10 Child Stars Who Regret Fame And 9 Who Don’t

It’s no secret that growing up in Hollywood is tough on kids, even if it’s their dream job. A lot of child stars grow up to wish they’d waited to start their careers, while others wouldn’t really change a thing.

Here are 10 former child stars who wish they grew up “normal”:


Keke Palmer told the Guardian, “I think that being a child entertainer is really exploitative, because you don’t even know your limits yourself. And a lot of what you later envision as a memory is actually trauma.”


Mary-Kate Olsen told Marie Claire, “I look at old photos of me, and I don’t feel connected to them at all. … I would never wish my upbringing on anyone…”


Reflecting on a trip he took home to Toronto after signing his record deal, Justin Bieber told GQ, “I was working so much as this young kid that I got really sad, and I missed my friends, and I missed normalcy. 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.’…But I was just going to do anything to be able to just be normal at that time.”


Reflecting on the body shaming she was subjected to in the entertainment industry, Raven-Symoné told People, “I wish I was living now as a younger person. I probably wouldn’t have so many mental issues.”


In her memoir I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette McCurdy explained that acting was never her choice, and she was forced into it by her mother. She wrote, “I started to thoroughly dislike fame by the time I turned 16, but now, at 21, I despise it.”


Cole Sprouse told the New York Times, “When we talk about child stars going nuts, what we’re not actually talking about is how fame is a trauma. … As I have now gone through a second big round of this fame game as an adult, I’ve noticed the same psychological effects that fame yields upon a group of young adults as I did when I was a child. I just think people have an easier time hiding it when they’re older.”


Chloë Grace Moretz told Hunger that she first “became aware” of how famous she truly was after walking a red carpet at 18. She said, “I walked off of it, and I felt so much self-loathing and was really confused about the experience that just went down. I was really unwell after that. There was this complete jarring shift in my consciousness. I questioned who I was.”


Christy Carlson Romano told BuzzFeed News that, when she landed her Even Stevens role, she was devastated because she didn’t want to leave the life she’d built for herself in Connecticut. She said, “I’ve never really unpacked how that must have felt, but I know that it was very traumatizing.”


At Cannes Lions, Demi Lovato said, “I wouldn’t start that young if I could do it over again. I don’t regret anything but it was difficult to transition from being a child star to transforming into a mainstream artist. It’s something that is very challenging.”


In an essay for People, Alyson Stoner wrote, “While traversing extreme peaks and valleys of global fame, hidden medical hospitalizations, artistic milestones, rapid adultification, and multi-layered abuse I wish on no one, I narrowly survived the toddler-to-trainwreck pipeline. In fact, nothing was designed for me to end up…’Normal.’ ‘Stable.’ ‘Alive.'”

And now, here are nine former child stars who don’t regret their early start in Hollywood:


Alyssa Milano told Us Weekly, “I’m so grateful that I was a child star, which has provided for my family. It’s not without its challenges, but I don’t think that’s unique to child stardom.”


Selena Gomez told GQ, “I chose this. So, I’m not gonna sit here and say, ‘Oh my God, poor me, I didn’t have a normal childhood.’ I don’t give a [fuck] about that.”


While taking a lie detector test for Vanity Fair, Hilary Duff said that she didn’t wish she had a “more normal” childhood. She said, “It’s not something that I wish I could change, and it doesn’t, like, come up often.”


Aly Michalka told People, “Most child actors don’t have a sibling also experiencing the same success at the same time. That gave us [Aly and her sister/bandmate AJ] a lot of normalcy.”


7th Heaven actor Beverley Mitchell told People, “Because I’ve been able to grow up with so many of these people, and I’m so much a part of their lives, and to hear them talk about watching the show with their grandma and having conversations, that’s really something special, and I feel like that’s a gift, and I’m ever so grateful for it. So, yeah, I’m Lucy.”


Discussing her rise to country music fame at 13, LeAnn Rimes told People, “I would not recommend it to anyone, but it’s my path, so I’ve accepted it and learned from it. I can really appreciate it at this point — all of it.”


Christina Ricci told People, “I loved working. I loved being a kid who had a talent. I loved being good at something. I loved all that positive reinforcement I got every day. I loved getting to use my imagination in a way that really created things. It was incredible to be able to do that so young.”


Miranda Cosgrove told Digital Spy that she “was probably more protected than most just because [her] mom and dad are such a big part of [her] life” and being close to her mom in particular “contributed a lot to having a more positive experience.”


Ariel Winter was pushed into acting from a young age by her mother, whom she emancipated herself from at 17. However, she told the Hollywood Reporter, “Even though I wish I had a better childhood, I wouldn’t trade it, because it made me who I am today.”

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