Something’s going on at the Toronto Film Festival, and it involves some of Hollywood’s leading female teen idols. In less than a day, we witnessed Kristen Stewart, Vanessa Hudgens, and Selena Gomez strip, sleep, smoke, and steal their way into onscreen edginess.
Kristen Stewart nudged herself into womanhood offscreen when she did that thing with that guy that broke that other guy’s heart, but that was nothing compared to the double handjob she performs—while topless, obviously—on Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund, in Walter Salles’ affecting adaptation of Jack Kerouack’s On The Road. After her bi-curious turn as Joan Jett in The Runaways, her steamy portrayal of the barely legal sexpot Marylou feels like the post-Twilight escape hatch she was looking for.
As for Selena Gomez, her last big screen effort was Monte Carlo, a sickly-sweet movie they showed you in that Siberian torture chamber your stuck in last year. Calling her performance as a bikini-clad, spliff-smoking, small town wildcat in Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers a departure for the Disney mascot would be a gross understatement. When asked at today’s press conference what advice she’d give to her underage fans intent on seeing the film (which will undoubtedly earn a hard R when its inevitably released) she said flatly: “Don’t see it.”
But Gomez’s onscreen discretions in Korine’s neon fantasy pale in comparison to those of her Disney cohort Vanessa Hudgens, who over the course of the film urinates in public, forces James Franco to fellate a handgun, engages in a surprisingly graphic underwater threesome, and generally smokes, snorts, robs, and kills her way to the closing credits. Hudgens, much like Stewart, has endured her own sordid scandals in the past (wasn’t she like, 15 when those nude pics came out?), so her fans, who are becoming women with her, will have an easier time accepting their hero’s sexual awakening.