Former ‘Days of Our Lives’ Star Alison Sweeney Reflects on Being Child Star

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 06: Alison Sweeney of Hannah Swensen Mysteries attends the Hallmark Media session of the 2024 TCA Winter Press Tour at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on February 06, 2024 in Pasadena, California.
Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Hallmark Media

A former child star herself, Alison Sweeney has more of a reference point than most when it comes to the dark side of working in showbiz at a young age.

Having heard about the new four-episode ID docuseries chronicling the many dangers of being a child in Hollywood, Sweeney said she found it shocking, but also ‘not surprising,’ sharing, In fact, when I was watching the trailer, I thought to myself, ‘This is exactly what my mother worked so hard to protect me from as a child actor.’ “It’s my parents who I give all the credit [to].”

FAMILY MAN, from left: Keeley Mari Gsllagher, Alison Sweeney, Whitby Hertford, 1988,

ABC/courtesy Everett Collection

“It’s been my dream since I was 4 years old,” Sweeney recently told Fox News Digital. “I told my dad when I was a little girl that this is what I wanted to do. And to actually be here, like, actually doing it is just an unbelievable dream come true. Sometimes, I just can’t believe it’s my real life.”

Sweeney added that her parents didn’t force her into the spotlight and weren’t counting on her money to support them. Her mother only allowed her to continue acting if she did well in school. “I had to work hard and get good grades and study and be respectful and follow the rules,” Sweeney explained, praising her parents for keeping her away from “all that stuff.”

DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Alison Sweeney, (1990s), 1965- .

Gary Null/NBC/Courtesy Everett Collection

“I had one incident on the show where there was like a cool stunt they wanted to do and the teacher, who is also like a social worker, expressed concern about me breathing in the smoke or whatever that was going to happen,” she explained. “My mom was like, ‘Well, no she’s not doing it’, and [we] figured out another way to shoot it. [It’s] a very rare thing in the industry even today. Parents are really intimidated by production schedules and directors.”

Sweeney was lucky to avoid the pitfalls of being a child actor in an industry that has repeatedly been known to take advantage of children. One of the most shocking revelations in Quiet on Set was an interview with Drake & Josh star Drake Bell, who discusses his own sexual abuse at the hands of Brian Peck, a Nickelodeon actor and dialogue coach, when he was a child.

Investigation Discovery just announced that a new, fifth episode of the Quiet on the Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV titled “Breaking the Silence” was just greenlit as well. It will dive deeper into the toxic culture behind many 1990s and 2000s children’s television shows and will premiere on Sunday, April 7 at 8pm on ID.

As far as where to see Sweeny next? You can catch her in One Bad Apple: A Hannah Swensen Mystery premiering on Hallmark Mystery on April 5.

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December 2020

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