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Actors who were the wrong age, but successfully

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 

I was thinking about this after watching THE NICKEL RIDE, where Jason Miller plays what is supposed to be an aging crime boss while he himself was in his mid-30s.  (George C. Scott was originally cast in the role.)  Somehow, Miller completely sells it despite no visual attempt to age him up.  Through performance alone, he just seems that worn out.

 

In the other direction, Margarita Levieva is playing a character fifteen years younger than she is in THE DEUCE, and you would never know that without looking it up.  It's outright scary.

 

What are your examples?

post #2 of 56

I watched Columbus last weekend, a beautiful little movie in which John Cho comes to Columbus, Indiana to see his father, an architecture scholar who ended up in the hospital while on tour.

 

Cho plays Jin, who it seems is supposed to be maybe early 30s because it's indicated he's low on the totem pole at his translating/editing job in Seoul. And he's contrasted against his dad's assistant, played by Parker Posey, who is obviously supposed to be much older than him because they reminisce at one point about how he confessed his love to her when he was just 17 and she was working for his dad. 

 

Except as it turns out Cho is 45 and Posey is 49, and the implication is much more than four years. But Cho doesn't look 45 at all, and pulls off the grown man that's still struggling with getting out from his father's shadow and defining himself.

 

This is especially important because most of the movie is spent with Jin hanging out with Casey, who is just a year out of high school. Him being 45 hanging out with a 19-year-old just feels skeezy, even though it never really veers into romance. Works much better if he's like 30.

post #3 of 56

Not sure if this counts as it's science-fiction but, if we're going to mention actors who played much older characters, I think it's worth bringing up Ian McDiarmid who was just about to turn forty when he starred in Return Of The Jedi but, via make-up and a performance which evoked a man twice his age, convincingly portrayed a Sith Lord who had lived for hundreds of years. The fact that he was then able to play a younger version of that character in the Prequels is probably one of the best things about them.


Edited by MrSaxon - 12/14/17 at 1:31pm
post #4 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatherDude View Post

 

 

In the other direction, Margarita Levieva is playing a character fifteen years younger than she is in THE DEUCE, and you would never know that without looking it up.  It's outright scary.

 

 

SHE'S OLDER THAN ME???

post #5 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSaxon View Post
 

Not sure if this counts as it's science-fiction but, if we're going to mention actors who played much older character, I think it's worth bringing up Ian McDiarmid who was just about to turn forty when he starred in Return Of The Jedi but, via make-up and a performance which evoked a man twice his age, convincingly portrayed a Sith Lord who had lived for hundreds of years. The fact that he was then able to play a younger version of that character in the Prequels is probably one of the best things about them.

He was younger than I am now?!?

post #6 of 56

A surprise, to be sure.

post #7 of 56
I'll still never understand the need for the Force lightning facial deformity. Who here thought the Emperor in Return of the Jedi was anything other than just FUCKING OLD and EVIL. Not deformed. Look at how old he is at the beginning of ROTS. From there....25 or so years till ROTJ? Yeah, I don't need any kind of explanation for his appearance in Jedi. That's honest to god the worst thing about ROTS to me. That awful make up job. That's it's totally unnecessary makes it all the more aggravating..
post #8 of 56

Sam Jackson and Wesley Snipes have barely aged in the last 20 years.  Keanu Reeves and Tom Cruise both look like they're in their mid 40s even though they're both well into their 50s - neither of them aged much during their 30s or 40s.  Statham and Jaimie Foxx are both 50 - both could easily pass for early 40s.  Tom Hardy is 40, but has barely aged since Star Trek Nemesis.

 

Rihanna, Beyonce, and Jessica Alba have barely aged the last 10/15 years.

post #9 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by WendellEverett View Post
 

Sam Jackson and Wesley Snipes have barely aged in the last 20 years.  Keanu Reeves and Tom Cruise both look like they're in their mid 40s even though they're both well into their 50s - neither of them aged much during their 30s or 40s.  Statham and Jaimie Foxx are both 50 - both could easily pass for early 40s.  Tom Hardy is 40, but has barely aged since Star Trek Nemesis.

 

Rihanna, Beyonce, and Jessica Alba have barely aged the last 10/15 years.

 

Ralph Macchio.  He's a Highlander, by God.

post #10 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraid uh noman View Post

I'll still never understand the need for the Force lightning facial deformity. Who here thought the Emperor in Return of the Jedi was anything other than just FUCKING OLD and EVIL. Not deformed. Look at how old he is at the beginning of ROTS. From there....25 or so years till ROTJ? Yeah, I don't need any kind of explanation for his appearance in Jedi. That's honest to god the worst thing about ROTS to me. That awful make up job. That's it's totally unnecessary makes it all the more aggravating..

