Showbiz kids (2020)

Directed by Alex Winter

Great HBO documentary about the life of child stars. There have been a lot of sad examples of child actors that after they grow up they are no longer hired in films or just end up in a bad place. There is a lot that does the transition from child actor to an adult actor, but I think they are few that succeed in that.

Written and directed by an awesome dude! Alex Winter from Bill and Ted films (new one coming in August). This documentary interviews a few actors who were big when they were kids and they share their experience.

I think the documentary was very honest and well done, it addressed important issues without judgment. Each actor presented different scenarios and situations about their experiences. The issues discussed include the money they don’t make in the end after being successful in movies and television, the issue of abuse and pedophilia which is shocking really, the parents who force them into the industry.

It was sad to listen to Cameron Boyce talking about wanting to get serious roles but yet he knew the responsibility he had to be an example for the kids who saw him on Disney channel, knowing that he passed away before this film was released. The documentary also touches on the death of River Phoenix, it was sad to listen to Joaquin Phoenix make the 9-1-1 call.

The documentary also takes a look at two families as the kids try to get a job in acting and they go to Hollywood to auditions.

The actors interviewed directly on the documentary:

Mara Wilson is one of the actors interviewed. She starred in films like Ms. Doubtfire and Matilda.

Todd Bridges from the hit show Different’ strokes. Through him and old interviews, the documentary also talks about his co-stars in the show Dana Plato and Gary Coleman who both passed away.

Will Wheaton who I am enjoying his work on The Big Bang Theory show as I am seeing it on HBO Max. I remember the film Stand by me and to this day I feel that was a good movie. I also remember him from the film Toy Soldiers.

Milla Jovovich from films like Fifth element, Kuffs, and Return to the blue lagoon.

Henry Thomas from E.T. And later in his life he was Brad Pitt’s brother in Legends of the fall.

Cameron Boyce from Disney channel shows.

Jada Pinket Smith talks about her own experiences as well as her kids who are in the spotlight.

Evan Rachel Wood from films like Thirteen and Across the Universe.

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