It’s more than 25 years since Joe Johnston’s Honey, I Shrunk The Kids arrived in cinemas. But what happened to the four young stars of the movie? Top 10 Films finds out…
A lot of 80s babies – like me – will remember their first experiences of the cinema coming in the late 1980s and early 1990s with family favourites like Steven Spielberg’s Hook and maybe one or both of the Back To The Future sequels.
One of my earliest memories of movies in the theatre is Joe Johnston’s crowd-pleasing fantasy epic Honey, I Shrunk The Kids. The film arrived in the lead up to Christmas 1989. I was six years old and I remember by mum taking me to see it at the Classic Cinema in Huddersfield (which would later become the Tudor Cinema in 1995 before its eventual closure).
In terms of box office fodder, the film didn’t put a foot wrong. It captured a high concept premise (children are accidentally shrunk to the size of ants, inadvertently deposited in the trash, and forced to make their way back home across a garden populated by a jungle of elephant-like grass and insects the size of school buses) alongside advancing special-effects that mixed traditional techniques with modern technology to create a believable environment for our miniature protagonists.
While the film stands up quite well to today’s green screens and CGI, it’s now more than 25 years old. Top 10 Films asks: where are they now as we look at the children of Honey, I Shrunk The Kids…
Jared Rushton as Ronald ‘Ron’ Thompson
The impetuous but tenacious younger brother of Russ Thompson, Jared Rushton experienced more success than the rest of the young cast. He enjoyed prominent roles in Big alongside Tom Hanks and Overboard with Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn. He’s now left the industry, preferring to hang around with his band Deal by Dusk.
Thomas Wilson Brown as Russell ‘Russ’ Thompson, Jr.
Surprisingly, the only young cast member still involved in the profession is the film’s weakest performer Thomas Wilson Brown. Since Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, Brown has made a living off small, insignificant TV roles. Despite remaining a working actor, the man who played “jock” Russ Thompson has more or less fallen off the radar. Did you see him in 2012 horror The Mooring or Steven Seagal’s 2007 direct-to-the-bargain-bin Urban Justice – no, I didn’t think so.
Robert Oliveri as Nick ‘Nicky’ Szalinski
The youngest cast member gave up acting after Honey, I Shrunk The Kids and its franchise accompaniments were finished. Oliveri, who played “the brain” Nicky, appeared in the film’s sequel and theme park spin off Honey, I Shrunk The Audience before leaving the industry completely. He now focuses on family life away from show business.
Amy O’Neill as Amy Szalinski
Love interest of Russ and straight-thinking older sister of Nicky, Amy is the “princess” of the ensemble. She had a supporting role in the sequel but her career finished a few years later. O’Neill fell out with the industry after a number of producers pushed her to get nude in front of the camera. She is now part of a performance art community in Los Angeles and has toured around the world as, believe it or not, an expert stilt-walker.