Why You Don't Hear Much From Spencer Breslin Anymore

Back in the early 2000s, you knew a Disney movie was about to be good if it starred child actor Spencer Breslin. Known for his roles in the network's The Ultimate Christmas Present, You Wish!, and The Santa Clause series, as well as blockbuster hits like The Kid and Raising Helen, he made his mark on young Hollywood fast. He wasn't the only one in his family with the acting bug either, and his little sister Abigail Breslin, who's nearly four years his junior, followed him closely behind into show business.

Although his deadpan expressions and over-the-top comedic sensibilities made him a joy to watch as a kid — who could forget 2003's The Cat in the Hat, even though its CGI had a few hairballs — Spencer hasn't maintained the same kind of prominence as an adult. That doesn't mean he's quit acting completely, nor that he holds any grudges against his time as a child star. In fact, he holds their legacies close to his heart. As he said during a Reddit AMA in 2017, "I had a really good time and am grateful for those experiences."

While he never officially quit acting, he's certainly slowed down and pursued other creative interests. Here's what Spencer Breslin's post-child star life has looked like.

One of Spencer Breslin's last big movies was misunderstood

Although Spencer Breslin had roles in smaller film releases like 2012's Stuck in Love and 2015's Some Kind of Hate, his last wide release was 2008's The Happening, an M. Night Shyamalan movie that was poorly received by critics to say the least. In fact, the film was nominated for four Razzie Awards 2008: Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Actor. Though considering Shyamalan's track record, it should come as no surprise that the psychological thriller, which also starred Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, and John Leguizamo, was divisive. While not everyone understood its natural disaster storyline, Breslin seemed to suggest it comes with the territory in a 2014 Reddit AMA. "When you're making a movie with Night, you know nothing," Breslin said of its confusing message. "We will never know the true intentions of Night."

While a major box office stinker probably wasn't the best look for Breslin's résumé, he still looks back at The Happening fondly. "It gets a bad rap, but I like it too," he wrote on Reddit. "Never died on film before that. The scene was f**king pain in the ass to shoot though ... I was pretty happy with it in the end." In 2018, Slash Film praised the film as a "B-movie classic," so perhaps the film's legacy — and its effect on Breslin's career — have aged better than we thought.

The Breslin siblings had good Hollywood parents

Another reason Spencer Breslin may have pumped the brakes on his acting career? Simply, he wanted to! According to a 2014 Reddit AMA, Breslin was discovered when he was only 3 years old, but he's made it very clear that his gig as a child actor was entirely on his own terms. "My parents were always super supportive," he wrote on Reddit. "They had no interest in acting, or any of the show biz bullsh*t." Thankfully, Breslin's parents knew the right balance between discipline and their kids' blossoming careers, as the actor noted to Vice in 2016, that's not always the case for other child stars. "A lot of times there are people who will latch on to kids, whether it be an agent or a manager or anyone else like that, [who] will try to get the parents totally out of the picture so that the actor can rely on them," he told the outlet. "That can be really dangerous because then you have someone whose only motivation is making money calling the shots and directing this kid's life and what they should be doing."

As an adult, Breslin said on Reddit that he really appreciated how his "family sacrificed a ton of time, money, and energy" to pursue his dreams. "It takes a lot of f**king work," he added.

Spencer Breslin became a lot more picky about his roles

Spencer Breslin brought an innocent and slightly pesky energy to his roles in films like The Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement and The Shaggy Dog, but now that he's aged out of pint-sized parts, it only makes sense that what he's looking for in a movie has changed, as has the skillset that he brings to his characters. "For me, it's all about the script, it's all about the character and the people I'm working with, so it doesn't really matter to me [if it's a television or film role]," he told Unger the Radar in 2015. Furthermore, because he was so busy as a child actor, it seems like he has had a comfortable cushion to fall back on as an adult. "My dad has an amazing job, and my family lived off his paychecks, not mine or my sisters," he explained in a 2015 Reddit AMA.

And just because his post-Disney days haven't been mainstream doesn't mean Breslin ever completely stopped acting, either. According to his IMDb page, he's appeared in a handful of TV shows and films since 2006's The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, including 2014's Perfect Sisters, as well as the 2019 short film Wickenburg. His most underrated role? Harold Reynolds, a boy suffering from early male pattern baldness, in 2008's Harold. "That's probably the character I am most proud of," he wrote on Reddit. "It was the biggest challenge for me as an actor."

His sister Abigail Breslin has had a successful career, too

While Spencer Breslin's sister Abigail Breslin got her start alongside him in films like Raising Helen and The Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement, her star-making role came in 2006 when she portrayed Olive in Little Miss Sunshine. Abigail found her niche as a shy and awkward beauty queen pageant contestant who hailed from a dysfunctional family, and she nabbed an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the age of 10, according to NPR. Abigail's early success translated to roles in hits like Zombieland, My Sister's Keeper, Definitely, Maybe, Nim's Island, and Fox's Scream Queens. Though for what it's worth, Spencer is more than happy to see his sister succeed, telling fans in a 2014 Reddit AMA that "she's a great actress and an awesome sister." 

