What's new

I did a new movie-related piece for RetroJunk... (1 Viewer)

John Kilduff

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 27, 2001
Messages
1,680
I've been fascinated by how older actors play younger characters in the movies, and as such, I've made an article about it. It covers several examples of movies with older actors playing younger as well as a few younger actors playing older. So, give it a read and tell me what you think.

Here's the link: The Age Old Question | Article

Sincerely,

John Kilduff...

Naturally, it's mostly 80s movies (although I also write about a 70s movie for the first time).
 

John Kilduff

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 27, 2001
Messages
1,680
I was writing about my fascination with older actors playing younger. I talked about why I could believe twenty-somethings playing teenagers. I based it primarily on attitude. I was basically positing the question "Is age nothing but a number?" in my own way.

Sincerely,

John Kilduff...

My next piece should be more understandable.
 

Film Syncs

Agent
Joined
Apr 15, 2008
Messages
32
Real Name
Phil M. Syncs
It is an interesting topic. I'm not sure why you covered 80 films but I'm guessing that is the decade you're most knowledgeable about.

Certainly guys like Jerry Lewis were still playing young male roles (e.g., The Errand Boy) when he was 35.

Jimmy Stewart played college age (and other ages) when he was 38 in It's a Wonderful Life.

There have always been real-life May-December romances, so it's fair to see them in the movies but they can be ... a little much.

Examples would be:

Jimmy Stewart dating Grace Kelly, he 20 years her senior in Rear Window

Clark Gable romantic with Marilyn Monroe when he was 25 years her senior

Gary Cooper, 29 years older than bride Grace Kelly in High Noon.

Fred Astaire, 30 years older than Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face
 

Brian D H

Second Unit
Joined
Sep 2, 2004
Messages
453
I would argue that's it's becoming somewhat a thing of the past. From the beginning of film until the 90s teenage characters were almost always played by someone older. The obvious reason was to avoid the difficulties of working with a minor (legal guardians, child labor laws, etc.). Plus, since we almost always saw twenty-somethings playing teens, it began to look almost normal to most audiences. Many times I have heard people remark how young high-school kids looked in real life instead of remarking how old they looked on 90210.

In the mid-nineties we finally began to see a shift. Maybe it was because audiences were becoming more sophisticated, more likely it was because studios didn't want yet another 30-something appearing in the final seasons of a 10-season long teen drama; but Hollywood began to cast teens playing close to their own age on a regular basis. Regardless of the reason at the time, it is now an expectation. I doubt modern film audiences would accept an actor playing a part too many years too young anymore*.

If Harry Potter had been a series in the 50s-80s we would have certainly seen the characters played by actors 18 and up, but now they could never get away with it. Heck, I'm still impressed with the fact that they were willing to cast a 17-year-old minor for the role of Peter Pevensie in Narnia instead of an 18-year-old. (William Moseley didn't turn 18 until the movie was about to be released.)
_______
* One exception is TV, specifically UPN/WB/UPN teen shows. Studios do not want to deal with child labor laws on a weekly series and luckily the audiences for these shoes don't care that the stars are obviously too old as long as they look hot enough.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Threads
356,494
Messages
5,114,176
Members
144,102
Latest member
eathree
Recent bookmarks
0
Top