Please watch this absolutely bittersweet and poignant short film about Devon Michael, a child star in the 1990s who was on the very short shortlist to play Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. (Film by Ben Proudfoot at The New York Times.)
Honestly, though: Michael dodged a bullet, considering the unconscionable abuse that Jake Lloyd faced in the backlash to the film. Internet assholery is nothing new.
Hat tip to reader Bluejay, with whom I agree that Michael’s audition, some of which we see in this short, makes us more predisposed to Michael’s more somber take on little Ani… though it clearly would have been a less cartoonish approach than George Lucas was obviously looking for.