Careers: Acting, Performing, Directing/12 year-old daughter cast in heavy political bullying film
My oldest daughter who's 12 was recently cast in a new film called Class Election about a unpopular nerdy girl who wants to run for class elections again the most popular girl in school because she's tried of all the bullying going on in school that's just allowed to continue. My daughter plays the lead role of Juno a very popular girl who has a lot of friends, and basically runs the school keeping the bullying ramped again the nerds, but when she finds out Tina the most-unpopular kid in her homeroom decided to signed-up my daughter makes it her mission to make sure Tina doesn't win! When my daughter Juno, and her best friend see Tina coming towards the sign in table they whispered "NERD ALERT" and that's when her character starts tormenting her by teasing her restlessly because she only has like one friend. Later they take her underwear and hang it up the school flag poll in front of everyone before saluting. My daughter Juno and her friends trap Tina in her locker after school on Friday with the hope of keeping her in their all weekend before Tina's only friend goes to find her the following morning.
My question how do I tell my daughter that bullying is a serious real problem off screen? Also the character she is playing on screen is really evil, and basically wants the school to be continually run by the bullies so how she should turn off that character once the camera are off?
Your daughter is already at the age where she has probably already seen, heard, or experienced some type of bullying - either in her normal, everyday life, or on TV and in films. Generally speaking, most children have a good grasp of fantasy and reality. While a youngster may dress like (a cowboy, wrestler, princess, astronaut...) behave like one, and insist that is what they are going to be 'when they grow up," for the most part they don't generally believe for a long time that they actually are (and must leave to go on a rodeo tour, demand etiquette training and tutelage needed to eventually become queen, or fly off to Nasa. I'm sure there are exceptions, but hopefully your daughter is one who completely comprehends what this type of acting is; pretend.
Naturally if we're going to bring in reality programming, there's another conversation. What should be helpful is that your daughter probably is playing a character with a different name, possibly a wardrobe/costuming, and scripted lines written by someone else. If in between takes or elsewhere on set you observe her behaving as her character and not herself, then perhaps having a talk with her would be helpful.
I wouldn't worry about it unless she gives you some indication that there is a problem.
Good luck to you both,