The older women get sometimes there is piss and vinegar that gets added to sugar and spice. Girls begin their lives as precious natural resources to be nurtured, loved, cared for and taught to do all of these things for others throughout their lives. As a woman gets older, she is sometimes taught to, but probably more often than not, use her feminine wiles any way she sees fit.
While writers in Hollywood love to write stories for younger ladies, they seem to forget the reality of the world – those young ladies eventually turn into powerful, strong, gorgeous women. The writers still skew towards younger characters when telling their stories…no matter how old the cast is.
No matter the role, these are all very memorable performances from some of the top actresses in the world. Even if they are portraying much younger characters than themselves or their own ages and just acting like ridiculous people, here are 15 women who were too old for these roles and scenes.
15 Gabrielle Union – Bring It On
Thank goodness for great skin, maybe it's Maybelline…perhaps its Younique? Or Gabrielle Union is just so beautiful that she’s seemingly ageless – look at her today, does she look anywhere near 44 years old? Do you even believe that she’s 44 years old? It’s phenomenal for an actress in Hollywood, she still can be cast as the love interest and not the hamstrung, henpecking wife on a sitcom, which you could cast her as that either.
So in 2000 when she was 28 and part of the cast of Bring It On, she did not look terribly out of place shaking her money maker for the Clovers as Isis. Perhaps that’s just because she really was a cheerleader in High School.
But despite her “advanced” age, Union’s portrayal of the head Clover helped turn a silly little film about cheerleaders into the “Citizen Kane of cheerleading movies,” according to Roger Ebert, and helped launch a franchise.
14 Charisma Carpenter – Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Playing a high school kid is apparently a late 20 year old actress’ bread and butter. It’s pretty much standard fare (and way more actresses that didn’t make this list). When Buffy the Vampire Slayer was retooled for television, one of the oldest members of the cast to play a high school cheerleader was Charisma Carpenter, who played Cordelia Chase on both Buffy and Angel.
Cordelia wasn’t always part of the Scooby Gang; she was actually one of the normal people who got into it with the group, until she started to believe all of the craziness around her and befriended the group, even starting a relationship with perennial geek, Xander.
When the series started, Cordelia was created to embody the valley girl lifestyle of the girls from the original denounced-by-Joss Whedon movie. Charisma Carpenter was way closer to 30 than she was to high school age. She was 27 when the series started.
13 Sarah Hyland – Modern Family
While much of the talk of Modern Family has been centered on her younger TV sister, Ariel Winter, Sarah Hyland has remained relatively low key behind the scenes, but that doesn’t mean on-screen she hasn’t been working.
Consistently working since she was a toddler more or less, Sarah Hyland already had a lot of work under her belt before being cast as the oldest of Dunphy kids on Modern Family, Hayley in 2009. When the series starts she is a 16 year old sophomore, and is portrayed as TV’s stereotypical teenage “hot girl,” – she’s more than just slightly and airhead, but her brains and her heart shine through in a pinch.
But when the series started, Hyland was actually college age – 19. Sure she wasn’t far removed from her tenure in high school, her time as a high school socialite, losing her virginity and being far more concerned with social status than social studies; Hyland was already onto the next phase of her life by this point.
12 Marisa Tomei – The Wrestler
A woman too old to be gyrating on and around a glitter filled pole even though she is plenty hot enough, we have Marisa Tomei in Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler. The film might be remembered best as Mickey Rourke’s tour-de-force comeback; Tomei is no slouch both as Cassidy, a stripper that Randy the Ram takes a shine to, on and off the stage.
The film is about the dual lives both of the characters lead and the duality of how Cassidy wants out of the stripper life while Randy only truly feels at home in the ring, constantly trying to recapture his glory days of the eighties (yeah, it's not just a silly wrestling movie).
Tomei, who once wowed audiences with her knowledge of a Buick Skylark in My Cousin Vinny, played Cassidy with just the right about of sadness about the road her life went down, which helped her steal every scene she was a part of.
11 Emilia Clarke – Game Of Thrones
Here's a situation where actually being older than the character you're playing is supposed to be a benefit and not an albatross around the show’s neck. Emilia Clarke – geekdom’s newest beloved goddess, who plays Daenerys Targaryen on the wildly popular Game of Thrones.
At the start of the books and series, she is sister to Viserys and promised to Dothraki horse lord, Khal Drogo in return for an army that Viserys could lead. In the books, to make things creepier than just medieval wife-for-army transactions was that her brother was a spineless prick who the Dothraki couldn't wait to eviscerate and also didn't seem to mind offering up his little sister, who is barely a teenager at the time of the first book.
