For the most part, the idea of being rich and famous as a youngster sounds grand. That wasn’t the case for a member of The Brady Bunch.
After all, what could be better than having attention and money to spend? As one gets older, you realize there’s a lot more to happiness than that, but it’s hard to grasp when you’re young.
That’s why The Brady Bunch star Susan Olsen’s comments in a 2012 interview with Bigfoot Diaries are so surprising. According to the person behind Cindy Brady, the youngest of the Brady daughters, she was nervous about fame right away.
This is primarily thanks to The Beatles and The Monkees, Olsen said.
“It was very weird for me and something I dreaded,” Olsen said. “I was afraid that I would get recognized and have my private life get weird. I had seen the Beatles and the Monkees having to run from girls chasing them. Worried about what fans did if they caught up to you. Fame has always been something that only separated me from humanity.”
That’s a pretty mature mindset for a person that was just seven-years-old when she took on the role. But, child stars don’t become child stars for no reason. Whether it was awareness or fear, Olsen makes it seem like she knew it wasn’t always greener grass on screen.
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Continuing on in the same answer, Olsen revealed that the cast was fairly adamant about a normal upbringing. Instead of private classes with just each other, the Cindy Brady actor said she and her costars wanted to be in public schools.
“It often separated me from my peers but not as much as you would think,” Olsen said. “Most of us Brady kids were very insistent on staying in public school and continuing to have normal lives as much as we could. I have never been real keen on fame, if it was accompanied by fortune I might feel differently.”
It’s that last comment that tells a bit more than the rest. Child stars, especially in the 1960s and 1970s, were never paid exceptionally well. It’s wildly unfair considering they were the stars of the show, but it was sadly commonplace at the time.
Granted, the actor also explained that she had it easier than most. While much of the older cast had less leeway to act up or struggle, the younger Bradys got some room for error.
However, it was less about expectations from the show but expectations from society that Olsen brought up. Going through puberty in front of the entire country doesn’t sound fun.
“I think for the most part it was easier for Mike and I as the youngest,” Olsen said. “Young children have a wisdom that goes out the window when you hit puberty. I would think the fame aspect of my experience would have been much harder to deal with as a teenager who is on unstable ground with self identity. I think Mike and I were more able to look at the industry and see a lot of the experience as silly.”