Monday, April 8, 2013

THE SAVIOR (1971) & GLEE (2010): Adult Actresses Playing Nude Teens

The Savior (1971) [French: Le sauveur] is about 14-year-old Nanette (Muriel Catalá) who falls in love with a middle-aged member of the British military whom she finds injured near her family's farm in rural France.

If I would have known that Muriel Catalá was 18-years-old when the film was made, I wouldn't have been as shocked by the nude scenes, because Muriel easily passes for a 14-year-old nymphet. But that raises the question, is it okay for "older" actresses to play raunchy teen roles?

"Fast Times marked a significant change in the marketplace for films featuring high school students and young adults. Up to this point, images like these [e.g., teen masturbation] were impossible because the practice was to utilize actual teens to play teen characters due to the stringent laws at work regarding what child actors were permitted to do on-screen (Russnow 2011). Film-makers began to use younger-looking adult actors above the age of 18 to play these sexualized roles." 
Thus, as the raunchiness of the roles rose, the ages of the "teen" actors rose as well.

The November 2010 issue of GQ magazine featured three stars of the Fox teen musical Glee. The Parents Television Council released a report saying that GQ's photographs sexualized actresses that play high school-aged students, bordered on pedophilia and were nearly pornographic. 

GQ responded by saying that there was nothing wrong with the photographs due to the nature of sexualized modern television and that the actresses were in their twenties. But is that a valid excuse? And where do we draw the line? (Interestingly, Lea Michele was 14-years-old when she began playing Wendla Bergman in the controversial teen play Spring Awakening.)

GQ's Glee Photoshoot: Lea Michele, Dianna Agron & Cory Monteith

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