‘Showbiz Kids’ Trailer Illuminates the Dark Side of Growing Up as a Child Actor (Video)

Film features Mara Wilson, Evan Rachel Wood, the late Cameron Boyce and more

HBO has released the trailer for its upcoming film “Showbiz Kids” that chronicles the hard truths about growing up in the entertainment industry.

Out July 14 on HBO, the film is described as offering “an unvarnished look at the high risk, high reward business of working as a child actor in the entertainment industry. The film chronicles the personal and professional price of fame and failure on a child. Those who know the industry best, including several successful child actors and two aspiring hopefuls, unpack their own complicated experiences as they reconcile the hardships they’ve faced and sacrifices they’ve made on their way to finding success in show business.”

“Showbiz Kids” will also stream on HBO GO, HBO NOW, HBO Max and other partner platforms.

The film is directed by former child actor Alex Winter (“Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” “Panama Papers”), having grown up as a child actor on Broadway from the age of 10.

“This is a story I’ve been wanting to tell for many years,” said Winter. “Having grown up in the business I’ve never seen the experiences of a child actor, from their early career through to the transition into adulthood, told from the perspective of those involved. I’m honored that these talented actors trusted me with their very personal stories.”

Former child stars that are featured in the film include Mara Wilson, who first appeared in “Mrs. Doubtfire” at the age of 6 and later starred in “Matilda” opposite Danny DeVito; Evan Rachel Wood, who starred in “Thirteen” at the age of 14; the late Cameron Boyce, star of Disney TV’s “Jessie” at age 12; Henry Thomas, who starred in “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” at age 11; Todd Bridges, who appeared on the TV show “Diff’rent Strokes” starting at age 13; Milla Jovovich, who first appeared in “The Night Train To Kathmandu” at age 13; Jada Pinkett Smith, who starred in “A Different World” and is also a mother to child actors Willow and Jaden Smith; Wil Wheaton, who starred in “Stand by Me” at age 14, and the late Diana Serra Cary (“Baby Peggy”), who started out as a silent film star at the age of 2 in 1920.

The film also features two aspiring young child actors: Demi Singleton, a teenager looking to star on Broadway, and Marc Slater, a boy from Florida who moved to Los Angeles with his mother for pilot season.

“Showbiz Kids” will also feature film footage, behind the scenes clips and rare audition tapes to give a glimpse into what life looks like on and off set for child actors — from complicated relationships with their parents to the disturbing patterns of abuse and exploitation that lurk within the entertainment industry.

Alex Winter writes and directs the film, which is a Ringer Films Production, and produces with Glen Zipper. Co-producers are Sean Fennessey, Noah Malale, and Devorah Devries. Bill Simmons executive produces. Jeff Tweedy, Spencer Tweedy, and Sammy Tweedy are behind the music. For HBO, Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller executive produce.

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