We’ve heard about actors going an extra mile or a whole lunar distance to fit the role of their dreams. But what if their way to stardom requires taking “age is just a number” all too literally?
You see, it turns out that there’s not just one or two actors who have played characters far from their real age. From Gwyneth Paltrow to Amanda Seyfried, some of the cases you see below are truly mind-boggling. Remember Moaning Myrtle from the Harry Potter films? Allegedly, the actress Shirley was 37 years old at the time of filming, which made her the oldest actor to play a teenage student at Hogwarts. If you ask me, I see no reason why defying age shouldn’t count as a magic power.
Thomas Brodie-Sangster Was Actually 14 When He Played A 7-Year-Old Kid In Nanny Mcphee
Laurence Fishburne Was Only 14 When He Played A Soldier In Apocalypse Now
Shirley Henderson, Who Played Moaning Myrtle In The Harry Potter Films, Was Actually 37 When She Appeared In The Second Film
If you wonder why so many teenage roles are actually played by adult actors, there may be a good reason or two for this. First of all, according to child labor laws, kids can only work for up to a few hours at a time. Meanwhile, movie sets and TV productions will normally spend 10-12 hours a day working on a set.
There is also the issue of schooling that most minors are still required to complete. Plus, minors are more expensive to get insured if their job requires them to do stunts and physical work. Casting slightly older actors may be a workaround for not paying extra costs.
Moreover, the child actor can outgrow the age of their characters as their aging is more noticeable. Think of the ages 13 and 18 and how vast the difference is. And lastly, the great majority of professional actors are twenty and up, so they always already have greater experience and acting skills to compare with teenage and child actors.
Audrey Hepburn 32 In Breakfast At Tiffany’s As 18 Year Old
John Franklin, Children Of The Corn. The Role Of The 12-Year-Old Prophet In The Horror Movie Children Of The Corn Became A Debut For John Franklin. By That Time The Actor Had Already Turned 25
Winona Ryder Was 28 When She Played An 18-Year-Old In "Girl, Interrupted" As Susanna Kaysen
For many child actors who start out at a very early age, the sudden fame and intense work load may be debilitating. Macaulay Culkin, who started acting at the age of 4 and got famous for his role as Kevin McCallister in the Home Alone films, has said multiple times how truly hard it all was.
“It started feeling like a chore. I started vocalizing that and not being heard: I was saying, ‘I wanna go to school—I haven’t done a full year of school since first grade,'” he told Esquire in a recent interview.
Culkin’s lifelong struggle with psychological problems also serves as an example that casting a very young actor for a leading role which requires a lot of responsibility may be, in some way, harmful.