Jay Baruchel: I owe my acting career to my mother

The Canadian child actor-turned-Hollywood star saluted Robyne Baruchel for providing a watchful eye for her son as he broke into acting as a 12-year-old.
Jay Baruchel

Stage moms get a bad rap for vicariously living out their own dreams through their children.

Don’t tell that to Hollywood actor Jay Baruchel (pictured), who started his acting career at 12 years of age in his native Montreal.

“I literally could not have achieved anything of merit in my career without my mother and her watchful eye,” he said Tuesday about Robyne Baruchel, Jay’s mother who joined ACTRA Tuesday in Toronto to launch the second edition of a stage parent survival guide she wrote.

The guide helps spells out rules ACTRA has bargained for with North American film and TV producers, and which aim to enforce protections for child actors.

After all, there’s perks and pitfalls for children that make it as actors and, in effect, become under-age workers.

“When torn out of school or away from family and friends for long periods of time, it can be overwhelming for young actors to maintain grades or have time for the normal and healthy activities of childhood,” Theresa Tova, ACTRA’s national child advocate, explained.

The actors union is hoping to do more than teach parents the entertainment industry ropes, however.

ACTRA is also looking to join an international movement to develop laws for young performers, especially when it comes to workplace safety, work hours and on-set schooling.