Jonathan Lipnicki Reveals Why He Quit Acting: “I Wasn’t A Good Actor”
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 apparently disappeared in the 2010s. In a new interview with /Film, the 31-year-old actor has been candid about his lack of acting. Lipnicki starred in short films and direct-to-DVD projects for a period of time in the early 2010s, but her career never returned to the heights of her child stardom.
“The biggest transition for me was… I haven’t worked for a long time,” Lipnicki said. “And people always frame that like, ‘Oh, I went to high school,’ and so on. And that’s the story that people sometimes tell when they’re not working. Or if it’s about a child actor or whatever, he took time off. I took 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 have a role for a while.
Lipnicki said growing up and going to high school wasn’t the main factor in his hiatus from acting. Quite the contrary. Lipnicki loves acting and would never give it up, but he disappeared from the industry for years because he wasn’t a good enough actor to remain a household name.
“I’m honest about it. And it was because [I] wasn’t a very good actor at one point,” Lipnicki said of why he didn’t work. “Because the great thing about being young, a kid, is that there’s this inherent beautiful childlike wonder. And that’s why a lot of the kids you see are quite talented. And the filters come in into play and you get nervous…or the world comes into play. And so for me, I went from doing the natural thing to trying to be like my favorite actors.
To become a better actor, Lipnicki enrolled in acting classes after high school and began to seriously study the craft. He also started doing theater roles to put his acting skills to the test. The actor cites being a stunt double in a production of Martin McDonagh’s “The Lieutenant of Inishmore” as a pivotal moment as he learned from star Chris Pine.
“I got to see Chris work and I got to see some amazing actors in this production work,” Lipnicki said. “And it was really inspiring…I never continued because everyone was so young and healthy. But I really have to rehearse on this really difficult material. And so it was a formative experience in its own way.
Head to /Movie website to read Lipnicki’s latest interview in its entirety.