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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

lwc: Why isn't it called after Beverly Hills 90210? It was like a decade earlier, more successful and I think some of the actors there were much older than those of Dawson's (who were just about 20+-)?
  • Muz: I agree that 90210 is one of, if not the, most notorious and extreme example in TV. One of the girls was 32 and playing 17. Most of the cast were in their mid-to-late twenties as well (when the show started!). It's more well known for this than Dawsons and Buffy put together, I'd wager. Womens magazines still make nostalgic jokes about it (saw one just the other week in fact). Trouble is I can't think of a better title (90210 related or not).

Your Obedient Serpent might amend this to note how often it occurs in comic books, particularly back in the '70s and '80s, when the "Teen" Titans looked 20-something, as did the similarly-aged Legion of Super Heroes and X-Men.

KJMackley: I'm thinking that there needs to be some standard to judge this trope by, because there are a couple of straight examples that talk of characters supposing to be 16 when the actors are 19, which doesn't seem so bad to me. I think the standard needs to be within three or four years, because it's unresonable to think that they wouldn't cast the perfect actor because they are two years older then the intended age.
  • Etherjammer: I actually came over here to complain about this. Seeing as there's already a complaint, I'll go ahead and clean it up. I moved Dominique Swain's Lolita performance to the Exceptions section and removed a few other examples, and added a note to the descriptive text to the effect that Katie Holmes in Dawson's Creek is barely an example with a three-year difference.

arromdee: Took out the Jason Earles reference, because according to Wikipedia there are two conflicting references, one of which described him as 29 in 2007 and another describing him as 19. It's far more likely the 29 is just a typo rather than that he's actually 29 then (and 31 now).

Shale: The Wizard of Oz example is amusing, but does it count when the script removes all references to the character's age?
  • Revolos55: I would say the same thing applies to the Sense and Sensibility entry, because I don't think Elinor and Marianne's ages are ever referenced in the movie.

Marie: removed this 2nd tier bullet: 'An exception is many of the live-action shows for the pre-school set, such as the afore-mentioned Lazytown.' from the Nick entry under exceptions because LazyTown isn't a Nick production, it was commissioned from LazyTown Entertainment, who had always cast a clearly grown woman as Stephanie in the Icelandic productions that pre-dated the TV show (and thus any connection with Nick). Maybe there's a real example, but I can't think of any other live-action preschool show that might be Nick that uses kid characters at all, and I'm not seeing any examples in the page.

KJMackley: I cut these two comments because the Buffy comment contradicts itself and because Eliza Dushku was 18 playing a teenager, I don't think the show specifically said she was younger then Buffy, just called as a Slayer after her. In the Spider-Man comment, voice acting is all about the voice, not the age or appearance of the performer. Dawson Casting Exceptions with voice acting is noticable but to list straight examples of Dawson Casting in animation is unnecessary.
  • Just to complicate matters, Buffy's Darker and Edgier counterpart Faith, equivalent in age, was played by Eliza Dushku, who was three and a half years younger than Sarah-Michelle Gellar. Accordingly, the character looked a lot younger than Buffy. So far so Dawson, but it makes a measure of sense considering she was called two years after Buffy and acted a hell of a lot younger than her. Then a spin-off novel declared Faith the character to be the same age as Eliza Dushku (and therefore older than Buffy, which doesn't entirely mesh with show continuity), in a retroactive aversion.
  • In The Spectacular Spider Man, grown adults voice all the teenaged characters. For example, Josh Keaton, 29, voices the lead, 16-year-old Peter Parker. The youngest among them, Lacey Chabert and Ben Diskin, both 25, voice 16-year-old Gwen Stacy and 18-year-old Eddie Brock respectively, while the eldest, 41-year-old Phil Lamarr, voices 17-year-old Rand Robertson.

~Mr. Guest~: "This trope also allows said "teenagers" to perform various acts on camera that would be highly illegal if they were actually underage. (It's generally illegal in the U.S. to do anything that even simulates sex on film unless everyone involved is 18 or older)" It's illegal?.. Was that based on a reliable source? Because I can recall at least one production that seems to say otherwise- Down In The Valley with the 17 year old Evan Rachel Wood, as well as several cases of nude scenes.

TJ Devil 02: Calling Heart Burn Kid — we need a ruling on Hornswoggle. The actor/wrestler is 22 or so, and it's heavily implied Hornswoggle is, like, 10 years old or something. Despite having a beard.

Quillain: I cut this because it's just natter and speculation. I mean, I'm sure it's true, but ...
  • This Troper would be willing to bet that Danaerys Targareyan won't be played by a thirteen-year-old in the upcoming Live Action adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire.

Deaderrose: Alright, so I was wondering what trope it would be if a character is being played by an actor much older than the character, but they are grown adults. In LOST, they recently decided that a large amount of characters were born in 1977, and a large part of the series took place in 2004, making those characters roughly 27. Daniel Faraday is probably the youngest of these characters, because its implied his mother was pregnant with him in 1977 (Jeremy Davies, his actor, is 39). Miles Straume was 27 when introduced (3 months old during the 1977 plotline) and his actor Ken Leung is also 39. The winner is Ethan Rom, though, whose birth we watch in 1977, played by William Mapother who was in his 40s when he filmed a flashback to 3 years before the main plot started, meaning he was playing a 24 year old. Of course, most of this is fridge logic, and Miles and Daniel both age up 3 years, but its still noteworthy. I don't know that it fits here though, so I'm not adding it until I know what others think.

Man Without A Body: I'm removing this picture because Mr. B isn't an example. She's Really 700 Years Old, if you recall - she was in the Garden with Mr. and Mrs. Adam (she was the snake). And there's no dialogue about her being an adolescent boy.
Adolescent boy played by scary adult woman.