In the land of Hollywood, youth is everything. Hollywood worships the young by casting them in movie roles, commenting on their beauty, and by pretty much observing their every move. Given Hollywood’s love of everyone young, it may seem odd that so many older actors and actresses have played teenagers on hit shows and movies. Most of these actors and actresses were way beyond high school age, but still managed to snag the role of a lifetime. Some of these stars managed to portray teenagers up until their late twenties. A lucky few even managed to play the part of a high school student in their thirties. However long these stars managed to drink from the fountain of youth, below is a list of ten celebrities who were way too old to be playing teenagers. These stars have managed to remain ageless throughout the years and we’re guessing everyone wants to know their secret for maintaining that youthful glow.
10. Keiko Agena – Gilmore Girls
When Keiko Agena snagged the role of Lane Kim on the hit show Gilmore Girls, she was 27 years old. This is particularly impressive considering that Agena’s character on the show was supposed to be just 16. Today, Agena is 41 years old and is continuing to act in different films and television shows. Agena has appeared in the movie Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon, and TV shows like Scandal, Twisted and Shameless. She has also received the Best Female Actor award in the Ammy awards, which honor Asian and Asian-American achievements in film and television.
9. Tobey Maguire – Spider-Man
Everybody knows that when Peter Parker gets bitten by a radioactive spider and becomes Spider-Man, he is a high school student, but that didn’t stop Tobey Maguire from being cast as the lead in Spider-Man. Maguire was 27 years old when he became Spider-Man. Maguire received rave reviews as the lead but decided to quit the franchise after some disagreements with the director. From there, the Spider-Man franchise decided to go with a more youthful lead. As a result, Andrew Garfield was cast as Peter Parker. The new film featuring Garfield was released on July 3, 2012 and was entitled The Amazing Spider-Man.
8. Cory Monteith – Glee
The late Cory Monteith was twenty-seven years old when he began playing Finn Hudson on the popular show, Glee. This is especially interesting when you consider that Matthew Morrison, who plays his teacher, was thirty-four at the start of the show. Although Monteith plays a teenager on Glee, the actor has explained that his character did a lot of growing up over the course of the show. Of his character the actor said, “Finn started off as the stereotypical dumb jock but as the show has gone on, Finn’s not dumb anymore, really, he’s just a little naïve.” Unfortunately Monteith passed away at the young age of 31 from a toxic combination of heroin and alcohol.
7. Gabrielle Union – Bring it On
While Kirsten Dunst was 18 when she appeared in the movie Bring It On, Dunst’s onscreen rival who was played by Gabrielle Union, was a shocking 27 years old at the time of filming. Bring It On led to Union being cast in more mainstream roles. She starred in the TV show City of Angels, she nabbed the lead in the film Deliver Us From Eva, and appeared in movies such as Bad Boys II, The Honeymooners, Daddy’s Little Girls, Think Like a Man and Top Five. She is currently married to Dwyane Wade and is the stepmother to three children.
6. Jon Heder – Napoleon Dynamite
When Jon Heder skyrocketed to fame after starring in the movie Napoleon Dynamite, the actor was 26 years old. This put Heder years ahead of his character in Napoleon Dynamite, who is supposed to be in high school. After his debut film (for which he only earned $1,000) Heder appeared in movies such as The Sasquatch Gang, Just Like Heaven, Benchwarmers, Blades of Glory and Surf’s Up. The star has also reprised his role as Napoleon Dynamite in the Fox animated series of the same name. Heder currently lives with his wife Kristen in Los Angeles, California. The couple have two children together and have been married since 2002.
5. Stacey Dash – Clueless
While Alicia Silverstone was eighteen when Clueless came out, her on air sidekick, played by Stacey Dash, was 28 years old when her character was supposed to be a 15 year old in high school. Clueless was Dash’s first big break in the movie business. After the film’s huge success, Dash went on to reprise her role as Dionne Marie Davenport in a television spin off of the same name that lasted from 1996-1999. Since then, Dash has appeared in movies such as View From the Top, Gang of Roses, Getting Played and I Could Never Be Your Woman. Currently, the 48-year-old actress has no reported future projects lined up.
4. Rachel McAdama – Mean Girls
In 2004, Rachel McAdams found fame after starring along side Lindsay Lohan in the popular film, Mean Girls. There’s just one problem with McAdams’ appearance in the film, the actress was 25 when she was supposed to be playing a teenager in high school. Even with the vast age difference between McAdams and the character she was playing, the actress received rave reviews for her performance. USA Today said the actress had “comic flair,” and Telegraph said she was “delightfully hateful” in the film. After Mean Girls, McAdams went on to star in successful films such as, Sherlock Holmes, The Notebook and Midnight in Paris.
3. Stockard Channing – Grease
The film Grease is filled with actors and actresses that were a bit too old to be playing high school students. For example Olivia Newton-John, who was supposed to be portraying a 17 year old was actually 29 during filming. But that’s nothing compared to the age difference between Stockard Channing and her character, Betty Rizzo. While Channing was also supposed to be playing a 17 year old, Channing was actually 34 at the time of filming. In addition to her performance in Grease, Channing is also famous for playing First Lady Abbey Bartlet in The West Wing, and Ouisa Kittredge in Six Degrees of Separation.
2. Sissy Spacek – Carrie
Sissy Spacek’s age almost cost her the lead role in Carrie. The actress was 26 when the director decided to give Spacek the lead in the film. However, Spacek only got the part after she managed to convince the director that she wasn’t too old to play a high school student. Spacek accomplished this by rubbing Vaseline in her hair and wearing a dress that her mother had made for her when she was a child. Spacek ended up receiving rave reviews for her performance and was even nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. Spacek went on to win an Oscar for Coal Miner’s Daughter. She has also won three Golden Globes and has been nominated for a grand total of six Oscars.
1. Bianca Lawson- Pretty Little Liars
Bianca Lawson is a magical creature who never seems to age. The actress began her career after she was cast in the series Saved by the Bell: The New Class as Megan Jones. Since then, Lawson has been playing a teenager in shows like Dawson’s Creek, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, The Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars. In fact, Lawson has been playing a teenager in films and television shows for the past twenty years. In one of her more well known roles, Lawson plays the high school girlfriend of Emily Fields in the show, Pretty Little Liars. Surprisingly, Lawson was 34 at the time of filming. Lawson is undoubtedly one celebrity who seemingly never ages.
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