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Conversely, actors in their early-to-mid-twenties, especially those who make their name in these kinds of shows, often have difficulty being taken seriously playing characters their own age.
Very specific actors can pull it off, usually attributing it to the character being Older Than They Look.
Cross-Dressing Voices is more-or-less the animated version of this trope, as partially explained above. In "How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way," "Drawing Comics in the Style of Detective Comics Comics," "Aping Shit the Valiant Way," and every other drawing tutorial I've been a part of, it clearly says that every line you draw on a person's face adds to their age.
When you're drawing children or sexy young women you give them clean surfaces to suggest youth and a tightness of veins, and when you draw Clint Eastwood in an eyepatch hanging out with Gen 13 you draw all over his face to let people know he's old.
By and large this trope requires some research, you can't know for certain that an actor/actress is a certain age unless you scour around Wikipedia or IMDb.
Also consider that production time may vary greatly from release of the movie or airing of the episode. Timeline issues sometimes make this more apparent, as 5 seasons of a TV show may only cover one year within the context of the story, making an actor who was an aversion become a straight example over time.
That's the refreshing essence of Dawson Creek and there's a lot of love in the air.
Ultimately realize that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with this trope; all forms of entertainment are about the illusion. At the same time this is not about age discrepancies, just being three or four years older doesn't necessarily mean the production is "trying to pull a fast one" on the audience.
Depending on who you talk to, every line can equal a year added onto the life of your character.
Shaft, the young leader of rogue operative team "Youngblood," is 900 years old.
, which was notorious for it — James Van Der Beek (20), Katie Holmes (18), and Joshua Jackson (19) playing 15-year-olds (at the time of the pilot's filming).
17-year-old Michelle Williams was the only one still high school aged.