Main Dawson Casting Discussion

Collapse/Expand Topics

03:26:52 AM Aug 22nd 2016
edited by supergod
The line "upwards of fifteen years old" was changed to "upwards of fifteen years older" (with "fifteen" changed to "fourteen" later) around 3 years ago without an edit reason. I changed it back to the earlier version, because it otherwise says actors playing high school kids are often 14 years older than the typical high school age, which would mean they'd usually be in their 30s.

I'm not sure if it's a deliberate exaggeration or just an error made by someone not very familiar with the term "upwards of", but the fact that it's near the beginning of the page could confuse people.

I kept the age as "fourteen", but if "fifteen" makes more sense then feel free to change it back to that.

Edit: In fact, it's probably better to just say that they're played by actors older than their characters without throwing in a specific number,
09:50:07 PM Sep 28th 2015
Can we have a Video Games folder because I noticed there isn't one completely. I'm assuming it was done on purpose and I'm curious as to why. For example, I feel like Angela Orosco from Silent Hill 2 is a good example because they purposefully chose an older actress even though the character is meant to be 16-17. However, if there's a reason it's not on there or another separate category then I'd just like to know why.
01:47:45 AM Sep 29th 2015
That'd be a discussion for Trope Talk IMO.
02:07:44 PM Nov 7th 2014
From the Buffy the Vampire Slayer example:

  • It got a little better in later seasons when they started making the seasonal timelines and lapses much longer in order to accommodate for the actors' and actresses' increasing ages. Instead of keeping them in high school, Buffy and the Scooby Gang are graduated and attending college by the end of Season 3, and Season 5 begins with most of them in their early to mid-twenties, joining the workforce, and facing the Real Life problems and responsibilities that come with being full-fledged adults.

Er... no? Buffy ages normally throughout the series. She has her 21st birthday in season 6, no time lapse or anything. Yeah, they aren't kept at a fixed age forever, but it's not like that's necessary to qualify for this trope.
02:37:30 PM Jul 28th 2014
edited by
Do you have to know the exact age of the actor for it to be an example? Vladislav Tretiak was only twenty when he was the Russian goalie in the Summit Series (famous hockey tournament between Canada and Russia in 1972). The movie Canada Russia 72 mentions this with a Canadian scout saying "Their goalie is a kid." However the actor looks nowhere near twenty. I can't find any information of the actors real age but he played a cab driver six years earlier.

Or is twenty too old for a character to fit this anyway?
03:10:19 PM Jul 28th 2014
Well, you can simply say "x is supposed to be a kid played by an actor in his twenties."

Also, it's the age of the actor that matters. Not the appearance. You can write "X is an example of Dawson Casting but you'd never notice it."
11:26:35 PM Jul 28th 2014
Dawson Casting is about ages, so yeah, you ought to know it, at least in broad strokes.
06:21:28 PM May 8th 2014
I think maybe the trope needs a rename unless it's a case of Flanderization because the trope namer Dawson's Creek is NOT an example of this trope because as the description says, college aged teenagers playing high school aged teenagers is not what this trope is about, because they look very similar in age. However, it's played with in later seasons where you have actors well into their 20's playing high school students. I think maybe a rename to 90210 Syndrome is more fitting because it's better known and although there were actual teenagers like Jennie Garth (who was 18 at the time), a lot of the cast were over 21, especially in later seasons.
03:29:20 AM May 9th 2014
Feel free to propose so in the Trope Repair Shop. That said, it won't likely happen since a) the term has caught on and b) "trope namer not being a straight example" is not usually a good rename reason.
11:29:25 AM Mar 11th 2014
edited by
I'm having trouble with the music section. Examples referring to performers in music videos playing teens are valid. But singers who continue to sing songs from a teenage viewpoint long after they've grown out of that? That sounds like a different trope to me. Also, are all bands with "Boys", "Girls" or "Kids" in their name really examples? That's more like these names becoming The Artifact after a certain point than those bands trying to pass for younger than they are. Lastly some of the examples are really ridiculous - the idea that Marilyn Manson shaves his body because hee's trying to look like a teenager?!? I'm taking that one out right now.
11:37:24 AM Mar 11th 2014
Aye, that is pushing it.
05:53:10 PM Jan 29th 2013
"Subverted in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit which featured an adult conwoman who posed as a teenager in several different high schools... The actress in question is actually younger than the role she was cast in, she was 26 and the character was 28."

I disagree that this is a subversion; she is playing someone who is supposed to look like a teenager, and therefore fact that she looks like a woman playing a teenager ruins the twist.
03:26:30 PM Jan 26th 2013
edited by GeorgeTSLC
Regarding item 4 in the article, about it being "easier to see the difference between a teen and a young adult if you are a teen or young adult":

In my early 20s, I had a job as a movie theatre doorman, charged w/ turning the under-18s away from the R-rateds. I would have told you that, only a few years before, when I'd been in high school or starting college, I could easily have told the difference between HS-aged and over-18, but at that time, my age-radar had already become very much less reliable.

