Observations: The Jurassic kid in another monster hit
Friday 29 October 2010
These days, you could walk past him on the street and barely notice, but at one point in the mid-Nineties Joseph Mazzello was one of the most famous children in the world. Before he was 11 he'd acted opposite Meryl Streep, Harrison Ford and Anthony Hopkins, and was handpicked by Steven Spielberg to play dinosaur fanboy Tim in some film called Jurassic Park.
The world at his feet, a future as the next too-much-too-young child star chewed up by fame beckoned – another Ed Furlong or Brad Renfro. Instead, one day, Mazzello simply returned home to a small town in New York state, and stopped taking Hollywood's calls. He was still only 14.
"I didn't give it the focus that I should have. I turned down a lot of things, a TV show and a movie, because I wanted to have a normal life, and have these normal things," he says.
Still, how normal can things be when half the world has watched you being chased around by a Tyrannosaurus Rex?
Now, though, Mazzello is back. After the occasional indie bit part and a spell at film school, 2010 has seen Mazzello make a comeback as spectacular as it is unexpected. As well as a supporting role in Oscar favourite The Social Network, he's one of three leads in the Spielberg-produced HBO series The Pacific, a 10-part mini-series telling the stories of three Marines during America's battle with the Japanese in the Pacific during The Second World War.
The elephant in the room ("dinosaur in the room," he says) is: did Uncle Steven give him a helping hand? "I auditioned for The Pacific five times. It wasn't until the fourth audition I went in front of Spielberg – he didn't know I was auditioning. I knew that there was $200m on the line – and he wasn't going to do me a $200m favour."
'The Pacific' is out on DVD and Blu-ray on Monday 1 November
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Isis 'jihadi bride' claims forced sex with Yazidi girls is never rape because Koran condones it
- 2 Woman accidentally shoots herself in the head while posing for a selfie
- 3 Art Garfunkel calls Paul Simon a 'monster' with a Napoleon complex
- 4 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 5 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
Eurovision 2015: Graham Norton returns with another cutting commentary - his best lines
Game of Thrones rape scene criticised as 'disgusting' by US senator Claire McCaskill who says she's 'done' with show
Art Garfunkel calls Paul Simon a 'monster' with a Napoleon complex
Eurovision 2015 winner: Sweden beats Russia and Italy to take the title from Conchita Wurst
Dheepan, film review: Palme d'Or prize goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland