After getting into the business as a child star in the 1990s, 31-year-old actor Jonathan Lipnicki has opened up on why he’s not seen so much in Hollywood movies these days. Appearing alongside Tom Cruise, Lipnicki made his feature film debut with a key role in the 1996 sports dramedy Jerry Maguire. He can also be remembered for his starring roles in The Little Vampire and the Stuart Little movies.
In a new interview with /Film, Lipnicki spoke about what he’s up to these days. He has been working pretty steadily both on stage and in various indie productions. Saying how much he has a natural love of performing, Lipnicki pointed out how he’s not one of those child stars who was pressured into acting, always insistent on getting more roles with the full support of his parents.
“It’s interesting because my first movie actually was Jerry McGuire. And when I got onto set and I really had those days… It’s interesting. As you get older you don’t really remember as much. But I do remember a feeling of really loving it and not really knowing what that feeling was. Just loving every day, feeling fulfilled doing it. I went from reading Go, Dog. Go! to scripts. It just was ingrained in me. And it was always my choice. My parents, after every project, would ask me if I wanted to continue doing it. And the answer was always yes.”
Jonathan Lipnicki Says His Acting Skills Diminished
If Lipnicki loves to perform, what happened with his acting career? It might be presumed that he had simply chosen to step back from Hollywood to focus on school. As Lipnicki explains, that is often the narrative that is taken with former child stars who fade away from the national spotlight once they get older.
“It went from just being this thing that I loved doing probably to actually thinking of the craft and whatnot kind of early on. Maybe 10? The first few things I did, I really started to become a fan of other people’s work and really try to dive into it. The biggest transition for me was… I didn’t work for a long time. And people always frame that as, “Oh, I went to high school,” and whatnot. And that’s the story that people tell sometimes when they don’t work. Or if they’re a child actor or whatever, they took time off.”
Lipnicki then takes the blame for the movie offers drying up, stating that he started to lose focus of what makes an actor great as he grew up.
“I did take time off, in the sense that it wasn’t the only priority I had. But I didn’t work because I just didn’t work. I didn’t really get any roles for a while. And I’m honest about that. And it was because wasn’t a very good actor at one point. Because the great thing about being young, a kid, is there’s this nice inherent childlike wonder. And that’s why a lot of kids you see are quite talented. And filters come in and you become nervous, or … The world comes into play. And so for me, I went from just doing the natural thing, to trying to be like my favorite actors.”
The actor says being known as a former child star can be both beneficial and a hindrance at time when it comes to finding new work, but he’s grateful for everything that’s come his way. Lipnicki says he’s always auditioning for different projects and isn’t quite sure what’s coming next, but concludes by saying.
“Good material is good material. I love exploring different things. I love challenging myself. But at the end of the day, I just ****ing love acting, man.”