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Their Toughest Role: Transitioning from Teen Idol to Actor

August 18, 2010

The remake of the 1984 Kevin Bacon cheese-fest “Footloose,’’ about a town that bans rock music and dancing and the rebellious newcomer who defies the law, is apparently the kiss of death for today’s rising young actors looking to shed their teen-idol identities and show the world they can spread their wings in more adult fare. Both former “High School Musical’’ heartthrob Zac Efron and “Gossip Girl’’ cutie Chace Crawford recently declined to take the lead in a proposed “Footloose’’ remake. For Efron, it was reportedly an aversion to being typecast as a go-to guy for musicals (he also starred in “Hairspray’’), while Crawford was looking to display his versatility in more serious fare.

Indeed, Efron and Crawford are among a crop of teen idols, including “Twilight’’ stars Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, facing the thorny dilemma of moving beyond the iconic roles that thrust them into the teen idol spotlight, that have defined their careers so far, and threaten to pigeonhole them as mere objects of desire for hyperventilating teenage girls everywhere. Read More