Monday, April 4, 2016

C is for Child Actor

It's April and that means the A to Z Blogging Challenge!
This year my theme is film terms.

As a filmmaker, I've enjoyed creating films with child characters. There is something special about children in stories. Like any other actors, children are cast by their look, their ability to portray the character, and that unseen element called "chemistry" with other cast members. 

The Bad Seed (1956) - Directed by Mervyn LeRoy
Patty McCormack portrayed a sociopathic child that inherited her murderous tendencies from her grandmother. Her pretty dresses and blond pigtails provided stark contrast with her evil nature.

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) - Directed by Robert Mulligan
Mary Badham is Scout Finch, the daughter of a lawyer who defended a black man accused of rape in the Depression-era South. 

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) - Directed by Steven Spielberg
Henry Thomas portrayed Elliot, a boy who finds an alien and goes on a mission to help E.T. return to his  home planet. This shot depicts the similarity of E.T. and Elliot - they both are wearing hoods. Did you ever notice that their names have the same letters: E L L I O T?

The Sixth Sense (1999) - Directed by M. Knight Shyamalan
Haley Joel Osment is Cole Sear, a boy that communicates with the dead. Cole experiences consistent terror, not only from seeing dead people, but because he doesn't understand what's happening to him. It is interesting that his name "Sear" is a homophone for "seer" - one who has special insight or knowledge.

The Kite Runner (2007) - Directed by Marc Forster
Zekeria Ebrahimi and Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada portray Amir and Hassan, childhood friends in Afghanistan. As an adult, Amir who goes back to Aghanistan to find his friend Hassan, whom he had betrayed when they were children.

True Grit (2010) - Directed by Ethan and Joel Coen
Hailee Steinfeld is Mattie Ross who is tracking down her father's killer. Stylized dialog lends a distinctive flair to this Western tale. Mattie expresses the essence of her character with this line:

MATTIE: You must pay for everything in this world, one way and another. There is nothing free except the grace of God.

Who are your favorite child actors?


  1. I didn't get the opportunity to see all of these films but I do remember the films and have often wondered whatever happen to some of them.
    My favorite child actor was Buffy. She played in a tv series as a small child with a twin brother and they lived with their uncle and Mr. French his manservant. I have forgotten the name of the show but it played for years on television.
    Patricia @ EverythingMustChange

  2. Pat, I remember that show. It was Family Affair. It was one of my faves. Buffy and Jody were the kids and they had an older sister named Cissy.

  3. When I was little, Shirley Temple was my favorite. I wanted to be her. Later, when interested in boys, I wanted to marry Tommy Kirk (I thought he was such a hunk in Old Yeller).

    I enjoy watching Haley Joel Osment. As you mentioned, he did a wonderful job in Sixth Sense, and I loved the role he played in Secondhand Lions.

    1. Shirley Temple was adorable. Her Good Ship Lollypop song is classic! But, I'm really glad that she didn't get the role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.

  4. The film Bugsy Malone had loads of great child actors in it - including Jodie Foster as Tallulah. I remember going to see this film as a child for my birthday treat :)
    A Stormy’s Sidekick
    Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace

    1. I remember it, too. Jodi Foster turned out to be an excellent actor and director. Who knew?