 

... and he just waltzes into the Senate the next day and is like, hey, I'm a monster now.  Martial law declared!  Thunderous applause indeed.

post #11 of 56
Since Saxon mentioned Ian McDiarmid's performances as Palpatine, can we include Marlon Brando in the original Godfather? Brando was actually only in his late 40's but playing an elderly mob boss two decades older.

They also aged Al Pacino (who was only 49-50 at the time of filming) for Godfather 3. Though the films flaws are legion and this Michael Corleone feels very different, Pacino's convincing as an older man with diabetes.
post #12 of 56
Watching ROTS after the 2016 election is pretty damn crazy. It seems frighteningly pertinent..
post #13 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravi View Post

They also aged Al Pacino (who was only 49-50 at the time of filming) for Godfather 3. Though the films flaws are legion and this Michael Corleone feels very different, Pacino's convincing as an older man with diabetes.

 

Except for in the final scene where he's really old and takes a header into the ground.  That's an awful makeup job.

post #14 of 56
If the Corleones would just stay away from those goddamned oranges!
post #15 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraid uh noman View Post

I'll still never understand the need for the Force lightning facial deformity. Who here thought the Emperor in Return of the Jedi was anything other than just FUCKING OLD and EVIL. Not deformed. Look at how old he is at the beginning of ROTS. From there....25 or so years till ROTJ? Yeah, I don't need any kind of explanation for his appearance in Jedi. That's honest to god the worst thing about ROTS to me. That awful make up job. That's it's totally unnecessary makes it all the more aggravating..

 

They were originally NOT going to do that. He was just gonna age into that look, which I guess made too much sense. They gave him aged makeup in Attack of the Clones to show the strain of the Dark Side on aging or something, hence why he looked older in that than ROTS. 

 

On another note, it's amazing how accurate the aged Max von Sydow makeup was in The Exorcist. Dude looked exactly then as he does now. 

post #16 of 56

Not sure why they cast the 44 year old Max Von Sydow as the ancient Father Merrin in The Exorcist, but there you go.

post #17 of 56
That really is an astounding example. If you watched The Exorcist and The Force Awakens back to back and weren't aware that make up was involved in the former....just that that was the same actor. Well....that'd freak me out anyway..
post #18 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatherDude View Post

In the other direction, Margarita Levieva is playing a character fifteen years younger than she is in THE DEUCE, and you would never know that without looking it up.  It's outright scary.

Yeah, that stunned me. I would have never pegged her for pushing 40.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSaxon View Post

Not sure if this counts as it's science-fiction but, if we're going to mention actors who played much older characters, I think it's worth bringing up Ian McDiarmid who was just about to turn forty when he starred in Return Of The Jedi but, via make-up and a performance which evoked a man twice his age, convincingly portrayed a Sith Lord who had lived for hundreds of years. The fact that he was then able to play a younger version of that character in the Prequels is probably one of the best things about them.

Look at him in Dragonslayer the previous year, it's astonishing.
post #19 of 56
God I need to see Dragonslayer..
post #20 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarence Boddicker View Post

 

On another note, it's amazing how accurate the aged Max von Sydow makeup was in The Exorcist. Dude looked exactly then as he does now. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraid uh noman View Post

That really is an astounding example. If you watched The Exorcist and The Force Awakens back to back and weren't aware that make up was involved in the former....just that that was the same actor. Well....that'd freak me out anyway..

On a similar note, Franco Nero was only 23 years old when he played Django. He grew a beard to look older for the part, but he also told the make up artists to add more lines to his face. When asked why, he responded that in 30 years time they'll look back and say "that guy doesn't age".

 

Looking at Die Hard 2 and Django Unchained, Franco Nero knew exactly what he was doing at 23.

 

 

I'll miss dvd extra's when it's all streaming all the time 10 years from now.

post #21 of 56
Im always shocked / depressed that Eddie Murphy was barely 21 in 48 Hrs.
post #22 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomTastic View Post

Im always shocked / depressed that Eddie Murphy was barely 21 in 48 Hrs.
Yeah that one fucks me up too. That seems like a CHILD now..
post #23 of 56
Thread Starter 
On the subject of great makeup jobs, the work done to make Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover and Thomas F. Wilson look middle aged at the beginning of BACK TO THE FUTURE really holds up.
post #24 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatherDude View Post

On the subject of great makeup jobs, the work done to make Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover and Thomas F. Wilson look middle aged at the beginning of BACK TO THE FUTURE really holds up.

