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Playing With: Dawson Casting
Basic Trope: Actors play characters who are younger than them.
  • Straight: An actor who is 25 is cast as a high school student.
  • Exaggerated:
    • A middle-aged actor is cast as a preteen.
    • An actor who is in their 50s is cast as a high school student. Bonus Points if he/she manages to make it work, one way or the other.
  • Downplayed: An actor who is 20 is cast as a high school student.
  • Justified:
    • The actor/actress manages to look young for his/her age through the miracles of good genes, plastic surgery, anti-aging creams, etc.
    • The character is described as looking older than he/she really is, so they cast an older actor.
  • Inverted: A 17 year old actor is cast for a 25 year old character.
  • Subverted: We eventually learn that the character is only pretending to be a high school student—she's actually an undercover law enforcement agent.
  • Double Subverted: ...but she massively lied about her age when she joined the Secret Service. She really is a teenager.
  • Parodied: A 95-year-old plays an infant. And none of the characters comment.
  • Zig Zagged: Some of the teens are played by older actors, some (especially the ones towards the low end of teenaged) are played by actors the age of the characters, and the mother of one of the teen characters is played by an actress that is still in junior college.
  • Averted: All actors are roughly the same age as the characters they're playing.
  • Enforced:
    • "Dealing with teen actors is a pain—you have to deal with their parents and let them take time off for school. Just have adults pretend to be teens instead."
    • The content in the work would make it illegal to cast an actor who was the same age as the character.
  • Lampshaded: "He looks kind of old for a high school student, doesn't he?"
  • Invoked: An adult actor is allowed to decide their character's exact age, and he sets it in the teenage years.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: An adult actor is cast into a teenage part, and fights with the casting director to make them an adult.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: "Why is it that all the kids in those teen dramas look about as old as their parents?"
  • Deconstructed: Bob, the casting director for Generic Teen Soap, begins to wonder why his real-life teenaged daughter Alice looks so immature compared to the "teenagers" he works with on the program.
  • Reconstructed: After helping Alice and her classmates with their School Play, Bob remembers why he prefers working with slightly older actors in teenaged parts.
  • Played For Laughs: Not only are the "Teenagers" look too old to even be in college, but teachers and students have difficulty telling them apart if not they way they dressed.
  • Played For Drama: A 30 pedophile, who looks young for his age stalks a high school as a student.

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