19 child actors who murdered it in their first film

Give her all the prizes!


Quvenzhané Wallis as Hushpuppy in Beasts of the Southern Wild

Jess Pinkham / Fox Searchlight / Courtesy Everett Collection

Wales was only 5 when she auditioned for the role – she actually lied about her age to audition because she was looking for people aged 6 to 9. She ended up getting nominated for an Academy Award for the role and was the youngest nominated for Best Actress in Oscars history. Since the movie, she has been featured in other movies as well Annie en 12 years a slave.


Danny Lloyd as Danny in It shines

Warner Bros.

Lloyd, who was 7 when the film came out and only 4 when he first auditioned, retired for the most part from acting a few years after he appeared in the film, except in projects related to his role in It shines. Kubrick chose him because of his ability to concentrate – but he made sure Lloyd was not traumatized by the experience, and Lloyd said he never knew during the filming that he was in a horror movie.


Roman Griffin Davis as Jojo in Jojo Rabbit

Kimberly French / Fox Searchlight Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

Director Taika Waititi had seen more than 1,000 audition tapes by the time he saw Davis and was soon under the impression. Waititi said Davis – who thought he was auditioning for a film about Peter Rabbit – “is an incredibly sensitive and emotionally connected child who cares deeply for people,” and cites his attitude perfectly for the role. Davis was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his performance.


Brooklynn Prince as Moonee in The Florida Project

A24 / courtesy Everett Collection

Prince had previously been in a direct-to-DVD movie, but this was her first role released in theaters. She won the Critics Choice Movie Award for Best Young Performer for her performance alongside veteran actor Willem Dafoe. She has since appeared in a number of other films and shows and voiced characters in it The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part en The Angry Birds Movie 2.


Anna Chlumsky as Vada in My daughter

Columbia Pictures

Okay, so this is kind of a cheat, because she used to have a role in a movie, but because the role was not even mentioned (she’s called “School Child”), I consider this her first role ! Anna was absolutely heartbreaking in the film, and she carried, in principle, one of the saddest scenes in film history. She has now all grown up and has spent seven years Veep, for which she received six Emmy nominations.


Tom Holland as Lucas in The impossible

Warner Bros. Pictures

Holland was 14 when he started filming for the role. The impossible was his first live-action role after voicing Shō Arrietty. His performance was critically acclaimed, and he went on to a number of other lead roles – most notably, Peter Parker / Spider-Man in the MCU.


Rosario Dawson as Ruby in Bern

Shining Excalibur Films / courtesy Everett Collection

Rosario was discovered by photographer Larry Clark and writer Harmony Korine in their early twenties – she was later cast as Ruby in Clark’s film children, who was in premiere when she was 16. The film was controversial, but helped start Dawson’s career. Today, she continues to star in critically acclaimed films and series, as well The Mandalorian.


Sean Astin as Mikey in The Goonies

Warner Bros.

This was Astin’s first non-made-for-TV movie role. He played as Mikey, the lovely main character, and carries the film easily with charm and resolution. He would appear in a number of other films in the 1980s and 1990s – but his most famous role is probably as the still beloved Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings film rich.


Jerry O’Connell as Vern in Stay with me

Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

O’Connell appeared in commercials and TV shows before being cast as Vern in the critically acclaimed coming-of-age film Stay with me, which was based on Stephen King’s The body. More than 300 boys had auditioned for the four lead roles. Costar Wil Wheaton said the four main actors were cast because they were just like their characters, calling O’Connell “one of the funniest people I’ve ever seen in my life, before or since.” O’Connell would continue to appear in dozens more TV and film projects, including Jerry Maguire en Write 2.


Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie in True Grit

Lorey Sebastian / Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Hailee was 13 when she was cast in the role, for which she was nominated for an Oscar (of which one of the youngest nominees ever). She went on to star in movies and TV shows (most recently in Marvel’s Hawkeye and Apple TVs Dickinson), and since then she has also had a successful music career.


