Jonathan Lipnicki was one of the biggest kid actors of the mid-to-late-‘90s, appearing in Jerry Maguire and Stuart Little and The Little Vampire, but after a few years of ubiquity, he disappeared as he mysteriously as he arrived. Actually, it wasn’t really all that mysterious, and he gave a pretty good explanation to /Film recently: He just wasn’t a very good actor once he started to get older and more aware of the craft. It’s not that he consciously took a break (though he did) or that he was choosing to prioritize school, he just couldn’t get cast in anything.
“I didn’t work because I just didn’t work,” he told /Film. “I didn’t really get any roles for a while.” Lipnicki says that some child actors will say they chose to stop acting so they could focus on school, but he says he’s “honest” about his career and he knows that he “wasn’t a very good actor at one point.” Lipnicki’s take on child actors is that they all have a “nice inherent childlike wonder,” so “a lot of kids you see are quite talented,” but “filters come in” once they get older and “you become nervous or… the world comes into play.” For him, he says he began by “just doing the natural thing,” but then he tried to be more like his favorite actors and it didn’t work as well for him.
Lipnicki said that he started taking acting classes and “really studying it” after high school, and he started doing theater as a way to work with more actors and really get into acting. These days he’s back in the business, doing what he can when he can. He told /Film that he has a “great relationship” with his past and that he loves the work he did as a kid, but he’s focused on the present and know that he has “a lot more, as an actor, to offer.”