In the series, Emilia Clarke plays the Mother of Dragons and luckily she's 25 when the series starts so not only is all of this slightly less creepy watching her get completely manhandled by the Khal (probably saved HBO a ton of headaches and bad press as well), it becomes a bigger moment when she uses her wiles to charm him as the Dothraki destroy her brother and she ascends to her spot at Drogo’s side.
10 Denise Richards & Neve Campbell – Wild Things
While there have been plenty of steamy movies over the years, Wild Things was probably one of the steamiest…after all, we get to see Ryan and Toller, played by the very yummy Denise Richards and Neve Campbell have some of their own sweaty sexy scenes with one another.
High school guidance counselor, Sam Lombardo is accused of rape by not one, but two female students – Kelly Van Ryan, the Ms. Popular of the school and Suzie Toller, the cliché poor girl. The girls admit they made up the story because Lombardo wouldn’t bail Suzie out of jail and because he was having an affair with Kelly’s mother. Lombardo sues, and wins for defamation and the whole thing was revealed to be a work – the three celebrate by getting down.
The two hotties and permanent members of late nineties hot lists were both well above high school age when the movie came out Richards was 27 and Campbell was 25, the whole high school creepiness of it all can be removed from the entire creepiness of the movie.
9 Rachel McAdams – Mean Girls & The Notebook
Little did the cast of Mean Girls know that they had a superstar on their hands, because shortly after the film was released, the film’s star, head Plastic Regina George, played by Rachel McAdams was about to take the world by storm in The Notebook. How's that for range – playing a lovelorn star crossed lover girl next door in the biggest romantic chick flick of all time and playing the biggest b–i–t–c–h in one of the biggest high school movies of the millennium.
But by the time both of these movies came out, McAdams was 26, a far cry from the 17 year old that rich daddy didn't want to date the poor guy who wants to build her a house…he just seems petty at that point. Their forbidden love in the rain isn't as taboo, since she's very much of age.
One would also assume that at 26, you'd not only be out of high school but hopefully far above and removed from all of the high school drama nonsense that used to fill your days, let alone take joy in dismantling some other girl's reputation.
8 Jennifer Aniston – We're The Millers
America’s sweetheart has grown up right in front of our eyes over the years, hasn't she? First, the world was completely infatuated with just Jennifer Aniston’s hair–that's how smoking hot she was during Friends' epic ten-season run. After Friends ended (and during), she became the toast of tabloid town with all kinds of stories over the years.
Critically speaking, she's had a so-so movie career, and has deftly moved from sweet-natured girlfriend in romantic comedies to sultry vixen in high octane dramas and thrillers. So when she was 44 years old just a few years ago and had the body of a 20 year old as a stripper in We’re the Millers, so many jaws hit the floor that there were aftershocks.
But still, 44 years old and stripping, we've all heard of that stereotype before, and certainly can't all look like her at 44, and no matter how she might look, America’s favorite friend shouldn't be dancing like that on screen…or should she?
7 Amy Schumer – Trainwreck
She has become a bit of a darling in Hollywood – a sort of safe Sarah Silverman, she cusses but doesn’t cuss as much, and she does it with a wink as opposed to an air of seriousness. The Long Island funny lady, Amy Schumer has been charming the pants off audiences ever since her early appearances on Comedy Central. Her steady climb to the top of the Hollywood food chain has been nothing short of astounding – she’s certainly not the conventional cutie.
By the time her first movie roles around, Trainwreck she is both on and off screen in her early thirties. The movie features Schumer as Amy Townsend as a 32 year old who is still in the party phase of her life, but instead of truly enjoying herself she seems to be longing for more.
So acting like an overgrown teenager, partying all night and sleeping with seemingly anyone who crosses her path, including bedding an assistant 12 years her junior, Donald played by Ezra Miller.
6 The Ladies Of Beverly Hills 90210
It was a big joke back when Beverly Hills, 90210 ruled over teenagers in the mid-nineties, the entire crew that normal kids lorded over and idolized were all old enough to have graduated college, much less be in high school.
When the show starts in 1990, twins Brandon and Brenda Walsh are starting their junior year as West Beverly Hills High, which would put them both around 15-16 years old depending on their birthdates. But the entire cast was older than their TV counterparts. Brenda, played by Shannen Doherty was 19 years old when the show started. The other girls in her grade played by Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling were 18 and 17 respectively…so while they were young enough to be believable high school kids, they both trended older as well.
