Are young stars like Kristen Stewart and Scarlett Johansson ruining Hollywood? According to Slate magazine, an out of control youth culture may be destroying Tinsel Town. Those darn kids.
The fascinating, and lengthy, article points out the Hollywood star system has changed over the last 20 years, skewering to a much younger actor in line with a much younger, more savvy audience.
With the recent release of In Time, a movie about a society limiting the poor to a 25 year lifespan while the rich feed off them for eternity, it's easier to see that even scriptwriters, directors and producers are obsessed with the phenomenon.
How does Kristen Stewart fit in? She's part of the new crop of brat packers who not only have a career in full swing before they're old enough to drink (legally anyway) but started out a spectacular arc before they even left grammar school.
Of course, it's not just the girls.
Male stars at the top of the box office rolls are overwhelmingly actors in their mid 20s with at least 10 years of top movie roles under their belts. Joseph Gordon-Leavitt and Jake Gyllenhaal are typical of the trend, even if they are now getting a little long in the tooth by being on the wrong side of 30.
The article goes on to pine for the good old days when actors broke in at 30, got their Oscar roles at 40 and settled into their meatiest parts as they turned a silver gray. Not any more. By 30, these days, Hollywood actors better have their retirement accounts fully funded and start thinking about a career behind the camera.
So why pick on Kristen Stewart? Apparently it is actors like her who are throwing the whole system off, if you buy into what Slate is saying. But it does beg the inevitable question: how young is too old?
And... does it mean that one day audiences will be demanding lead roles go to toddlers? Infants? It looks like Hollywood is primed for the pendulum to swing back the other way.
And just In Time...
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