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Risqué business

Young actresses no stranger to grown-up roles

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Kids are growing up too fast these days, and nowhere is that more evident than in Hollywood. Chloe Grace Moretz, 15, is just the latest actress to take on a role that's extremely risqué for her age. In Hick, which played to acclaim at the Toronto Film Festival, Moretz plays a 13-year-old who runs away from home and gets tangled up with a grifter (Blake Lively) and an unbalanced stranger (Eddie Redmayne). We don't want to spoil it, but trust us when we say that it doesn't take long before her problems become much more serious than timeouts and jam hands. Check out five other movies that featured young actresses transitioning from cute to cutthroat before our eyes.


Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver

Jodie Foster is no stranger to powerful roles, including her very first gig in 1976's Taxi Driver. Robert De Niro plays a war vet who drives a taxi in New York City. He's privy to all the dirt and seediness that thrives in the wee hours of the morning, including prostitution. Foster plays an underage hooker who De Niro tries to save. Foster was only 14 when Taxi Driver was released.


Evan Rachel Wood and Nikki Reed in Thirteen

Thirteen introduced us to Nikki Reed, who starred in this film based on her own life. Evan Rachel Wood plays 13-year-old Tracy, who is introduced to the world of sex, drugs and petty crime by her rebellious new BFF (Reed). Reed and Wood were just 14 when they shot the film that quickly became every parent's worst nightmare, thanks to its frank depiction of drug and alcohol abuse, underage sex and self-mutilation.


Rosario Dawson in Kids

Kids, a dark indie flick that offers viewers a realistic glimpse into the lives of teenagers, follows an HIV-positive teen who sets out to deflower as many virgins as he can. The 1995 movie garnered a lot of backlash thanks to its graphic scenes, which featured everything from 12-year-old girls losing their virginity to kids beating up bystanders to date rape. Actress Rosario Dawson was just 16 when she shot the film.


Dakota Fanning in Hounddog

Precocious child star Dakota Fanning first won everyone over with her role in I Am Sam, but since then, the young actress has made some risqué career moves. Fanning stretched her acting muscles with mature roles in Trapped (2002) and The Runaways (2010), but her turn in Hounddog (2007) is the hardest to watch. She plays a young southern girl who obsesses over Elvis' music as a way to escape her life of sexual abuse. Fanning was just 12 when she took on this heavy part, but since no one really wanted to see the cute kid from Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat get raped in a barn, the film tanked at the box office. The actress has since moved on to lighter fare, such as playing a cartoonish villain in the Twilight franchise. Her role as Jane in those movies is equally hard to watch, but mostly because those red contact lens just look so darn uncomfortable.


Chloe Moretz in Kick-Ass

Hick isn't Moretz's first venture into adult content. In Kick-Ass (2010), which she filmed when she was only 11, her character utters an almost verboten swear word, while the movie itself drops the F-bomb 101 times. Moretz shocked audiences with her role as a badass killing machine named Hit Girl in this R-rated flick, which features regular people dressing up as superheroes. Hit Girl's father should wash her mouth out with soap, but he's too busy trying to teach her how to filet her enemies with a butterfly knife and survive getting shot. Priorities, people!

-- Postmedia News

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 10, 2012 E6

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