In a career move that has become characteristic of maturing child actresses with Disney and Nikelodeon roots, Keke Palmer joins the growing list of little celebrity girls who reach young womanhood and shed their “pure” personas to portray so-called “slutty” on-screen characters.
Palmer rose to fame starring opposite Lawrence Fishburne in Akeelah and the Bee, then landed her own Nikelodeon show, “True Jackson, VP,” in 2008.
Staying true to her good girl image, Keke recently starred with Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah in the feature film Joyful Noise, a feel-good gospel flick where Palmer’s fans get to hear her sing her heart out for the love of the Lord.
Keke’s next gig might have parents of some of her younger fans crying foul however, because Keke will forever shed her virginal image to play opposite Abigale Breslin in Virgin Mary, a teen coming-of-age film in which Palmer says she is excited about the opportunity to stretch as an actress — in her first role as a “slut.”
“People have always known me, as Keke Palmer the ‘good girl.’ In this movie, I’m not necessarily being a huge slut, but my character is just that. She’s like, ‘I’m a sex enthusiast. That’s who I am,’ but the reason why I chose this film was because it’s different from what everybody knows me as. And this character spoke to me because she was funny, she was likeable.”
Palmer feels it is time for her to leave that little Nickelodeon girl behind now that she is becoming a woman. “It wasn’t a tough decision to step away from True Jackson … but it was different. I was approaching 18 and it’s just like I don’t want to be a grown woman on the show, you know, I want my fans to grow with me, I don’t want to stay stagnant and that’s pretty much what it came down to. I’m growing up and I want to grow with my audience.”
Palmer’s not alone in her decision to go from on-screen virgin to veritable vixen, but I pray she’s careful on that slippery slope. Here are five child actresses who journeyed down that road before her to pave the way: