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14 April 2014 @ 06:54 pm
The 22nd Annual MTV Movie Awards
Held April 14, 2014, at Nokia Theatre, Los Angeles. Hosted by Conan O'Brien.

Like most award shows, the MTV Movie Awards have gotten bigger over the years. Four years ago, in 2010, only two young actresses attended, but that number has grown since then. Starting in 2013, the show has been held in April, right after the Kids Choice Awards, rather than July.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire vs. Divergent seemed to be the theme at this year's awards. Shailene Woodley, 21, lost to Jennifer Lawrence for Best Female Performance, but she beat her to win Favorite Character. She and costar Ansel Elgort also presented new footage from their upcoming film The Fault in Our Stars.

Victoria Justice, 21, with her boyfriend Pierson Fode

Debby Ryan, 20

From Disney Channel's Shake It Up: Zendaya Coleman, 17, and Bella Thorne, 16

From MTV's Awkward: Molly Tarlov, 21, Greer Grammer, 22, and Jillian Rose Reed, 22

Previous posts on the MTV Movie Awards: 2011 and 2010.
12 April 2014 @ 09:31 pm
In the space of just one year, Amanda Bynes has gone from madly throwing a bong out of 36th floor apartment window to becoming an upstanding fashion college student. The former child star, who will be celebrated her 28th birthday last week after a three month stint in rehab for both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, has a lot to be proud of. Let's take a look at her chaotic 12-month journey to rehab.

At the start of 2013, Amanda's Twitter account became the one to follow -- for all the wrong reasons. After asking recording artist Drake to "murder my vagina" and the posting of topless photos, fans began to worry that she was headed in a bad direction. Then in May 2013, Amanda was arrested after she allegedly threw a bong out the window of her 36th floor New York apartment. Police were called to reports an "erratic woman" was smoking marijuana in the lobby of her West 47th Street building. By the time the police arrived, Amanda had run upstairs to her apartment after throwing the bong out the window, where it smashed onto the pavement.

Soon after that, the 27-year-old Hairspray star appeared in court in a disheveled, oversized blond wig and claimed that she didn't do anything wrong. The case was later dropped, as long as Amanda continued going to therapy and living with her parents for six months. But just three months later, in July, she started a fire in an elderly woman's driveway in California, after vanishing from New York. It still isn't clear how the actress traveled across the country. She was arrested shortly afterwards, having rushed into a store in Thousand Oaks carrying her pet dog drenched in petrol. She washed her puppy before being arrested.

After appearing in court in another wig, the Easy A actress was forcibly placed in rehab for her own safety. She completed nearly six months of psychiatric treatment for both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in December. In March, eager to make a fresh start, she enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in California. She also posted her first Twitter message in months, to tell her fans that she loves and appreciates them: "Hi everyone! I'm busy studying at @FIDM but I want to say I love you to my fans! Xoxo, Amanda." Since then, she's regularly posted photos of her fashion sketches, so people can see that she is really studying and working.

Last week, during spring break from her classes and to celebrate her birthday, the actress and her family took a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Appearing on public beaches in a neon-yellow bikini, Amanda looked happier and healthier than she has in a long time. Her mother Lynn Bynes and her attorney both recently spoke out against the rumor that Amanda suffers from schizophrenia, as was widely reported. "Amanda has no mental illness whatsoever," Lynn said in a statement to E! News. "She has never been diagnosed as schizophrenic or bipolar." She also says that her daughter never abused alcohol or hard drugs, and that her erratic behavior last year was due to marijuana.

Amanda rose to fame in the late '90s; she was cast on Nickelodeon's All That at age 10, and in 1999, the network gave her her own sketch comedy/variety show, The Amanda Show, which ran for three seasons. After it wrapped, Amanda moved onto the sitcom What I Like About You and several successful films. She announced that she was retiring from acting in 2012.
09 April 2014 @ 09:28 pm
Elle Fanning celebrates her 16th birthday today, April 9. (Today also happens to be the birthday of sister Dakota's Runaways costar Kristen Stewart, who's turning 24.) On April 8, the day before her birthday, Elle attended Marie Claire's Fresh Faces party in West Hollywood, which was held to celebrate the three faces of Marie Claire magazine's May covers: Elle, Kate Mara, and Lupita Nyong’o.

