One of the notable child stars of the early 1990’s was Mara Wilson, adorable in films like Mrs. Doubtfire and others. Rather than going farther, however, Wilson decided to quit the acting game and today has become a popular online writer and singer and has written on the dangers facing child stars and why so many become train wrecks. She credits having grounded parents but others aren’t as lucky and thus a reason why Hollywood is infamous for eating its young. It’s not new by any means; as far back as the 1930’s, the studios would build up young actors only to drop them fast if someone fresh came along. It’s impossible to count how many actors were huge deals in their youths and teens only to hit hard times afterward and it takes a true mix of talent and smarts to be able to survive.
Many an actress has taken advantage of the times to try and shake up their image in their adulthood. We’ve seen it plenty of times with starlets doing spreads in magazines like Maxim and others and trying to prove they can be taken seriously as adults. That also includes going nude in various projects and you can expect it from some. Given their wild pasts, Drew Barrymore and Lindsay Lohan showing off wasn’t a big shock. However, others are quite surprising. Often, it’s the amazement that an actress has grown up to be so gorgeous while in other cases you didn’t expect it given the characters they played. Here are 15 former kid stars who ended up baring all in ways that proved they were more than grown up and took you aback at how daring they could be. Keep in mind, these don’t count hacked photos or such, these are times they choose to bare it all and how you can respect a gal going to such lengths.
15. Kristen Stewart
When you can hold your own at 11 against Jodie Foster, you’ve got the acting goods. Stewart did just that as Foster’s daughter in the hit Panic Room which got her roles in other kid’s movies, which seemed her usual fare. In 2008, she got the role of Bella Swan in the Twilight series which launched her to international stardom. It also got criticism for some slamming her acting and even looks but Stewart would be able to defeat them on both counts by showing off her nubile body with On the Road with reports of her practicing at a strip club and even offered a job there for her skills. She’s also earned critical acclaim and a Cesar Award for Clouds of Sils Maria amid other blockbusters and shown that her body is good but her talent even better despite some haters.
14. Taylor Momsen
Momsen was just nine when she starred as cute little Cindy Lou Who in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, a perfect young little girl. She followed that with Spy Kids 2 and was among the final candidates for the part of Hannah Montana. In 2007, she began her role as Jenny on Gossip Girl, a gal trying to survive the politics of high school and seemed ready for a good career as a teen actress with good parts. However, she would leave the show with talk of difficulties on set and even concerns of addictions. Momsen then transformed herself into a rocker, taking to the stage in leather outfits and wild hair and was soon doing magazine shoots in almost nothing but body paint. It’s one change from little girl to outgoing starlet that truly rocks you.
13. Mercedes McNab
This perky blonde first showed up in a memorable scene as a girl scout contending with Wednesday in The Addams Family. She was so good the producers brought her back for the sequel as a bitchy camp girl who gets on the wrong side of Wednesday again. She appeared in numerous TV shows and some small movies, usually a pretty high schooler with a bubbly attitude. Her big break came as Harmony on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a bimbo who would be turned into an annoying vampire and her dim-witted attitude made her so popular that she became a regular on spin-off Angel. While attractive, she didn’t sell ultra sex appeal but that changed in 2006, first with a topless role in the horror movie Hatchet, then a fantastic spread in Playboy to show ever curve of her great body. She continues to work in various small movies and still a knockout to showcase how well a gal can grow up.
12. Shailene Woodley
Appearing in various TV shows in her pre-teens, Woodley rose to prominence with stuff like Felicity: An American Girl Adventure and the younger version of Jill Hennessey’s character on Crossing Jordan. She was originally cast as Kaitlin on The O.C. but replaced after just a few episodes by Willa Holland which led to her star-making role in The Secret Life of the American Teenager. She proved her true talent in The Descendants and then in White Bird in a Blizzard, made a major shift to adult fare by going nude in some love scenes, showing a much better body than one would have guessed under her usual jeans and t-shirt ensembles. She’s currently riding high with the Divergent series and proving herself a young star in the making to show how going nude can help a career out and add, not subtract, from wider respect.
