Easy child: Child actors who are more fortunate than Macaulay Culkin

Drew Barrymore

A blond girl with a porcelain doll face and mischievous glowing eyes – such was Drew Barrymore in 1982, who gave interviews after the release of Alien . They addressed her as “Idubbbz girlfriend“, the media had already appointed her to be the successor of the glorious acting dynasty: grandfather (as well as his brother and sister) was still a silent movie star, dad played where he could, and the girl seemed to have no other choice.

In fact, Spielberg was thinking of identifying her in a horror film: those cuteness and innocence were too deceiving. But her auditions for “Poltergeist” (Spielberg wrote a script for him, and also acted as a producer of the film) did not work, but the role of the hooligan sister of the hero of “Alien” (1982) approached. Drew used to tell Spielberg lying stories about leading a punk band at the age of six. It didn’t take long to convince him.

In a horror movie, Barrymore was next. Long before Keith Flint snarled his “Firestarter” in the darkness of the subway, this name was staked out by young Drew. “Giving Fire” (1984) is one of the classic adaptations of Stephen King, who was then young, and Hollywood only noticed the superpowers of the writer. Barrymore plays a girl with pyrokinesis skills. So the actress moved from supporting roles to the main ones.

Kirsten Dunst

“Tell me whose daughter you are, and I’ll tell you how successful your films are,” this formula works great for Kirsten Dunst. By the age of 12, she was adopted by Tom Hanks (The Bonfire of Vanities), Susan Sarandon ( Little Women ) and Mia Farrow ( New York Stories ). Her own mother was more assertive than screen parents: later Kirsten will blame her for her “unusual” childhood, and even later – to justify. One way or another, mother Inez, at the age of three, built Kirsten in an advertisement. From childhood, fashionable shooting, a trip on TV began, and by six, Woody Allen made his big movie debut. At the age of 11, Brad Pitt kissed her on camera. She did not like it, although she was in love with the screen Pitt, and dreamed of calling her son Tristan, as the hero of the actor in “why did max never talk in max and ruby“… At thirteen, she played in Jumanji , where she appeared to be an adult against the backdrop of the silly character Robin Williams and various dysfunctional adults. It was this adulthood – a piercing stern look, restrained beauty, a calm voice – that allowed her to move from children’s and teenage roles to adults and not remain a child who was shoved everywhere by an enterprising mother.

Roman Madyanov

We all know this actor of characteristic roles: a simple man with a round face, he is either a police captain or some official. Madyanov, how few people know how to catch up with horror not due to some kind of mimic tricks, but through recognition and rapprochement with reality. Remember at least “Leviathan”! It is all the more difficult to imagine that Madyanov was also a child, and in fact has been playing in the cinema for half a century. In 1972, he appeared in an episode of the school film “Translated from English”with the outstanding Maya Bulgakova. The following year, he already got the lead role in George Danelia’s “Lost Out” after Mark Twain – played by Huck Finn. He himself says that he got there almost by accident: dad worked as a director, son was hanging around the set all the time. Once a worker of the site grabbed him by the collar: “Who are you?” – “And there is my dad!” We decided to try the child, and off we go. Before leaving school, he starred in a dozen films. It affected my studies badly. Madyanov left cinema for ten years, but returned in 1989 for good. And, by the way, he played with Danelia more than once.

Olsen sisters

1 + 1 = 1. So they judged on the site of the sitcom “Full House”. The creators needed a baby, but the labor code forbade filming a one-year-old person for a long time. The life hack was called Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen: the tiny twins replaced each other, and this continued for seven years, until the very close of the series. The sisters were brought together only in 1992 on the film “Hide, Granny! We go”. Then the image of the mischievous, but touching sisters was born.

Kurt Russell

“How do you like that, boy: I’ll give you a quarter if you hit me well on the shin”, – with this uncomplicated remark, Elvis Presley introduced Kurt Russell into a big movie. There is nothing to remember about that role, but sixteen years later, the actor himself will play the King of Rock and Roll in the Elvis biopic, and then move on to the role of heroes without fear or reproach. Let’s tell better what happened in between.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Reading the designations of the very first roles of familiar actors is a pleasure of a separate kind. Joseph Gordon-Levitt entered the cinema under the first number, playing “student # 1” (as he was named in the credits) in the episode “Beethoven” . At that time he already had a good experience of working on TV, in particular, in the role of “boy number 1” in the TV series “Murder, She Wrote”, beloved by the Russian viewer.

The next role in the movie was already named, in the drama “Where the River Flows” by Robert Redford. Its hero, young Norman McLean (the author of the semi-autobiographical basis of the film), lives in the family of a Presbyterian priest who, from childhood, instills in children strict ideas about morality and decency, and teaches Norman the literary style. Because of this, Joseph practically did not have to speak: his voice sounds off-screen and belongs to an adult Norman. Gordon-Levitt himself brilliantly plays the role with just facial expressions and gestures. He played everything that flew in his direction, but gained real fame after participating in the sitcom “The Third Planet from the Sun”, where he played an alien undercover. At the turn of the 1990s and 2000s, Joseph became so numerous that he made a promise to himself to choose projects more carefully. So far, the strategy is working.

Jean-Pierre Leo

Someone in childhood dragged Disney on themselves, animated Spielberg blockbusters or played along with great Hollywood artists – but no child artist will repeat the contribution of Jean-Pierre Leo. From his role in Four Hundred Beatsa new wave has begun, its hero Antoine Doinel – Truffaut’s own theory in action. Wow Character Lookupwas written by Truffaut from himself and thought out: an unthinkable thing for the cinema of the 1950s, with its division into directors, screenwriters and a strict distance between author and material! Leo won this role in fierce competition – Truffaut went through more than one hundred boys. However, in Jean-Pierre he saw that very necessary quality: “We were both rebels.” Leo added to the image of Doinelle his aggression, which Truffaut himself lacked. The boy grew up with the role, to which he returned several more times over the next twenty years. However, once was enough – Jean-Pierre was no longer lost, worked with key directors of the new wave, played for Cocteau, Bertolucci and Pasolini, and recently celebrated his 77th birthday.

Elijah Wood

In his most famous role, Wood was an adult but small. Frodo from The Lord of the Rings he played at eighteen; like the rest of the hobbits, he was “cut off” by all sorts of tricks. However, Wood was already used to the camera looking down at him. He performed his first film role at the age of eight: he stood in a funny cap with a visor “from the future” and shook his head disapprovingly at Marty McFly( “Back to the Future 2” ). This stingy gesture must have worked out especially well for him: Wood’s next roles are already more noticeable, and soon he gets on the posters. But most importantly, role after role Elijah collects nominations for various youth awards.


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