The ugly duckling syndrome…

But what did he see in the clear stream below? His own image; no longer a dark, grey bird, ugly and disagreeable to look at, but a graceful and beautiful swan…” 

"Nicholas Hoult" (2009).


Don’t you just  love unexpected surprises? 

You’ve got to hand it to Nicholas Hoult – he got lucky. Not only is he considered to be one of the most beautiful men in Britain at the moment, (second to Pattinson of course), but his career has sky rocketed. Now, in his mid twenties, the world’s his oyster. Who would have thought this could have happened after his claim to fame as the nerdy, outcast kid in “About a boy” (2002), with Hugh Grant…? 

"Nicholas Hoult", (2002).


"Nicholas Hoult", (2008).


It’s amazing what six years can do for you…
What’s incredibly ironic about all of this, (especially after writing about the importance to recognise ‘inner beauty’ in my most recent post), is that there is such a huge dependency on these child actors to blossom into ethereal success stories – will they make it when they reach eighteen or won’t they? That is the question…
Let’s look at the recent winner of the BAFTA ‘Rising Star’ award for a moment…

"Kristen Stewart" - Panic room premiere, (2002).



"Kristen Stewart" (2009).


From a plain, young girl to an image of vampiric desire, Kristen is a huge success. Winning award after award it’s safe to say she’s made it for life. However, is it just because she’s recently become such a stunner or is she just an outstandingly, overwhelmingly terrific actress…?
What bogus…
However, this next actor is one to really look out for…

"Matthew Lewis" playing the character Neville Longbottom, (2001).


"Matthew Lewis", (2010).


Little Matty Lewis – what a hot piece…
Seriously, who can’t wait to see this guy act as a gangster in a Scorsese film or as the next James Bond? Best wishes for your future career, Neville!
Now, get ready for the ugly truth. It’s not always a bed of roses for these young talents…
There are so many instances with these young success stories ending disastrously and it’s such a shame. The amount of pressure and ‘image’ related focus on them to perform while they attempt to make something of themselves is revolting and I, for one, hate it.
Take a look at Macaulay Culkin…

"Macaulay Culkin", (1990).


"Macaulay Culkin", (2010).


 How unfortunate… 

It seems that this once bright, young child actor has plummeted, having zero career these days. Apparently, all he has is a massive police record. From a superficial marketing perspective there’s not much charm or generic beauty there – nothing that would really sell, (sad but true).

"Jonathan Brandis" playing the role of Bastian in "The never-ending story II", (1990).


"Jonathan Brandis" (1995).


As a kid, I adored the “Never-ending story II” movie, starring  Jonathan Brandis. Recently, I thought to myself, this kid is such a great actor where the hell is he these days? He should be starring in A-list films and schmoozing with all the A-list celebrities. 

Later I discovered that he had hung himself in his apartment on November 12, 2003, dying at the age of twenty-seven. One of his friends made a statement to the police: 

“…he was lonely and depressed about his career, which had slowly declined in recent years. He drank heavily, and had even mentioned that he might commit suicide. He was also said to be upset when his appearance in “Hart’s War”, a role he hoped would be his comeback, was cut from the film…”  

One feels an immense pity for these child actors yet, at the same time, a huge amount of disdain. How fortunate they are to have such a wide variety of opportunities at their feet but how unlucky they are to have such an astounding amount of pressure on them at such a young age…
It’s all an incredibly delicate balancing act for them and I think what makes them really successful is if they survive this crazy period in their lives without too much shame…
– C  
To be born in a duck’s nest, in a farmyard, is of no consequence to a bird, if it is hatched from a swan’s egg. He now felt glad at having suffered sorrow and trouble, because it enabled him to enjoy so much better all the pleasure and happiness around him; for the great swans swam round the new-comer, and stroked his neck with their beaks, as a welcome…”


Filed under Daily opinions, Film

2 responses to “The ugly duckling syndrome…

  1. Shane

    It’s amazing how different their paths led them, at first they looked so promising and their talent/potential unlimited. But the fall is pretty hard at times or just a fading memory but others continue on to succeed even greater. It’s impossible to know the exact circumstances but it makes you question the destructiveness of fame at a young age. Obviously it doesn’t always turn out so bad though.

  2. Pingback: 2010 in review… | collective rambling…

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