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5 Feelgood Stories Of Kids In The Entertainment Industry

It's not all bad news.

By Kristy AndersonPublished 18 days ago Updated 17 days ago 7 min read
Top Story - March 2024
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Jack Black reunites with his 'School of Rock' Co-stars.

Viewers everywhere are still reeling from the horrifying revelations in the recent documentary Quiet On Set: The Dark Side of Kids' TV. The depth of Producer Dan Schneider's inappropriate behaviour around the sets of his Nickelodeon TV shows is apalling, even more so the series of missed warnings and adult failures that led to then-child star Drake Bell's sexual abuse at the hands of his acting coach, Brian Peck.

For many fans, the revelations have understandably ruined the previous fun nostalgia they held for the live-action Nickelodeon TV shows and films produced during that period, and fear that more revelations will come along to ruin other childhood memories. However, as much trouble as there is in the TV and film industry, the bad stories do not need to erase the good ones.

Here are a few heartwarming, feelgood stories of kids in the entertainment industry, to restore a little faith in humanity.

1. A young Kurt Russell gave Charles Bronson his first Birthday gift

As he is now 73 years old and a veteran of the business, many younger viewers would be unaware of the fact that Kurt Russell began his career as a child actor, with one of his first roles, at age 12, being the lead in TV Western The Travels of Jamie McPheeters. In the second half of the series run, Charles Bronson, who had not yet cracked the big screen but was already developing a reputation for playing tough characters, joined the cast as wagon master Linc Murdoc.

During filming, Russell learned that Bronson's Birthday was approaching, and when the day in question arrived, the boy arrived on set with a gift for his co-star. According to Russell in a recent interview, Bronson initially walked away upon receiving the gift, and he was left feeling as though he had done something wrong. However, Bronson soon summoned Russell to apologise and thank him for the gift, explaining that he had simply been taken by surprise, as growing up as one of 14 in a poor family, he had never received a Birthday Present before.

Bronson later gifted Russell a new skateboard for his own Birthday, and argued for his right to use it when the studio attempted to ban the young actor from skating around the lot.

2. During production of 'Matilda', Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman cared for Mara Wilson while her Mother battled Cancer

In the 1996 film Matilda, based on Roald Dahl's classic children's book of the same name, Danny DeVito (who also Directed, co-produced, and narrated the film) and his then-wife Rhea Perlman played Harry and Zinnia Wormwood, the neglectful and mentally abusive parents of the titular character. However, DeVito and Perlman's real life relationship with Mara Wilson, the actress who played Matilda, could not be more different than the one they acted out on screen.

Wilson had already become a minor star for her roles in Mrs. Doubtfire and Miracle on 34th Street, but Matilda became the role for which she is most often recognised, and a role the young actress was eager to play, as both she and her Mother, Suzie, were fans of the book. Sadly, tragedy struck when, during production of Matilda, Suzie was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Breast Cancer. DeVito and Perlman stepped up to care for Mara whenever her Mother was in the hospital, often having her participate in Pool Parties and taking her on trips to the Zoo alongside their own children.

Mara, Rhea, and Danny celebrate the anniversary of 'Matilda'.

Mara's Mother passed away before Matilda was released, however, the sad story has a rather heartwarming postscript. Mara spent the years after Matilda's release feeling disappointed that Suzie never got to see her performance in a role that meant so much to them both. However, during a later meeting with Mara, Danny DeVito revealed that he had secretly visited Suzie in hospital with an early cut of Matilda, so she had in fact seen the film before her death.

Mara Wilson has remained close to DeVito and Perlman, with all three seen together at various Matilda events.

3. Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay were an adorable dynamic duo during the 'Room' Press Tour/Awards Season

Prior to filming the 2015 psychological drama Room, Brie Larson, now best known for her role as Carole Danvers/Captain Marvel in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, spent three weeks meeting and forming a genuine connection with her then seven-year old co-star, Jacob Tremblay. It was critical that the bond between the two seemed clear, as in Room, based on the 2010 novel of the same name, Larson plays Joy Newsome, a young woman who has been held captive by a rapist for seven years, while Tremblay plays Joy's son Jack, born during Joy's captivity and never having known life beyond the Room where the pair are kept. The latter part of the film follows Joy and Jack's struggle to adjust to the real world after their escape.

