When the child star and former professional race car driver, Frankie Muniz was given the opportunity to star in something new and exciting, it came with a catch. The Malcolm in the Middle titular actor is a familiar face from the early 2000s and had merely begun getting comfortable with the idea of rekindling his passion for acting. But the reality TV series, The Surreal Life had other plans for him which helped set his priorities straight when it came to his family.
Frankie Muniz Recalls His Diverse Career Choices Since ’06
As a child star, Frankie Muniz had been strangely sure of what he envisioned his future to be like. And it was not going to be a struggle with the feeling of sudden dislocation that comes when the early fame starts to ebb away. Most young actors then turn to alcohol and substance abuse “to replace the missing feeling of [being] wanted with something else.” For Muniz, that was not a possibility as he briskly walked away after the widely praised Malcolm in the Middle and found passion outside of Hollywood.
“When I was on ‘Malcolm,’ I was just so excited to be working on a show. But also in that same sense, when the show ended, I kind of left the business for a little bit. I started doing other things. I was racing cars. I joined a band. I was touring all over. I opened some businesses and I got to experience so many amazing things in my life, which now at this point has made me able to reflect and look back and be so appreciative of the experience.”
Frankie Muniz became a professional race car driver the year Malcolm ended, competing in the Formula BMW USA Championship in 2006 and the ChampCar Atlantic Championship from 2007 to 2009. He came in fourth in the championship standings.
Frankie Muniz on Finding Family & Returning to the Screens
Paige Muniz and Frankie Muniz welcomed their son Mauz in 2021 after a difficult period of trying to conceive, which the former had been very vocal about in the past. However, merely six months later, news of VH1 rebooting their famed reality TV series, The Surreal Life, reached the Muniz household and the actor was encouraged to participate.
“I watched the show originally when it aired in the early 2000s. And it was a wild show. It definitely puts people, celebrities out of their comfort zone, in situations they normally wouldn’t be in. But in that same sense, I thought it would be a really fun experience for me to learn about myself. I didn’t know what to expect. It was very nerve-wracking… You have no idea what they’re going to have you be doing on the show and what’s it going to be like to have cameras literally film you 24/7.
I can say that it was both one of the greatest experiences of my life and also one of the craziest experiences of my life. It was definitely an interesting, fun learning experience.”
However, Muniz also recalls the struggle of leaving his wife and newborn child for the reality TV series and his current need to prioritize his time with his family.
“My son was six months old when I left and it was really hard to leave. Obviously you want to be there. I don’t want to abandon my wife either. I cherish every single moment I get to spend with my family. I don’t know if [The Surreal Life] will show it, but there were a lot of cool moments where they allowed my wife to zoom in. I got to see them a little bit and talk and there was a lot of drama that happened in my house when I was gone.”
Frankie Muniz revealed to Fox News Online that Bryan Cranston was supposedly working on a Malcolm in the Middle reboot and that he would be “down one hundred percent” if he was given the opportunity to join the crew after two decades.
The Surreal Life is now airing on VH1.
Source: E! News