Thursday Movie Picks: Child Actors Venturing Out Of Typecasting

This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is another suggestion from yours truly. Honestly I wish I would've worded it differently. I was getting at child actors that transition into adult roles that are very different from what we are used to seeing. I love it when they make that leap. It's not easy to do. Here are some of the most radically different films from what we saw of that actor when they were a kid.

1) Mysterious Skin

Joseph Gordon-Levitt played a lovable character on Third Rock From The Sun, then dipped his toe into teen comedies, but I don't think many saw this performance coming from him. I still think this is one of his greatest films and he was completely robbed of an Oscar nomination for it. 

2) Kill Your Darlings

Daniel Radcliffe will forever be known as Harry Potter and while his breakout was technically Equus on stage, his turn in Kill Your Darlings was drastically different from the Harry we knew.

3) Push

Push was the film where people finally started excepting that yes, cute little Dakota Fanning is growing up. She can swear, dye her hair, and be a smartass now. She's fine. We're fine. Everyone's fine. 

20 comments:

  1. Radcliffe has also appeared in an impressive number of truly bizarre films and I don't think I saw any of them

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    1. I try to keep up with him. The last few I really haven't liked aside from Swiss Army Man which is amazing.

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  2. My reaction to Mysterious Skin is a hard to quantify. It is a powerful, brilliantly acted film about an important subject that I felt gutted after seeing and while I'm not sorry I watched it you would have to drag me kicking and screaming to ever sit through it again. JGL was extraordinary in it and a nomination would not have been out of line.

    Daniel Radcliffe is certainly not afraid to challenge his Harry Potter image. Sometimes it has worked and sometimes not but he does make bold choices, of course with those HP $ he can afford to take risks. I didn't love Kill Your Darlings, it was kind of draggy but the acting wasn't at fault.

    I think Dakota Fanning is a talented girl but I hated Push.

    I had a little trouble deciding exactly how to approach the theme so I stuck with performers (as it turned out all actresses) who successfully attempted something different while still in their teens. And as happened all three were nominated for Supporting Actress Oscars (none won) for either their typecasting role or the one that broke the mold.

    Bonita Granville: The Nancy Drew Mysteries series

    Rising to fame at 12 (and netting an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress) in 1936’s These Three as a cancerous, vicious child whose lies destroys three lives simply because she can’t have her own way for the next several years Bonita was reliably cast as odious little bitches making adult lives miserable until her studio took a chance and cast her as mischievous, scrappy Nancy Drew in a series of low budget films. The series was very successful enabling her to expand her persona and bounced back and forth between good girls and bad until her retirement from acting in 1950.

    Jodie Foster: Taxi Driver

    From the age of six (though she had been a child model since the age of two) the incredibly prolific Jodie was one of the top child stars of the late 60’s and early 70’s mostly through her television work including her own series-Paper Moon-as the plucky tomboyish girl next door. But that changed with her Oscar nominated performance as the child prostitute Iris in Taxi Driver. It’s a haunting worn down profoundly sad piece of work.

    Natalie Wood: Rebel Without a Cause

    Gaining fame at age nine (though in her own estimation not really achieving stardom rather being in her words “a utility actress” slotted into whatever role fit her image) as the pragmatic, prematurely wise Susie who comes to believe in Santa Claus in 1947’s Miracle on 34th Street Natalie played variations on that character for the next eight years. Then in 1955 Nicholas Ray cast her as Judy, the vulnerable and lost teen skirting juvenile delinquency resulting in an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress and changing the direction of her career.

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    1. I was tempted to pick Hounddog for Dakota but I feel like more people saw Push. Of your picks I haven't seen the Nancy Drew series, but I loved Taxi Driver! Rebel I hated. Wood was good but James Dean was so terrible I had a hard time watching it. It still remains my least favorite film I've ever watched from participating in the Blind Spot series.

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    2. Ha! I don't love Rebel the way many do and think Dean was leagues better in East of Eden but didn't hate it either. It was okay but everyone including director Nick Ray have made much better movies.

      On the other hand while I thought Jodie was extraordinary I loathed Taxi Driver!!

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    3. That's funny! I don't run into many people that hated Taxi Driver. I haven't seen East of Eden, I wasn't sure if I wanted to see another Dean movie after that lol

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  3. I've seen Mysterious Skin as that was the film that proved that JGL is the future. I had a mixed reaction on Push but Dakota Fanning was awesome in that film as anything with her and Chris Evans together made the film enjoyable at times. I haven't seen Kill Your Darlings as I think it was on Starz for a while and then it was gone. I'll seek it out sometime soon.

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    1. Kill Your Darlings was really good, the cast is just phenomenal in it.

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  4. I haven't seen any of these movies, but they all sound interesting and sound like really drastic changes from the actors and actresses!

    Check out my Thursday Movie Pick!

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  5. I've only seen the one we match on...Mysterious Skin. JGL rules in that movie, though I've only seen it once and will likely not do that to myself again. Great picks!

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    1. It's a rough film to watch but very worth it for his performance. I'm glad you chose it too!

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  6. I think a lot of people think Daniel Radcliffe just disappeared after HP but he's done a lot of impressive work since!

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    1. He really has! I liked that mini series Miracle Workers he did earlier this year.

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  7. I agree with all of these even tho I didn't think of Fanning at all. I feel like she's always been the same to me :D

    I haven't seen Mysterious Skin yet... I know!!

    Potter aka Radcliff's Horns will remain the weirdest thing he's done.. and I've seen the Swiss Army Knife movie. :D

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    1. Horns...I really liked the book and man did they drop the ball with the movie. Swiss Army Man is magnificent. I love that that movie exists.

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  8. I haven’t seen any of these films but they are good choices. JGL Was so good in 3rd Rock and I really liked him in Inception. Daniel Radcliffe really wants to take risks and I loved him in a small film as Kipling’s son and he was so good in that horror film which I can’t recall. Good ole Dakotais a good actress but seems to be taking a back seat to her sister Elle. Whatever happened to Rupert Grint?

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    1. I don't understand why Rupert doesn't get better work. He's by far the best actor of the HP trio. Same with Dakota over Elle, I think Dakota is a better actress but Elle just picks better movies.

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  9. I still haven't seen Mysterious Skin.

    I suppose I wasn't surprise with whatever Radcliffe did since I think he started performing Equus when he was still playing Harry Potter.

    Push, I'd say that it was Fanning's first very teen role but she had started doing darker roles before that with Hide and Seek and Hounddog

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    1. Radcliffe definitely went for it which I always appreciated. I thought about picking Hounddog but I feel that movie is massively overhyped as the "Dakota Fanning rape movie" when it really wasn't all that different from some of the other precocious roles she played. Push at least felt different.

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