Why Hollywood Won't Cast Erik Von Detten Anymore

Remember Erik von Detten? Of course you do. He was in movies such as The Princess Diaries (2001), National Lampoon's Barely Legal (2003), Disney's Brink! (1998), and Leave It to Beaver (1997). He was also part of the Toy Story franchise. (You may not have noticed as a kid, but the actor voiced Sid, the destroyer of toys, and later, the garbage man in 2010's Toy Story 3). This former teen heartthrob was also most likely one of your childhood crushes.

However, von Detten's been off the radar for quite some time, only making random appearances (like lending his voice to episodes of Family Guy and Avatar: The Last Airbender). "My hat's off to actors who are able to maintain a steady career for 30 years," the actor himself candidly told Romper in 2018.

So, what happened to von Detten, and why isn't Hollywood casting this Disney alum anymore? We have some ideas.

Erik von Detten's breakout role has been all but forgotten

Erik von Detten played the role of Nicholas Alamain, son of characters Lawrence Alamain and Carly Manning, on the soap opera Days of Our Lives. Though he was a mere 10 years old at the time, he was well-received and lasted two whole seasons on the long-running program. According to E! News, the little guy filmed 55 episodes.

At a high point in the series, von Detten's character, Nicky, accidentally killed his father's girlfriend during an argument. Nicky pushed the woman, she fell, hit her head, and died, which threw the show into a whole new storyline that von Detten remained an integral part of until his departure in 1993. While other cast members died, came back to life, broke up, and made up several times over, von Detten moved beyond the boundaries of the small town soap while the days of everyone else's lives trickled like sands through the hourglass.

Von Detten, who had made himself a household name — at least among housewives — through Days of Our Lives, went on to join the fraternity of Disney Channel stars. That's good work, but being a kids network regular can make it hard to be taken seriously as one matures. Leaving daytime drama for Disney may have sabotaged von Detten's adult career.

Is Erik von Detten too stuck on Disney after all these years?

Erik von Detten may have spent entirely too much time appearing on a variety of Disney red carpets, even after his fame waned. As a grown man, he was still offering babysitting advice on social media, telling fans in 2016 to "stay up all night and watch Disney channel movies." That's cute, and it's nice to see he's still so gung-ho about his former network, but perhaps all those all-nighters are costing him roles, you know? 

Von Detten turned 37 in October 2019, so it's probably high time he cut the Disney cord. Hollywood might have an easier time taking him seriously if he were more involved in adult-oriented projects, rather than rehashing his glory days in the Magic Kingdom.

Perhaps Erik von Detten doesn't take his on-screen career seriously

To be fair, Erik von Detten may have intentionally remained close to the Disney Channel network because he's passionate about kids. He's been been photographed several times at kid movie premiers with his niece and nephew, and according to TV Guide, he volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters. He's reportedly also interested in playing the piano, photography, sailing, surfing, hiking, tennis, and rollerblading, so he appears to be a busy guy with a full life. 

Basically, von Detten's been acting since the age of 10, and has never pulled a Lindsay Lohan, so odds are good that he's invested his time and money wisely and can comfortably choose to stay out of the spotlight. However, in Hollywood, there's a fine line between enjoying the fruits of one's labor and sliding into obscurity. If von Detten wants to continue to pursue a career on the big screen, he may want to reassess his work-life balance, because there's no rollerblading trophy at the Oscars.

Celebrity Mole and Kathy Griffin hurt Erik von Detten's rep

In 2003, Erik von Detten appeared on ABC's Celebrity Mole: Hawaii as part of a cast that included comedian Kathy Griffin, actor Stephen Baldwin, and Victoria's Secret model Frederique van der Wal. Celebrity Mole was one of the inaugural celebrity-staffed reality shows, and its end game was to challenge participants mentally and physically, while trying to uncover the mole — or in this case, the celebrity saboteur. After van der Wal was exposed as the mole, von Detten was axed, and Griffin snagged first place.

