But are Mum and Dad really any more trustworthy? These are the 10 child stars whose parents were skimming off the top...
Lest you think filmmaking is all sunshine and lollipops, here are 10 reminders that showbusiness is an ugly business, and the family films which you hold dear to your heart were actually the cause of more than a little psychological scarring… ‘The Railway Children’ – The girl’s age was hushed up Casting producers on the 1970 children’s adventure 'The Railway Children’ liked actress Sally Thomsett’s audition for 11-year-old Phyllis so much, they were willing to overlook one fairly significant point – that she was actually 20 years old. Thomsett was three years old than her on-screen big sister, Jenny Agutter, but was treated like a child by crew members, who gave her sweeties for good behaviour. For starters, shooting on the movie very nearly led to tragedy, when Kym Karath, the actress playing Gretl, fell out of a boat and almost drowned – she couldn’t swim and Julie Andrews was unable to fetch her as planned. Andrews was disliked by co-star Christopher Plummer, who likened her presence to “being hit over the head with a big Valentine’s Day card every day”.
It’s something of a trend nowadays to see Hollywood actors appear in adverts, with ‘Home Alone’s’ Macaulay Culkin the latest to jump on board. Yep, the latest big name to advertise alongside anthropomorphised meerkats Alexsandr and Sergei is none other than child star Culkin, who appears in his first (of presumably many) adverts for Compare the Market. Both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Nicole Kidman have recently featured in the company’s previous advertising campaigns, with the latest continuing the playful trend.
It can be tough becoming a famous actor when you’re young. Yes, there’s adulation and money but as these celebs prove, it doesn’t take a lot for it to blow up in your face. (Image credits: Rex_Shutterstock/Department/Kazden/KeystoneUSA-Zuma/ Everett/Moviestore/Munawar Hosain/MB Pictures)
Ever wonder what Home Alone’s Kevin McAllister would be like as a grown-up? The angel-faced protagonist played by Macaulay Culkin, who was nine years old when he filmed the 1990 holiday comedy, was nothing if not resourceful: Accidentally left behind by his family during Christmas vacation, he single-handedly fended off two burglars (the “Wet Bandits” played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) with a series of brutal booby traps. But being abandoned by your parents, then pitted against two violent strangers, has to take a psychological toll. ...
It’s well-documented that Culkin’s relationship with his father,Christopher 'Kit’ Culkin, also a stage actor from a very young age, was not always a happy one. Kit acted as his son’s manager, and from the age of four, the young Macaulay was appearing on stage and in adverts.
To commemorate the silver anniversary, James Hughes, the son of producer of late writer-producer John Hughes, reunited with many of the cast and crew to put together an extensive oral history of the hit film for Chicago Magazine. Here are some of the highlights: Director Christopher Columbus got the job in part because he couldn’t stand Chevy Chase The first — and biggest — revelation comes from Christopher Columbus, who was then coming off a box office bomb with Heartbreak Hotel. He really needed a job, and was thrilled when ‘80s comedy master John Hughes sent him a script for the sequel Christmas Vacation. Columbus loved the screenplay, but was turned off by a series of meetings with star Chevy Chase.
It’s hard to believe that Chris Columbus’ family classic ‘Home Alone’ is 25 years old today, so forgive us for feeling old. 16 November, 1990 saw the film, starring Macaulay Culkin, hit US cinemas, and it’s been a Christmas favourite ever since. Amazingly, John Candy improvised ALL of his lines, including every anecdote and funny line we see in the finished film.
Plot holes can ruin movies for some people, depending on how pedantic you are, and one from Chris Columbus’ 1990 festive classic ‘Home Alone’ has been troubling fans for years. The problem lay with the phone lines at the McCallister home. At the start of the film it’s established that a fallen tree has damaged the house’s phone lines which makes it impossible for the abandoned Kevin - played by Macaulay Culkin - to phone his family in Paris and vice versa. Movie lover phire took to Reddit to defend the so-called ‘Home Alone’ plot hole to say… I always assumed the tree actually severed the main trunk line to the whole town, but local calls within the same exchange still worked.
Much like the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, everyone is related in Hollywood. Well, not everyone, but some people. There are the obvious ones, of course, like Liza Minnelli being the daughter of Judy Garland and director Vincente Minnelli, and the acting dynasties like the Redgraves, the Sheens, the Baldwins, the Bridges and the Fondas. But who else is related to who? (Picture credits: Getty/AP/Rex/Deadline/WENN/Reuters)