Frankie Muniz Shares Inspiring Reason Why He Hit Pause On Acting After Malcolm In The Middle

Frankie Muniz in Malcolm in the Middle
(Image credit: Fox)

Remember Frankie Muniz? The Malcolm In The Middle and Agent Cody Banks actor was a huge deal in the early ‘00s and now he’s an all grown up 37-year-old with a wife and father to a baby boy they welcomed in spring 2021. How does he look back on his years as a major child actor? It sounds like he’s got a real level-head about it all. 

Muniz notably starred in the lead role of Fox sitcom Malcolm in the Middle from 2000 to 2006 (from the ages of 15 to 20) alongside Bryan Cranston. When reflecting on his early career, Frankie Muniz spoke to why he put a pause on acting once the series ended, saying this: 

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.

During an interview with Fox News Digital, Muniz shared that he went off to experience the other things life had to offer outside of being on the set of the TV show. He decided to pursue professional race car driving and competed in the Formula BMW USA Championship in 2006 and then the ChampCar Atlantic Championship in 2007 and 2008. He was placing in some competitions, but prior to racing the penultimate race at Road America, he sustained a wrist injury he had to have multiple surgeries for. 

Muniz continued by speaking to a common “bad path” child stars can go down once they hit adulthood. In his words: 

Because… so many people go down a bad path, whether it’s drugs, alcohol – whatever it may be. And I think for a lot of people, it’s probably difficult to go from having such success at a young age where you always have people going like, ‘Oh, I love you,’ and everyone wanting you here and there. And then that starts to fade. And I think a lot of people try to replace the missing feeling of [being] wanted with something else. And that really is a negative for a lot of people. Whereas for me, I’ve always been super focused on what I was currently doing because I wanted to be the best at whatever I was doing. And that’s how I am.

Over the years, Muniz has continued to take acting jobs and was even a contestant during the 2017 season of Dancing With The Stars. He also recently starred in the reality TV show The Surreal Life alongside celebrities like Dennis Rodman and Stormy Daniels. 

When asked about the possibility of returning to one of his big roles like Malcolm in the Middle, he also shared that he’s “down 100 percent” along with revealing that Bryan Cranston is actually working on a revival of the sitcom. This comes after years of Muniz speaking to his interest in returning to his most iconic role as Malcolm.   

Muniz also shared that he’s made the time to sit down and watch all 151 episodes of his famed sitcom with his wife, Paige Price. After previously admitting he really didn’t remember filming the episodes of Malcolm in the Middle, he “realized” what he was making all along. We’ll certainly be excited to see what Frankie Muniz does next. While we wait, you can check out the 2023 TV premiere dates here on CinemaBlend to find your next favorite TV show. 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.