Monday, 19 January 2015

Act your age!

Amidst the news today about the dropping of Kate Redford from playing Bethany Platt after the age scandal, there has been an online argument - was it the right decision or is it just a hoo-ha over nothing?

I agree with the ones that feel it is the right thing to drop the actress. Not that there's anything morally wrong with someone acting a younger or older character than themselves, but I feel that it would insult the audience if you have someone who isn't close to the age of the character they're playing. Some sources say her agency was at fault so who knows.

I think it's more important when it comes to actors portraying children. While children mature earlier now that they once did in their attitude and understanding of life, the physical side of their development is still the same. And I think Corrie and other soaps should reflect that. Children on the Street were few and far between in the early years and didn't play a big role in storylines. Then suddenly you had the Platt and Webster children popping up and you had the same actors playing them from their birth until they were around 9 or 10 years old. When they werere-cast, some of the actors were older than the character but not much. The biggest issue was the fact that Tina O'Brien was 17 when she was cast as 13 year old Sarah Lou. 

Now a four year difference wouldn't matter if the character was in their 20s or older, but the teenage years are the ones where the human body goes through its biggest changes and there is no doubt that a 17 year old girl looks different to when she was 13. But Corrie back then got away with it. 

This kind of thing can cause the actor/actress problems. If they're over 18 and acting a child in a well-known show, then if they're seen out clubbing and drinking, they are scrutinised by the public and on social media. It happened too poor old Jennifer Moss as far back as the 1960s. When she was cast as 11 year old Lucille Hewitt back in 1960, Moss was approaching her 16th birthday. When seen out partying with the rest of the cast, Moss was judged for under-age drinking, despite her being old enough. Fame and fortune ruined her life and led her to alcoholism and drug abuse which in time led to her dismissal in 1974. Yes, it was a different age and probably today she would've had support and help.

On the other hand, Helen Worth was 23 when she was cast as 16 year old Gail Potter in 1974. But the difference was I think that Gail had reached that mature age and the difference between a 16 year old and a 23 year old isn't that much in maturity. Well, I don't think so anyway and so maybe the casting directors were overlooked with the little difference between a 19 year old and 25 year old. But alas, would it be right to cast a 19 year old to play a girl who's just entering her teen years? Would if be fair on her?

I think it was the right decision to drop Kate Redford and let's hope they have a back-up actress to turn to, and someone who is closer to Bethany's age. 

We'll see!

Do you agree or disagree with me?

by Llifon

Download our App | Follow on Twitter @CoroStreetBlog | Like on Facebook


Creative Commons Licence
All original work on the Coronation Street Blog is covered by a Creative Commons License

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Come on really, how many of us can accurately say how old people are if we saw them walking on the street? Some of them matured quickly whilst others matured slowly. I don't give a fuss if they casted her - probably her acting is belivable. What I can't believe is that people judged before they saw her act.

Anonymous said...

What I always liked about Coronation Street is that their care in casting so I agree with their decision in not making the Street a la Beverly Hills 90210.Otherwise there would be a risk of Bethany being portrayed as 'jailbait'.

Anonymous said...

Agree. I can only laugh at the thought of Bethany being 30 years old playing a teenager! I realize acting is just that, but really, there is a large role in Casting too that plays a part in the right character being cast.
So, good job she didn't make it through, it would have been a farce!

Humpty Dumpty said...

When it comes to soaps, which are very different from stage or screen, a five year gap seems about right. I also wonder whether Casting check the basic details before audition. You could verify a lot of things with a passport check.

AmandaB said...

I used to work as an agent years ago and believe me it's an unscrupulous world. But as in civvy street if you lie on your cv then you deserve everything you get.

Rebecca said...

I still say there's a mountain being made out of a molehill. It's a moot argument at this point anyway.

vintgal003 said...

This was probably the best decision...another actor closer to the age Bethany would be...

Anonymous said...

Somebody who can act maybe? I hope she hires a good lawyer.

Cobblestone said...

There's a long standing practice of casting older actors as kids so long as they look young enough and there are two very good reasons for this. The first is experience; chances are an older performer will be a better actor than a less experienced kid (although it doesn't always follow ...) Secondly, British employment laws. Under 16s are severely limited as to the hours they can work & have to balance their time on set with statutory schooling hours. So from a practical point of view, it makes perfect sense to cast up - so long as the actor looks young enough. All this "it's an insult to the viewers" nonsense is tosh - those viewers have been happily watching older actors play teens for decades without even realising it without the benefit of IMDB!

Anonymous said...

The issue seems to really be more about her lying than the actual age discrepancy. If iTV want to save face, they needed to axe her; end of.

BarrieT said...

It still annoys me that nick has been aged up to 40's due to ben price looking like he's n his 50's. What happens if ben leaves, will they revert back to someone in their 20's? The whole platt family have gail and audrey who look like sisters and sarah lou still looks like shes 25, with a 25 year old daughter. If tina obrien had aged as badly as ben price it may have worked.

Tvor said...

I don't think Nick has been aged, we just think he has because the actor is in his 40s. They've never mentioned Nick's age on screen I don't think. Nick is now about 34 I think.

Bonnie said...

Regarding Nick's age, he's still 21 years younger than his mother, not 5 yrs. as would have been the case with bethany's character. Also, in an adult role, age is less of a factor, but using an adult to play a child (especially in suggestive scenes) is undoubtedly different.
It's probably one of the best things to happen to Katie Redford anyway, as Joan Rivers said, "there's no such thing as bad publicity". I didn't know her name last week. I do now.

You might also like...