11. Thora Birch
In the early ‘90s, Birch was most everywhere in movies like Patriot Games, Hocus Pocus, Monkey Trouble and Now and Then. She was a classic little kid, funny with a chubby face and bright eyes, the true innocent in her flicks and charming. Her role in 1999’s American Beauty appeared to follow the same bits of being a high school with a quiet demeanor. Which made it more effective when, knowing her neighbor is watching, Birch stands in her bedroom window and strips off her sweatshirt and then bra to reveal a stunning rack that was more impressive than the nudity of co-star Mena Suvari. Her career surprisingly didn’t rise more except for stuff like Ghost World but that topless scene is a great example of a former kid star certainly proving she was grown up.
10. Christina Ricci
Ricci was an immediate hit with moviegoers playing the sardonic but lovely Wednesday Addams in 1991’s hit The Addams Family and its sequel, moviegoers loving her near sociopath with a dry wit. Ricci soon followed with other family fare like Now and Then and Casper, seemingly ready for a career in such stuff. However, she began to segue to more adult stuff like The Ice Storm and The Opposite of Sex, showing some startling sexy charisma. She really cut loose in films like Prozac Nation and Black Snake Moan that showed off her now nicely grown body in some very erotic love scenes that were often quirkier than anything Wednesday could dream of. She continues in various TV and movie roles to show how a once creepy gal could grow into one you can’t take your eyes off of.
9. Elizabeth Berkley
Let’s be honest: If you had to pick which Saved By the Bell actress was going to play a stripper, you’d have gone with Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, right? Berkley’s role as Jessie was known as the tightly wound genius infamous for the “I’m so excited” breakdown but still not as notable as her co-star. But it ended up being Berkley who took on the lead of Naomi, the aspiring stripper/dancer in Showgirls and the actress went all out erasing her image with her constant nudity on screen. The movie, of course, ended up a massive critical and box office bomb that crushed much of Berkley’s career hopes but has gone on to find new life as a “so bad it’s great” cult classic. Berkley has pretty much kept her clothes on in later roles but this still ranks as one of the most jarring cases of a kid star showing off in film history.
8. Kirsten Dunst
Maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise as Dunst made her debut in 1994’s Interview With a Vampire as a child vampire who quickly grows into a murderous lady. She would follow it with other roles emphasizing her innocent demeanor and bright looks like Little Women and Jumanji. Even when she got into more risqué stuff like Bring It On, she looked to be one of those actresses who teases nudity but never went full on. That changed big time with the drama Melancholia as a bride facing the end of the world and Dunst was photographed majorly going full frontal and some love scenes, winning wide praise for the part. She’s kept it up in the hit show Fargo and truly grown up and proud of it to match her beauty with her talent which is huge.
7. Miley Cyrus
Hard to believe but a decade ago, no one knew her as anything but the daughter of one-hit country star Bill Ray Cyrus. That all changed with the debut of Hannah Montana, which took off bigger than Disney ever dreamed it would, a massive hit that sparked a sellout concert tour. Cyrus was at the heart as this gal-next-door turned pop star and handling it all with charm and humor. It was controversial when she bared her shoulders for a Vanity Fair shoot which is laughable to think about today. That’s because since the show ended, Cyrus has suddenly gone truly wild with tattoos, piercings and showing her body off in some wild nude photo shoots, transforming from nice gal to utter sexpot with ease. It’s added to her already huge fame to boost her more and the fact she backs it up with music hits proves there’s a method to her madness and that Hannah’s pop star act wasn’t too far from the real Miley after all.
