As evidenced by readership in our first piece from a few weeks back, Hollywood people aren’t the only ones interested in actresses put under pressure to act out roles that might be inappropriate for their age group, our readers are too!
When Hollywood finds great young actors and actresses, writers seem to get off on putting them in situations that are beyond their years and if these events happened in the real world, people would be horrified. But that’s the point, isn’t it? To create entertainment that will blow us away, at whatever cost.
We all seem to enjoy watching the horror or the harrowing drama unfold. We’re drawn to it. Eyes glued to the screen, unable to turn away. We all can relate or know someone who has lived these life experiences or all cringe at the disturbing thoughts and actions one might inflict on our youth, or the pleasant thoughts of young love. With that in mind, here are 16 more actresses that were just too young for these scenes.
16. Saoirse Ronan – Hanna
Ever hear the phrase “the sins of the father…?” That phrase might never be more prevalent than in the film, Hanna. The action movie stars Eric Bana as Erik Heller, an ex-CIA operative who has been living off the grid in Finland for years and training his daughter, Hanna since the age of three how to be a killer and assassinate the woman who has been hunting them all of these years because of the big secret Erik knows.
Imagine all of those girls who have been training in dance since they were three. They’d be pretty accomplished dancers, wouldn’t they? Now take away any social skills and replace dance with being a soldier – they’d be similar to a girl like Daphne Keene in Logan (see Part One), or Saoirse Ronan in Hanna.
Any time a kid with a gun is on screen, it can be a little jarring. But when they’re a little girl like Hanna, and they know how to use firearms and fight in hand it hand combat just as good as the operatives who are hunting her is downright scary, which is how Ronan plays the part throughout the adventure.
15. Abigail Breslin – Perfect Sisters (And Others)
It doesn’t matter how old you are, the better the performer you are, the more harrowing situations and roles an actress might land herself. After completely stealing audiences’ hearts in Little Miss Sunshine, Abigail Breslin’s star has been shining ever since and seemingly no role or subject matter is too big for her little young self to tackle.
It’s not necessarily that she’s too young for the roles she’s in, so much as writers and directors seem to take sheer glee in putting her through the ringer. After Sunshine, Breslin went on to a surprising turn as the less than precocious Little Rock in Zombieland and roles of all kinds and ranges followed suit.
No one should have to go through the events of some of the films that Breslin has gone through – even before her breakthrough role, she was being taken to task – in Keane she plays a little girl who reminds a man of his own dead daughter and he plots to kidnap her; in The Call she actually does get kidnapped and has to use her ingenuity and the savvy of Halle Berry’s 911 operator to survive. Perhaps most disturbing is the film, Perfect Sisters, where Breslin plays Sandra Anderson who along with her sister plot to and succeed at killing their own mother, with Sandra later attempting suicide.
14. Jaime Pressly – Poison Ivy: The New Seduction
When we last left the seductive Poison Ivy franchise, we met Drew Barrymore in a role she was too young for. The cult film became a franchise and as its staple would cast younger ladies playing vivacious vixens who strip to their skivvies to entrap men in their webs. The second flick, Lily had Alyssa Milano doing the honors.
Jaime Pressly stars in the third film in the tawdry series, Poison Ivy: The New Seduction where she plays Violet, an 18 year old who finds her way into the lives of Megan and Ivan Greer. It’s alluded to that she might be Ivy’s sister (from the first film).
The movie is a step away from being a “Skinemax,” flick and was for a while. But before Pressly became a regular working actress, this was the movie she was known for. Can you blame fans for wanting to see her show off her amazing body as a BDSM prostitute?
13. Chiaki Kuriyama – Battle Royale
Take a bunch of kids, toss them on buses for a field trip, where…surprise only the last kid left alive gets to come home and you have the Hunge–actually you have the Japanese film that predates the Suzanne Collins story by over a decade. For all you Kill Bill marks out there, if you haven’t seen Battle Royale yet, go do so since Chiaki Kuriyama’s Takako Chigusa was Tarantino’s inspiration for the character and the casting of Gogo Yubari.
Kuriyama was only 16 when she appeared as Takako in the twisted horror movie, which explores probably the craziest situation that could happen to any group, let alone teenagers – thanks to the Battle Royal Act, the Japanese government basically kidnaps a group of teenagers and drops them on an island to murder each other.
Thankfully, the barbarism depicted in the film in theory will never happen and it’s just a grand social experiment that introduced American audiences to Kuriyama in a pretty violent way as she yields a blackjack and uses it to stab one of the other kids/competitors in the crotch before the chest to kill him.
12. Paulina Gaitan – Trade
Although she’s currently on the show, Narcos, Mexican actress Paulina Gaitan might not be a known name to a lot of readers, but if you’ve seen the harrowing all too real sex-trafficking drama, Trade then you would have seen her before.
The movie, starring Kevin Kline as a fraud investigator who winds up helping Jorge find his 13 year old younger sister, Adriana (Gaitan, 15 at the time), who was kidnapped to be auctioned off as a sex slave and bring her home safely.
