Tuesday, November 18, 2008

For Your Consideration: 25 people who makes me feel pathetic at 21.

When the idea was first conceived to create a '21 people who make me feel pathetic for being 21' list, I was worried I wouldn't actually be able to fill that quota. A lot of the young actors I consider talented fall between the 22 to 25 years old group, for example Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jamie Bell, Shia LaBeouf and Keira Knightley. As it turns out, thanks to a life that's got 'EPIC FAIL' stamped all over it, I easily found not only twenty one, but hell, four other people who meets the criteria. I'm not sure if this is a call for celebration or a blatant reminder to get the hell off my ass and get on life, but what the hell. Here are 25 kids who make me feel 25 shades of fail.

edit: Now with

1. Michael Cera
Born in 1988.

You know him from
: Arrested Development, Superbad, The Clark and Duke Show, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, Juno.
Why: While it remains to be seen whether his astute comedic timing can be applied to different characters, thus far, he's perfected the shy gawking teenager bit to absolute second-hand embarassment that it's hard to fault him for what is essentially the same character in different incarnations.

2. Daniel Radcliffe
Born in 1989.

You know him from: This little ol' children's film - very indie and unheard of, Equus, Extras and looking like Elijah Wood's doppelganger.
Why: Sure, perhaps his physical characteristics may have been the main factor why he even scored the Pottah gig to begin with, and yeah, the first and second installments are way to excruciating to sit through past the first viewing (to be fair, owing to very uninspired direction too). But ever since #3: The Prisoner of Azkaban, I've watched with growing interest as Radcliffe proved his mettle against more established actors. I've hypothesized that his acting skills seem to correlate with the amount of screen time he has against Gary Oldman (they first meet in #3 you see) and the gut-wrenching torment exhibited in the final act of #5: The Order of the Phoenix may be a barometer of what is to come from young Radcliffe. It will be really fascinating to see how he fares in the sixth installment now that Oldman is no longer there to be his acting foil.

3. Nathan Gamble
Born in 1998.

You know him from: The Mist, The Dark Knight, Babel.
Why: As an arrogant, smug, observer of pop culture, there's frankly nothing more I love than being ahead of the curve, pointing out 'things to watch', and then gloating with an obnoxious "I told you so" when proven right. So when I say Nathan Gamble is a name to watch, take heed and write it down if need be. Trust me, I've got my smirk fired up and all ready to go. Gamble may have been eclipsed by the holy trinity of Gary Oldman, Heath Ledger and Christian Bale in this year's Batman, but after a standout debut in Babel and The Mist early this year, you can bet your bottom dollar that regardless of his age, he can inflict the gravitas needed in his roles so that when he's hurting, you're hurting right there with him too. Get your tissues ready. You're going to need it when he's making you sob (and when I'm yelling all gloat-y like "I told you so, in your face" asshole-like).

4. Teddy Geiger
Born in 1988.

You know him from: Setting teenage girls heart all a-flutter with his hit and (Confidence) For You I Will and The Rocker.
Why: Because he plays the guitar and sing real good. Also, he's prettier than me. Godammit.

5. Saoirse Ronan
Born in 1994.

You know her from: Atonement, City of Ember.
Why: There is something in her piercing blue eyes that just absolutely captures the depth of her emotion and makes you believe in anything and everything you say. The Hollywood Machine was quick to be entranced as well, honouring Ronan with a Best Supporting Actress nomination in this year's Oscars, for her work in Atonement. Time will tell if she was merely a one hit wonder but the trailers for City of Ember indicate that she's quite adapt at straddling both ends of the comedy/action family flick as well as the Oscar-worthy period drama spectrum.

5. Thomas Sangster
Born in 1990.

You know him from: Love, Actually; Nanny McPhee
Why: Once you strip away all the cringeworthy moments in the say-no-to-diabetes romantic flick, Love, Actually, (English loser goes to America and becomes a sex god?!), the movie isn't really that bad. It's especially easy to sit through the story involving young Sangster learning to play a musical instrument to capture the attention of the girl he loves. However you feel about kid actors, the moment when confused and frustrated little Simon confesses to "being in love" to his dad, you can't help but melt a little inside. Mr Sangster has successfully captured the essense of adorableness. Prepare to gush aplenty.

