Jonathan Lipnicki has revealed why he vanished from screens after reaching child stardom in the 1990s and early 2000s.
With roles in films like Jerry Maguire, Stuart Little, and Like Mike, the now 31-year-old actor became one of the most beloved child actors of his generation.
However, while he appeared in some short films and direct-to-DVD projects in his 20s, his career never returned to the same highs of his early years. Speaking in a recent interview with /Film, Lipnicki explained what happened.
“The biggest transition for me was… I didn’t work for a long time,” Lipnicki said. “And people always frame that as, ‘Oh, I went to high school,’ and whatnot. And that’s the story that people tell sometimes when they don’t work. Or if they’re a child actor or whatever, they took time off.”
Continuing, he said: “I did take time off, in the sense that it wasn’t the only priority I had. But I didn’t work because I just didn’t work. I didn’t really get any roles for a while.
“I’m honest about that. And it was because [I] wasn’t a very good actor at one point,” he admitted.
“Because the great thing about being young, a kid, is there’s this nice inherent childlike wonder. And that’s why a lot of kids you see are quite talented,” he added. “And filters come in and you become nervous… or the world comes into play. And so for me, I went from just doing the natural thing to trying to be like my favourite actors.”
Lipnicki eventually enrolled in acting classes after high school and became serious about studying the craft. He then started doing theatre to renew his love for acting.
“I just really want to do [something] fun,” he said. “Good material is good material. I love exploring different things. I love challenging myself. But at the end of the day, I just f***ing love acting, man.”