Sure, it’s the movie plot of about 200 SVU episodes on TV, but don’t let that or the Rotten Tomatoes score fool you – this is a good, underrated movie that rips the doors off of a big time problem in Mexico and all over the world. Adriana is even forced to give oral in one creeptastic scene, the only reason her captor forbade her from having sex at this point was because she was to be sold as a virgin.
11. Christina Ricci – The Opposite Of Sex
Not only was alternative goddess Christina Ricci just turning of age in 1998 to be cast as sexually promiscuous lady in Don Roos’ The Opposite of Sex, but she’s playing even younger in the movie!
She made her film debut as Cher’s daughter in Mermaids, and really stole every scene she was in during both The Addams Family and Addams Family Values (next time Girl Scouts try to sell you cookies, ask if they’re made from real Girl Scouts), but she was never before viewed as a sex symbol.
But several years later and wow, did Wednesday Addams grow up, thanks to roles in films like Buffalo ’66, The Ice Storm and Sleepy Hollow, she was doing her best to shed any goth precociousness in favor of Indy, alt-rock sex appeal. It all started with The Opposite of Sex, where Ricci played 16 year old Dedee Truitt, who was already preggers when she seduces her half-brother’s boyfriend and convinces him she’s with his child.
10. Natalia Dyer – I Believe In Unicorns
Natalia Dyer and her performance as Nancy was exceptional. While this was also Dyer’s first major foray in her acting career, she was also riveting albeit pretty young at 16 in the road trip film, I Believe in Unicorns.
Dyer plays Davina in the film and it might be one of the most honest, emotional portrayals of how teens behave in relationships ever caught on film. A critical darling at SXSW, the movie has been heralded as required viewing for all teenage girls, and now that Dyer’s star is illuminating thanks to her turn as Nancy in Stranger Things, more and more teens will get to see it.
In Unicorns, Davina, like many teenagers – girl or boy finds a bit of escapism with her boyfriend, Sterling but she soon finds out that leaving your problems doesn’t alleviate them; it could even exasperate them, when more problems arise. After watching how Dyer portrays how awkward a teenager could be, it makes all the more sense to see why she was cast as Nancy Wheeler.
9. Millie Bobby Brown – Stranger Things
Four kids in rural Indiana are playing Dungeons and Dragons in 1983. When the party breaks to go home, one of the boys go missing. The other three search for him and instead find a very scared girl, who may or may not be tied to their friend’s disappearance. The eight-episode first season of Netflix original Stranger Things rocked the world with its take on the horror genre, seeped and swimming in nostalgia from the decade of decadence the 1980s.
The entire show though really hinged on the performances of all of the kids, but especially Millie Bobby Brown and her portrayal of Eleven, which captivated audiences and catapulted the series to elite must-binge TV.
Brown is only 12 years old and played El with a poise and conviction that even actors twice her age don’t have. The character was tortured and experimented on by a man who fashioned himself as her “Papa,” truly twisted stuff. Luckily fans of Brown’s will see El up against some more mouth breathers when season two drops this Halloween.
8. Mila Kunis – That ’70s Show
In case you didn’t know, Mila Kunis is smoldering. Smoldering eyes, sultry lips, a slender, shapely form and a come hither stare. It was enough to make Ashton Kutcher’s Kelso and later on Danny Masterson’s Hyde go completely insane lusting after her on That ’70s Show.
Her fans would get even more than they ever could have hoped for once the show ended when she played an escort in the little seen Tom Cool and of course her sultry almost pornographic scene with part one’s list member, Natalie Portman in Black Swan.
But before entrancing just about every male with a pulse on the planet, Kunis was actually only 14 years old when That ’70s Show started playing a young high school kid who was supposed to be the same age as her TV boyfriend, now real hubby, Ashton Kutcher.
7. Shailene Woodley – Secret Life Of The American Teenager
This one-time-at-band-camp, perennial good girl Amy Juergens had sex with bad boy Ricky Underwood and wound up preggers.
It’s an all too often overlooked issue – teen pregnancy. Everyone knows it’s a thing, and most people probably have met or heard about some girl far too young to become a mom currently with child and about to become a mom. ABC Family now Freeform tackled this issue head on and created a show about it – The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
The series took the issue head on and focused on how an entire community deals with one little girl’s decision to keep her baby and raise it – what friends and fellow classmates think, what parents think about it and of course, how the girl in question will and wants to raise her baby.
Shailene Woodley – who has been a low-key version of Jennifer Lawrence – took on the role of Amy Juergens on the show, and ran the full gamut of emotions and experiences during the series’ run – pregnancy, delivery, boyfriends, school, work, baby daddy issues, and all points in between.
6. Megan Fox – Two And A Half Men
Megan Fox is probably the most divisive bombshell since perhaps maybe even Marilyn. Most guys couldn’t get enough of her and most girls despised her for being beautiful. That was all before she opened her mouth, insulted Transformers producer and king of Hollywood Steven Spielberg, supposedly getting her fired from the films, but her career hasn’t fallen off too much, she’s still in demand.
