Have you ever wondered why there isn’t a category at the Emmys for child actors on TV? Television currently boasts some of the best young actors and actresses around, and although they may get overlooked at award shows, here is my choice of ten of the best on currently airing shows.
Chandler Riggs, 13 (Carl Grimes “The Walking Dead”)
Child-of-the-zombie-apocalypse Carl Grimes has had to deal with a lot – the world ending, shooting his mother in the head, being responsible for a couple more deaths, losing Sophia, having to wear that stupid hat all the time. Riggs’s acting has grown with Carl, exploring his characters darker side, as the events of Carl’s hard life take their toll on the no-longer-innocent kid.
Kiernan Shipka, 13 (Sally Draper, “Mad Men”)
Kiernan Shipka is killing it on the 60’s set drama, having to tackle scenes such as getting caught masturbating and changing from the perfect daughter to a troubled brat. Shipka plays her character with a raw, heartfelt honesty, proving she’s a young actress to watch out for in the future.
Jared Gillmore, 12 (Henry Mills “Once Upon A Time”)
Henry, the kid who happens to have a very fairy-tale filled family, is currently bridging the gap between the magical world and the real world in Storybrooke, Maine. One of the most adorable kids on TV at the moment, the fact he is the only one who seems to fully understand how stupid his adopted Evil Queen mother’s war with his birth mother and grandparents Snow White and Prince Charming is, gives him bonus points. If everyone listened to Henry, things would be a lot simpler.
Rico Rodriguez, 14 (Manny Delgado “Modern Family”)
“Modern Family” boasts many talented young actors, but Rico Rodriguez stands out as older-than-his-years Manny. Whether he’s trying to woo a girl with poetry or talking to Claire about her marriage and kids, Rodriguez has excellent comedic timing.
Ariel Winter, 15 (Alex Dunphy “Modern Family”)
Alex, the smart middle child of the Dunphy family on the award winning ABC comedy, is an underrated talent, delivering withering one liners, while dealing with her promiscuous older sister and dopey younger brother.
Sophie Turner, 17 (Sansa Stark “Game Of Thrones”)
Sansa Stark, the oldest daughter from the Stark family on the fantasy epic, had her life ripped apart after her father was beheaded by Joffrey and she had no other choice but to stay with The Worlds Most Evil Inbred King, and pretend she had given the rest of her family up as traitors. Sophie Turner is a very talented actress, wowing in scenes such as Joffrey dragging her out to look at her father’s severed head, and trying to deal with a very drunk Cersei Lannister.
Maisie Williams, 16 (Arya Stark “Game Of Thrones”)
Arya Stark is the kick-ass tomboy of Westeros. Taking crap from no one, she can handle herself in a sword-fight, and stand up to Joffrey. Maisie Williams can easily hold her own amongst the older actors on the popular show.
Bebe Wood, 11 (Shania Clemmons, “The New Normal”)
You might remember Bebe Wood as a younger version of Liz Lemon in 30 Rock, but she’s brilliant in Ryan Murphy’s latest show. She’s smart and sarcastic, and quick to call the adults on their ridiculousness.
Max Burkholder, 15 (Max Braverman, “Parenthood”)
In the series based on Ron Howard’s movie, Max Braverman plays a boy with Aspergers syndrome, showing off his acting skills with a realistic, often dark, performance.
Atticus Shaffer, 14 (Brick “The Middle”)
If you ever watched “Malcolm in the Middle”, Brick might remind you of Frankie Muniz’s younger brother, Dewey. Brick is quite similar, but a lot smarter. Shaffer is great in the family comedy with his strange brand of humour, and is wonderfully weird.