There’s an unfortunate pattern with child actors; they either seem to disappear once puberty hits or end up forming weird pizza-inspired Velvet Underground cover bands (we’re looking at you, Macaulay). But never fear, Michael Angarano is here to dispel that reputation.
Talking to the Almost Famous and Will & Grace star over the phone from LA, his excitement about his latest role in Showtime’s comedy- drama, I’m Dying Up Here, is palpable. It’s easy to forget this is his 23rd year in the ‘biz. “I didn’t even read the script,” Angarano gushes about the show, produced by Jim Carrey and based on the bestselling book by William Knoedelseder, centred around Los Angeles’ comedy circuit in the 70s. “It was just something that I knew I would love!”
Conquering the TV and film worlds, Angarano is now experimenting behind the camera with his directorial debut released in June, Avenues. Writing the screenplay at 22, he describes the process as “creative therapy”. “It was the first time in my entire life that I hadn’t worked in over a year and I was going through a breakup and living with my parents,” he reasons. “I realised I wanted to take more control of my life and create my own material.”
The film follows a day in the life of protagonist Max, as he navigates the unforgiving streets of New York City. “It was based on the fairytale that New York can be,” Angarano explains. “New York is like an abusive relationship. It’s really good to you sometimes and it’s really bad to you other times. You can have one of the most amazing or worst days of your life there.”
I ask if Angarano has any tips for his younger self and he laughs, “I wouldn’t say anything! I always remember when I was young that I hated when people talked to me like a kid. I just wanted to be treated like an adult.” Set to share the screen with Charlize Theron and Amanda Seyfried in next year’s Gringo and having warded off the typical child star fate; Michael Angarano isn’t about to disappear any time soon.
Photography - Doug Inglish
Production And Entertainment Director - Erica Cornwall
Wonderland Magazine Autumn '17 Issue