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HBO's new documentary explores the dark side of child stars

Alex Winter, the director of HBO's new documentary "Showbiz Kids" was once a child star himself. He spent many years as an actor on Broadway productions such as The Lion King and Peter Pan. But Winter achieved international success in the 1989 film "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" alongside Keanu Reeves. Check out the trailer to HBO's new show.

  • While the industry surrounding child stars is known to be controversial, Winter focuses on adult actors who started their acting career's as kids as well as kids who want to make their way into the business today.
  • Showbiz Kids premiered this Tuesday, July 14th on HBO.

In the documentary the actors' mixed feelings on their younger years were clear: the acting business definitely took a toll on their lives as kids.

"I gave up my childhood for this industry, and it wasn't my choice," says Wil Wheaton, who adds, "I don't know a seven-year old who's like, 'What I want to do is go to work'". Wheaton also spoke about his Stand by me co-star River Phoenix, who died of an overdose at age 23. He said he was angry at the people around Phoenix for not helping him.

"Stand by me" cast: Will Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and Jerry O'Connell

The documentary also includes interview to Westworld actress Evan Rachel Wood who said she "was bred to do this". Milla Jovovich revealed she was harassed as a young girl. And the list goes on. "No one ever asked me how I was doing," added Wood

These interviews are intercut with those of aspiring young talents. Perhaps the adult actors who were once child stars might feel the urge to warn the new generations.

Estefanía Martínez

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