In one of the most egregious older playing younger casting choices, Gabrielle Carteris was the oldest member of the “kids” in the cast, but she wasn’t a kid at all, in fact she was old enough to get everyone else drinks. Carteris was 21 when the show started.
5 Madeline Zima – Californication
That little girl from The Nanny grew up fast didn't she? Madeline Zima played Grace Sheffield for the series’ run. Needless to say when she showed up, as in all of her showed up on the very TV-MA first episode of Showtime’s Californication as a devoted fan of David Duchovny’s Hank Moody to show him how devout she was to Moody’s um…writing, nothing seemed out of sorts, until she revealed she was only 16 years old.
Oh the shitstorm rain dances Hank would dance over the course of the series and the fact that he had sex with an underage girl who turned out to be the daughter of the guy, Hank’s ex was now engaged to become a big excrement filled moment for the troubled author.
Like a lot of the girls on this list, Zima’s youthful looks helped her to get the part, but she was in actuality 18 or 19 by the time the show came out. So that fact made the whole ordeal slightly less creepy – yes he was screwing the ex’s soon to be step daughter, but luckily she was the age of consent, so if you wind up watching it you don’t have to feel like a creep.
4 Stacey Dash – Clueless
Clearly Stacey Dash is some sort of soul – sucking succubus…how else does she even now still look like she did when she starred in Clueless, over 20 years ago–when she was 28 years old? In case you didn’t realize that, yes ye of perfect skin, Stacey Dash was a full ten years older than the graduating high school age of 18 when the valley girl version of Austen’s Emma came out in 1995.
Dash played super fashionista, Dionne, Cher’s (played by Alicia Silverstone, who herself would have been out of high school when the movie debuted) best friend. Her entire tumultuous high school experience with Murray, including her first time driving on the freeway is kind of weird when you consider she’s old enough to be the cooler crazy aunt to all of these characters.
Dash got even older when the TV series came out in 1996 and by the time it ended in 1999 she might have been the world’s oldest teenager at 32 years old.
3 Jennifer Lopez – Selena
One of the most divisive goddesses on the planet, Jennifer Lopez has been spending over 30 years cultivating an empire that knows no bounds – she’s an actress, an entrepreneur, singer, dancer, sexpot, you name it, Jenny from the block has worked very hard to be one of the most successfully Latinas in all of entertainment. If Dwayne Johnson claims he’s the most electrifying man in all of entertainment…J.Lo might be the most electrifying woman.
Her breakout role was as a fellow Latina singer, the tragic Selena in the film, Selena. She probably would have been as successful as Lopez herself had she not been tragically gunned down by the president of her own fan club no less at the very young age of 23.
When the film came out in 1997, Jennifer Lopez was 28, five years older than the Tejano legend, which makes her “forbidden love” with Chris Perez comical seeing as how he’s as old as she is.
2 Winona Ryder – Girl, Interrupted
As you’ve probably noticed while reading this article, 28 years old seems to be the age Hollywood casts girls to play 18 year old girls. Perhaps people in Tinseltown think those 18 years olds are just too young looking and actors who are really that age just don’t have the poise that a 28 year old would have. Conversely, seemingly 10 years older at 38 and the same ladies are practically playing middle aged wives with families of five.
One of the 28 year olds on this list is Winona Ryder, one of Hollywood’s great renaissance resurgence stories, thanks in part to her turn as a middle–aged mother of two in Stranger Things. But in 1999, Ryder was 28 playing 18 in the beloved by many of the alt–rock girls of the day, Girl, Interrupted.
Ryder, who spent years trying to obtain the rights to the novel and get the film made didn’t seem to mind that by 1999 she was no longer anywhere near the age of Susanna Kaysen is supposed to be in the film, and therefore right from the jump, she was already too old for her part.
1 The Ladies Of The Last F*ckable Day
Julia Louise-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, and Patricia Arquette are three of the most successful and beautiful women in Hollywood. They have a multitude of Emmy and even an Oscar Award between them. Most men would probably think they hit the lottery just to spend a night with them.
These three can do and seemingly have done anything and everything, but there's one thing that is hard even for them to fight, and that's getting older and dealing with the ageism in Hollywood. There is a long held belief and sometimes fact that Hollywood producers would rather cast younger women and cast older women aside to collect mothballs.
But these three ladies did their best to shatter this prejudice and played with the stereotype when they guest–starred on Inside Amy Schumer in a skit, “The Last F*ckable Day,” in which they all realize they hit their expiration date in Hollywood – these ladies play with the fact that they’re supposedly too old to cast in anything anymore.
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