A young Frankie Muniz thought he didn’t belong in Hollywood

“I felt like an outcast."
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Frankie Muniz might have been a Hollywood star from the age of 13, but it hasn’t changed who he is at his core.

“I’ve never bought into Hollywood,” Frankie, 38, tells TV WEEK. “I was on a Hollywood show, I lived there for a long time, but I always felt like an outcast.” 

Frankie in Big Fat Liar.
(Image: Supplied)

The Malcolm In The Middle, Big Fat Liar and Agent Cody Banks star says people are always shocked to find he’s “so normal” despite his extensive film and TV résumé – and hopes people can see more of his personality on the I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! Australia 2024.

“People look at me and everything I’ve accomplished and see the positives,” Frankie says. “But I’ve had my struggles. I’ve gone through a lot of tough things that I don’t know if I’ll share in the jungle or not, but I’m not afraid for people to see the true and authentic me.”

Thanks to living the high life at such a young age, Frankie considers himself a “bit of a loner” now. He’s hoping his experience in the South African jungle might help change that.

“I’m horrible at communicating,” he says with a laugh. “I’m so bad at replying [to messages]. I know a lot of people, and have a lot of acquaintances, but I really want to be a better friend.

Frankie with his wife.
(Image: Instagram)

“Take away my phone for a month and I’ll have no communication with the outside world – so, hopefully, I come out [of the jungle] so excited to talk to everyone that I become the best communicator there ever was.” 

The celebrities never know who they’ll be bunking with in camp, but if Frankie had it his way, he’d be eating rice and beans with Bryan Cranston – his on-screen father in Malcolm In The Middle – who went on to further success in Breaking Bad.

“Bryan always commits 100 per cent to whatever task he’s doing,” Frankie reveals. “He’s the nicest guy in the world, so he’d be a great person to chat to. He’d be the ultimate jungle mate.”

After experiencing imposter syndrome in the acting world, particularly when being nominated for an Emmy and two Golden Globe Awards by the time he was 16, Frankie chose to continue life in the fast lane, but not in the way you’d think. 

“I was just a kid going to these huge award shows with adults, and it always felt weird that I was even there,” he says. “The only job in my life I truly feel natural in is racing. When I put on the helmet and leave pit lane, I know racing is what I was born to do.” 

Nowadays, Frankie – who’s a race-car driver and owns an olive oil company – lives a “quieter” life in Scottsdale, Arizona, with his wife Paige and three-year-old son Mauz. He says he’s ready for I’m A Celebrity to push him out of his comfort zone. 

“The unknown makes me nervous, but I’m up for the challenge,” he declares. “This year is about doing things I’d never normally do, but I’ve found in the past that when I do them, they become my favourite experiences.”

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