The Word: Mara Wilson explains why child stars go nuts

373690 01: Mara Wilson arrives at the premiere of the movie 'Thomas and The Magic Railroad,' July 22, 2000 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Online USA)
Mara Wilson was a child actress, playing roles such as Matilda. Credit: Online USA

It’s not your imagination: Child stars really do go bonkers more than regular people, according to Mara Wilson, a former child star herself.

Wilson, who played Matilda and a ton of other roles as a kid, is now out of the business and seems refreshingly well-adjusted — but her happy fate is rare, as she writes for Cracked.

So what makes an Amanda Bynes? A combination of early entitlement, Hollywood sleaze and a lack of opportunities to rebel. “Having to live up to your fan base is a little like having to deal with a million strict parents who don’t actually love you,” Mara explains, which is so sad it makes me want to bring Amanda Bynes a blankey and read her “Goodnight Moon.”

That’s why child star breakdowns typically happen later than the Mike’s Hard Lemonade phase most of us went through at 15 or so. “When everyone else their age was getting detention for flipping off teachers or getting grounded for breaking curfew, Disney and Viacom and Fox were doing everything they could to ensure that their adorable little props weren’t causing trouble and costing them millions of dollars,” Mara says.

The cost of child stardom has been in the news since Amanda Bynes’ arrest last week for smoking marijuana. Police arrived at Bynes’ midtown apartment building after her doorman called them to report that she had been smoking pot in the lobby, according to News 4 New York.

When cops arrived at the troubled star’s 36th floor apartment, they allegedly found it reeking of marijuana and full of drug paraphernalia. Like the criminal mastermind that she is, Bynes threw her bong out the window, so whoever caught a flying bong that dropped from the heavens in midtown Manhattan last week, the police would like a word.


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