6. Alyssa Milano
In many ways, Milano sparked the “teen stars going nude” trend of the 1990s. She was 12 when she began her role as tomboy Samantha in Who’s The Boss? but looked younger. Watching her grow into a teenage hottie was quite intriguing although Milano still seemed to hold a more innocent side to herself. In 1994, she shoved that aside big time with the direct-to-video releases Embrace of the Vampire and Poison Ivy 2, each of which involved Milano going naked, kissing women and the screen caps of them soon became one of the biggest hits on the then-growing Internet. With that hotter side, Milano earned roles in Melrose Place and Charmed and while a bit slowed down now, still looks gorgeous and no doubt could rock a skimpy outfit with ease. A classic case of a pretty little kid who grew into one of the hotter adults imaginable.
5. Jessica Biel
We’ve become so used to Biel’s hotness that it’s easy to forget her debut as the innocent tomboy Mary Camden in 7th Heaven, a series that promoted wholesome values and Biel seemed to keep to that as a goody-goody character. In 2000, at the age of 17, she made the now infamous interview for Gear magazine that included shots of her topless and bad-mouthing her character. The show’s producers were irate, suing the magazine and Biel would have her character written off for a time. However, it exposed the world to her amazing sexiness that she would put to good use for her rise in movie fame. That included a great turn as a stripper in Powder Blue and one of the best rear ends in Hollywood. Trust a reverend’s daughter to show a truly wicked side in the end.
4. Isabelle Fuhrman
The 2009 horror film Orphan had Furhman as Esther, an orphan girl adopted by the family who turns out to be a psychopath with a stunning secret. She was quite intriguing in the part and scary as well with a lot of talk of how she could rise up for more roles and did play Clove in The Hunger Games. Her most recent role has been on Showtime’s Masters of Sex and as usual for the females on that series, she ended up going naked in a memorable sex scene with an older man, revealing a strong body that went with her talent. She may have scared audiences as a kid but Fuhrman ended up intriguing with her body to show older than her years in many ways.
3. Christy Carlson Romano
While she didn’t have the same fame level of fellow Disney Channel starlets of the time like Hillary Duff, Romano was still a good face as star of Even Stevens. She played Ren, a genius lady trying to put up with the annoying habits of her brother (a young Shia LaBeouf). Romano also voiced the title character in the hit animated show Kim Possible and a few Disney Channel movies, attractive but seemed ready for roles of put-together gals. Thus, it was jarring when the horror movie Mirrors 2 had Romano going totally naked and revealing a very sizeable chest that she’d never really hinted at before. She’s doing mostly small movies but this part showcased how possible it is for a kid star to doff it in amazing ways.
2. Madeline Zima
Zima was eight when she was cast as Grace Sheffield on the hit sitcom The Nanny, getting laughs for being a neurotic mess taking on so much beyond her years. She grew as the show continued but still seemed an innocent kid with a cute face, nothing that spectacular. When she starred in the first episode of Showtime’s Californication, she’d grown into a very attractive lady with long dark hair, so different that you’d be amazed it was the same girl. More stunning was that within five minutes of her debut, she was naked in a wild sex scene with David Duchovny and showing her great body off. She would continue onward as a wicked minx and later guest-starring in series like Heroes and others, proving how the quiet girls can grow up to be the wilder ones.
1. Anna Paquin
Paquin had one of the best debuts in movie history playing Holly Hunter’s daughter in The Piano and winning wide acclaim for a performance that seemed much older than her nine years at the time. She then scored a major upset by winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for the part and the sight of her in an adorable dress and cap hyperventilating on stage is classic. She starred in a few other films like Fly Away Home before taking time for school and made a big return as Rogue in the X-Men movies. Some fans were annoyed at how the comic book sexpot was played by someone they termed just not that sexy. That mentality was forever changed when Paquin started her role as Sookie Stackhouse in True Blood and went all out in fantastic sex scenes to show herself off and prove herself as a true knockout. It’s amazing to see this girl grown up (and also how, with her looks and accent, she looks more like Holly Hunter’s daughter than before) and Paquin proving you can’t be limited by just a quiet past.