It’s no secret that child actors turn out a mess. Look at Drew Barrymore, who attended her first rehab center at the age of thirteen! She returned a year later when she was fourteen as well. The pressure and anxiety actors face is why only a selected few make it big in their careers. If adults can’t face some of these pressures, how do you think children fair under the same circumstances?
This isn’t to say every child actor has or will suffer, but it's common that being exposed to Hollywood lifestyles when you’re too young wreaks havoc. Can you imagine not being able to climb trees or play with your neighbors because you need to remember a script? Your childhood is a big, important part of your life. But when you’re forced to grow up too quickly, well nothing good can come of it.
We’ve compiled a list of various actors who were possibly or definitely too young to appear on screen. Perhaps having to grow up too fast made for bad choices in their lives. When you can’t fully experience your childhood, it’s like something is missing. You have a whole you can’t seem to fill. It happens all too often. There’s a reason that we have child labor laws. However, Hollywood doesn’t abide by the same rules. Of course, if you’re watching a movie with children as characters, you expect a child filled cast. Is there any winning?
15 Mary Kate Olsen
Mary Kate Olsen made her TV debut at the tender age of nine months old. Picture it, having an acting career before you’re even a year old. Isn’t there some kind of law against this. She even had lines, given they were very minimal at the start. But still, when I was nine months old I’m pretty sure I was still learning to crawl and worrying about when my next feeding would be.
I didn’t have to worry about being surrounded by a cast, directors, and producers, or TV cameras. Mary Kate starred as Michelle Tanner when she was just a baby, a critical role that she is still remembered by today. Full House was a huge ABC sitcom that many people can still watch.
14 Ashley Olsen
Oh yeah, twin sister Ashley Olsen also played Michelle Tanner on Full House. The twins were swapped out here and there through the series. I suppose working your butt off as a toddler calls for various temper tantrums. When one is too tired to act, the other fills in seamlessly as a substitute.
Ashley and sister Mary Kate are now rich beyond their dreams, and no longer act. Instead they on their fashion line and smoke cigarettes on the streets of New York City. When you start acting as a toddler, you definitely have a monetary cushion to fall back on. That seems to be the only upside to being a child actor. Think about the pressure these girls had to go through as infants to stay on top of everything for the cameras.
13 Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan has been a favorite mess for the media to follow. She’s had trouble with law time after time and lost many movie rolls because of her partying and crazy schedule. She was at some point impossible to insure as well. Lindsay has been known for her reckless antics and suspected drug use. She’s been publicly intoxicated and involved in multiple DUIs.
She also started her career when she was only ten years old. She’s done various TV roles and incredible movies, only to plummet hard in her twenties. No at 31 it seems that Lohan is living a much better life…for now. Unfortunately, we’re still waiting for her next drunken night at a club, which is something she is known for. Hopefully, she’s finally found her way.
12 Jacob Tremblay
Jacob Tremblay is an adorable ten year old actor that you may recognize from the highly acclaimed book turned movie, Room. He played a very serious, tense roll as a child born in small room where his mother was held captive by a sexually abusive kidnapper. Does that paint the seriousness of Room enough for you?
Jacob did a tremendous job, and has been known in Hollywood as a wonder kid ever since. How can such a young child be so talented? We hope it stays that way. Jacob has moved on to play other rolls in various movies and TV shows. At ten years old, he has nothing but the great big world ahead of him. Can you imagine what you were doing when you were ten?
11 Macaulay Culkin
Macaulay Culkin was a promising actor, especially after his major role in the 90’s classic hit, Home Alone. He played Kevin McCallister, a kid who is accidentally abandoned by his family on a family trip to Paris. In their defense, the family was big that no one bothered to count heads.
Perhaps it was his parents’ divorce and their fight over custody of the $11 million dollar kid that took a toll on him. He was never the same after that. He took time away from the limelight. He dropped out of and married his childhood sweetheart, but divorced two years later. Shortly after, rumors followed of his drug use. In 2015 things seemed to settle down for Macaulay and it’s said that he is working on his acting career once again.
10 Miley Cyrus
Miley starred in various TV shows and the movie Big Fish when she was just a kid. She got her big break as Hannah Montana, a teen superstar by night who struggled to live a normal life by day thanks to her star identity. It was a great role that lasted years, but Miley had enough.
She often stated that she was nothing like her TV character, and wanted to break away from the Disney role. She did this through social media. She cut off her long blonde locks, often posted naked pictures of emojis covering her intimate areas, and of course smoking tons of pot in front of her young fans. Miley admits she kind of lost it, but she thinks she got it again thanks to her reconciliation with fiance Liam Hemsworth.
9 Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson
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Honey Boo Boo’s claim to fame was a stint on often criticized reality TV show Toddlers & Tiaras. Her sassy antics quickly gained popularity causing TLC to come up with Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. The show focused on Alana’s strange family and was wildly unpopular. She was only six when she began filming her, and her fame lasted four seasons.
Alana didn’t remain a star for long. Her crazy family quickly took over the TV show. Many thought it was a terrible environment to bring up a child in, let alone film it. However, that didn’t stop TLC from profiting. A Forbes reviewer said TLC was trying to “portray Alana's family as a horde of lice-picking, lard-eating, nose-thumbing hooligans south of the Mason–Dixon line”.
