There are lists all over the place of celebs who are much younger than you’d think: Adele, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, etc. It’s a saucy topic. We love premature aging, especially in society’s most beautiful members (the glitterati of Hollywood). But how about those celebs who are preserved in amber (and we don’t mean Will Smith, who we personally think doesn’t look as young as everyone seems to think?) – they aren’t as often heard of.
There are two types of older-than-you’d-think celebs. There are those who, thanks to exercise, diet, good genes and LOTS of money, have somehow managed to preserve the youthfulness most of us sacrifice to boring jobs and bad habits. Then there are those who don’t look “young and beautiful” but just look really physically immature for their age. It’s not that they’re still cute ‘n’ cuddly, it’s that they’re like a different entity altogether.
If you’re curious enough to turn the tired old “look how badly these celebs have aged!” on its head, stick around, and dive right into 10 celebs who are much older than you’d think with us.
10. Salma Hayek (49)
Salma Hayek is still very much the latina bombshell, in the style of Penelope Cruz or Sofia Vergara. Voluptuous, dark-haired, with sexy accents, these ladies tell their forties to eff right off. Or do they? Salma Hayek, who looks like she just cracked her fourth decade, is actually about to crack her fifth. That’s right: she was born in 1966, fifty years from 2016. These days, decades are always the new decade. With a stacked bod, great hair, and flawless skin like Salma Hayek, we’d venture to say that fifty is the new thirty (and you’ll probably agree, once you see some of the other entries that’ll follow!)
9. Alex Trebek (75)
Alex Trebek has been hosting Jeopardy! since 1984, or since he was in his mid-forties. Still today, he has all his hair and he’s whip quick with those pieces of trivia. Traditionally, seven-five year olds are seen as forgetful, napping at the dinner table after they’ve turned off their hearing aids. Trebek, in his suits on ABC, doesn’t look a day over 55. It’s the perfect combination for Jeopardy! , whose audience is overwhelmingly old-folks (sometimes, the ad breaks are devoted to literal four-minute mini-movies for AARP) but which also probably doesn’t want to alienate young viewers who don’t want a host like the crypt-keeper.
8. Jane Fonda (78)
Jane Fonda has buns of steel. Or at least she did in the 1980s, when she released a DVD by that title coaching thousands (maybe even millions) of women (and men!) how to have metallic backsides. On top of being one of the most controversial anti-war proponents during the Vietnam era, Jane Fonda fashioned herself as an icon of vigorous, American fitness. With that reputation (and some cosmetic surgery, which went surprisingly well) she aged gracefully. This aging process becomes apparent in Grace and Frankie where she removes her face and shows the Fonda behind the makeup. Still, at almost eighty years old, Jane Fonda looks healthier than many women literally half her age.
7. Avril Lavigne (31)
If you never knew that Avril Lavigne had released “Complicated” way back in 2002, you might think that she was the freshest face in pop music (if only she could just release a hit…) With her blonde hair, fair skin, and fizzy blue eyes, Avril Lavigne looks very much the young pop tart, à la Taylor Swift. But in actuality, Avril is 31 years old. Admittedly, you probably wouldn’t peg her at anything under 24. But still, considering the proportions of those numbers, 31 is a big leap from mid-twenties (not like the difference between, say, 65 and 72). With her cute looks, Avril Lavigne could definitely stage a big scale comeback, but she’s haunted by her manufactured, pop-punk past and won’t really be doing much, probably.
6. M.I.A. (40)
Most of the entries so far on this list have focused on the celebrity’s appearance. We haven’t really evoked attitude, which is a more invisible part in determining someone’s age-ppearance. M.I.A. uses both her look and her personality to create a more youthful presence. Her appearance speaks for itself: despite being forty and having an elementary-school aged child, M.I.A. is still smokin’ hot. But her attitude also buttresses her youthfulness (much like Adele’s attitude ages her). You wouldn’t really think of women in their forties giving the middle finger at the Super Bowl or releasing a song called “Bad Girls” where they rap: “Live fast, die young, bad girls do it well.”
5. Sandra Bullock (51)
We’ve mentioned other ladies who make fifty look like thirty. Sandra Bullock is definitely one of them. Sixteen years after the release of Miss Congeniality, Sandy could still convincingly play a beauty pageant contestant (but she won’t, because she’s moved on to playing foster moms for Academy Awards). How are we so confident that she could pull it off? Just last year, at age 50, Sandra Bullock was declared People Magazine’s Most Beautiful Woman (a title held by Julia Roberts a surprising amount of times…). Either way, it was well deserved, Sandra Bullock being a walking experience in aging gracefully, if altogether invisibly.
4. Dylan McDermott (54)
A while back, a picture was circulating on the internet of Ryan Murphy‘s (creator of American Horror Story and Glee) taste in men (he’s famously gay). The joke was that they were all white, young, and dark-haired. The list had some of Hollywood’s most handsome, Gap-modelesque young men: New Girl’s Max Greenfield, Magic Mike‘s Matt Bomer, Nick Jonas of recent Billboard Top 40 solo acclaim. On the list was also Dylan McDermott, who appeared to logically fit it, aesthetically and in terms of age, with the other men. The only difference is that Dylan McDermott is in his mid-fifties, unlike all the other men who topped out at like 35.
3. Jared Leto (44)
Jared Leto came to prominence playing the quintessential high school heartthrob, Jordan Catalano, in the prematurely-defunct high-school soap opera My So-Called Life (starring Claire Danes, who’s now on Homeland playing a hard-ass secret agent.) He was most recently seen playing a crossdressing AIDS patient in Dallas Buyers Club (he was also overheard trashing Taylor Swift, in a move so immature it makes it REALLY hard to believe that this boy is in his freaking mid forties). That might seem like a giant leap in a career, but you’ve gotten remember that he had 20 years to make the transition. MS-CL‘s first and only season played in 1995, back when Jared was in his mid-twenties. He’s had ample time to mature, and pick more “important” Hollywood roles.
2. Ariana Grande (22)
Taking one look at her, you’d think that she was like 15 years old. She’s so thin, petite, and adorable that she really does look like a child. But Ariana Grande is actually 22 years old, or one year older than Justin Bieber, who (thanks to the trainers, stylists, and air-brushers at Calvin Klein) looks like a grown-ass man. It doesn’t hurt that Ariana Grande sort of self-styles like a high-school girl, constantly putting hearts and kisses everywhere (it’s cute but quite juvenile), really “allowing people to believe” that she’s actually just a teenager. She’s lucky though: in a shallow industry like show business, looking many years your junior will be beneficial, because it will extend your career (like, for instance, Sandra Bullock!)
1. Jason Earles (38)
Some of you might have already known this, but some of you might not have. Jason Earles, who played Miley Cyrus‘ goofy brother on Hannah Montana, will turn 40 soon. That means that at the time of filming (2006-2011), Jason Earles was 28-33. In the show, however, he was playing a high-school boy. We’re not quite sure why he was chosen above all the other age-appropriate actors (Miley Cyrus was presumably more or less the same age as the character she played), but he did a good job as Jackson, giving lots of laughs and a genuine warmth with his sister on the show. So we guess the casting agent for the show did a stellar job, in the end!
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