The origins of the film is that I’m married to one of these early “child stars”. I felt at times that Rex could be a bit of a diva, and it occured to me that perhaps it had something to do with his background as child actor. When I started asking him about his experiences, it became pretty clear that he had been more affected by them than he himself perhaps was aware of.
The reason why I wanted to make this movie is also related to asking myself why we are so obsessed with being seen and acknowledged. Why are we so frantically busy “building our external facades and own personal brands” by means of such things as creating a a presence in social media, having cusom designed home and a successfull careers etc. This is the external confirmation that we so desperately seek and that these child actors have had way too much of.
In my younger days, I very briefly worked as a model and people saw me as pretty. I remember that I became suspicious of those that I felt only noticed me for my looks. Since I have a background as an actress, it was natural for me to want to approach the questions about what it’s like to become famous for a movie or TV role early on in life.
I also think that the fact that Rex participates in the film and that we both have worked as actors made it easier for the people we’ve interviewed to share their experiences. We have some understanding and experience of what they have been through.
This film, Young & Famous, is perhaps also a call for vindication for these actors who, because of a role early on in life were put in service of the film and television industry, a role which they neither asked for nor have been paid for.
Michaela Brådhe Hennig