Striking a pose at the Marie Claire party

A reporter at the party asked Elle about her birthday plans: "Sweet sixteen, it's the big one!" she exclaimed. "I went back to school on Monday, so I'll be in school tomorrow, which is kind of exciting too because your friends will bring you cupcakes! But yeah, I had a dinner before because I wanted my sister to be in town, so we had something a couple months ago, but tomorrow I'll probably just eat cake and go out to eat."

Elle, Lupita, and Kate goofing off with their magazine covers

So, will she be getting her driver's license soon? "I don't have my permit," she admitted. "I'm, like, studying and all this stuff, and I'm like, when's the time to learn?"
08 April 2014 @ 06:38 pm
Another of Shirley Temple's contemporaries has passed away. A star before age 10 for the Mickey McGuire shorts, Mickey Rooney's roller-coaster, nine-decade career in show business included vaudeville, silent films, movies, TV, and Broadway. Even when he became as famous for many marriages and regular tumbles off the Hollywood pedestal, he continued working steadily (at the time of his death, he had three films in the works) and never gave up. He passed away on April 6, 2014, in his home in north Los Angeles. He was 93.

Mickey with Shirley Temple (left) and Judy Garland on the MGM lot, 1941

A few of the current and former young actresses who remembered the Hollywood legend on Twitter:

  • Patty Duke: RIP Mickey Rooney. Having spent time in Mickey presence, I am grateful. He led a long and wild ride, bring joy to millions. He will b missed

  • Ariana Grande: very sad... RIP Mickey Rooney. Aaron and I used to pretend to be Mickey & Judy all the time when we were younger. hollywood royalty. we <3 U. "you always pass failure on your way to success" - mickey rooney #ripmickey

  • Melissa Joan Hart: Goodbye to Mickey Rooney!! Another star has joined the heavens. #RIP

  • Sarah Hyland: Heartbroken over Mickey Rooney's passing. An amazing talent that truly made the best of it all. I'll always love you

  • Alyssa Milano: Oh no! I loved this actor so much. Rest in peace.

  • Chloe Moretz: so sad to hear we've lost a legend like Mickey Rooney. Rest In Peace.

  • Martha Plimpton: RIP Mickey Rooney. To this day The Black Stallion remains my favorite performance of his. Coulda done w/out Breakfast at Tiffany's. Love.

  • Mara Wilson: I met Mickey Rooney a few times. He was a very nice man, and very understanding of the child star nonsense.

05 April 2014 @ 07:52 pm
The 27th Annual Kids Choice Awards
Held March 29, 2014, at the Galen Center, Los Angeles

Rowan Blanchard, 12, will star in Disney Channel's upcoming Girl Meets World, set to premiere later this year. The show, a sequel to '90s sitcom Boy Meets World, will costar former young actress Danielle Fishel as Rowan's mom.

Hunger Games actress Willow Shields, 13, attended to support The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which won Favorite Movie.

Ryan Newman, 15, attended the show as an orange-carpet correspondent this year. Since her Nickelodeon show Zeke & Luther ended its run in 2011, Ryan has moved onto Nick at Nite's See Dad Run. She tweeted the morning of the show: “TODAY IS THE DAY! #KidsChoiceAwards have finally arrived!!!! On my way to the orange carpet for morning rehearsal :) #KCA2014.”

Madison Pettis, 15, tweeted the day before the awards show: “Can’t wait to go to the @Nickelodeontv #KidsChoiceAwards today! Great host, great music, & slime!” Her latest project, the short film Sticks and Stones, costarred 2012's Morgan Lily, 13.

Sammi Hanratty, 18, stars as the teen mom of an abducted baby in her TV movie Zoe Gone, which premiered in March. Her next film, the comedy Moms Night Out, is due in theaters on May 9.

Ariana Grande, 20, won Favorite TV Actress for her Nickelodeon show Sam & Cat (a spinoff of Miranda Cosgrove's iCarly). Her costar Jennette McCurdy, 21, declined to attend the awards show this year, saying on Twitter the next day: "I wish I could explain everything as thoroughly as I would like to, but unfortunately a simpler explanation is all I can write. I was put in an uncomfortable, compromising, unfair situation (many of you have guessed what it is) and I had to look out for me." Ariana tweeted a few days later: "I hate addressing rumors and I hate gossip but this is really bothering me. Jennette and I agreed upfront that we would be treated equally on this show in all regards (as we should be, considering we each work just as hard as the other on this show). The rumors circulating about our contracts and our salary not being equal are absolutely ridiculous and false."

Selena Gomez, 21, won Favorite Female Singer. She won this award previously in 2012; she's also a five-time winner of Favorite TV Actress (2009-2013) for Disney Channel's Wizards of Waverly Place, which wrapped in 2012.