In fact, as Abigail's older brother, Spencer is even more protective of her because she's grown up in the public eye and faced her fair share of internet bullying. "They are f**king losers," Spencer said of Abigail's trolls in a 2015 Reddit AMA. "I've said some awful things to them though, so that feels good. I like being a mean, protective older brother."

These two are quite a team. In December 2020, Abigail shared on Instagram that she directed a pilot called Hit Baby, and later that month, she posted a photo she took with Spencer on the set. "Got to direct my big bro @ohnospenny for the first time!" Abigail shared.

Music is a big part of Spencer Breslin's life

Spencer Breslin may not have had the same kind of Disney Channel musical moment his contemporaries Hilary Duff and Miley Cyrus have had, but he's certainly gifted when it comes to music. In 2012, Breslin released his debut album, Labor Day, under his own record label, Acadian Recordings. The album features "The Patient," a spoken interlude from fellow actor Jesse Eisenberg. "I have always loved music, it's just that I didn't know how to do it for so long," he told It's Just Movies in 2012. "I've spent so much of my life dressing up and being a piece of another person's imagination ... [With music], I'm writing my own words and my own music, thereby having the chance to finally expose others to my own ideas for a change."

In 2015, Breslin released "Baby Wants A Ride Home," his first and only track with his band Broken Machine. According to their Bandcamp page, Breslin wrote the song's music and lyrics. As of this writing, it appears the band did not put out any more releases. 

Breslin told Reddit his influences include rock 'n' roll icons like Bruce Springsteen, Loud Reed, The Clash, The Ramones, and The Replacements."I definitely want [to] keep acting," Breslin said of his plans for his career in a Reddit AMA in 2014. "I've been playing music for years also. Any combination of those things would be great."

Spencer Breslin has spent time 'behind the camera'

Spencer Breslin has also been hard at work at his next great pivot: directing. "I'd like to end up behind the camera eventually," he said in a Reddit AMA in 2014. "I've directed a few shorts and produced an animated show called Really Bad Movie." As his IMDb page indicates, he's also given producing a whirl. His production credits include 2013's Widget & Poptop, a series that offers, according to the IMDb page, "sports, pop-culture review and general manliness from the puppet perspective." 

As of 2015, Breslin told Unger the Radar that he was "helping out [his] brother with some film projects that he's working on and ... writing [his] first film ... with [his] writing partner." In 2018, he produced and starred in short film External Forces, per IMDb, which follows a young filmmaker trying "to navigate through the difficulties in his life." Considering he got his start in show business at a young age and had a "great time," it's no surprise that Breslin is still down for the show biz ride. "[My parents] pretty much allowed me to [act] until I didn't want to anymore," he wrote on Reddit in 2015. "That day never came. If a normal childhood is playing little league and getting into trouble with the neighborhood kids, I did plenty of that. I wouldn't change a thing."

For a while, Spencer Breslin hosted a podcast

Spencer Breslin tried his hand at hosting in 2016 when he started Spencer & Lara's Vomitorium, a weekly podcast "dedicated to complaining about the unbearable, insufferable, and aggravating" as well as his life in New York City with friend Lara Kleinschmidt. As Kleinschmidt announced on the show's last episode in August 2016, the two eventually called it quits after 14 weeks as Breslin's schedule was too demanding.

Their show might have been short-lived, but in a 2020 Reddit AMA, Breslin revealed that he has no regrets... except for one: appearing in 2006's superhero comedy Zoom — which boasts a solid four percent on Rotten Tomatoes — alongside Tim Allen and Kate Mara. Ha! Still, Breslin has managed to quietly keep fans abreast of what he's up to on his Twitter, Instagram, and Cameo accounts... though his relationship with the internet didn't start off great. "People used to troll my IMDB boards when I was a kid," he shared on Reddit in 2015. "It bothered me and kind of turned me off of the internet until I realized that they were f**king losers."

Spencer Breslin married a 'total babe'

Behind the scenes, Spencer Breslin has maintained a relatively private personal life, and he has become a husband and father. "It's super cool as a parent getting to show [movies like The Santa Clause 3] to my (nearly) four year old and to see other young kids getting enjoyment out of it," Breslin said in a Reddit AMA in 2017. 

In that same Reddit AMA, Breslin said the best thing that happened to him that year was marrying "the love of [his] life" Grace Tame, an artist and yoga teacher from Tasmania who's a "total babe." It sounds like she's a big fan of his past films, too! Breslin added that while watching films like The Santa Clause 3, she "likes to do Instagram stories panning back and forth between Little Me on the TV and Current Me sitting on the couch drinking bourbon." At the time of writing, they haven't posted about each other on social media in a while; as far as we can tell, they haven't shared any major relationship updates.

Even though he's quieter nowadays, between his music, films, duties as a dad, and bold and brassy sense of humor, we can just about guarantee Spencer Breslin is working on something, and his epic Christmas movies — which are, as he quipped on Reddit, "on TV non-f**king-stop" during the holidays — will live on every season.