8 Sophia Abraham
It seems that brattiness can run in a family. Sophia Abraham proves that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree on Teen Mom OG. No one else is to blame for barely disciplining their child than mom Farrah. Sophia’s life was filmed since before she was even out of the womb. She was born and raised surrounded by cameras, and barely knows any other life.
Sophia is a spunky kid, but often gets pushed aside to allow room for mom, Farrah Abraham’s, ego. When all eyes are on Farrah, Sophia thinks it wise to throw a temper tantrum to get her way. This is something she clearly picked up from her mom does the same exact thing but as an adult. If Farrah’s not happy, then you won’t be either.
7 Cara and Mady Gosselin
Twins Cara and Mady Gosselin made their first appearance on Jon & Kate Plus 8. The camera’s followed the family full of multiples—oh yeah, their little brothers and sisters are sextuplets. The twins often shied away from the cameras, and the show drew most of its focus on the sextuplets. The series followed the family’s life on their dairy farm.
On camera, their mother Kate seemed intense, while their father Jon seemed to collapse in on himself until the very end. Eventually, their parents had a nasty divorce. Mady and Cara spend most of their time with their mother, still on a farm. The kids all have chores, and Kate is known to be strict with all of her children. The pressure is put on the twins since they are older.
6 Maddie Ziegler
Maddie Ziegler became a star when she eight years old, on the set up Lifetime’s controversial show, Dance Moms. It was clear that Maddie had big dreams, and she was meant to be a household name. Fame came quickly for her when she starred in five music videos for music artist Sia. Soon, Maddie joined Sia on tour, and wrote a New York Times Best Seller.
She’s fifteen now, and you can’t help but wonder if her star will keep on rising. We sure hope so! However, Dance Moms has not been the same since she departed. Most of the girls now want to be just like her and get their own claim to fame. Abbey Lee Miller often compares the girls to Maddie before butchering them to pieces with her words.
5 Milania Giudice
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Milania is the second youngest daughter of Real Housewives of New Jersey stars Teresa and Joe Giudice. Milania embraced the cameras when they were thrown into her life, while her three other siblings didn’t care much for the cameras. Teresa gave into Milania’s bratty ways constantly on the show, and Milania ate up the attention.
Now at eleven, we hope Milania has learned to be more down to earth. Her mother was recently released from prison for fraud, and her father recently went to prison for the same crime. When you grow up looking up to mom and dad, you think of them like super heroes. But Joe and Teresa are anything but innocent. With the camera’s still rolling, she still has so much time to learn.
4 Mason Disick
Mason Disick was born and raised on national television. The son of on-again off-again parents, Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick had his birth filmed for all of us to watch. Mason was the first baby in the Kardashian clan, and perhaps because of that, he will always hold a special place in our hearts. However, as aunties Kendall and Kylie have proved, growing up on camera is not that’s its cracked up to be.
Mason has always displayed a fun and sweet personality, and we hope that he stays that way. Maybe being exposed to cameras 24/7 has made him not even think twice about the situation. But with gossip headlines hovering around about mommy and daddy, we hope that his internet access is limited.
3 The Sextuplets
When Jon & Kate Plus 8 introduced us to the sextuplets, we couldn’t get enough. Alexis Faith, Hannah Joy, Aaden Jonathan, Collin Thomas, Leah Hope, and Joel Kevin became a sensation. We all wondered how on earth a family of ten could work, and then we saw it all play out on camera.
The kids began filming when they were three. Cameras and microphones became a major part of their lives when they were just toddlers. This caused a lot of mayhem. Many tantrums were thrown, nap times were thrown off, and schedules were shaken up. But this didn’t stop their mother Kate from continuing to have the cameras rolling. We thought it was over after Jon and Kate’s nasty divorce. But the show just became Kate Plus 8 and we watched her struggle to raise eight children close in age.
2 Kendal Jenner
Kendal Jenner began her reality TV life when she was only ten years old. That’s when E! began taping Keeping Up With the Kardashians. At the time the Kardashians and Jenners seemed like a simple family living right outside of Hollywood. It didn’t take long for them to all get comfortable around the cameras. Fourteen years later, and countless spinoffs for her family, Kendall still shines on KUWTK.
Growing up with a sister that made her family famous because of her leaked sex tape is not exactly the best environment for a ten year old girl. As kids, Kendall and little sister Kylie spent a lot of the time bickering and fighting. Often times the crew would catch them in a physical altercation that family had to break up.
1 Kylie Jenner
Oh, Kylie Jenner. If there is ever an example of how reality TV stars turn out when their career starts at age nine, she is it. Kylie has made a name for herself a social media influencer for all of her nearly naked selfies, and as a beauty mogul. If you look at images of Kylie from then and now, she’s changed much more than puberty naturally allows. There are various rumors of tons of plastic surgery procedures the youngest Jenner has gone through to look like older sis Kim, but she only cops to getting her lips injected.
Kylie’s business savvy ways have garnered her millions of dollars of her own, and various properties and cars. She is the sister, like Kim, who often flaunts her affluent lifestyle on social media.