With plastic surgery in all shapes and forms readily available in Hollywood, it’s no surprise that many of its stars look the way they do now. And if you see some of their pictures from decades ago, you’d really tend to wonder if they had any work done on their now flaw-free faces.
To be fair, some faces really change and develop drastically over time. But more often than not, a little lift to the nose or a slight whitening and straightening of the teeth were done on many of these stars, for the sake of being Hollywood-acceptable.
It’s fun to take a trip down memory lane and see the A-list stars in the most awkward stages of their lives: the high school years! A few lucky ones were already beautiful in their teenage days and remained good-looking as they blossomed into adults. But there are others’ photos--the really fun ones to look at!—that depict how funny-looking some Hollywood stars were back then.
So here’s a high school yearbook of some of our favorite stars, from what they looked like to how some of them behaved as teenagers. Who looks the most different from their current selves? Don't worry, part 2 will be posted shortly.
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10 Katy Perry
Seeing her lustrous brunette locks in current photos, you wouldn’t think that pop sensation Katy Perry was once blonde. Raised by very strict Christian parents, Perry attended religious schools and camps. Her parents ensured that she and her siblings were exposed to as little of the secular and pop culture world as possible, believing this would lead them to sin. In high school, she was already established to have a beautiful singing voice and so with her religious upbringing, she started writing and performing gospel songs at religious functions. She eventually veered away from gospel music and took an interest in pop, of which genre she’s well-known for now.
9 Jennifer Aniston
Friends star Jennifer Aniston was one of those lucky girls who didn’t go through an ugly duckling phase. Even back in high school, she was already beautiful and talented. This is perhaps due to her Hollywood lineage, having been born to two parents who are actors and good-looking in their own right. Aniston had the privilege of going to high school at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts, where she starred in numerous theatre productions. Clearly, she was really born to be a star.
8 James Franco
Who would have thought that James Franco was such a fan of higher learning? Little do many people know, Franco was raised in a largely academic environment, constantly being encouraged by his father to attain good grades. Despite his high marks, this naturally talented mathematician’s life went haywire in high school, as he resorted to underage drinking, graffiti, and theft. He said he was mostly frustrated because he couldn’t focus on his one passion: acting. Needless to say, Franco later cleaned up his act, enrolling as an English major in UCLA and graduated with honors.
7 Ben Affleck
Despite his protective mother’s insistence that he have a normal childhood, Ben Affleck gave in to the acting bug as early as seven years old. He met best buddy Matt Damon a year later and the pair became inseparable all throughout high school, attending acting auditions and taking drama classes with their high school drama teacher, who greatly inspired both boys in their theatre craft. Affleck scored high on his SATs, but his passion wasn’t in academics. He eventually left school behind to become the Academy Award-winning script writer, actor, and director that he is today.
6 Lady Gaga
They say those who were teased mercilessly for being geeks and nerds as children are the ones who experience great success when they grow up. And of this stereotype, Lady Gaga certainly is. Known to have an IQ bordering on the genius level, Stefani Germanotta was a straight A-student in high school and labeled a geek. She was a victim of bullying because of her “big nose,” “nerdy grades,” and for “being a music and theatre freak.” Luckily, this multi-talented lady used these bad experiences to create and perform the songs that have made her the huge pop sensation that she is now.
5 Jennifer Lawrence
For 23-year-old Jennifer Lawrence, high school actually only happened five or so years ago. It’s no surprise then, that the way she looked back then compared to today is not too different. She was interested in acting as early as 14 and decided to drop out of high school in favor of homeschooling so that she could focus on building an acting career. The natural beauty and multi-talented actress finished high school two years early so that she could pursue acting. And at such a tender age, she has accomplished what many actors never even see in their lifetime: two Golden Globe awards and an Academy Award—all without ever receiving formal acting training!
4 Sandra Bullock
Some people seem to have always had it all and Sandra Bullock was one of those fortunate few to have beauty and brains, even in those awkward high school years. She was one of those girls who probably would have been voted prom queen: she was beautiful, a varsity cheerleader, wrote and performed skits for the high school talent show, and above all, a member of the thespian honor society. It’s unclear if she had the “mean girl” personality to go with all of these accomplishments, but judging from the warmth and humour she currently projects as a celebrity, we’d say she was probably a down-to-earth gal even back then.
3 Angelina Jolie
When Angelina Jolie took home the Best Supporting Actress plum for her role in Girl, Interrupted, many didn’t know how similar her real-life behavior was to that of her angst-ridden, suicidal character. When she attended high school at Beverly Hills, she was constantly ostracized for falling into that stereotype of the weird punk kid who was always in black and sported tattoos. Being too skinny with glasses and braces only exacerbated the bullying. Luckily, the ugly duckling turned into the drop-dead gorgeous, generous-hearted swan that she is today. The icing on her cake? Brad Pitt!
2 Natalie Portman
Not very many actors can proudly claim that they graduated from Harvard University—but Natalie Portman certainly can. She was always beautiful and talented, but she also had the brains to match that magnitude. In high school, Portman made it to the semifinals of the Intel Science Talent Search, which is the United States’ most prestigious high school research competition. She prioritized her education over her budding Hollywood career, as she skipped out on the premier of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, where she starred as Queen Amidala, so that she could study for her high school final exams.
1 George Clooney
Perpetual-bachelor-turned-recently-engaged George Clooney fell into two stereotypes when he was in high school: the class clown and the jock. As these two labels are on two opposite ends of the spectrum as far as high school goes, it’s no mean feat to be able to be considered both, but Clooney managed to be such! He had a tough time when he first started high school, entering his first year with Bell’s palsy. Luckily, he was able to rise above the struggle of having to go to school with a partially paralyzed face. He got into basketball and baseball, thus earning him the title of jock. His penchant for comedy likewise earned him the name of class clown.
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