Most unconvincing portrayal of a teenager in movies/films

My wife and I were watching Halloween when the following conversation ensued:

Me: “Don’t you think that Jamie Lee Curtis is one of the worst ‘teenagers’ you’ve ever seen? She looks 26! And there’s no way she’s a virgin - her eyes are too ‘knowing’.”
Wife: “Eh, I buy it. Now if you want a bad teenager, look no further than Grease - John Travolta looks in his early 20’s, and Olivia Newton John and Stockard Channing look as if they’re pushing 30.”
“Yeah, you’re right about that. I’m sure there’s worse… you know, this sounds like a Straight Dope question!”

So, who do you think is the most unconvincing “teenager” in film/TV? I also thought of Kathleen Turner in Peggy Sue Got Married, but I don’t really think that counts, but I’ll include her in the poll just to give me more entries.

Leslie Howard and Norma Shearer in “Romeo and Juliet”?

The difference between Olivia smiling and Olivia not smiling is 10 years, easy.

Damn. Winner in post #2. Might as well close this thread. :wink:

Everybody in Grease was too old for their part. The following ages are quoted from a post made to the SDMB a few years ago:

John Travolta: 24
Olivia Newton John: 30
Stockard Channing: 34
Jeff Conaway: 28
Barry Pearl: 28
Michael Tucci: 32
Kelly Ward: 22
Didi Conn: 27
Jamie Donnelly: 31
Annette Charles: 30

Howard Stern played himself as a teen in Private Parts.

But wasn’t that an accurate portrayal of permanently arrested mental age?

Andrea (Gabrielle Carteris) from Beverly Hills, 90210. She started the show at 29. Though in many ways, they all looked old (except maybe Shannen Doherty, she looked like a baby). I think it was the unflattering fashion and hairstyles. Dark lipstick and Dad jeans don’t keep anyone young.

There’s a special category for movies where an actor appears as a teenager in a couple of introductory scenes, and then as an adult for the rest of the movie.

Either you hire a separate actor to play the teen, or you use the same actor for both parts. Both options are problematic. So you give it a pass when the “teenager” is obviously 30, because it’s just for a few minutes, and what are you gonna do?

It’s another thing to hire a 34 year old actor to play an 18 year old character who stays 18 for the whole movie.

Robert Vaughn in I was a Teenage Caveman

Meryl Streep in House of Spirits. She was 44 when it was released. Granted her character ages. And its a good movie. But the scenes of her as a teenager are jarring.

Just in terms of acting and believability, Ahney Her was terrible as Sue in Gran Torino.

Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump. I love him, I love the movie, but he didn’t look like any high schooler I’ve ever seen.

Haha. Awesome.

I wonder how common teenagers really are. When it comes to characters that are children, there’s no way around it – you have to use a child actor. You can’t have Olivia Newton John play a five year old. But as soon as the characters are getting close to adult, you might as well use a good adult actor, right?

Well, it’s always easier to get someone who’s out of school, and at least 18 for legal purposes and labor laws and whatnot. But why the feel the need to go so FAR from 18 is beyond me. Get a freakin’ 18, 19, or 20 year old to play the 16 and 17 year olds, not a fucking 34 year old!

The cast of Grease always struck me as more like young senior citizens than as old teenagers. If that makes any sense.

Here’s another one, which I didn’t vote for but could be convinced otherwise: Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady. Liza is supposed to be about 18 or 19; if she’s 30 or even 25 the story stops making much sense. I don’t know how old Hepburn was when the movie was made, but no way can she pass for anything resembling 18.

I voted for Stockard Channing. I was okay with the others.

Another actor too old for the role he played was William Holden in Picnic. I know he wasn’t supposed to be a teenager – maybe mid to late 20’s. But he was 37 and he looked even older. He could have been Kim Novak’s dad. I doubt if he looked like a teenager when he was one – some actors are like that.

I can’t remember if anyone yet has mentioned Emma Thompson as Elinor Dashwood in the film version of Sense and Sensibility. Personally I really like the movie alot and like Thompson’s performance. But it’s true that it leaves viewers with the impression that Elinor is around 30 when in the novel she is 18 or 19 IIRC.

I voted for Travolta, as it is obviously inappropriate to criticize anything about Stockard Channing. That is heresy. Next you’ll be saying she’s not a goddess.

Kathleen Turner doesn’t seem to belong on the ballot, anyway. She wasn’t playing a teenger in Peggy Sue. She was playing an adult woman who time-travelled back to her teenage years; Peggy Sue’s seeming youth was a glamour apparent to the other characters but not to the audience (which was the only way to do it).

Kevin Spacey did not work as a 20 year old Bobby Darin in Beyond to Sea.

I liked Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story for it’s joke on this meme. A 40-something John c. Riley playing a 14 year old.