Child Stars: Are our children growing up too fast?

I was out on location in Glendora as a script doctor when I ran into a child star who shall remain nameless. I said hi to her, because I was working on her lines.

“F**k you,” she said.

I walked over behind the lights to her mother, who was talking to the producer.

“What do you want me to do?” the mother said when I complained. “She’s bigger than I am.”

The mom’s in costume design. I asked about the girl’s dad.

“He’s on contract to Paramount. When his daughter says jump, he acts like a mime on a pogo stick. When she tells him to zip it, he’s like the fly on a nun’s bluejeans.”

“Kids,” the producer says. His former son, now his daughter, is serving time for “acts of an otolaryngological nature with a palaeopropithecidae specimen belonging to the City of Industry.” In his/her defense, he/she was high on something all three times. She/he is the only person in zoo history¬† to have his/her pictures (both sexes) posted at the entrance turnstiles with a skull and crossbones superimposed upon them.

“She’s eight and she’s already booked a procedure at Planned Parenthood,” the mom says of her daughter. “It’s on a Monday four years from now.”

“They’re like feral cats,” the producer says. “Feral cats or, or, or lemurs, for Christ’s sake.”

“The other day,” the mom says, “she went into her room, gathered up all her clothes, carried them out into the back yard and dropped them on the lawn next to my phlox bed,¬† poured a bottle of Hendrik’s all over them, lit my Zippo and tossed it in, and burnt the whole pile to a god-damned crisp. Thank God it wasn’t a Spare the Air day.”

“That’s what they’ll do to your heart, too,” the producer says, “The part about the Zippo.”

Meanwhile, the star is talking to a gaffer who is sweating profusely as she tries to pull the wedding ring off his finger.

What’s ironic about all this is that I spent the morning working on her line “Daddy, is Mommy sick? Why was she moaning like that when I came home from school and her bedroom door was locked?”