If appearing on the show itself didn't do the job, Griffin — in one of her shadier moments — may have damaged von Detten's credibility with her negative post-win interviews. "There was [von Detten], the co-star of the not-very-popular Dinotopia, and, well, it's possible that he's retarded," she told Entertainment Weekly, adding about the group at large, "I've had beer bashes with bigger celebrities. And ... I'm a proud member of the D list." Griffin also suggested von Detten might have been under the influence. "For the first few days [of filming], he was basically just high and drugged," she told The Signal. "Once I got into the coalition with him, he just kept saying to me, 'You're the mole, man, and you are just f**king with my head.'"

To be fair, being brash and absurd is Griffin's signature style, but being the target of her jokes did not do von Detten's sputtering career any favors.

Erik von Detten's busy being social, yet not on social media

Though he doesn't appear to have any verified social media accounts, Erik von Detten often appears in random places, photographed by friends or strangers, and it's apparent that he likes to have a good time. In a 2016 picture unearthed on Twitter, von Detten was photographed imbibing at what we're assuming was a house party. It's good to kick back, but if you kick back too much in Hollywood, Hollywood kicks back by kicking you out. Either way, von Detten appears to be enjoying himself, and if this is what he wants to do with his life, so be it.

Even so, in modern society — and especially when you're famous — a complete lack of social media presence indicates that you're either clueless or not invested in your career. Tinseltown isn't in the business of seeking out those with dwindling careers and giving them big-name roles because it's feeling generous, and casting directors certainly aren't going to invest in someone who can't even attempt to feed a fan base that's been begging for scraps for a decade or more. C'mon, von Detten, keep up with the times.

How Erik von Detten can turn things around

So, how Erik von Detten turn things around? Well, for starters, get this hair back. That's right, we're talking about those locks from the photo above. Somebody needs to tell von Detten, King of the California Flop, that '90s hair will never go out of vogue. He should also start throwing his hat in the ring for new movies instead of spending his time hitting Disney's nostalgia carpets

At this point, so many people are so far removed from von Detten and his heyday that it would be a breath of fresh air to see him in films or on television — like meeting him all over again. And doesn't everybody deserve a second chance? We think so, and between social media, streaming television and movies, and, dare we say it, reality television opportunities, there are plenty of ways for von Detten to reemerge on the radar.

Erik von Detten is settling into family life

While Hollywood isn't calling anymore for Erik von Detten, family life surely is. On May 17, 2019, von Detten and his real estate agent wife, Angela, welcomed their first child, a daughter named Claire Elizabeth von Detten. 

"Welcome to earth sweetie Giving birth was the most magical experience of my life so far. I didn't think it was possible to love so deep ... seriously I love you more than life itself my baby Claire Bear," Angela wrote on Instagram, accompanied by a photo of the newborn Claire. "Daddy and I are so blessed you chose us. Thank you for being our sweetest treasure and adventure that's to come."

Of course, von Detten doesn't maintain an active presence on social media, but that doesn't keep his wife from singing his praises. "Erik won't see this tribute post cause he doesn't use Ig but I just want to say I'm so grateful for him as my partner," she shared with her Instagram in February 2020. "Through the good & bad. Ugh he's the best. Even as we go through these experiences together I'm so thankful he's there to support me."

Erik von Detten found a new calling, but hasn't forgotten his first love

During an interview with Romper in 2018, it was revealed that Erik Von Detten now works as a sales manager at a commodities brokerage. And while he's been busy in recent years settling into family life and a new career, the Princess Diaries actor has still found ways to flex his acting chops — including an (upcoming, as of this writing) appearance in The Tonopah Five, which seems to be a nostalgia vehicle for a slew of other famous child stars. 

"I really enjoy acting from time to time [when] I've had the opportunity to do it — the neighborhood play and whatnot," he told the publication. While reflecting on his former life and career, von Detten described himself as "somewhat famous," but admitted he's happy he never obtained a higher level of celebrity. "I never reached super fame, if you will," he explained. "I was always, kind of, under the radar at some extent, and I really enjoyed that actually because I think that if you become too famous, I guess you can't really even have much of a private life."