"Mrs.Doubtfire"Mara Wilson is no stranger to the spotlight.
Now 25, the actress starred as the youngest daughter in "Mrs. Doubtfire" at age six, followed by the title role in "Matilda" and a stint on "Melrose Place," as well as other TV shows.
In light of former Nickelodeon star Amanda Bynes' recent public meltdown and Lindsay Lohan's current stint in rehab, Wilson wrote a post for cracked.com titled " 7 Reasons Child Stars Go Crazy (An Insider's Perspective)."
In the post, she humorously lists seven key reasons "not many child stars make it out of Hollywood alive or sane."
Here are are Wilson's main points:
7. Their Parents Won't Help Them ...
"When one of my preteen co-stars didn't seem that into acting, I asked him why he even bothered doing it. "For the money," he said. I hadn't considered that. My own money was an abstract concept: locked in a bank somewhere, to be used only after I turned 18. I was just acting because I liked it. But this kid was supporting his family."
6. ... or Their Parents Can't Help Them
" When Miley Cyrus went through a series of scandals in 2010, one involving the scarier-than-pot-but-somehow-more-legal salvia, Billy Ray Cyrus went on record saying that he had very little control over his daughter anymore . Her Disney entourage had long since taken over. Even if he wasn't telling the complete truth about his role in his daughter's scandals, it was clear that he, the parent, was not in control."
5. They Get Used to Love and Attention, and Then Lose It
"Adults know that infatuation is fleeting, but kids don't understand this. A year in a kid's life seems like an eternity, and they think anything happening now will happen forever. Years of adulation and money and things quickly become normal, and then, just as they get used to it all, they hit puberty -- which is a serious job hazard when your job is being cute."
4. They Have Been Sexually Exploited
"To be a teen idol is to be vulnerable. Brooke Shields has said that being a sex object led her to feel like she wasn't in control of her own body, and is one of the reasons she didn't have sex until she was 22 . Natalie Portman has said similar things."
3. They Need to Rebel, But Can't
"Probably one of the reasons I was never big into partying as a teen was because I was scared of the public finding out. 'Friends' of mine would sometimes post things I'd said or pictures I was in on public websites, which caused rifts and some serious trust issues. Even now, I will duck out of the way at parties when someone brings out a camera -- even though I'm well over 21, I haven't been a recognizable name in years, and my parties tend to be less "coke orgy," more "board game bonanza."
2. They Don't Know What Else to Do
"If I were to talk to Lindsay Lohan, I'd encourage her to get the hell out of acting and into something soothing. Take up botany or something. But she wouldn't be likely to listen to me -- and not only because I'm younger and way less hot than her. It's because she's been acting all her life, she has little education, and in her mind, there's nothing else she could do. She's likely to keep doing it even if she's making herself -- and maybe also the people she works with -- miserable."
1. They Can't Escape It
"I still get recognized. It's flattering, but it can be uncomfortable. Maybe because it only seems to happen when I'm looking and feeling crappy , and while I'm glad what I did meant something to someone, I can't take much pride in my childhood acting. It feels like it happened in another lifetime, and even then, it felt like a hobby. People making a big deal out of me just embarrasses me."
... "Child stars who are best off as adults usually do one or two projects, then get the hell out of Hollywood, at least for the next few years. They go to Harvard or Yale (or my alma mater, NYU, which has been called "Where Child Stars Come to Die") and learn to do something besides act. That's my suggestion for kids who want to act, by the way: Make sure it's really your choice, get out of it when it stops being fun, and get an education."
Today, 25-year-old Wilson is a self-described "normal-looking woman living in a two-bedroom apartment in one of the less cool neighborhoods of New York. I write stuff and tell stories, but I'm not a celebrity and wouldn't want to be one. I'm much more 'reformed drama nerd' than 'former child star,' and I like it that way."
To read Wilson's post in its entirety, visit cracked.com >
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