Emma's Teen Movie's blog-a-thon has got me thinking...
I think sometimes we don't take the young actors and actresses in teen films seriously enough.
As for 10 Things, we know that some of these actors, particularly the males all have established their own film identities and are respected in their roles and career, the most obvious being the late-Ledger but even Krumholtz headlines his own television (Numbers). Oleynik never really busted out and Stiles while gaining teen momentum hasn't seemed to break from that yet, and it's hard to imagine what her career has in store.
As for the American Beauty teens, I think in my heart I am waiting for all three of them to establish themselves as common and identifiable actors who don't need to be tied to their 1999 success. I truly believe the talent is there and they are more than one-trick ponies. But despite some various credits none of them have had that stand out role to make them household names.
I think to be honest you have to say that more consistent stars probably came out of 10 Things I Hate About You then American Beauty. Talent might be debatable, but stardom and bankability does not.
The Need For Teen Actors To Reinvent Themselves
It seems like the secret to post-teen stardom is using the platform of your previous roles to land you a role in other films, but not to limit yourself to your previous success.
Most teen stars get more roles, but what they do with those follow-up roles makes all the difference.
Teen stars have to move out of the teen scene and reinvent themselves.
In recent years, in addition to someone like Ledger, Keira Knighley (Bend it Like Beckham) or Anne Hathaway (Princess Diaries) have tried different things that have established them as post-teen actresses.
I think many times we fail to notice the teen acclaimed performances and anchor on those as the potential stars of tomorrow, but the reality is that some of these more popular less-acclaimed performances could be the true stars of tomorrow. Just as Michael J. Fox, Christian Bale, Reese Witherspoon, and Sean Penn (that guy from Fast Times at Ridgemont High).
And I think we all know it never hurts to be on the Mickey Mouse Club. So maybe we should be more proactive and open to thinking about the High School Musical kids as potential stars, or any other new face that enters the Hollywood teen romance or comedy scene. These truly could be tomorrow's next stars.