Judd Nelson knows a thing or two about teen actors. As a Brat Packer and one of the five leads in John Hughes' seminal high school flick "The Breakfast Club," Judd's worked with his fair share of young stars, but it's one of Hollywood's current teen stars that Judd couldn't say enough nice things about when we caught up with him at the Sundance Film Festival where he was promoting Canon's "The Story Beyond the Still," which he co-directed.
"I certainly think that Dakota Fanning may be the best actor ever, on the planet, throughout history," Judd said. "I don't know, either she's a pituitary mutant, or maybe she's an alien."
From Emma Watson and Robert Pattinson to Zac Efron and Cary Mulligan, teen actors have been dominating the box office in recent years. Judd shared some astute insights into the world of a teen actor, and he said that he hopes they don't get their careers ruined by producers typecasting them.
"I think there are a number of really gifted actors and actresses working today, and you just hope that they get the opportunity to grow as they get older and to not be pigeon-holed as this kind of actor or actress," he said.
He added that, unfortunately, a lot of young actors are responsible for making or breaking a film (stars like "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" actor Logan Lerman and "Harry Potter"'s Daniel Radcliffe come to mind here), and that it's not fair to burden them with such pressure.
"So much money is spent on these big movies that it really, through no fault of [the actors'] own, the responsibility for the success and failure of movies is on their rather narrow shoulders," Judd said.
Do you agree with Judd's analysis of teen movie stars? Do you think Dakota Fanning is as great an actress as he does?