It can be really easy for a child actor to get sucked into Hollywood and surround themselves with negative influences. They don't call it the Boulevard of Broken Dreams for no reason.
We've seen young starlets like Lindsay Lohan and Corey Feldman spiral out of control and hit rock bottom. Between the rehab stints, DUI's, and drug busts, it's a wonder how they've made it out alive.
Although child actors generally get a bad rap, we give credit where credit is due, and director Ron Howard deserves praise. Howard, who played Richie Cunningham on Happy Days, made the remarkable transition from child actor to critically acclaimed director.
Knowing a thing or two about growing up in the spotlight, we got his thoughts on child actors and the difficulty of staying on the right path.
"It’s a very difficult thing for someone to know about themselves or their own journey. But it happens. Such as Jodie Foster, who has had such a remarkable career," Howard told Hollyscoop exclusively at the 20th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival on Tuesday.
He added, "It's very challenging when a child goes through that awkward adolescent period, so all that pain and all that awkwardness gets so amplified if you’re known and living a celebrity life. It tends to drive people into hiding. I always loved it; I stayed with it because I knew I wanted to make it my life’s work."
Speaking about the Lindsay's and Britney Spears's of the world, Howard added: "I look at anyone that goes through that kind of turbulence and most people do, and I just say, if you take the camera and shine it on any hundred people, any 19 year olds, you’d find some pretty outrageous behavior going on."
"Its part of the territory of working in a high profile profession," he told Hollyscoop exclusively. "But I always kind of feel for people struggling with that."
So how do young stars stay grounded? "Just have amazing friends and amazing family," Dakota Fanning tells Hollyscoop. "They wouldn’t let me be any other way than I am. They keep me true to myself." Dakota has proved time and again that she's not only a remarkable actress, but also wise beyond her years.
Maybe Howard and Dakota can get a 'How Not to be a Screwup 101' workshop going. Hey, with this economy, everyone can use a side job.