Child stars were an important part of many of our childhoods – from Disney Channel stars to the kids who played the lead roles in adventure movies, many of us have a favorite memory of actors from our childhoods. But for as fun as the media was to watch, there was often a darker, more exploitative side of things that many weren’t aware of.
Many former child stars look back on their careers with regret, wishing that they hadn’t been subjected to the exploitation and harm that a stardom brought at a young age. Which former child stars wish they had never stepped foot on a film set?
Along with her sister Ashley, Mary-Kate Olsen starred in the 90s sitcom “Full House” as young Michelle, who grew up on camera as the seasons went on. But it’s clear that she has a hard time looking back on the show with the same nostalgia that her viewers may have.
In an interview with Marie Claire, Mary-Kate refers to herself and Ashley in their childhood as “little monkey performers,” saying that when she looks at old photos of herself, “I don’t feel connected to them at all,” adding that “I would never wish my upbringing on anyone.”
Hilary Duff has shared that her role as Lizzie McGuire was so iconic that it followed her into her adult acting career – or maybe more like haunted her.
“‘Oh, she’s too famous. She’s too sweet. We know her as Lizzie McGuire,’” Hilary recalled producers saying in an interview with Bustle. “I’m like, ‘Why are you giving me the callback then? Don’t f*cking waste my time. I’m driving to Venice for this sh*t!’”
“I was like, ‘I’m me! I’m Hilary, not that person. That’s a made-up person,” Hilary recalls. “It was a desire to be seen as a person outside of a character. By the time I was 18, I was like, ‘If I hear that name [Lizzie McGuire] one more time!’”
We all know Justin Bieber had a rocky adolescence – because we got a front row seat. But now that he’s slightly outgrown his reckless bad boy phase, he’s looking back on his early years with what seems to be some regret.
“I was working so much as this young kid that I got really sad, and I missed my friends and I missed normalcy,” Justin shared in an interview with GQ. “And so me and my friend hid my passport.
“The record label is freaking out, saying, ‘You have to do the Today show next week and you can’t find your passport.’ It takes a certain amount of days to get a new passport. But I was just going to do anything to be able to just be normal at that time.”