6. Skandar Keynes
Born in 1991.

You know him from
: The Chronicles of Narnia #1 and #2.
Why: Lifted from IMDB, "Through his father, Keynes is the great-great-great grandson of the famous scientist Charles Darwin. His father is the great-nephew of famed economist John Maynard Keynes." Yeah with ancestry like that and a name like this... I believe on the streets, they refer to such cases as this as 'mad pwntage'. Besides making your family roots seem fairly insignificant, Keynes is, in my opinion, the most talented actor of the Pevensie bunch, and very witty as proven during his media rounds for the film. Also, just saying, he's rather easy on the eyes. Yes Chris Hansen, I'm taking my seat over there.

7. Ellen Page
Born 21 February 1987.

You know her from: Juno, Hard Candy and X-Men: The Last Stand.
Why: Technically, Page barely makes the cut being a mere 19 days younger than me but her immense talent meant she simply couldn't be ignored. It's just 19 days that set us apart yet there's about another 19 different kinds of pathetic when the both of us are compared. Juno may have fallen prey to the backlash, but it's redundant and frankly idiotic to say that Page did not deserve the accolades she received. The little nuances Page added to the character made Juno become more than a two dimensional wankery of Hollywood creation. Juno is a jaded, world-weary teenager, much like others who've passed the halls of teen flicks before, but she is someone who stands her ground, defiant, stubborn and proud, until that little tremble of her lip gives her away. And you know that underneath the sound and the bluster, is just another confused girl making her way through life the best way she knows how. Page captured the complexities of being a teenage girl in that one character, and as an ex-teen still embracing her teenagedom, I have to say bravo. Life wasn't a Hannah Montana ride for me, as I'm sure it isn't for anyone else not named Miley Cyrus. To have a strong teenage female icon (well apart from the whole teen pregnancy bit) in this landscape of regurgitated teen pop stars, I feel I can breathe a sigh of relief for the future generation to come.

Also, how convincingly scary was she in Hard Candy?

8. Operator Please
Born in varying years. All still high school aged at current time.

You know them from: Their hit singles 'Get What You Want' and 'Just a Song About Ping Pong'.
Why: Because I've always wanted to be in a band but lack any conceivable kind of musical talent. This band from Gold Coast, Australia, has set the music charts ablaze with their catchy single, winning the ARIA award for Best Breakthrough Artist in 2007. And hell, half of them are barely out from high school! Part of why they work is their relatively young age. After all you can't be 24 and capture the zeitgeist of youth just right. So it is up to this young 'uns, to write up the anthems to this generation's youth and be the mascot for music talent version

9. Rory Culkin
Born in 1989.

You know him from: Mean Creek, The Chumscrubber, Signs.
Why: The Culkin family has churned out a bunch of actor kids, and while Macaulay and Kieran showed some promise initially, their choice of lunacy and indie respectively has made it hard to properly hand out the title of 'Best of the Bunch'. Since Rory's first major acting role in Signs, he's gone to on to prove that perhaps the Culkin blood can deliver more than cutesy and broody. To be fair and not judge him based on his other acting kin, Rory is a really very talented actor transcending the stereotype of 'annoying kid actor' roles so many other of his peers are doomed to never live down (ahem.. Sprouse brothers, I'm looking at you).

10. Lily Cole
Born in 1988.

You know her from: Being a supermodel and making you jealous with her superior genes, the Miu Miu ad campaign in 2007.
Why: Oh come on. Red hair, pale skin, blue eyes, legs that won't quit.. Need I say more?

11. Kristen Stewart
Born in 1990.

You know her from: Jumper (like all 10 seconds of it), Twilight, Into the Wild, Zathura, Panic Room.
Why: Not only is she gorgeous, she is talented and seems to be wary enough of the Hollywood machine. In her interviews she comes across as well-balanced and well-spoken, seemingly unimpressed with the fame she is amassing. And if you want to argue semantics, Emile Hirsch, Jamie Bell and Robert Pattinson. Plus she's been dating Michael Angarano since she was 16. Look, I'm a perfectly balanced sane individual and I realize the odds of meeting these lovely boys (zero to infinity and I have to grow some testicles first), but there is an illogical part in my brain that is just screaming "JEALOUS" in loud caps repeatedly. Seriously. JEALOUS.

