March 15, 2010

Child Stars: Why Taylor Momsen Could Be The Next Corey Haim

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Taylor Momsen was one of the most adorable children ever when she was in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Playing a cute little Who she won over audiences the same way Cindy Lou Who won over the Grinch.

Momsen started acting at age six, and continued fairly regularly, resulting in getting one unbelievable audition — Hannah Montana. The beautiful blonde could have really had the part, but a relatively unknown, Destiny Hope Cyrus (nickame: Miley, ever heard of her?) nailed the audition resulting in her major role along with her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, finally returning to stardom.

Like all Disney stars, Cyrus was governed under strict Disney morality rules. Despite her attempts to differentiate herself from her squeaky clean character, Miley has done a fairly good job with her Disney role. She smiles when she’s supposed to and she makes millions and millions of dollars for herself and the Mouse House.

For the record, Momsen told Teen Vogue: “I guess I am relieved. If I had gotten the part, it would be a very different show. It wouldn’t have worked for me.”

Momsen says a lot of outspoken things like that. She speaks of being above schooling, her penchant for older men, and an overwhelmingly angst-y feeling that she intends to keep with her forever. Like her Gossip Girl character, Jenny Humphrey, Momsen is out of control. The teen has been showing off her “other side” (read: wild) in her musical performances with her band The Pretty Reckless. It is here that she can show off her wild side in dress, attitude and performance. At her young age it is pretty alarming, and yet people just seem to harp on how she is cultivating this dark image and not what that dark image really means.

With the recent death of childhood star Corey Haim, it is fresh in all of our minds how fragile life is for childhood stars. They seem to be constantly tempted into a world of sex, drugs (and rock ‘n’ roll?). Child actors work with older people and it seems that eventually they start being treated like they are much older than they actually are. Too often childhood stars get wrapped up in the so-called glamorous life of Hollywood danger that their careers, and unfortunately sometimes, their life, end.

Of course not every childhood star slips into this drug-riddled or dangerous obscurity. Some, like Drew Barrymore, overcome temptation and transition into successful adulthood. Some, like Dustin Diamond of Saved By the Bell do anything they can to hold onto their fading star. Some, like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, dabble in scandal but ultimately hold their heads high and find other passions, in their case business and fashion. But some, like Corey Haim and Brad Renfro, cannot overcome their demons and die far too young of all too preventable causes.

And then there are some that teeter on the edge of darkness after childhood like Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears. And some, like Momsen, who have to eventually choose a path — darkness or light.

Despite Momsen’s pleas with life to grow up faster than possible, she is still a child at 16. Although she swears her angst-y phase is an angst-y lifestyle, perhaps she will outgrow the need to rebel against all things. She does not need to be some Disney princess pop star like Disney would like Hannah Montana to be, but she also does not need to be the scandalously dressed, eye makeup heavy, alternative rockstar who gives no thought to authority, that she wants to be. Moderation Little J, moderation. You’re still young enough to make a smart choice. You can be edgy but safe (hello, Johnny Depp!). It exists, I promise.

Original Author: Cara Sprunk