If you’re like me, there were certain child stars that you either looked up to, remember clearly, despised, whatever. Similar to the recent Disney initiates, only a heck of a lot more awesome and ingrained in our collective psyches. So, let’s take a look at what some of these whiz kids have contributed to our geekverse and what the heck they’ve been up to since.
I’m sure I forgot some obvious ones, so drop a line if you don’t see someone tht should definitely be here.
Johnathan Ke Quan
Ahh, Short Round. He was a character I thought was the epitome of greatness. He was living proof that Asians can also make it in the cutthroat world of big budget cinema.
It wasn’t until later on in life that I realized Quan’s portrayal may be the single most obnoxious and racist depiction of an Asian ever put on celluloid. He then went on to play the equally obnoxious dweeby nerd Data in The Goonies.
Life Report: Apparently he became a kick ass martial artist and is currently a stunt coordinator. Short Round kick to your face!
While more people probably remember him from The Wonder Years, geeks will most likely remember him as Corey Wood from the classically horrible Wizard, the movie that was a 2 hour advertisement for Nintendo. And it was awesome. Did you see them play SMB3? Or the Power Glove?
Life Report: Cast in middling roles since, it’s hard not to feel a bit bad. Especially when you consider the role most kids will remember him from is ‘that mole guy from Austin Powers’.
Along with Quan, Astin is another Goonies alum. But the movie that has made him a household name (well, not his name to be precise) is the rags to slightly better rag movie Rudy, where he played a spunky little Irish kid with no talent besides obnoxiousness who somehow got to play 3 seconds in a Notre Dame football game. And became a legend because of it.
Life Report: He’s gotten gigs in stuff like Law & Order and My Wife is Retarded (this is real). Oh, and something about a ring.
Remember when he was supposedly the “next big thing”. And then his mom made him be a serial killer in The Good Son and it all went down hill? At least we’ll always remember him as the son to the most neglectful parents in the world, Kevin McCallister.
Life Report: Completely fell off the face of the world for a decade until he resurfaced for Party Monster, which was horrible. Then he was a cripple in Saved and now has a recurring gig with the soon to be cancelled NBC show Kings. Hey, at least he’s working, right?
Young mister Bale here pretty much came out of nowhere and tore it up in Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun. He then went on and lit up the screen in, um, Little Women. Okay, not the greatest geek resume, but I guess he’s on here in a sort of Benjamin Button move where he’s currently geek-central and, er, just get it. It makes sense if you believe.
Life Report: He’s made some low rent superhero flicks or something. Kind of a giant ass, and prone to mother beating, but it’s not like he’s failing.
Propelled to stardom as Gertie in Spielberg’s greatest movie (do I even need to mention it?), Barrymore was probably the most annoying part about that movie. Man, when I was a kid I wanted to strangle her. But I guess I was going through a boys club phase, and simply couldn’t accept a cooties infested girl to be in the know of E.T.
Life Report: Continued to do kid-friendly affair until she chose to be jailbait killer Ivy in the aptly titled Poison Ivy. Since then she’s gone on to make cinematic classics such as Doppelganger, Mad Love and Charlie’s Angels.
Haley Joel Osment
After drawing attention as Forrest Gump’s son, he freaked everybody out as that creepy kid in The Sixth Sense and paid it forward with Kevin Spacey. Like Culkin, everbody was sure we had an acting savant on our hands, and like Culkin, he submerged into obscurity.
Life Report: What can I say? A lot of wasted potential this was. He’s got a couple movies coming out, but neither scream Oscar.
I’ve mentioned elsewhere that I[m still dubious whether or not they’re human or specially designed Actdroids. It’s pretty freaky how good they are. We have Dakota Fanning there with War of the Worlds and, to a lesser extent, Push under her belt. There’s also the great Coraline and the upcoming New Moon. A good geek resume if I say so myself.
Then there’s little Elle Fanning with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and the uber awesome Lost Room (which nobody I know has ever heard of. Damnit, watch this. Peter Krause at his best).
These two have accomplished so much in so little time that until proven otherwise, I’ll continue to believe they are artificial intelligences from a time or place far more evolved than now and here.
Life Report: Still a work in progress. They haven’t messed up yet (Culkin) or reached astronomical acclaim (Bale), but it’ll be fun to see where this goes.
This has been a fun little article. I guess the best consolation for all the actors I’ve mentioned is this – no matter their successes or failures, none of them have yet to become Lindsey Lohan.
And that’s always a win.