12. Hayden Panettiere
Born in 1989.

You know her from: Heroes, Remember the Titans, Ally McBeal.
Why: Her skin is flawless. Neutrogena does jack shit for me! A lot of guys are salivating over the self-generating cheerleader in Heroes now, but long time obsessive pop culture theorists will have long been crowing about the feisty little Coach Yoast's daughter in Remember the Titans. I try not to bring up her stint as Ally's daughter in Ally McBeal unless need be. Nobody needs reminding of that feral crap of a TV show.

13. Freddie Highmore
Born in 1992.

You know him from: August Rush, Finding Neverland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Spiderwick Chronicles.
Why: If Thomas Sangster has got 'adorableness' down pat, Freddie Highmore has 'tortured old soul' finely tuned on his resume. Every role he's played thus far has been imbued with maturity and wisdom that befits a far older and accomplished actor. The Adam Sandler and Will Ferrell's of the world would do well to take a leaf out of Highmore's book.

14 & 15. Elle and Dakota Fanning
Born in 1998 and 1994 respectively.

You know them from: Babel, I Am Sam, Hide and Seek, Charlotte's Web.
Why: The Fanning sisters are like the anti-thesis to the Sprouse Brothers. That's the one fouling up Disney with The Suite Life of Zack and Cody in case you're wondering. One pair is naturally imbued with talent, grace and a lifetime of grade A Hollywood movies while the other will probably resort to the lowest common denominator on the entertainment barometer for many years to come and then get addicted and abuse some kind of illegal substance, go to rehab and write a tell-all memoir later in life. You may think I am mean for picking on young actors, but history has indicated that I am not entirely wrong in presuming so. Also, of course I'm not the nicest person in the world! This is a list picking on younger talented folks, hello?

16. Abigail Breslin
Born in 1996.

You know her from: Signs, Little Miss Sunshine, Nim's Island and Kit Kittredge: All-American Girl.
Why: Watching Rory Culkin in Signs was enough to make me sit up and pay notice. But it was the one-two punch of Culkin and Breslin that made me sit up, notice and tear up, particularly in the kitchen scene near the end. Watching the DVD extras and a four year old Abigail chatting about how she interpreted her character makes me just about die with the cute overload. And really, a lot of the success for Little Miss Sunshine owes itself to the perpetually perplexed yet strong-hearted anchor, Olive. Had I a heart, I would feel almost bad for not including her brother in this list. But then I guess, I'll just wait for the tell-all memoir to read about his feelings of inadequacies when compared to his younger and more talented sister a couple of years down the road.

17. Anton Yelchin
Born in 1989.

You know him from: Alpha Dog, Huff, Hearts in Atlantis.
Why: Yes, I'm in this seat over here, Mr Hansen. Talent should not come in the form of a younger person. It makes perving a whole lot ickier.

18. Alyson Stoner
Born in 1993.

You know her from
: Step Up, Cheaper by the Dozen and Missy Elliot's 'Work It' and 'Gossip Folks' videoclip.
Why: So apart from being jealous of pretty kids, kids with musical talents and kids with acting talent, I'm also jealous of kids who are limber and can dance mad awesome. Obviously, my jealousy knows no bounds.

19. Alex Pettyfer
Born in 1990.

You know him from: Wild Child, Stormbreaker and being really, really ridiculously good-looking.
Why: Pedobear stamp approved. Oh gross. I don't want to be perving on some kid who is the same age as my brother. I guess I should take comfort in the fact that he's not 15 or something.

20. Indio Downey Jr.
Born in 1993.

You know him for
: Being proof that Robert Downey Jr.'s genes are superior and awesome.
Why: 2008 - 1993 = ... Wait. What now.

