Teen Stars Weigh In on How to Realistically Portray Acne in Film
Stockard Channing was 33 when she played the high school senior Rizzo in Grease. Tobey Maguire was 32 during his stint as teenage Spider-Man. Michael J. Fox was in his late 20s, moonlighting as a 17-year-old, for Back to the Future. All three performances are beloved by fans of coming-of-age films, but there's one crucial thing missing from fictional high schools of the past: acne. Lately, directors of movies like Eighth Grade and Ladybird have opted to go light on makeup, showing their teen actors as they truly are — zit and acne scars included. Because of this, critics and audiences alike have predicted that these two films are heralding a more realistic era of high school films.
Sofia Wylie, a 14-year-old who plays a character just one year younger than her actual age on The Disney Channel's Andi Mack, believes that teen movies are entering the no-filter movement. "I think directors of my show want us to look like regular kids," she told POPSUGAR. "But movies and TV can go further. I think the acne element in Ladybird made the performances so much more relatable."
Of course, Ladybird and Eighth Grade are two indie movies that don't represent the industry as a whole. We asked Wylie and other young actors what it's like to work on mainstream sets like It and Riverdale with teen acne.