Kenan Thompson didn’t always love his time as a child actor — especially when it meant dealing with body image issues in the spotlight.
In an excerpt of his new memoir, When I Was Your Age: Life Lessons, Funny Stories & Questionable Advice from a Professional Clown, obtained by People on Tuesday, the actor recalled his negative experience working on the 1995 movie Heavyweights.
As you might know, the comedy starred Kenan as one member of a group of overweight boys who got lured into attending a camp for quick weight loss. The Kenan & Kel star was around 16 at the time, and in his book, he revealed he felt “exploited a little” on the project, but to get through it, he convinced himself it “wasn’t happening” to him. Oof.
Sadly, he had to deal with this a lot in his career. While struggling with his weight, he said he “hated” having to take his shirt off in the 2008 movie Wieners. Similarly, as he gained fame as a Nickelodeon personality, he also dealt with more comments surrounding his body image — though he didn’t mind those ones as much, he teased:
“On All That, everyone was designated a role during sketch casting: Kel [Mitchell] was the smooth talker, Josh [Server] was the heartthrob, and I was the huggable cutie, and I was aight with that.”
Hah! At least it wasn’t as mean! But it had to have been hard to have his brand tied to his looks — especially when he started to lose weight and no longer wanted to be reminded of his past. Take his early Saturday Night Live sketches, for example. Discussing an unspecified skit, he wrote:
“I was at my heaviest moment, and that’s always hard to rewatch.”
It sucks he had to deal with this from such a young age! Safe to say a movie like Heavyweights probably wouldn’t be made today for this very reason!! Reactions, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments (below)!