For every child star who “makes it” and finds success in Hollywood, there are hundreds who don’t. Plenty more reach unheard of success at young ages only to find themselves lost when the spotlight inevitably ends. In the new documentary Showbiz Kids, director Alex Winter (himself a former child actor on Broadway) interviews high profile current and former child actors about their experiences in Hollywood, taking a look at the dark side of childhood fame.
The film, which premieres on HBO July 14, features interviews with Henry Thomas (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial), Mara Wilson (Mrs. Doubtfire, Matilda), Todd Bridges (Diff’rent Strokes), Milla Jovovich (The Night Train To Kathmandu, Resident Evil franchise), Evan Rachel Wood (Thirteen), the late Cameron Boyce (Jessie, Descendants franchise), Jada Pinkett Smith (A Different World), Wil Wheaton (Stand by Me), and the late Diana Serra Cary (“Baby Peggy”), who was one of the first major child stars after gaining fame at age 2 in 1920.
The film will also follow two young actors on the verge of a breakthrough in their careers. Demi Singleton is a young actress who has already appeared on Broadway twice in The Lion King and School of Rock as well as the series Godfather of Harlem. She will also soon appear in the Will Smith film King Richard. The other young actor depicted in the film is Marc Slater, who in contrast to Singleton has no credits and is moving to Los Angeles to pursue his dream during pilot season. Showbiz Kids will follow both as they and their families struggle to make a name for themselves in a competitive and often ruthless industry.
Showbiz Kids premieres July 14 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. Watch the trailer below!