When fame and money aren’t enough
By Aidan Mouellic, Staff Writer
When most child actors start their career, there’s rarely drama. Some go on to become respected adult actors, others pursue education, and then a select few choose to do their own thing regardless of the consequences. Two of these unique individuals, Angus T. Jones and Miley Cyrus, followed their own dreams and found themselves on and off of the CBS hit comedy Two and a Half Men.
Jones and Cyrus both began starring in their own television shows when they were children. Jones played a child/teenager on Two and a Half Men and Cyrus played a goofy tween on Disney’s Hannah Montana. Both shows were successful and, in turn, put these child actors on the map. But both of these stars have blatantly stated their distaste for the shows that made them famous and have spoken out against the messages of their respective shows in different, but equally dramatic, fashion.
Jones has made several statements on how he disapproves of the content in Two and a Half Men and has encouraged viewers to stop watching the show. In a recent interview, the 20-year-old actor, who played Jake Harper in the show for 10 years, said that he was a “paid hypocrite” because the themes of the show contradicted his religious beliefs. Jones is a Seventh Day Adventist, a particularly strict Christian sect, and has since left the acting world behind to focus his energies towards his religion and preaching the faith.
On the other hand, Cyrus preached a very different message when she left Hannah Montana and shed her good-girl image, transforming into a scantily clad singer who encourages others to accept people of all shapes and sizes, as well as partake in less-than-legal habits (as described in her hit song, “We Can’t Stop”). However, she does seem to know how to keep herself in the media by transitioning from a child actor to an adult singer in a few swift moves.
Funnily enough, Jones and Cyrus’s career paths share more than just appearances on Two and a Half Men. When Cyrus left her show, she adopted a radically different hairstyle with short, platinum blonde hair instead of her long, brown locks. In a similar way, Jones changed his style by letting his hair grow long and adopting a rather Amish-looking beard.
It’s interesting though to see that Jones, who essentially grew up on TV with serial partier Charlie Sheen, is doing what is perhaps the least Hollywood thing there is to do: being a religious fanatic. Hollywood is a place that is driven by money and fame, which are two things that religion tends to frown upon. So it’s a bold move for a young man such as Jones to look past his bulging bank account and instead stand on a stage to preach. He could have easily capitalized further from his television fame, but to instead leave the Hollywood lifestyle behind and essentially become a preacher—that’s pretty rock and roll. I give him kudos for doing his own thing.
Cyrus, who is also doing her own thing, took a big risk in shedding her Disney image and now has a music career that is taking off while reaching audiences who were once thought to be off-limits.
Both Jones and Cyrus are child stars that aren’t bowing to the conformist pressures of Hollywood and only their own personal happiness will determine if their choices were the right ones.