Making the transition from squeaky clean kid actor to all-grown-up serious thespian is a bumpy road. Choosing the right "adult" project is key to successful career—but wrong move could solidify you as the "Disney Kid." Susie Mains, co-owner of Trilogy Talent and manager for onetime child stars Tobey Maguire and Fergie, told The Hollywood Reporter in 2010, "When you're done with your contract, where do you stand in the acting community? Is a serious film going to (consider) you as a lead?" Perhaps, but it's never a sure thing.
Real life "Disney Kid" Selena Gomez is the prime example. Post her breakout role in Wizards of Waverly Place, she's spent her big screen career voicing animated characters and appearing in the tween comedy Monte Carlo. But now she's ready for the big leagues, teaming up with the unpredictable Harmony Korine for Spring Breakers—part spring break romp, part crazed heist film. We seen some behind-the-scene (and scantily clad) shots of Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens riding around Florida, but who knows which way the movie will fall on the quality scale. But this is a big one for Gomez. Like all child stars, Spring Breakers is her gamble into serious movies. The results could make or break her future.
Looking back, here are few other child stars who did manage to keep their careers going, one way or another. Growing up is inevitable, but in Hollywood, it's how you do it is everything.
Dakota Fanning in Hounddog
Quite possibly the most infamous of all "Look, I'm not starring in any more Cat in the Hat movies, OK?" casting decisions, Fanning dropped her little girl persona earlier than most, tackling the serious Southern drama Hounddog at the age of 13. The movie's sensationalized, defining moment is a sequence in which Dakota's character Lewellen is raped by a boy her age, and while the movie was barely a blip when it hit theaters, the ripple effect from the brave move elevate Fanning above the rest of her young contemporaries.
Macaulay Culkin in Party Monster
Culkin disappeared in 1994 after a string of uber-successful kid movies: Home Alone and its sequel, Pagemaster, Getting Even with Dad and Richie Rich, among others. He returned in 2003 for Party Monster—older, wiser and a little more strung out than his fans may have recalled. That may have come with the role, a small towner who drowns finds himself drowning in the New York party scene. We knew Culkin would one day return to the big screen, but no one was expecting him to do it with a yellow feather dress, purple wig and lipstick.
Drew Barrymore in Scream
Coming from a family of Old Hollywood players, no one was worried about Barrymore crashing and burning post-E.T., but few expected the actress to have such a keen sense of the business in integrating herself back into the talent pool. Barrymore made a cameo appearance in the opening scene of Scream, a now-classic moment featuring a babysitter caught in Ghostface's deadly slasher game. It was just the right amount of screentime; a reminder that Drew Barrymore was still thing—and an adult one at that.
Daniel Radcliffe in Equus
In the home stretch of his eight-movie Harry Potter run, Radcliffe made a wise decision: head to the theater. After all, isn't that where real ac-toooors go to work? Answer: yes, and Radcliffe proved himself worthy of the title. His performance in Peter Shaffer's hard-hitting play, in which Radcliffe appeared nude in front of many a giggly Potter fan, earned him rave reviews.
Haley Joel Osment in Sassy Pants
Much like Gomez, Haley Joel Osment is currently in transition phase. Difference is, his fate is in the can. After nabbing an Oscar-nomination for Sixth Sense and following it up with solid-to-middling follow ups (remember Secondhand Lions?), Osment ducked under cover and did what any 18-year-old would do: went to college. Enrolled at New York University, Osment dabbled in theater, making a brief appearance on Broadway in David Mamet's American Buffalo, before receding back into his studies. But Osment could make a return if Sassy Pants, his latest film role, makes waves. In the movie, Osment plays the younger boyfriend of a girl's recently out father. A far cry from his ghost-seeing days, but a role that could reposition him for years to come.
Mary Kate Olsen in Weeds
Mary Kate and Ashley weren't just the breakout names of Full House, actresses making a killing off home video entertainment, or inevitable big screen stars. They became a brand—an asset to their eventual fashion empire. Eventually, the fashion biz took priority in their careers (New York Minute bombing probably didn't hurt either), removing from the immediate spotlight that comes hand and hand with child stardom. But Mary Kate returned three years after New York Minute in a role designed to debut her new on-screen presence. In Weeds, Mary Kate played weed-smoking "bad girl" who romanced Hunter Parish's Silas. Since, Mary Kate's continued to land similarly spacey, low-key roles, never hitting the stride of her early years, but intentionally so.
Anna Paquin in True Blood
What's amazing about Anna Paquin is that she never had a moment of transition. She was a child actor only because she was a child. From her first (and Oscar-nominated) role in The Piano at age 11, Paquin continued to book challenging material. Spielberg's Amistad, Jane Eyre, even Fly Away Home and the X-Men were above and beyond anything people her age were pulling off. Paquin's still young—only 29 and with over thirty credits to her name—but if she's had a memorable reinvention during her short career, it was the jump to HBO's True Blood. Vampire sex: always a wake up call, regardless of past or present career.