She was heralded as the second coming of Angelina Jolie, before she decided to stop eating. She was on magazine covers, the top of just about every hot list there was, and generally had every man eating out of the palm of her hand, and hating her husband, Brian Austin Green.
Thanks to Jon Cryer and of course Charlie Sheen, fans got to see the raven haired beauty guest star on Two and a Half Men in “Camel Filters and Pheromones,” where she plays Berta’s 16 year old niece. Naturally plenty of the humor in the episode is centered on how lecherous Charlie and Alan are trying to not be for fear that Berta will kill them.
5. Sophie Turner – Game Of Thrones
While both Stark sisters have been put through hell and back on Game of Thrones, at least older sister Sansa, played by Sophie Turner is in a warm, cozy bed a night, right? If that’s what you think, you’re not paying much attention to the show, are you?
What’s a warm cozy bed when you have to share it with a crazy little boy who ordered her father beheaded and then when the king got tired of you, he ordered you be married to the royal family’s unwanted dwarf, Tyrion. True, he treated her best among the den of ravenous snakes that she had to navigate at all times, but at least her little sister didn’t have to put up a lot of airs while in hiding.
After fleeing the capital Sansa wound up heaving to put up with royal evil prick, Ramsay Bolton, who of course takes great joy in torturing people. What were you doing when you were 11? Or 15? Because that’s how old Sansa is and how old Sophie Turner was when the books and the series started.
4. Mia Kirshner – Exotica
Always on the cusp of global domination in movies and TV shows like The Crow: City of Angels, 24, The L-Word, and most recently Bloodline, one might wonder if actress Mia Kirshner actually wanted that kind of fame. When you’re known for playing sexually charged, sexually ambiguous characters, you’re bound to catch a few eyes gawking at you. Then again when you needed your dad to sign a waiver so you can play a dominatrix in Love and Other Remains, your career is off to a pretty sexy start.
But when you’re in an erotic thriller called Exotica, you should be able to surmise you might be getting audiences a little hot and a little bothered. Bruce Greenwood stars as Francis, a grieving father mourning the loss of his daughter who goes to the local strip joint, Exotica to visit Christina (Kirshner) and watch her dance in a school girl outfit.
Not as creepy as it sounds, as this odd attraction does eventually lead Francis to learn not only who killed his daughter but (20 year-plus spoiler warning), how he used to comfort Christina, who came from a broken home…ok, so it is as creepy as it sounds.
3. Jennifer Morrison – A Stir Of Echoes
Mischa Barton wasn’t the only scared little ghost girl haunting people in 1999.
A Stir of Echoes, starring Kevin Bacon was another movie that like The Sixth Sense, which had a guy who could seemingly interact with the ghosts who were haunting him. In the film, Bacon plays Tom, who is hypnotized to be more open minded and starts having visions of a young girl, Samantha Kozac who had disappeared recently. Apparently, Tom’s son Jake has the ability to see dead people and he starts chatting it up with Samantha as well.
Jennifer Morrison, who went on to star in House and most recently, Once Upon a Time starred here as Samantha who was 17 in the story, which anyone reading this and using their brain would easily realize what happens to her isn’t pretty at all and shouldn’t happen to anyone much less a 17 year old special needs girl with the cognitive skills of an eight year old.
2. Linda Blair, Part 2 – Born Innocent
If you read Part One of this list, then you’re already quite familiar with Linda Blair and the unique acting roles she would take. Her most notable role as Regan MacNeil in The Exorcist had plenty in it that slipped right under censors eyeballs, because she playing a little girl possessed by a demon. But how did a whole lot of rape get past NBC television sensors?
Linda Blair would become known for playing all kinds of gratuitous roles over the years, some very revealing (re: Sorceress) while others would either send up or play off her Exorcist roles. But no role is as gratuitous or controversial as her role as Chris Parker, a 14 year old runaway in the TV movie, Born Innocent.
In 1974, some genius thought it would be a good idea to expose the social system of reform schools and how cruel they could be. So what better way to do it than have Blair play Chris, a girl who gets abused by her father while mommy sits in denial? The movie’s most controversial scene – the first female rape scene depicting Chris getting raped by two other girls with a plunger handle.
1. Bonus: Traci Lords – Career In The “Other” Industry
While our last column’s honorable mention featured yummy Jessica Biel shedding her good girl image in a sexy spread for Gear magazine, our honorable mention this time, Traci Lords, didn’t have any reputation to shed, she just rocked the pornographic film industry to its core, which considering how diverse, divergent, and controversial it is, that is no small feat!
Lords, who would go on to have memorable guest appearances on Married…with Children, Blade, and of course Cry Baby got herself a fake ID at 15 years old and started appearing in magazines like Penthouse and Juggs quickly got herself into hardcore porn movies all before she was 18.
The scandal set the industry on its ear and allowed for stricter laws to be enforced when verifying ages of actresses. She has also successfully more or less expunged her racy past from the world’s eyes and has turned into a legitimate actress, singer, and fashion entrepreneur.
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