Jonathan Lipnicki was one of the most beloved child actors of the late 1990s and early 2000s thanks to roles in ‘Jerry Maguire’, ‘Stuart Little’ and ‘Like Mike’, but his acting career seemingly faded away in the 2010s. In a new interview with /Movie, the 31-year-old actor became honest about his acting absence. Lipnicki starred in short films and direct-to-DVD projects for a while in the early 2010s, but his career never returned to the heights of his childhood.
“The biggest transition for me was … I haven’t worked in a long time,” Lipnicki said. “And people always frame that as, ‘Oh, I went to high school’ and stuff. And that’s the story people sometimes tell when they’re not working. Or if they’re a kid actor or whatever, they’ve taken time off. I did take time off, in the sense that it wasn’t my only priority. But I didn’t work because I just didn’t work. I didn’t really get any roles for a while.”
Lipnicki said growing up and going to high school wasn’t the main factor behind his break from acting. On the contrary. Lipnicki loves acting and would never give up, but he disappeared from the industry for years because he wasn’t good enough to remain a household name.
“I’m honest about that. And it was because [I] wasn’t a very good actor at one point,” Lipnicki said of why he wasn’t working. ‘The beauty of being young, a child, is that there is a beautiful inherent childlike wonder. And that’s why a lot of kids you see are quite talented. And filters come in and you get 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.”
In order to become a better actor, Lipnicki enrolled in acting classes after high school and began to seriously study the subject. He also started playing theater roles to test his acting skills. The actor cites being an understudy in a production of Martin McDonagh’s “The Lieutenant of Inishmore” as a pivotal moment when he learned from lead actor Chris Pine.
“I’ve seen Chris work and I’ve seen some great actors in that production work,” Lipnicki said. “And it was really inspiring…I never moved on because everyone was so young and healthy. But I really need to rehearse on this really difficult material. And so that was a formative experience in its own way.”
Go to /Movie’s website to read Lipnicki’s latest interview in its entirety.