Is it just me, or do all 'teenagers' in TV and Movies look much older?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by NickSo, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Almost all of these shows, the kids and teenagers look like they're AT LEAST two or three years older than the character they're acting.

    Is it just me, and that all my friends and people I go to school with look young, or indeed, the actors are older than they act?

    If they are older, why dont they get teenagers to play 'teenager' roles?

    Edit: WOW, that was a horribly written title grammar-wise... Note to self, when rewriting the title, rewrite the WHOLE title... [​IMG]
     
  2. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    maybe they're still at school?
     
  3. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    There might be labour laws as well limiting how long and in what conditions a minor can work.

    I would also guess that teenagers (but with some notable exceptions) would not necessarily have the right work-ethic that a studio would require. This would be exacerabated on a TV show, which is to all intents and purposes a full-time job; at least a movie could be treated as a (really cool) summer job, once it wraps you go back to school.

    I know there are lots of good and responsible "child" or "teen" actors out there, indeed many successful series are built around them, but if a studio can avoid the hassle/risk by hiring a slightly older actor/actress, I can see it makes sense.

    Of course, 90210 took it to an extreme hiring a 30 year old...
     
  4. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Quite a few shows have 20 and 30 year olds playing teens. But whats really bad is that a show can go through four or five dogs.
     
  5. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Fixed it.

    M.
     
  6. Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

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    It's not just you. Smallville is a perfect example. Ever notice the amount of make-up that is on that cast?
     
  7. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    Just consider ourselves lucky we don't live in Shakespeare's day - when the gals were played by guys.



    [​IMG]
     
  8. Todd_B

    Todd_B Second Unit

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  9. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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    Heh, Michael J. Fox was what, 30 when he played 17 year old Alex Keaton?
     
  10. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Most actors are older than the characters they play. Some pull it off better than others.
     
  11. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Just to change it up, Scarlett Johansson was 18 but played someone 21-22 in "Lost In Translation".
     
  12. Ryan Wishton

    Ryan Wishton Screenwriter

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    Yes,

    Many characters are older than the age they play...

    Sometimes, I think someone is older and they actually are the age they play... That seems strange sometimes...

    This one girl in a college class looked to be in her late 40's... She was only 24...

    You can never be sure one way or the other many times...
     
  13. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    Back in college, a friend of mine was telling me, when he was still in high school (age 18) and attending a scout camp as the assistant scout master, a scout master from another troop was talking to him, and asked him whether he'd brought his family; the other guy thought he was 35!

    The irony is today my friend is 35, and still looks the same as when he was in college, and he will probably still look the same when we're 60.
     
  14. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    My college choir director was walking around the university center in a vest and tie one day and someone asked if he was there for the career fair. He's in his late 20s or early 30s.
     
  15. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    As far as TV shows: With a 20 year old, his/her looks are fairly stable, maybe the studios avoid teens because their looks can drastically change as the seasons go on? You don't want a cute kid going through his/her "Awkward" phase (or puberty) on national television. [​IMG]

    p.s. example, look what happened to some of the Brady Bunch kids [​IMG]
     
  16. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Alison Lohman was around 24 when she was playing a 14 year old in "Matchstick Men".
     
  17. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Michael J. Fox was 21 when the show started. Either that or he lies about his age and he's now in his 50's.

    I think 90210 was one of the worst about this. Were any of the original cast close to the age they were playing? And it looks like most of the cast of Dawson's Creek were around 20 when they were supposed to be 15 or 16 year olds.

    Wasn't Queen Amidala supposed to be 14 in the Episode 1? Natalie Portman had to have been 17 when that started filming, and in my opinion she looked her age, if not older, but definitely not 14.

    It does make some sense though. Labor laws, school schedules, maturity, all those things have to play a factor when casting.
     
  18. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Wasn't Emmanuel Lewis 30 when he was on Webster? [​IMG]

    Actually, he was 12 when the show started and he played a little kid.
     
  19. James T

    James T Screenwriter

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    If you want real teenagers, watch Thirteen.

    I remember MADtv did a joke about Dawson's Creek that had the characters balding.

    I think Brian Austin Green and Tory Spelling were only the people playing there real age.

    Also, Saved by the Bell had Zack seemed close enough as Zack went through puberty around the proper time.
     
  20. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    It does seem like shows that have children as major characters do seem a bit closer, Boy Meets World, Saved by the Bell, Clarrissa, and others. Some of those started with the kids in junior high school, around 7th grade or so. It would be harder to fake that than high school.

    What's really funny is how kids magically age over a year or so. My mom always commented on how children would go away for a year to boarding school on Young and The Restless and come back as teenagers. Of course that's an entirely different phenomenon.

    Then there's those Simpson's kids. They never seem to age at all. Strange...
     

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