Stuff that wouldn’t fly in the real world often happens on the big screen. We’re talking about steamy scenes involving underage actors and actresses, some movies that were even nominated for Oscars. The age of consent is 18 in the USA and 16 in Canada, yet many films feature children and teens in consenting roles. In Hollywood such roles are acceptable, but they’d be considered creepy, and/or inappropriate, if not flat out illegal in real life. Some of these actors even had their first kiss on-screen! Sometimes the youth of these actors slips by without comment from the public, but depending on the explicit nature of the scene, it can cause controversy and anger.
If a child is underage, parental consent is needed to be able to have a minor participate in these more ‘adult’ scenes. Parents are also required to be on set. Of course, there are things like body doubles and other special effects, but some question if it’s all really enough. Here’s a list of some steamy on-screen moments that definitely would have been deemed highly inappropriate and illegal in the real world.
10. Shia LaBeouf and Amy Smart
The on-screen kiss shared between Shia LaBeouf and Amy Smart in 2003’s The Battle of Shaker Heights, a light comedy-drama, would have been barely legal in real life. Shia LaBeouf was a mere 16 or 17 while Amy Smart was 10 years his junior. Consent is considered illegal at the age of 15 if the partner is more than five years older, and LaBeouf was barely old enough. Nevertheless, if the kiss was anything like Megan Fox’s on-screen kiss with LaBeouf, Smart may not have minded kissing a young man ten years younger than her (Megan Fox claimed that LaBeouf was her favorite on-screen kiss).
9. Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis
When Michael Kelso and Jackie share their first kiss on That 70’s Show, no immediate alarm bells go off — they look, more or less, like two teens sharing an awkward first kiss (in fact, it was Mila Kunis’ first kiss ever and happened to be with her eventual husband). Upon further investigation, however, if that kiss were to happen in real life, most people probably would have had something to say about it. Kunis was a young 15 year old and not old enough to give her consent to Ashton Kutcher, who was 21 at the time. In the words of Kutcher: “I mean, here’s this little girl and I have to kiss her. It was nerve-racking.” Emphasis on “little” girl, apparently.
8. Sophie Turner
The ever popular HBO show Game of Thrones, is no stranger to graphic sex scenes, so it comes as no surprise that they would have some minors involved in such scenes at some point on the show. Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, has had to film a lot of graphic sex scenes during her time on the show, some of which have been highly controversial. During the first three seasons of the show, she was also underage — she was 15 or so at the time the first episode aired. Although her scenes would have been with Joffrey (played by Jack Gleeson), who was four years older and narrowly remained legal, her parents still had to be on set while they were filming because she was under the age of 18.
7. Kirsten Dunst and Brad Pitt
1994’s Interview with the Vampire featured an on-screen kiss that most certainly would not have been condoned in the real world. Little Kirsten Dunst was only 11 years old (her first on-screen kiss) when she kissed Brad Pitt, who was 31 years old – in other words, it’s all kinds of wrong, even if the peck was rather tame. We can’t speak for Pitt, but Dunst found it disgusting to have to kiss him (naturally, as any 11 year old probably would). Despite the awkward underage scenes, the critics didn’t seem to be bothered by it as the film went on to be nominated for multiple Oscars.
6. Cary Elwes and Alicia Silverstone
1993’s The Crush is based on the true story of a journalist who finds that a 14-year-old girl, played by Alicia Silverstone, is infatuated with him. Although Nick (Cary Elwes) is actually a “victim” of Darian’s (Silvertone) advances, the two do lock lips in the movie, which is rather inappropriate given their age differences. Silverstone was playing a 14-year-old (she was 17 in real life) in the movie while Elwes was 31 and playing a 28-year-old. Either way, the relationship was just inappropriate and definitely was considered illegal/barely legal.
5. Colin Farrell and Q’orianka Kilcher
Colin Farrell and Q’orianka Kilcher, who play the historical figures Captain John Smith and Pocahontas in 2005’s The New World, take part in a budding romance. Although the scenes in the film leaned toward romantic and were mostly considered tasteful (the film mainly featured kissing scenes), the relationship would still be considered illegal in Canada today, due to the fact that Kilcher was underage at the time (she was 15) while Farrell was 29. The film was nominated for an Oscar and although the film initially received mixed reviews, it later went on to be considered one of the “best films of the decade”.
4. Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins
Blue Lagoon was considered shocking when it made its debut in 1980, particularly because there was an underage Brooke Shields in the film doing nude, sexual scenes at the young age of 14 years old. In all fairness, the film was about two shipwrecked teens who are coming to age sexually without any adults to guide them. However, even years later, Shields had to testify that the film used body doubles who were of legal age because the scenes were deemed that controversial. If this was real life, there would also be problems with the fact that Christopher Atkins, was five years her senior, which meant that Shields’ wasn’t of the age to consent, making it a technically illegal coupling.
3. Nicole Kidman and Cameron Bright
The premise of 2004’s Birth is that a young boy tries to convince a woman (Nicole Kidman) that he is her dead husband reincarnated. The movie features a controversial bathtub scene where the young boy, who was 11 at the time, slowly gets undressed in front of Kidman (they were actually filmed apart from each other), among other inappropriate scenes. One involved a passionate kiss and one involved Kidman asking the young boy if he has made love to a girl while they ate ice cream. The film garnered a lot of hostility, including from people in Venice due to the bathtub scene. On the topic, Kidman said that the movie: “disturbs some people and makes them uncomfortable” but that “it’s meant to do that, but not in a way that exploits a young boy.” She also said: “It’s not about sex, you know, it’s certainly not about sex. It’s about love, it’s about being … under the spell of somebody.” Kidman said they took steps to protect Bright’s “innocence” and that he never got to read the script. “He doesn’t quite know what he’s doing, which is good,” Kidman said.
2. Dakota Fanning
2007’s Hounddog didn’t sit well with many – not with the critics nor the public, who highly criticized the r*pe scene involving Dakota Fanning, who was only thirteen years old at the time. Even though no outright nudity occurred and the act was only implied, people were still not happy. The film even became known as the “Dakota Fanning r*pe movie” at the Sundance Film Festival. Not only did the film generate a lot of criticism on that particular front, but the relationship between Fanning and her attacker, who was 19 years old, also would have been very illegal in the real world. In the end, Hounddog was such a heated film that Fanning’s mother was a target of a lot of hate, which caused the younger Fanning a lot of distress.
1. Brooke Shields
A film about child prostitution in New Orleans, which went on to receive positive reviews from critics, is going to be pretty hard-pressed not to feature an underage actress. It appears as though Brooke Shields (left) has done a lot of underage nudity in films. 1978’s Pretty Baby, the historical fiction film, is no exception. Shields was twelve years old at the time and the film features her not only nude in various scenes but also getting intimate (as implied) with a man much older than her. Naturally, Shields was yet again the source of a lot of controversy due to her nude scenes – in fact, the film was banned in multiple provinces in Canada, namely Ontario and Saskatchewan.