The young actresses of Disney Channel's Good Luck, Charlie: Mia Talerico, 5 (who attended hand-in-hand with her TV mom, Leigh-Allyn Baker), and Jaylen Barron, 16. Good Luck Charlie recently made headlines when a January episode featured Disney's first gay couple; Taylor, a new friend of Mia's Charlie, had two moms.

The young actresses of Disney Channel's Dog With a Blog: Francesca Capaldi, 9, and G Hannelius, 15.

The three young actresses of Disney's Jessie: Skai Jackson, 11, and Peyton List, 15, play sisters on the show, and Debby Ryan, 20, plays their nanny. Debby was nominated for Favorite TV Actress, but she lost to Ariana Grande.

Previous posts on the Kids Choice Awards: 2011, 2010, and 2009.
28 March 2014 @ 09:47 pm
Film: Soul Surfer (2011). Young Actress: AnnaSophia Robb.

I wanted to like Soul Surfer; honestly, I did. It was AnnaSophia's first wide-release film since Race to Witch Mountain in 2009, and movies based on inspirational true stories (in this case, a Hawaiian teen who continues surfing after losing her arm in a shark attack) generally do well. But my excitement was completely doused by this bland, wet-blanket of a movie. You remember how annoyingly perfect AnnaSophia's character was back in Bridge to Terabithia? Well, the girl she plays here is ten times worse.

After losing her entire left arm in shark attack, Bethany (AnnaSophia) learns how to live with only one arm, continues surfing, reassures her worried parents, forgives a bullying rival surfer, and in the final scene, tells a reporter, “I've had a chance to embrace more people with one arm than I ever could with two.” Far from being the least bit real or relatable, Bethany is more like a Mother Teresa in the making. If you think I'm exaggerating, consider that practically every other character in the movie gets a scene to talk about how wonderful Bethany is. The emergency-room doctor proclaims to her parents, “She is a living miracle!” Later, a trip to Thailand to help Tsunami victims with her church youth group ends with an entire crowd chanting her name.

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A pre-accident, ever-upbeat Bethany celebrates a surfing win with her best friend Alana (Lorraine Nicholson)

A word about the church group – I know that some people are turned off by religious elements in a movie. It didn't bother me at all, but considering Bethany's oh-so perfect depiction, I did keep waiting for all the churchgoers to forget about Jesus and start worshipping her instead. Carrie Underwood costars as the leader of her youth group and proves that she should stick to singing. Her so-called “acting” was among the most wooden I've ever seen. As for the rest of the adult stars, Bethany's mom is badly-acted by former child actress Helen Hunt, and her dad, as badly-written as everyone else, is played by Dennis Quaid (The Parent Trap), who seems to spend most of his time wondering why he agreed to do this movie. He looks especially confused during a bizarre scene in which the shark that ripped off Bethany's arm is killed. In his defense, I was confused by that scene, too.
22 March 2014 @ 12:46 pm
Emma Watson has a 13-year acting career that most stars would be jealous of, but in a recent interview with Elle Magazine, promoting her new film Noah, she confessed that she's envious of adult actresses who don't have "former child star attached" to their names. Now 23, Emma, who grew up playing Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, revealed that she sometimes wishes that she had begun her career as an adult, rather than a child.

"There are all these actresses who have emerged in the last year or two, and they get to emerge as this complete human being. And I'm so jealous!" she told Elle.

The eight-movie Harry Potter franchise spanned a decade from 2001-2011, almost half of Emma's life, and although she's had a successful post-Potter career - starring in well-received films like 2012's The Perks of Being a Wallflower - her most famous role will likely always be Harry's know-it-all, frizzy-haired sidekick Hermione. The notion doesn't sit well with her.

"I remember reading this thing that Elizabeth Taylor wrote. She had her first kiss in character. On a movie set. It really struck me," Watson recalled. "I don't know how or why, but I had this sense that if I wasn't really careful, that could be me. That my first kiss could be in somebody else's clothes. And my experiences could all belong to someone else."

Then and Now:
Emma (left) age 11 at the 2001 premiere of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and (right) age 22 at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards

Growing up in the public eye certainly had its fair share of challenges. It was important to Emma to create a balanced personal life away from her character. So, following her completion of the blockbuster films, the actress got a long-overdue pixie cut and decided to take some time off from Hollywood and go back to school, taking courses on-and-off at Brown and Oxford universities.