Eh, I don’t know. When you get too close, especially on Glover, you can see the seams, but I think it’s the acting - voice and mannerisms that sell the old age more than the sometimes platic-looking make-up.
post #25 of 56

Copland and Rambo (2008) are filmed 10 years apart - but fat 50 Stallone and fit 60 Stallone look like practically the same guy.

 

post #26 of 56
The Graduate: 30 year old Dustin Hoffman plays an athletic frat boy who falls for an older woman, played by 36 year old Anne Bancroft. Genius casting.
post #27 of 56

Chris Bauer was about 34 and wearing a fat suit when he played pushing-50 Frank Sobotka in The Wire.

post #28 of 56
A much talked-about example: Stockard Channing was 34 when she played a teenager in GREASE:

https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/1644760

She’s 73 now and doesn’t look it either.
post #29 of 56
I loved Channing in Grease, but yeah, she totally looked like a 34 year old playing a high school student. Hell, not only her. Almost everyone in that movie looked to be in their 30s.
post #30 of 56
Thread Starter 

I don't know what age Isla Fisher's character was supposed to be in ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, but if you told me it was a decade younger than her actual age I wouldn't bat an eye.

post #31 of 56

There's only a twelve-year age difference between Harrison Ford and Sean Connery, but the father-son dynamic in Last Crusade works beautifully.

post #32 of 56

More stuff that doesn't work:

 

Angela Lansbury playing Elvis' mom in Blue Hawaii.  She's ten years older than Elvis.

 

Mel Gibson is 15 years older than Mark Walberg.

 

40 year old Danny Glover played 50 in Lethal Weapon, which works fine except he's supposed to be in his mid 60s by Lethal Weapon 4, even though he's clearly still in his early 50s.

 

Glover refers to Gibson and Gary Busey as "kids" in Lethal Weapon - both of these guys are accomplished vets in a war that scaled down 15 years earlier, which would make both of them at least 30.  Murtaugh doesn't seem to mind that someone who is clearly a 35 year old man is dating his high school aged daughter.

 

They keep referring to Rambo as a "kid" in First Blood, even though he was also a hot-shot in Vietnam - he'd have to be at least 30 and he looks like he's 35.  Stallone also says clear-as-day in Rocky, which came out about five years earlier, that he's 30.

 

Sam Rockwell and Daryll Mitchell are clearly the same age in Galaxy quest except Rockwell is supposed to be 10 years older than Mitchell.

post #33 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WendellEverett View Post
 

More stuff that doesn't work:

 

Angela Lansbury playing Elvis' mom in Blue Hawaii.  She's ten years older than Elvis.

 

On the other hand, she successfully played Laurence Harvey's mom in THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE even though she is only three years his senior.

post #34 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatherDude View Post

On the subject of great makeup jobs, the work done to make Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover and Thomas F. Wilson look middle aged at the beginning of BACK TO THE FUTURE really holds up.

 

Wilson fucking nails the various versions of older Biff in BTTF2. I have to keep reminding myself that he was only 29 at the time.

post #35 of 56
I've never been real clear on how old Doc Brown is supposed to be. 75 or so in 1985? So 45ish in '55? He looks just about the same. Same goes for James Tolkan (principal Strickland). What is he in 1985? 80?
post #36 of 56

There's a lot to love in Cloud Atlas, but aged-up Hugh Grant playing opposite actually-old Jim Broadbent really doesn't work.

 

And speaking of bad makeup, it's bizarre that Guy Pearce in Prometheus and Winona Ryder in Star Trek had their 'young' scenes left on the cutting room floor. Why not just cast older actors?

post #37 of 56

I've always thought that Wolf would have worked better if Nicholson had been 10 years younger or Pfeiffer had been 10 years older.

post #38 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraid uh noman View Post

I've never been real clear on how old Doc Brown is supposed to be. 75 or so in 1985? So 45ish in '55? He looks just about the same. Same goes for James Tolkan (principal Strickland). What is he in 1985? 80?

Doc being his late 60s or early 70s in 1985 seems about right. You've got to love that bit at the beginning of BTTF2 where they have Doc hurriedly explain that he went to a "rejuvenation clinic" that added another thirty years to his life so that the later storyline where he becomes a husband and father isn't the most depressing development ever. I think they pulled that exposition off by turning it into a sight gag.