Miley Cyrus in LOL
Cyrus's early career had two roadblocks to overcome: she was another literal Disney Kid (starring in Hannah Montana for five years) and her faith-laden, country music image shoehorned her into the good girl role. For a few years, she owned it, translating Hannah Montana to the big screen and starring alongside real life boyfriend Liam Hemsworth in 2010's The Last Song. But the star stirred up controversy after paparazzi caught her smoking pot, then followed up the incident by taking on the role of a stoner in LOL. The rebellious move is an obvious play to drop the Hannah Montana baggage, but will it work?
When crafting a follow-up to the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time it’s understandable that one might be reticent to mess with a winning formula. But director Todd Phillips and writers Craig Mazin and Scot Armstrong seem to have confused revisiting with recycling: The Hangover Part II so closely mirrors its blockbuster predecessor in every vital aspect that it can scarcely claim the right to call itself a sequel.
The only significant new wrinkle introduced in Part II is its setting: Bangkok Thailand a location that at least theoretically augurs well for a second helping of inspired lunacy. The story structure of the first film has been copied wholesale a game of Mad Libs played with its script. The action is again set around a bachelor party this time in honor of buttoned-down dentist Stu (Ed Helms). Again the boys (Stu Bradley Cooper’s boorish frat boy Phil and Zach Galifianakis’ moronic man-child Alan) awaken the next day in a hideously debauched hotel room with little memory of the previous night’s revelry. And again there is a missing companion: Teddy (Mason Lee son of Ang) the brother-in-law to be. (Poor Justin Bartha is once again relegated to the sidelines popping up now and then to push the plot forward via cell phone.)
The amnesiac/investigative angle of the first Hangover made for a refreshing twist on the contemporary men-behaving-badly comedy. Repeated here its effect is arguably the opposite: Too often the action feels rote and formulaic. Gone is any hint of surprise an aspect so crucial to good comedy and a huge part of the first film’s appeal. Key comic set pieces – a tussle with monks at a Buddhist temple a visit to a transsexual brothel a car chase involving a drug-dealing monkey – reveal themselves to be merely variations of memorable bits from the first film.
Tonally Part II is darker cruder and a bit nastier than its predecessor. Female characters never a priority in the first film are further marginalized in the sequel. (The only woman with significant dialogue a Bangkok prostitute also happens to have a penis. I’ll let you ponder the implications of that one.) The three leads Helms Cooper and Galifianakis still work well together and despite the inferior material enough of their chemistry remains to make the proceedings bearable – and occasionally funny. But their characters feel somehow degraded reduced to coarse caricatures of their former selves. Speaking of caricature Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) the fey faux-gangsta villain of the first film returns in an expanded capacity in the sequel his garbled hip-hop slang more gratuitous – and more grating – than before.
I can’t help but wonder what might have been if a planned cameo by Mel Gibson playing a tattoo artist hadn’t been scrapped reportedly due to objections by Galifianakis. Liam Neeson Gibson’s replacement apparently proved ineffectual in his first go-round and when he wasn't available for re-shoots his scene was eventually shot with Nick Cassavetes in the role. In its existing incarnation the scene is purely functional a chunk of forgettable exposition. The presence of Gibson an actor of not inconsiderable comic talent would have at least added an air of unpredictability something the scene – and indeed the movie – sorely lacks.
Tori Spelling's mother Candy has explained her recent decision to sell the family estate in Los Angeles -- putting the move down to fears that she will never again spend time with her estranged daughter.
The pair fell out before the death of Spelling's TV-mogul father, Aaron, in 2007. They reconciled later that year, following the birth of the actress' first child, Liam, with husband Dean McDermott.
But mother and daughter are back on frosty terms, and Candy Spelling now has little hope that they will ever salvage their strained relationship.
Spelling admits the most hurtful part of the feud is her estrangement from her grandchildren -- because she has never had a chance to meet the latest addition to the family, baby Stella, who was born last year.
And she has put the vast former family home on the market because her young relatives will never be able to enjoy it.
She tells People.com, "I don't see Tori and Dean anymore. I used to see Liam, but no longer. And I've never met Stella. I've tried to talk to her (Tori), but that doesn't work. She may not even know why she's angry.
"If I had any hope that I would have a relationship with my grandchildren I would never sell this house. I've fantasized for years about a wonderful playhouse on the grounds for children."
Spelling placed the family home in Los Angeles on the market earlier this month for a staggering $150 million. The three-story mansion boasts a bowling alley, wine cellar, library and gym. It is also rumored to include over 100 bedrooms.
