As more and more children, or young people, get better theater training and more opportunities to showcase their talents, this category will slowly dwindle away. But, lucky for us, we’ve had long history of grown adults playing young teenagers for TV and movies. While some of these actors can easily pass for younger people, some of them look really weird in their roles, and that makes us, the audience, feel weird. Watching a grown man with back pain and advanced male pattern baldness flirt with a young girl on camera feels just about as wrong as it should.
But it’s all about image. Filmmakers want these stars to appear mature on camera because that’s how teenagers view themselves, and that’s how older audiences can relate to them. There are times when the casting is hilariously bad, but there are also, in this list, freaks of nature, humans with weird, genetic dispositions that allow them to stay ageless for years on end. We were, at one point in our lives, younger than them, but as we aged over the years, they stayed the same. Call them whatever you like, but these are the ageless wonders. Here are 16 grown adults who played children on-screen.
16 Charisma Carpenter – Buffy The Vampire Slayer
15 Benjamin McKenzie – The O.C.
14 Sissy Spacek – Carrie
13 Shannon Elizabeth – American Pie
12 Rachel McAdams – Mean Girls
11 Jon Heder – Napoleon Dynamite
10 Stacey Dash – Clueless
9 Corey Monteith – Glee
8 Alison Brie – Community
7 Alan Ruck – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
6 Gabrielle Carteris, Luke Perry & Ian Zering – Beverly Hills, 90210
5 Henry Winkler – Happy Days
4 Olivia Newton-John & Stockard Channing – Grease
3 Jennifer Grey – Dirty Dancing
2 Jason Earles - Hannah Montana
1 Bianca Lawson – Saved by the Bell: The New Class, Buffy The Vampire Slayer & Pretty Little Liars
Bianca Lawson has basically been a teenager for two decades (could she be a vampire?). That is just crazy! In 1993, Lawson got a role in Saved by the Bell: The New Class, then, 6 years later, she nabbed a role of a teenager in Dawson’s Creek, then 10 years after that, she was cast as a teen in Pretty Little Liars, a role that lasted 3 years. Now at 37 years of age (wow!), she has been moved into the young adult roles, but, to be quite honest, she could definitely still pass for a teen. No questions asked.
Sources: Wikipedia; Rotten Tomatoes; IMDB, Pajiba
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