Did you guys watch last night’s very special episode of Law & Order: SVU? Because if you did, you would have caught a svelte Anna Chlumsky giving a not-too-shabby performance as a sexy/young/hot E.L. James knock off — having written 25 Acts, a BDSM book that’s taken the country by storm. Then she gets raped repeatedly as a Bill-Maher type pundit uses her to act out scenes from her book. Fun stuff. Despite apparently being a series regular on Veep, I actually didn’t realize My Girl was still pounding the pavement of Tinseltown.
Now let’s take a moment to stroll down memory lane, shall we?
Such a good movie. Man I cried and cried when Thomas J kicked it. Also? What the hell is with the killing off of kids in coming of age movies? Totally made me feel like I was on borrowed time. Anyway…
Anna looked good, and watching her reminded me of what a crazy-ass awesome movie My Girl was. So how did she end up on SVU instead of basking in Oscar’s glow like Natalie Portman?
The way I figure, there are a few archetypes of former child stars (and really who doesn’t love them some aged-out child stars?) Here we go:
- The Jodie Foster: This star type somehow manages to stay out of trouble and makes a seamless transition into adult acting. The few, the proud, the Diane Lane. Also see: Zac Ephron, Michelle Williams.
- The Drew Barrymore: This star type parties herself and her career in to the ground (or, perhaps, just fizzles out at some point, a la Neil Patrick Harris) before making a stellar and unexpected comeback which propels them to the A-list. I’d give you an “Also see:”, but this category really seems reserved for Drew Barrymore and Neil Patrick Harris.
- The Gary Coleman: Although this is the largest demographic of Former Child Stars, it’s hard to say what the hell happened to this star type. I guess it can be summed up by kids who outgrow their cute (and often their money — although I guess The Jackie Coogan is an offshoot of this category for kids whose parents steal all their money) and might be found chilling with the day laborers outside of Home Depot or coked up on someone else’s dime outside of the nightclub of the moment. Also see: Maculay Culkin, Dustin Diamond.
- The Katie Holmes: This star type lingers and fades but refuses to go away. Also see: Kirsten Dunst.
- The Devon Sawa: (Remember Devon Sawa? Boy did I have a crush on Casper the Friendly Ghost! He really doesn’t personify this category though — I should probably call it The Mayim Biyalik.) This is the category I’ll put Anna in. This is the child star who voluntarily pauses their career and goes on to lead a relatively normal young adult life before either actually following through and becoming a “normal” or returning to Hollywood’s warm glow in a string of guest-spots and reality show appearances (also see: Lisa Welchel, and the entire cast of Confessions of A Teen Idol.)
Did I miss any important categories? Did I miss any important child stars? What are you doing this weekend? It’s almost Friday! Wheeeeeee!