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MORE NEWS: Maguire Set for Racing-Legend Biopic
A billionaire TV producer (Robert Mammone) has a great idea for a reality show that he wants to put on the Internet and his goal is to beat the 40 million Super Bowl audience. He has compiled a crack team of young hip and immoral tech geeks directed by Goldman (Rick Hoffman) and puts cameras throughout a remote island where former prisoners are going to kill each other while audiences watch after shelling out the pay-per-view fee. The location is done on a remote secret island and the death row prisoners are bought from prisons around the world with the promise that the survivor gets to walk free. Among the contestants are a rogue Aussie named McStarley (Vinnie Jones) a martial arts expert (Masa Yamaguchi) a husband-and-wife team (Manu Bennett and Dasi Ruz) a monstrous killer who doesn't do much more than grunt (Nathan Jones) and others known only as The Italian The German and other monikers quickly forgotten. Enter the sole American Jack Conrad (Steve Austin) who's in a South American prison for some obscure reason and is recognized on TV by his wife (Madeleine West) who tries to save him. However it looks like Conrad is pretty good at helping himself. Don't expect the acting to be much more evolved than what could be seen among the World Wrestling Entertainment superstars especially since many of them were plucked from the ring to star in this morality tale. But Austin (who had in a strong cameo in Adam Sandler's Longest Yard) proves he has a sense of humor as well as strength. Vinnie Jones is ridiculously over-the-top as the Aussie who's the hand-picked winner of this game shown setting up alliances Survivor style only to turn on them later. The supporting cast are refreshingly entertaining but one-note caricatures both in the contest and running the contest. It's obvious that they aren't going to be around long but the actors do milk their tiny roles for every bit of attention they can get. Rick Hoffman as the brilliant camera mastermind of the project is both whiny sniveling and mean-spirited so when he joins some of the rest of the crew and suddenly develops a backbone and a conscience he ends up stealing the movie with his acerbic humor. But it's the understated American hero Conrad who holds a mirror up to the people who like to watch this stuff. Director Scott Wiper who co-wrote this story has also acted in similar movies like this (A Better Way to Die). It’s obvious he knows what he’s doing with The Condemned and develops a sense of voyeuristic angst like those of us who can't keep our eyes off a train wreck. Like the darkly subversive Belgian film Man Bites Dog the camera crew remains safely distant and remote until the reality directly involves them. Then the crew wonders "What the hell are we doing?" while the audience might be thinking "What the hell are we watching?" Much like Series 7: The Contenders Rollerball and other movies which show a dark and bloody near future this kind of reality doesn't seem too far away and maybe proves that movies which provide this type of gladiator spectacle target a certain segment of the human population who need to blow off steam.
Top Story: Spidey 3 on the Way!
Although they are snarled in a web of litigation over Spider-Man licensing fees and revenue, Sony Pictures and comic book publisher Marvel Enterprises Inc. are already looking ahead at a third Spider-Man blockbuster, Reuters reports. "[The] best-case scenario I can tell you is [the film will be released] 2006. It is a big movie, and we would rather play it safe and talk about 2007 at this point," Marvel's film chief Avi Arad told Reuters. Spider-Man was the highest grossing film of 2002, amassing over $800 million in worldwide ticket sales, and it still holds the box office record for the biggest three-day domestic debut ever with $115 million in ticket sales. Spider-Man 2 is set to hit theaters July 2.
Basinger, Baldwin Settle Child Custody Dispute
Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin resolved their child custody battle over their 8-year-old daughter, Ireland, The Associated Press reports. Baldwin, who lives in New York, was seeking an "equal share" of parenting with Basinger, who lives in California, while the actress was asking for sole custody, with visitation rights for Baldwin. A Superior Court judge ruled in favor of Baldwin, the television program Celebrity Justice reported.
Spielberg Sidesteps Passion Questions
Steven Spielberg is not responding to questions about Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. At a press conference to promote the DVD release of his Oscar-winning Holocaust movie Schindler's List, Reuters reports the director said he was "too smart" to answer any questions about the controversial film, which has been called anti-Semitic, since he had yet to see it. "I certainly am not going to comment based on circumstantial evidence from what I've been hearing and feeling in the last seven or eight days," Spielberg said. "When I do see the film, the first person who will hear from me will be Mel Gibson and no one else," he added. Spielberg did comment that in the decade since the release of Schindler's List, the world has become a "very sad place again," which shows that people "don't really learn that much from history, and they need to."
Rowling Gives Hints to Next Book
J.K. Rowling, author of the wildly popular Harry Potter books, says she won't give any secrets away about her last two books in the series but promises fans that even tougher times await the young wizard. "In Book Six, the wizarding world is really at war again and he has to master his own feelings to make himself useful," Reuters reports Rowling said in a live Web chat Thursday. "If personally I was Harry Potter, I would hide because I know what is coming," she said. Rowling also added there would be no prequels. "You won't need them. By the time I've finished you'll have all the back story you need."
