There was once an era in television when Disney Channel original movies were in their prime. I'm talking Stepsister From Planet Weird, Zenon Girl of the 21st Century, and Johnny Tsunami prime. These were kind of movies you counted down the hours with your friends for. (Admit it, you every lyric to the song "Supernova Girl.") Personally, my favorite of all those films has always been The Luck of the Irish. But where is Ryan Merriman from The Luck of the Irish now? He's all grown up, still acting, and has some more projects coming our way very soon.
Merriman was the star of three DCOMs during his younger years, which basically makes him the king of Disney movies in my book. The first was 1999's Smart House. He played nerdy Ben Cooper, who wins a contest that allows his family to move into a house with smart capabilities. Of course, the house gets jealous and kidnaps the family, and it is up to Ben to save them all. Only two years later, Merriman had a major growth spurt and played junior high school basketball star Kyle Johnson in The Luck of the Irish. In this film, as you may recall, he had to fight to save his family from evil leprechauns after discovering that he, too, was a leprechaun. His last DCOM appearance was in 2002's film A Ring of Endless Light, playing Adam Eddington, a 17-year-old kid with a strong interest in science. (Fun fact: he starred opposite The O.C.'s Mischa Barton.)
Ever since laying down his title of king of the DCOMs, Merriman has been steadily climbing his way to the top, with roles in both television and film. He starred in Pretty Little Liars as Ian Thomas, but, sadly, his character was killed off, kind of. Things are never really set in stone in that show. He also had a small role in the pilot of The Rock's new show Ballers on HBO, as well as in the film 42. Merriman still hasn't given up the ghost when it comes to made-for-TV movies, and even starred Pixl TV's How Not to Propose.
But, most importantly, where can you see Merriman next? Currently, he is set to star as Jake in the drama series Confessions of a Hollywood Bartender.
It's always good to see a former child star with their head on straight and job prospects on the horizon. I'm sure we haven't seen the last of Ryan Merriman, and, with all the reunions in the works, maybe — just maybe — we'll get to have a Smart House 2. Especially since, apparently, Merriman could build all the furniture in said smart house himself if he wanted to. Talk about a dream boat!