Child TV star slams sitcom: 'They treated me like a prop'

Madeline Zima during a happier time filming Californication.
Madeline Zima during a happier time filming Californication.

The child star who had a starring role on Fran Drescher's hit '90s comedy show The Nanny has slammed the sitcom, saying it "wasn't a fun experience".

Madeline Zima played Grace 'Gracie' Sheffield on the show, which ran for six seasons from 1993-99 and was about a woman with little experience who became the nanny to three upper class children.

Zima, who has since gone on to star alongside David Duchovny in the more adult themed show Californication and in axed superhero show Heroes, told The TV Page that she didn't enjoy her time on The Nanny - but didn't realise how bad it was until she appeared in other film and TV roles.

"There were other experiences on other sets where people treated me kindly. I worked when I was five years old on The Hand That Rocks the Cradle and everybody was wonderful to work with on that set.

"People treated me as they should have - because I was a child. There was just a kindness and a sensitivity that didn't exist on the set of The Nanny.

"They treated me more like a prop than like a human being."

Zima told the website she gets asked about her role on The Nanny a lot, and she was tired of pretending she enjoyed it.

"At a certain point I can't pretend like it was some great experience anymore. And it bums so many people out because they love the show. They are like, 'What's wrong with this girl? Why didn't she like it?'

"But I would rather be honest. I have been diplomatic and neutral and politically correct long enough. I don't have to do that s*** anymore."

Zima also told The TV Page that she didn't feel comfortable filming her controversial sex scenes with Duchovny's character Hank Moody in the first season of Californication. She plays Mia Lewis, an underage fan who sleeps with Moody and at one point punches him in the face in bed.

"I don't think anyone feels comfortable doing that stuff. I didn't feel comfortable doing it. It was a consequence of doing the job. I liked the role ...

"I did not realise at the time that anytime you look up Madeline Zima on the internet that for the rest of my life there is going to be an image of me with my boobs out punching somebody in the face."

- nzherald.co.nz

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