October 3, 2022 at 1:09 am

9 Celebrities Talk About What It’s Really Like to Be a Child Star

by Matthew Gilligan

The glitz and glamor of Hollywood is not always what it’s cracked up to be.

People get chewed up and spit out by the cutthroat movie industry and that includes kids as well as adults.

But some child stars do make it out on the other side…

Take a look at what 9 celebs had to say about what it was really like for them to be a kid star in Hollywood.

1. Jennette McCurdy

McCurdy starred in the Nickelodeon TV show iCarly as a kid and in her book, I’m Glad My Mom D**d, the actress talked about her experience as a child actor.

She said, “My mother emotionally, physically, and mentally a**sed me in ways that will forever impact me. […] She wanted this. And I wanted her to have it.

I wanted her to be happy. But now that I have it, I realize that she’s happy and I’m not. Her happiness came at the cost of mine. I feel robbed and exploited.”

2. Beyoncé

Beyoncé is one of the biggest stars on the planet and she says that being on stage as a kid was a good thing for her.

In an interview, she said, “I was competing in dance and singing competitions at age seven. When I was on the stage, I felt safe. I was often the only Black girl, and it was then that I started to realize I had to dance and sing twice as hard. I had to have stage presence, wit, and charm if I wanted to win.”


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3. Daniel Radcliffe

Radcliffe catapulted to fame as a youngster because of his roles in the blockbuster Harry Potter films…but his success came at a price.

On Marc Maron’s popular WTF podcast, Radcliffe talked about how he turned to al**hol to deal with real life when he wasn’t on set.

He said, “There was definitely a time when I was coming out of ‘Potter’ and I was into the real world, suddenly I was in a world where I’m not going to have that consistency anymore.

I’m not going to see all those people every year. I’m not going to have my friends around me all the time. […] I drank a lot but that was more to do with going out in public and having a battle in me to be like ‘No, I can have a totally normal life.'”

4. Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore is one of the most well-known child actors who struggled with problems and eventually turned her life around and has a successful career as an adult.

Barrymore said of her tough road, “To have such a big career at such a young age, then nothing for years — people going, you’re an unemployable disaster — that’s a tough trip to have by the time you’re 14. To have access to so many things, then to nothing.”


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5. Aaron Carter

Carter followed in his older brother Nick’s footsteps and became a famous singer at a very young age. In fact, his first album came out when he was only 9-years-old.

But Carter struggled mightily in the years after his initial success and he puts a lot of the blame on his parents for how they handled his finances.

Carter said to Oprah Winfrey, “I made over $200 million in my career before I even turned 18 years old. We had this massive compound, with, like, 12 houses on it. It was worth over $10 million, and I had paid a lot of that money.

I had done a lot of that stuff, and I never got any of those returns back or anything like that. Even at this point, I’ve never even owned my own home. There was a lot of neglect on my parents’ part. They didn’t do a lot of things right.”


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6. Miley Cyrus

Cyrus is the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus and she became a star in her own right when she starred on the TV show Hannah Montana.

She said she had a hard time balancing her life when she was young: “What was hard for me was balancing everything. I think it got harder when I started touring as both Hannah Montana and as myself. […] I think that’s probably what’s a little bit wrong with me now.

I mark that up as doing some extreme damage in my psyche as an adult person. […] America feels like my aunt. ‘You know you’ve grown up so much and we don’t wanna see you grow up!’


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7. Macaulay Culkin

Another one of the most famous child actors of all time, Macaulay Culkin became a huge movie star when Home Alone was released when he was only 10-years-old.

Culkin opened up on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast about his domineering father who he claims used to say, “Do good or I’ll hit you.”

Culkin also said, “After I did Richie Rich in ’93 or ’94, my father and mother called it quits, which is one of the best things to ever happen to me. I was able to walk away from the business.

I was able to say, ‘I hope you made all your money, because there’s no more coming from me.’ “He was a bad man. He was a**sive. Physically and mentally. He was just a bad dude. A bad, a**sive man. He was a piece of work.”

8. Ariel Winter

Actress Ariel Winter became famous for her role on Modern Family and literally grew up in front of TV audiences.

But it wasn’t easy. Winter said, “The first season I was very thin, no breasts, no hips. The next year, I had huge boobs and a butt. It was automatically ‘You’re a fat s**t.’ ‘You’re a wh**e.'”

One of the co-creators of Modern Family, Steven Levitan, said Winter’s mother’s behavior was harmful to her daughter: “I would order a couple lunches in my name so Ariel could eat one of them. I could tell she was hungry.

Boiled chicken and cucumbers isn’t going to do it for a growing kid. Her mother kept her out late at night at these ridiculous parties. She was 12 and 13 years old and had to be on set at 6:30, 7.”


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9. Rivkah Reyes

Reyes appeared in the hit movie School of Rock as a youngster and the actress said that the years after her role in the poular movie were very tough: “From the age of 14, I used drugs, al**hol, s**, food, and self-harm to numb all of this pain. I’ve survived dozens of toxic relationships and three s**cide attempts.

I’m not saying all of this is because I played bass in a movie when I was a kid but because I spent over a decade terrified that I’d peaked at 10 years old.”


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