Star Profile:Jonathan Lipnicki

Mimi ON May 25, 2011 AT 11:13 am

Jonathon Lipnicki

Jonathon Lipnicki

When you’ve already achieved acting success as a child star in films like Stuart Little and The Little Vampire, it can be hard to branch out as a serious actor (quick nod to Macaulay Culkin from Home Alone and Richie Rich). California-born Jonathan Lipnicki, however, seems to have managed to bridge the gap from child star to indie film actor with ease, and is making his way back into the spotlight with this year’s For the Love of Money.

Lipnicki, now 20 years old, first appeared in the hugely popular Jerry Maguire alongside pre Oprah-chair-jumping Tom Cruise and a pre-Bridget Jones Renee Zellweger in 1996. After the film’s success, Lipnicki went on to star in various children’s films and even television stints on shows like Family Guy and Dawson’s Creek.

Jonathon Lipnicki and Renee Zellweger in Jerry Maguire

Jonathon Lipnicki and Renee Zellweger in Jerry Maguire

During his rise to fame, Lipnicki began turning heads in Hollywood with his philanthropic contributions, speaking out for causes like juvenile diabetes and animal rights. After completing Like Mike (with Bow Wow) in 2002, Lipnicki took a break from Hollywood and began focusing on independent films. During this time he also completed high school and began studying acting at Playhouse West in North Hollywood.

Later this year, Lipnicki will star in the much-anticipated For the Love of Money, a true story of an Israeli immigrant Izek (Yuda Levi), based on the life of executive producer Izek Shomof. The film, which spans two decades, begins by following the dangers Izek faced growing up in 1970’s Tel Aviv. His family lives next door to an illegal casino, and when the violence begins to affect his family they relocate from Israel to Los Angeles. Though Izek attempts to set up small businesses and find his part of the American dream, America proves to be even more sinister than Tel Aviv and soon they are again faced with the same violent gangsters and drug lords. The film explores the conflicts between making an honest living versus easy money through violence. Lipnicki proves his worth as an adult actor in his role as Yoni, a young Israeli man whose present-day self is played by Joshua Biton.

Combine his obvious acting talent with the pounds of muscle that he had to pack on for the role and it’s easy to see that Lipnicki has done some serious growing up since his days as a chubby-cheeked blonde in Stuart Little.

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