NBC Files Countersuit Against Will & Grace Creators
NBC has filed a counterclaim to Will & Grace creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick's lawsuit, in which they allege the network shortchanged them in renewing the hit sitcom. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the network, in turn, accused the duo of being "duplicitous" in their dealings at the negotiation table. NBC's cross-complaint maintains that Kohan and Mutchnick and their "handlers" had always planned to sue the network over the license fee deal struck in 2002 for Will & Grace, even though NBC claims they involved the creators and their attorneys and agents in the license fee renegotiations that took place in late 2001 and early 2002.
UPN Signs Up Missy Elliot
Calling all aspiring rappers. UPN announced it will launch a new "dramality" series tentatively called the Missy Elliott Project, in which the superstar rapper will tour the country with a group of aspiring rap stars, advising them as they compete in weekly elimination challenges as well as meeting industry bigwigs while the show's cameras chronicle their every move, Reuters reports.
DeGeneres Tops Daytime Emmy Nominations
Ellen DeGeneres' new talk show was nominated for 12 Daytime Emmy Awards, the most of any daytime talk show, AP reports, including best host. Joining her in that category are Dr. Phil McGraw; Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa of Live!; and The View crew of Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, Joy Behar and Barbara Walters. Vieira was also nominated for best game show host for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and will compete against veterans Bob Barker of The Price is Right and Alex Trebek of Jeopardy!. The Young and the Restless led the soap opera pack with 16 nods, All My Children and As the World Turns earned 14 apiece, with 12 for General Hospital and Guiding Light. The 31st annual Daytime Emmy Awards are set to air on NBC May 21 from New York's Radio City Music Hall.
Newest Batman Shooting Now
Memento director Christopher Nolan has commenced production in Iceland on his highly anticipated superhero feature Batman Begins. The film stars Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman; Michael Caine as his trusted butler, Alfred; Katie Holmes as Wayne's childhood friend, Rachel; Liam Neeson as Wayne's mentor, Henri Ducard; Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, a former Wayne Enterprises board member and sidelined employee; Ken Watanabe as the villainous Ra's Al Ghul; and Gary Oldman, who just signed on as Lt. James Gordon, a detective on the Gotham police force.
This film is based on Elegy for Iris literary critic John Bayley's biography of his late wife the brilliant writer and philosopher Iris Murdoch. Iris is unconventional in the sense that it does not adhere to a structured plot or story line but instead focuses on their relationship by flashing back and forth between the present and 40 years ago when the two first met. In the sequences taking place in the past Kate Winslet plays a young confident Murdoch in her formative years a woman revered by men and openly bisexual. Hugh Bonneville plays the young and apprehensive Bayley hopelessly pursuing her. The present however reveals a drastic role reversal for the couple: We see Murdoch in her 70s as played by Judi Dench and witness her descent into Alzheimer's disease and the toll it takes on her husband played by Jim Broadbent. The once-subservient husband has been thrust into a caretaker position and painfully tries to cope with his beloved wife's illness and loss of sanity.
Dench deservedly received a best actress Oscar nomination for the fabulous job she does as the older Murdoch. She is convincing as a brilliant thinker and even more believable as her condition worsens--check out the heartbreaking scene when Bayley locks himself in the study to get away from her irrational behavior and she scratches the windowpane on the glass door like a cat while looking at her husband with utter helplessness. Dench conveys her character's vulnerability in a single glance. As an older Bayley Broadbent is as impressive as Dench especially as he struggles to be assertive yet avoid being too harsh. Bonneville as a young Bayley could almost be Broadbent's clone. At first glance he looks like the same actor made to look older through some sort of makeup or special effects wizardry. Bonneville skillfully hatches the young Bayley's traits and tics later perfected by Broadbent. Winslet also Oscar-nominated for Iris (in the supporting actress category) well plays Murdoch's early audacity and boldness.
Director Richard Eyre does a beautiful and seamless job flowing from the past to the present throughout the film. Although the film barely delves into Murdoch's work the importance of her writing is established with scenes from a BBC interview or a luncheon given in her honor. Eyre also does an exceptional job conveying Bayley's hopeless predicament: he fusses over Murdoch like an overprotective parent intermittently lashing out at her only to apologize sobbing afterward for having done so. It's sweet and pitiful especially since Bayley believes that the Iris he fell in love with is still in there somewhere. But while the film is visually exquisite and convincing the subject matter is not necessarily entertaining. We know Murdoch will eventually succumb to her illness but it's even more dreadful to have to watch every agonizing step. By the time Murdoch was reduced to playing in the dirt and watching Teletubbies I found myself wondering When is she going to die already?