The actor broke into Hollywood starring as a heart throb in teen movies but soon disappeared from the acting scene.
Freddie Prinze Jr. was all set to become one of the next big things in Hollywood. He was the breakout star after landing a string of roles in teenage movies including the horror franchise 'I Know What You Did Last Summer,' Summer Catch,' and 'Scooby-Doo.' His boyish charm and electric charisma on-screen stood out from a mile out. However, things didn't pan out the way Prinze Jr. wanted and he's now, moved away from Hollywood to become a full-time dad, which to be fair, he's acing it. Everyone makes their choices, even if they may not be popular ones. But those who have grown up watching the heartthrob will wonder what altered the path of his career so drastically.
The California actor made quite a splash in the industry at the beginning and was the darling of the media. His celebrity quotient skyrocketed as he started dating Sarah Michelle Gellar, a teen idol herself. His career hit a roadblock as he was typecast, and kept playing a variation of the same role, with movies banking heavily on his charm. With little scope for expressing his acting range, the roles in movies became predictable. He played the loverboy repeatedly. While his career may have taken a dip, his personal life was as good as it could get. He was deeply in love with Sarah Michelle Gellar and they had their first child in 2009 and a second in 2012. Becoming a father, transformed Prinze Jr.'s life, and the draw came from a deeply personal space.
Prinze Jr.'s father has died by suicide when he was just a 10-month old baby. “My old man taught me a lot of stuff in his death that I don’t even know if he would have been able to teach me had he been alive,” said Prinze Jr. in 1999, reported Chicago Tribune. More than anything, he was determined to be there for his kids and turned into a full-time father. "When my daughter was born, that was pretty much it for me. I became a full-time father. It’s not a job. It’s what I love to do," he said. “For me being a father, not having a dad, it makes it my number one priority,” he told E!. It's easy to judge Prinze Jr., but he's clearly winning at life, and if that makes him happy then who are we to decide what's best for him.
The couple took the decision that they would never work at the same time so as to ensure the children were never left without a parent at home. It was also one of the standout qualities of Prinze Jr. He was secure enough to watch his wife's career soar and for him, it was important to be there for his kids. "Yeah, I didn't miss it at all when I walked away," the actor told PEOPLE.
While Prinze Jr. might not be a Hollywood mainstay, but he's still working on projects that interest him. He made a comeback to acting with Peacock's Punky Brewster reboot, in which played Travis, the ex-husband of Soleil Moon Frye's titular character. And for those who have missed the heartthrob, fret not, Netflix has announced Prinze Jr. is set to star in a top-billed holiday romantic comedy opposite Aimee Garcia, reported Hollywood Reporter. His return to acting has also been inspired by his daughter. "I wanted to be creative again, and when the pandemic started, it began with writing. Writing eventually turned into wanting to act again, which got my daughter very excited. All of a sudden, I wanted to show her what her dad could do," he said. Not to mention that he has also started his own new wrestling podcast, 'Wrestling With Freddie.' We can't wait to see Freddie Prinze Jr.'s got in store for us, on all fronts.