"I love having something completely unrelated to the film industry," she told Elle. "I want to find something that will let me use my brain in another way. I like connecting people who aren’t part of that industry. I feel like I have so much more to accomplish as an actress. I'd love to try theater, and that's a whole other thing, and I love to sing. I've read just about every important classic in English history, which has been extremely handy. It's helped me think in an analytical way. It's helped me see the world from new perspectives. Diving into these stories and characters has given richness in my own life. And now, when I read scripts or look at stories, I have these references for a larger understanding of humanity, I'm sure it will make my job as an actress more interesting."
Taylor Swift, 24, made headlines recently for adding a new member to her collection of famous friends, while supposedly getting of an old one. Last weekend, she and 17-year-old New Zealand popstar Lorde were seen enjoying some girl-time together.

Taylor and Lorde striking a pose in New York City and on the beach in Malibu.

A few days later, rumors began to spread online that Taylor had ended her longtime friendship with 21-year-old Disney Channel darling Selena Gomez, allegedly because Selena got back together with her boyfriend Justin Bieber after his DUI arrest.

Taylor and Selena pose outside Taylor's Rhode Island beach house, summer 2013.
Taylor posted this photo to her Twitter page, with a caption calling Selena "the closest thing I've ever had to a sister."

Taylor and Selena attended several events and award shows together over the years. Here they are chatting up at the 2013 VMAs.

But Selena was hardly Taylor's only famous BFF. In late 2012, she struck up a friendship with Oscar-nominated young actress Hailee Steinfeld.

Hailee, then 16, and Taylor, then 23, vacationing together in Paris, January 2013.
Later that year, they spent the Memorial Day weekend at Taylor's Rhode Island beach house.

At the premiere of Hailee's movie Romeo and Juliet, October 2013, and trimming trees, Christmas 2013

Hailee later said about Taylor: "She's like a big sister to me. She's the best listener. I feel like I can call or text her wherever she is in the world and she'll always be there." In a separate interview, Hailee said, "Whether I'm a bit of an old soul or not, I am who I am, and that doesn't change, whether I'm with adults or with my friends. When I'm in this adult world, I get to play dress-up and be a big girl and meet older people."
Does this make Taylor a young soul?
07 March 2014 @ 09:34 pm
Film: The Conjuring (2013). Young Actresses: Shanley Caswell, Kyla Deaver, Mackenzie Foy, Sterling Jerins, Joey King, & Hayley McFarland.

No less than six young actresses star in this above-average horror movie; Shanley, Hayley, Joey, Mackenzie, and Kyla play the five daughters of a family who move into a haunted house, and Sterling (real-life sister to Ruby Jerins, Remember Me) plays the daughter of a husband-and-wife team of paranormal investigators who are called in to help. Of course, with so many young actresses in one film, some are going to have more memorable roles than others. The two with the most individual screentime are probably Sterling and Kyla. The youngest of the five sisters, April (Kyla) gets fed up with her big sisters telling her that she's too little play with them, and as kids in horror movies so often do (Paranormal Activity 3, for example), she makes an imaginary friend. But refreshingly, this imaginary friend isn't an evil spirit in disguise; it's actually the harmless ghost of a little boy who was killed in the 1930's, by the same spirit still haunting the house. When April gets scared, he shows her where to hide.

Kyla's character is too young to know to be scared, but Joey gives an impressively terrified performance, while Mackenzie, in eery sleepwalking and possession scenes, shows off that blank facial expression that she probably learned from her adult costars in Twilight. Unlike so many adults in haunted-house movies (Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, for example), the parents in this one aren't too stupid to live; they immediately enlist help. The paranormal team (Patrick Wilson, Little Children & Vera Farmiga, Orphan) are refreshing in their practical approach to exorcising the house. My only complaint would probably be the anticlimatic ending.

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The five Perron sisters pose for a photo with their parents
03 March 2014 @ 09:13 pm
I've scoured coverage of the Oscars, and it looks like no current child actresses attended the show this year (sad sigh). But there were a few former child actresses there, like Jessica Biel and Emma Watson.

Emma Watson, 23

And several starlets went to Vanity Fair's Oscar party...

Saoirse Ronan, 19

Emma Roberts, 23

Selena Gomez, 21

At the party, Selena hung out with her Spring Breakers costar Vanessa Hudgens, 25, and tweeted this adorable photo of them together, with the caption "@vanessahudgens my only, official party buddy for life ;)"

Previous posts about the Academy Awards: 2011.