HBO’s newest documentary, Showbiz Kids, examines the dark reality of child stardom through the lens of those who lived it.
Evan Rachel Wood, Jada Pinkett Smith, Wil Wheaton, Todd Bridges, Mila Jovovich, Henry Thomas, Mara Wilson and the late Cameron Boyce paint a sobering picture of the price they paid to pursue their dreams (and in some cases the dreams of their parents) in Hollywood.
“I gave up my childhood for this industry, and it wasn’t my choice,” Wheaton, most notable for his roles in Stand By Me and Star Trek: The Next Generation, said. Similarly, Wood remembered a desire to simply play with her friends, noting, “…it was apparent early on that you would get in trouble if you wanted to play. It would be very disappointing to people if I didn’t want to do this because I was talented.”
The 90-minute documentary, directed by Alex Winter of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures, traces these former child stars’ trajectories to present day and uncovers the memories they still can’t shake.