​What Happened To The Kid Who Played Anakin Skywalker In 'The Phantom Menace'?

Being in the public eye from such a young age can go one of two ways in later life. Either your stardom continues - which involves constant reinvention of your image - or you fade into obscurity, either through choice or otherwise.

While there are some examples of child actors who've gone on have to flourishing careers as adults - Jodie Foster, Natalie Portman, Leonardo DiCaprio and Elijah Wood, to name a few - there are sadly many, many more stars who haven't enjoyed such a fate.

That sadly includes Jake Lloyd, the kid who played young Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, as well as Jamie in Arnold Schwarzenegger film Jingle All The Way.

Lloyd was just 10 when he starred in 1999's critically-slated Star Wars prequel alongside the likes of Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman.

After that, Lloyd landed voice acting gigs for several Star Wars games, along with a role in 2005 film Madison, but then that was pretty much it - and he later announced he'd be retiring from acting, citing being bullied at school as his main reason.

He also explained that at one point, he was having to endure up to 60 interviews a day, which is something that even a fully-grown adult would struggle with, let alone a young actor.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"Other children were really mean to me," the Sun reported him as saying to 'a magazine', in 2012.

"They would make the sound of the lightsaber every time they saw me. It was totally mad. My entire school life was really a living hell - and I had to do up to 60 interviews a day."

He added: "I've learned to hate it when the cameras are pointed at me."

Fast forward to June 2015, when news broke that Lloyd had been arrested in South Carolina for reckless driving, driving without a license and resisting arrest.

Credit: Colleton County Sheriff
Credit: Colleton County Sheriff

According to the Daily Mail, he had been driving in Charleston when the sheriff of Colleton County, South Carolina, started pursuing him, before a chase ensued for 25 miles.

Lloyd eventually lost control of his car and plowed into a fence, continuing to drive along a road before reaching a wooded area, where the pursuit ended.

He was imprisoned until April 2016, before being moved to a psychiatric facility - with mother Lisa reportedly telling TMZ that Lloyd has schizophrenia.

Now 29, very little has been heard of Lloyd since the news of his arrest.

It's pretty heartbreaking to know that Lloyd had such a bad experience with his time in Hollywood; we can only hope the future's a bit kinder to him.

Featured Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist who graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

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