Room was a hit with critics, who praised the performances of the two lead actors, singling out Larson as an Oscars contender. However, throughout the nearly two years they spent together between filming Room, and the subsequent press tour and awards campaign, Larson always gave equal credit for the film to her young co-star. Tremblay and Larson were regularly seen walking Red Carpets hand in hand, with Larson often lifting Tremblay up to microphones to answer questions. When Larson was announced as the winner for Best Leading Actress at the 2016 Academy Awards, her first move was to hug Tremblay, sitting in the row behind her. Both have described the film, and their time on the awards circuit, as a special experience.

'We were generous and patient with each other. We laughed a lot, especially when it was hard. We picked each other up, answered for the other when one was tired and always kept silliness alive. Thank you Room for bringing us together,'- Brie Larson.

In the years since, both actors have quietly supported each other's subsequent projects, expressing a wish to one day work together again.

4. Jack Black has reunited with his 'School of Rock' co-stars for each of the film's significant anniversaries.

When it was released in 2003, School of Rock, starring Jack Black as Dewey Finn, an aspiring star who unexpectedly finds himself teaching the art of Rock and Roll to a class of Private School students, became an instant hit, earning acclaim from both critics and casual audiences. It is now considered a classic, having spawned both Television and Stage Musical adaptations.

One of the main reasons School of Rock worked so well is the onscreen chemistry between Jack Black and the young cast. Fans will surely be pleased to hear that none of that chemistry is faked. Black kept in contact with his young co-stars after the film wrapped, and Miranda Cosgrove, who played Summer, even credits Black with her decision to continue acting, as he made making School of Rock such a fun experience.

The cast, including Jack Black, reunited for the tenth anniversary of School of Rock in 2013, and again for the fifteenth anniversary in 2017. On both occasions, they played some of the most iconic songs from the film together. Black stated a third reunion was in the works to celebrate the film's twentieth anniversary, but it is unclear whether this meeting has yet occurred.

5. Ke Huy Quan's Fairytale Hollywood Comeback

In 1984, then-twelve year old Ke Huy Quan shot to fame in the role of Short Round, Indy's young sidekick, in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Quan refers to the role as one of the happiest times in his life, and has fond memories of working with his co-star Harrison Ford, and the film's Director, Steven Spielberg.

Quan went on to play roles such as Data in The Goonies, and Jasper Kwong in the TV series Head of the Class. Struggling to find roles once he reached adulthood, Quan stepped away from acting, opting to study film and work behind the scenes as a stunt choreographer and Assistant Director. However, after nearly two decades behind the camera, Quan was inspired to return to acting by the success of the 2018 film Crazy Rich Asians, and soon found himself cast as Waymond Wang in the comedy-drama Everything Everywhere All at Once.

Released in 2022, the film received near universal acclaim. Ke Huy Quan's unbridled joy on the campaign circuit, regularly seeking selfies with other stars, made him the darling of the 2023 awards season, picking up multiple awards for Best Supporting Actor, including the Oscar. The season culminated in a wonderful moment in which Quan reunited with Harrison Ford on stage after his former co-star announced Everything Everywhere All at Once as the winner of the Oscar for Best Picture.

Both Ford and Steven Spielberg have expressed pride at Quan's achievements after witnessing his early career.

Not all child stars fall victim to tragedy. Some find triumph, even if they have to go the long way around to get there.

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About the Creator

Kristy Anderson

Passionate About all things Entertainment!

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Comments (10)

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  • Andrea Corwin 16 days ago

    I love this!! Thanks for doing this. It is so depressing when we hear YET ANOTHER story about an adult taking advantageous of a child. Goons and creeps. Congrats on TS💓

  • ROCK 16 days ago

    Newly subscribed! I appreciate your candid and fun reviews!

  • Nora Davis16 days ago

    I really enjoyed reading this!

  • Cyrus17 days ago

    Congrats!

  • Hey Kristy, if I would say that this story of narration isn't a cool one to me. I would be lying. It's not an easy one for a anyone to be in the industry, when it's very vivid to him that he have an ill relative or other challenges, we may view them acting one of our favorite movies not knowing what is going on at the backyard–actor having this sentence mind; "...they don't need an explanation to my challenges, does anyone cares?". It's not peasy cheasy at all. Your stories, not only this one but other mind-blowing ones is positively heart steering. I enjoyed them.

  • angela hepworth17 days ago

    Thanks for shining a light on the positive and beautiful moments the industry has in the midst of hearing about all this evil a lot of children were put through, we all need a little light heartedness sometimes as well! Congrats on Top Story!

  • Anna 17 days ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳🥳🥳

  • Christy Munson17 days ago

    Congratulations on top story!

  • Ameer Bibi17 days ago

    Congratulations 🎊🎊🎉🎉 for top story . You're making significant strides with your hard work and commitment. Keep up the momentum

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