Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Butch Effect

Tommy Bond, the child actor who portrayed the feared "Butch"
How many times have you heard a fan of Game of Thrones throw a fist to the sky and shout, "Kill Joffrey!"

He is the quintessential spoiled brat---a teenager able to wave a hand and have someone executed. However, what about the actor? How does it feel to play someone so hated, and to have to deal with it in public?

Worse, what if you're young? What if you're a child? Thankfully, Jack Gleeson, the actor who plays Joffrey Baratheon is twenty one, which is young enough, but imagine what poor Tom Felton had to go through when he played Malfoy Draco in the Harry Potter series.How about William Zabka, the bad boy from The Karate Kid? Or Alison Armgrim who was Nellie from Little House on the Prairie.

According to Alison Armgrim, she had to deal with being hated in real life by people who confused her with the character. Imagine being 12 years old and dealing with this, and the assault on the ego.

Celebrity messes with young actors. Just take a look at Justin Beiber and the other examples of those who may have had too much, too soon. Look at Britney Spears, Todd Bridges, Corey Haim, Lindsay Lohan, and Amanda Bynes. And those are the kids loved by kids.

What about the actors who are reviled?

How we treat celebrity says much about us as a culture.

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