted his own rehab themed reality TV show in the early noughties.
But, weirdly, he didn’t go down that road and instead just sort of became normal.
You can now find Mr. Savage working as a director and producer on numerous TV shows including It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, where you’d expect heavy drinking is his only vice. Good job!
Natalie seemed to have all the ingredients to fly off the rails – she starred in hard hitting thrillers like Leon and Heat when she was just a child – but instead of letting it go to her head and going mental for several years (we’re looking at you, Drew Barrymore) she just went about her business being a great, if a tad, annoying actress.
She’s actually too good. I bet if you offered her a shot at the bar she’d be more likely to pour it out in front of you, tell you to get your life together, and hand you a pamphlet explaining how you can reach sobriety through holding in farts during yoga practice.
Actually the jury’s still a bit out on this one.
Fair enough, he hasn’t gone down the Corey route of drug addicted reality TV car crashes but you get the impression that he’s channelled all that child star anger into becoming one of the most intensely dedicated actors the world has ever known.
You can imagine Bale doing thousands of press ups every day, all while grunting loudly in an American accent, and relaxing by throwing darts at a photo of Daniel Day-Lewis, who he sees as his rival in being needlessly zealous about pretending to be someone else for money.