Tina Majorino: When Child Stars Go Good


It’s the most important question facing young actors in Hollywood today. How does one avoid becoming a child star cliché?

Well, if you’re actress Tina Majorino, who spent the majority of her youth growing up on screen in a string of high profile films including Corinna, Corrinna, Waterworld and Alice in Wonderland. You avoid a starring role in the E! Network “Child Stars Gone Bad!” Special by taking a break from the business at the tender age of 13. A decision that Majorino credits as the best one of her life.

“Having worked since I was a baby, I was tired and just wanted to be kid,” explained the talented young actress who between 1999 and 2004 retired from acting to return to school, dance and spend time with friends and family. “I wanted that time to get to know myself and make sure that acting was what I really wanted to do. I didn’t want to half ass it and wanted to make sure I was completely committed to my art.”

A risky career move that now seems to be paying big dividends. Now all grown up (25!) Majorino, who this TV Addict had the chance to chat with at the recent Television Critics Press Tour in Pasadena couldn’t be more well-adjusted and credits her ‘wonderful family and friends’ for ensuring she remained what we like to think of as ‘the anti-Lohan.’

“There are a lot of people in Hollywood who are going to try and tell you what it is you need to be doing and what they think is a good move for you and it’s not necessarily true,” said Majorino on the pitfalls of growing up on camera. “It’s important to get to know yourself, because as an actor, there are so many traps that you can fall into if you don’t have the wherewithal to protect yourself and know what’s right for you.”

Luckily for fans of quality television, what’s been right for Majorino have been memorable roles on cult favorites such as VERONICA MARS and BIG LOVE.

“I loved doing the show [VERONICA MARS] and it’s really fun for me because people either don’t know the show or they’re die hard fans. So when you’re meeting someone who has watched the show, it’s a blast to talk to them because they really enjoyed the characters and they’re so into it. Really, it’s an honor,” reflected Majorino, being sure to add her love for BIG LOVE, “I love that show so much, it’s so quirky and everybody — from the actors, directors and producers — are just amazing.”

Which naturally begs the question: What led to Majorino’s latest decision that has her jumping from HBO’s successful polygamist drama into THE DEEP END, a new ABC series that has her playing a brilliant and eager-to-please first year associate named Addie Fisher.

“The great part about this role is that [unlike previous characters such as BIG LOVE’s Heather Tuttle] Addie grows out of her naiveté. She starts out being completely green and not knowing up from down but she evolves, learns, and gets tougher,” promised the actress when asked about her affinity for playing brilliant albeit somewhat socially awkward characters . “Fingers crossed we’ll get the opportunity to do some more as you never know what’s in store for these characters.

“It’s such a privilege to be able to wake up and do something that you enjoy so much. I am fully aware of how blessed I am.”

  • You forgot about Andre!


    I loved that movie.

  • I never saw ANDRE. But thanks for the suggestion and the comment Mr. Tim G.

  • Hil

    I loved her on VERONICA MARS. Hopefully her new show does well.

  • Josh Emerson

    The Deep End looks terrible. But I loved her on VM. I wish she was going to be on a new show that I was interested in.

  • Well, to be perfectly honest, I didn’t know she had been in anything before Napoleon Dynamite, even though she looked vaguely familiar to me, but she was good in Veronica Mars. I think taking a break from Hollywood is something that all child stars should do, so that they can live a semblance of a normal childhood.

  • tennies

    I loved her on Veronica Mars and Corrina, Corrina

  • WhyWait

    It’s been great to see her evolve as an actress. Glad she actually likes what she does. For the record I really enjoyed “the deep end” and will be watching it again next week. Could you have a better villain than Billy Zane?

  • TVFan

    Veronica Mars is my constant. Thanks for this great piece

  • Remy

    Thank you Tim G!!! I knew the childhood picture of her look familiar, but none of the movies listed above rang any bells. But oh man, Andre…that movie was a fixture in my childhood.