Mara Wilson as Natalie in Mrs. Doubtfire

20th Century Fox

Mara was 5 when she appeared as the youngest child in the comedy, playing the adorable Natalie. This was not only Wilson’s first film role, but it was also her first film audition ever. She would continue to appear in a number of other films – most notably as the beloved child character Matilda in Matilda – before retiring at the age of 13, although she has since returned for roles in Broad city en BoJack Horseman.


Lina Leandersson as Eli in Enter the Right

Magnolia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Leandersson, who was cast after an open audition, had actually dubbed her voice in the film because it was too high for her character – however, as the New York Times indicates, the character did not have much dialogue and was much more defined by their physicality. The New York Times also said, “In a show without sentimentality, they perfectly capture the awful loneliness of a creature that exists beyond time.” Leandersson was nominated for numerous awards for her role, although she has since appeared in only two films: The Arbiter en Broken Hill Blues.


Jared Gilman as Sam in Moonrise Kingdom …

Niko Tavernise / Focus Features / Courtesy Everett Collection

Gilman was nominated for a Young Artist Award in 2013 for Best Leading Young Actor in a Feature Film for his role in the Wes Anderson film. The then-13-year-old held his own with veteran actors Bill Murray, Ed Norton, Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton, and Frances McDormand. He has meanwhile been seen in two short films and six more films, as well Elsa and Fred en It takes three.


… and Kara Hayward as Suzy in Moonrise Kingdom

Focus Features

Hayward was cast in the role at the age of 13 after attending an open call. She did not prepare for the audition, nor did she have any acting experience. However, she still delivered a similar performance and was also nominated for a Young Artist Award (Best Leading Young Actress in a Feature Film). She has since appeared in a number of other films, including Manchester by the Sea.


Peter Ostrum as Charlie in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Ostrum was discovered while performing in a children’s theater in the sixth grade. After attending a few auditions, he was only notified for 10 days that he had received the part and had to move temporarily to Germany. The film was both praised and loved, but Ostrum never appeared on screen again, and instead became a veterinarian.


Harvey Spencer Stephens as Damien in De Omen

20th Century Fox

Stephens was nominated for a Golden Globe for his horrific performance as the child antichrist in the horror film. He was only 5 at the time of his release. He did not appear in any of the sequels to the film, although he did have a cameo in the remake, and only appeared in one other film besides that.


Chose Jacobs as Mike in It: Chapter 1

Brooke Palmer / Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Chosen had appeared in a few short films and a Hot Wheels commercial before being cast in It at the age of 14 (he would film at the age of 15). The film received critical acclaim, with RogerEbert.com reviewer Christy Lemire calling the “kid-bonding” parts of the film the strongest, saying each character was “differently drawn, each with a fleshy background that explains why.” their fears make them so vulnerable to Pennywise’s attacks. ” Jacobs has since appeared in the It sequels and shows like Hawaii Five-0 en Castle Rock.


Heather O’Rourke as Carol Anne in Poltergeist

MGM / UA Entertainment Co.

O’Rourke’s performance in the three Poltergeist films were praised – she was nominated for numerous Young Artist Awards for her work both on the films and in the abundance of TV series in which she appeared (in particular, Happy day en Webster). The rising star sadly died at the age of 12 after going into septic shock.


And lastly, Ayush Mahesh Khedekar as Young Jamal in Slumdog Millionaire

Fox Searchlight / Courtesy Everett Collection

This was the first film for many of the children in the cast, but Khedekar felt most like the breakout star in his portrait of the youngest version of the main character, Jamal. In addition to winning a Screen Actor’s Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by Cast in a Motion Picture along with the rest of the cast, Ayush was also nominated individually for the 2008 British Independent Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer. He took a long break from acting, but came back in recent years, and he is set to appear in the upcoming film Gandhi of the Moon.

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