I'm A Celebrity's Frankie Muniz exposes brutal reality of child stardom

The former sitcom actor reveals what it was like on set and how he transitioned out of the business.

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! star Frankie Muniz has opened up about what it was really like growing up in the spotlight and working as a child actor.

In Yahoo Lifestyle’s exclusive preview of Monday night’s episode, the Malcolm in the Middle star explained to his campmates that he was only allowed to work nine and a half hours each day until he turned 15 because of child labour laws.

I'm A Celebrity’s Frankie Muniz.
I'm A Celebrity’s Frankie Muniz has revealed what it was like on set as a child actor. Photo: Channel 10

“But you’d have to fit in three hours of school in that,” he detailed. “We’d do rehearsal, and then they’d run you. Literally, the assistant director’s like, ‘Alright, get in school, get in school!’.

“And they’d mark when you start because you have to go in 20-minute increments, and as soon as 20 minutes was up they were like, ‘Okay, go on set and go film’. So there was no break.”


Frankie went on to reveal that he barely enjoyed any time off work from when he started in the business at eight years old to the time Malcolm in the Middle finished when he was 20.

“I think if I added up the days off I had, it might’ve been 30 in the 12 years. It just went non-stop,” he said.

I’m A Celebrity’s Frankie Muniz as a child / Frankie in 2024 as a race car driver.
Frankie stepped away from acting in 2008 to pursue a career as a race car driver. Photo: Getty

Frankie's surprising alcohol confession

Despite being one of the most successful child stars of the 2000s, starring in the films Big Fat Liar and Agent Cody Banks alongside Amanda Bynes and Hilary Duff, Frankie put his acting career on hold in 2008 to pursue a career as a race car driver.

“I was at the height of my career and I called my agents and managers like, ‘I don't want to do any acting right now, I'm gonna focus on racing’,” he recalled.

“And they were like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah’. So they still called me like, ‘You got this offer, you got this offer, you got this offer’ and I'm like, ‘No, I'm serious. I'm not doing anything’.”


Frankie also shared that unlike other child stars he grew up alongside, he never experimented with alcohol and drugs or went through a ‘wild phase’.

“I'm 38 years old, I’ve never had a sip of alcohol. Most child actors are on heroin at 19, do you know what I mean?” he said. “I've never done anything.

“I never felt like I truly - not belonged. But like, even when I was nominated for awards and stuff like that and I’d go to the award shows, I literally felt like such an outcast. I didn't feel like, ‘Oh, this is my thing, these are my people’. I was like, I just say the words that are on the paper.”

I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! airs 7:30pm Sunday to Thursday on 10

Want the latest celebrity news? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.