When the filming of the first season of the hit show, "Good Luck Charlie", began in 2009, Mia Talerico was just eleven months old. Yes, you read it right. A titular role in a TV show at just 11 months of age! Therefore, it would be no exaggeration to say that Mia was born a star. She has practically lived all her life in the limelight. Given that she has got a magnetic screen presence and a solid fan base who dotes over her, we are most certainly going to see a lot more of her in the years to come. Here is a glimpse into the life and times of the little wunderkind who has taken the showbiz by storm.
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Back in 2009, writer-producers Phil Baker and Drew Vaupen set out to create a sitcom for Disney that would appeal to children and adults alike. The plot of "Good Luck Charlie", therefore, revolved around a theme that"s all too familiar to the average American household - of a family trying to adjust to the surprise birth of their fourth child, Charlie. The creators knew instinctively that they had a winner in their hands, but the greatest challenge in the process of chronicling the Duncan family"s hilarious misadventures was the casting of the titular character, Charlie.
The initial plan was to stick to the protocol and cast identical twins, thereby bypassing the risk of violating child labour laws and ensuring that the filming won"t be interrupted by the issue of unavailability. As it turned out, finding the identical twins proved to be an insurmountable problem. It was at this point that Mia toddled her way into the frame, and almost immediately, the decision to cast her was made. It was quite the gamble, but soon enough, Mia proved how much of an invaluable asset she was to the show.
Disney executive Gary Marsh admits that casting Mia for the role of Charlie was the biggest risk and challenge for the show. "It"s like flying without a net. She may have a bad day and we can"t shoot and it"ll cost us tens of thousands of dollars. But so far, so good. She"s the most obedient actor I"ve ever worked with. My own daughter, who"s 4 now, would never perform this well in front of a camera," said Marsh in a 2010 interview.
All credit to Mia, who took to the camera and lights like a duck takes to water. She wasn"t bewildered by the spotlight, but embraced it - like a born performer would. The interesting aspect was that while the series largely revolved around Mia, being a toddler meant she had very few lines. But thanks to some clever writing that incorporated Mia"s antics and idiosyncrasies into the storyline, even her simple interjections and expressive reactions occasioned a lot of laughter.
The success of "Good Luck Charlie" made Mia a household name in the country. But with all the adoration and accolades came the inevitable share of problems. In early 2014, Disney took a remarkably progressive step when they featured a lesbian couple in the episode, "Down a Tree". This was a first in the history of a Disney Channel series, and though generally well-received, a few conservative groups vocally protested the decision. However, things took an ugly turn when a few reactionaries took to social media and started flooding Mia"s Instagram account (managed by her mother) with abuse and death threats.
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Thankfully, before things could further escalate, the police and the media sprang into action and the bad blood was quelled. And blissfully unaware of the chaos that surrounded her and the show for a short while, Mia continued to charm the viewers with her disarming innocence.
After four seasons and ninety-seven episodes of entertainment, "Good Luck Charlie" aired its final episode in February 2014, leaving behind a rich legacy and giving rise to a host of new stars. Mia, the youngest and brightest among these sensations, has since moved on and started her school life - an Instagram post from September 2016 shows her enthusiastically grinning at the camera holding a writing slate that says, "First Day, 2nd Grade."
Does that mean she is putting her acting career on hold? Not at all. She will soon be seen alongside Dominique Swain in "Photographic Memory", a short film produced by FireFaux Entertainment to spread awareness on ADHD. So, yes, the little toddler who beguiled us as Charlie will be returning to steal our hearts soon enough. Rephrasing Teddy"s hallmark sign-off, "Good Luck, Mia!"
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