21. Adam G. Sevani
Born in 1992.

You know him for
: Step Up 2, The online dance off between ACDC and M&M.
Why: Sure, Step Up 2 fails on all levels on bearing some semblance to a realistic film. But it's a dance flick. And as a dance flick, well, damn, it's like Titanic all over again in 1995. Adam G. Sevani was one of the standouts in a terrible flick filled with super slick dance moves, both acting and dance wise. Let's hope his sweet skills and goofy humour can translate to getting some work further down the road.

22. Michael Angarano
Born in 1987, Dec 3.

You know him from
: Dear Wendy, Sky High, Lords of Dogtown, Almost Famous, The Forbidden Kingdom mistaking his last name for the spice, oregano.
Why: Constantly touted as one of the best young actors under 25, Angarano has worked his way up during his long stint in the industry to become one of the better young leading actors of today. Everybody likes the story of an overnight success, but it's even better when a long time player gets the due recognition he deserves. Whether playing the earnest underachiever, the social misfit or the kungfu student-in-training, Angarano will make you believe in every role he takes on. Someday I'll tell you why Sky High is one of my favourite Disney movies ever and completely underrated. A lot of it comes down to the eager and willing Will Stronghold, as portrayed by Angarano. Also, Bruce Campbell. Yes, that's right. Bruce mothereffin' Campbell. Get to it!

23. Willa Holland
Born in 1991.

You know her from: The O.C, Gossip Girl, model extraordinaire.
Why: While she seems to have this really huge hate base online, I find Willa Holland to be a decent enough actress. She's young, she's gorgeous, of course people are going to be sipping the haterade. (JEALOUS)

24. Taylor Momsen
Born in 1993.

You know her from: How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Gossip Girl, IMG model
Why: She grew up under the limelight and somehow didn't have that awkward puberty growth most girls have from11-14 years old . JEALOUS. I was a right mess, alright at that age. She's got a role on the most popular teen series at the moment and is currently signed to one of the top modeling agencies in the world. Oh, the envy, how bright it glows in green!

25. Emma Stone
Born in 1988.

You know her from
: Drive, Superbad, The Rocker, The House Bunny.
Why: Often described as 'the hotter, more sober version of Lindsay Lohan', it would be unfair to label Emma Stone 'Lohan version 2.0' solely because of the red hair and freckles. While LaLohan has racked up the papparazzi points with her recurring tabloid fixtures, Stone has gone on to perform consistently in comedy hits these past two years. Her star is rising and it will be definitely be an interesting one to follow. Also, she got together with Tyson Ritter in The House Bunny and is supposedly currently dating her co-star in The Rocker, Teddy Geiger. JEALOUSSSSSSSS.


Sam I Am said...

Dude, let me be the first to say, "Yay, new post". Secondly, I had no idea some of these people were so young, especially Lily Cole, Hayden P, KStew.

That being said, you have GOT to stop perving at younger boys, I dont care what you say, but that's so much worse than perving at older guys. =P

Finally, this is one of the decent-est pictures I've seen of KStew, and one of the worse of Lily Cole (creeeeeeepy). Also, the Culkin kid looks so much like his brother, it's almost freaky.

PS> This post makes me depressed about my own age. =(

-k said...

LOL. I know! I feel like such a pedobear, but I'm an equal opportunity pervist. Yeah, that'll be my defense when I'm thrown behind bars.

yiqin; said...

I don't like hayden but the rest are awesome! Miley makes me feel pathetic too. She has 25 million. I barely get 10 bucks a day.

-k said...

I intentionally left out a few people in this list, eg. the High School Musical kids, every Disney popstar ever and Miley. Mostly because while they may be earning more money than I ever will, somehow I don't really envy them that much. Strange how it works out that way.

Adeline said...


Of course, it totally helps her cause that Michael Angarano's her boy (what I'd give for Michael Angarano. Thank heavens he's only a year younger. I'd feel so pervish otherwise...)

Good list but I digress on SKANDAR KEYNES (step away from the underaged boy), Teddy Geiger (really?!), Operator Please (no comment), Alison Stoner and Willa Holland (yes, I am one of those people partaking in the Hateorade. She's annoys the shit outta me).


Anonymous said...

I agree with many but Nathan Gamble. Oh No! Please.

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