Of course when I was in my teens I hadn't been checking IDs, so perhaps my impression wasn't accurate. Nevertheless, that's what I believed at the time—and maybe it WAS spot on.
06:22:05 PM Nov 10th 2012
I don't understand why this isn't called 90210 Casting. It was infamous for this, and more significantly so, well before Dawson's Creek came on the scene. The gross majority of the "High School" cast was in their late 20s when the show first aired in 1990 (the oldest being 29 years old). Possibly a case of damn kids being ignorant of anything before 1995 (couldn't find an appropriate trope for that).
06:23:14 PM Nov 10th 2012
I also don't understand why I can't delete topics if it's a duplicate.
03:17:30 PM Jan 26th 2013
Neither do I. But if you really hate it, you can edit one of them to read "[Deleted as a duplicate.]" or the like.
06:22:00 PM Nov 10th 2012
I don't understand why this isn't called 90210 Casting. It was infamous for this, and more significantly so, well before Dawson's Creek came on the scene. The gross majority of the "High School" cast was in their late 20s when the show first aired in 1990 (the oldest being 29 years old). Possibly a case of damn kids being ignorant of anything before 1995 (couldn't find an appropriate trope for that).
08:47:57 AM Oct 26th 2012
Fans defending their favorite actors and shows.

We really need to keep an eye on this.

I fixed one instance with the Inbetweeners, with someone saying it was "seriously creepy" how realistic the actors were. But then I noticed Justin Long, Gabourey Sidibe, Summer Glau, etctera... all with people chiming in on how young they look.

Your Mileage May Vary a LOT... they don't look all that young to me and some other people. Maybe slightly younger than SOME other people their age, but not so young as to freak out because they're mentioned on this trope. I, for one, never believed wrinkled and saggy Summer Glau as a teen no matter how much a fanboy is in love with her. And on the Terminator TV show, they did do some airbrushing of her face in some scenes, and on the DVD box art. So fanboys need to stop "citing sources" about how a reviewer of the show thought she was an actual teen, and how "they weren't supposed to be teens on the show." All natter, and false. As a 35-year-old who just got carded for cigarettes, I realize how inconsequential this is and what bad judges of age people can be.

And an adult actor's ability to pull off a teen character isn't really the point of this trope, especially since YMMV, so there's no real point in mentioning it. The fact is that an actor is closer to 30 than to 18, not how much a fanboy falsely believes that an actor can "pull it off."

In addition to single actors, we have fanboys who feel the need to chime in about shows that feature really old actors, by mentioning that the same show has young actors. I'm thinking specifically about Bring It On. Is it really necessary to defend Bring It On by mentioning the real teens as opposed to the 25-year-olds that outnumber the teens? It's the exception that proves the rule, and only makes the older actors that much more noticeable.

Also, Party of Five and some other examples. True, they were able to find 2 actors under 18 for Po F, but the point of this trope would be to list the dozens of other old actors they found to play the other teen siblings and friends and acquaintances.

This is especially annoying when it's mentioned in the Example section rather than the Exception section.

07:16:17 PM Mar 2nd 2012
Should this really apply to characters with an age difference of 1 year? That's fairly negligible; the age differences should be more dramatic.
10:56:08 AM Feb 8th 2012
The High School Characters in "Zapped!" were played by actors ranging in age from a 29 year old Irwin Keyes as the opposing school's star pitcher "Too Mean Levine" down to 17 year old Felice Schachter playing Bernadette Holland, Scott Baio's Girlfriend. Heather Thomas, the cheerleader prom queen, was 24 during filming and already portraying an adult stunt woman, Jody Banks, on the network TV show "The Fall Guy."
11:59:41 AM Sep 7th 2011
edited by WillBGood
[redacted for derpiness]
07:47:06 PM Jan 5th 2011
This is just about every single movie and TV show that I've ever seen.
08:21:33 PM Aug 28th 2010
Why is the cast of iCarly given as an example? It clearly states in the post that "Also, examples should be a truly dramatic difference; an 18-year-old actress playing a 16-year-old isn't Dawson Casting." when the cast are literally 17-18 year olds playing 16 year olds, AND they do look very young for their age. I'm removing it.
03:13:21 PM Apr 5th 2010
Just so I understand, this isn't about 29-year-olds playing 22-year-olds, is it?
08:20:35 PM Aug 28th 2010
edited by
Only if they don't look like people in their early 20s.
01:02:39 PM Jan 8th 2011
The trope isn't about simple age discrepencies, but usually hovers around the 18 year old margin, or high school to early college range. The reason is that the actuality of a character playing the exact same age as themselves is rather slim, so we would have several million examples if some groundrules aren't layed down. One is that it should be at least a 3 year difference and the other is "teenger played by an adult" because of general Hollywood law on minors. Playing Hamlet and Playing Gertrude are the adult versions of this trope.
Collapse/Expand Topics