As far as Strickland, I doubt even Zemeckis and Gale know how old he was supposed to be. The fact that he looks exactly the same in 1955 is one of the better gags in the movie.
post #39 of 56

Thought of another one: Topol starring in Fiddler on the Roof​ at the age of 36. Granted, he had already done it onstage, but that's something of a different beast. And from the same year, while Malcolm McDowell never quite seems like a teenager in A Clockwork Orange, there's still an air of youthful viciousness about him that just works.

post #40 of 56

A debatable choice. Jennifer Lawrence in Joy. The film is an absolute mess and the umpteenth time David O. Russell plays with the "Screwed up family" dynamic.

 

Lawrence is a good ten, maybe even fifteen, years too young. Even at the end when she's supposed to be in her mid-late 40's (and looks like a little girl playing dress up), God damn does she sell it and you buy it.

post #41 of 56
Anybody else watch A Clockwork Orange and not be able to see anyone but Ewan McGregor?
post #42 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartleby_Scriven View Post
 

I watched Columbus last weekend, a beautiful little movie in which John Cho comes to Columbus, Indiana to see his father, an architecture scholar who ended up in the hospital while on tour.

 

Cho plays Jin, who it seems is supposed to be maybe early 30s because it's indicated he's low on the totem pole at his translating/editing job in Seoul. And he's contrasted against his dad's assistant, played by Parker Posey, who is obviously supposed to be much older than him because they reminisce at one point about how he confessed his love to her when he was just 17 and she was working for his dad. 

 

Except as it turns out Cho is 45 and Posey is 49, and the implication is much more than four years. But Cho doesn't look 45 at all, and pulls off the grown man that's still struggling with getting out from his father's shadow and defining himself.

 

This is especially important because most of the movie is spent with Jin hanging out with Casey, who is just a year out of high school. Him being 45 hanging out with a 19-year-old just feels skeezy, even though it never really veers into romance. Works much better if he's like 30.

 

I did not know John Cho was in Columbus. 

 

I love John Cho.

 

Rented. 

post #43 of 56

The classic movie trivia answer to this thread is North By Northwest where Cary Grant's mother is played by an actress less than a decade older than him.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WendellEverett View Post
 

Keanu Reeves and Tom Cruise both look like they're in their mid 40s even though they're both well into their 50s - neither of them aged much during their 30s or 40s.

 

Cruise in Mission Impossible 4 was a weird case of me simply not being able to reconcile an actors actual age (around 49 at that time) with the age they appear to be (about 32). It's a gift and a curse though because he's finally aged a bit since then, but still seems reluctant to establish any kind of middle aged persona for him to age gracefully into.

post #44 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul C View Post
 

The classic movie trivia answer to this thread is North By Northwest where Cary Grant's mother is played by an actress less than a decade older than him.

 

 

Also, there's Ernest Borgnine playing Kirk Douglas' father in The Vikings​, despite being a year younger than him. I haven't seen the movie, so I don't know if they pull it off or not, but I've always enjoyed that bit of trivia.

post #45 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pither View Post
 

Also, there's Ernest Borgnine playing Kirk Douglas' father in The Vikings​, despite being a year younger than him. I haven't seen the movie, so I don't know if they pull it off or not, but I've always enjoyed that bit of trivia.

 

That movie is fantastic. You should really check it out. Supposedly, both Borgnine and Douglas were between relationships and the two of them wenched up and down the coastline when not filming.  It is a classic adventure film and worth the time. 

post #46 of 56
Yeah, The Vikings is great, old-fashioned fun. And I think Douglas brings enough youthful, impetuous energy that his age isn’t an issue.
post #47 of 56
Bruce Willis was playing middle aged men in his early 30's.





post #48 of 56
Hallenbeck always struck me as a 16-year-old's idea of what a 40-year-old would be like.
post #49 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by dude hallenbeck View Post

Bruce Willis was playing middle aged men in his early 30's.





Is he supposed to be middle-aged in the first Die Hard? He has very young children. I always assumed he was playing his age, early 30s.

post #50 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrTyres View Post
 

 

That movie is fantastic. You should really check it out. Supposedly, both Borgnine and Douglas were between relationships and the two of them wenched up and down the coastline when not filming.  It is a classic adventure film and worth the time. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curiosity Cosby View Post

Yeah, The Vikings is great, old-fashioned fun. And I think Douglas brings enough youthful, impetuous energy that his age isn’t an issue.


​Thanks, I'll add it to the list! I'm guessing it also helps that Borgnine was one of those guys who never really seemed young.

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