Hollywood is a master of manipulating the mind into believing what is presented to it. Since seeing is not always believing, that does not hide the fact that among the most doubtful castings ever done, there have been several instances when a fully grown actor were given the role of a young teenager. Following are the 15 adult actors who portrayed teenage characters:
15. Stacey Dash as Dionne Davenport
Based upon Jane Austen’s novel Emma, the 1995 film Clueless was one of the most well-received comedy movies of its time and elevated the careers of leading cast Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash and Brittany Murphy.
One actress in particular was much older than her character as Dash was 29 years old when she played the 16-year old Dionne Davenport. The movie spawned a television series and the actress continued her career playing a character much younger than her.
14. Benjamin McKenzie as Ryan Atwood
Before Benjamin McKenzie started chasing the villains from Batman’s rogues’ gallery in Fox crime drama show Gotham as Detective James Gordon, the actor was the star of The O.C. as the troubled high school teenager Ryan Atwood.
When the production began, McKenzie was 25 years old. With his fresh face and young looks, the actor brilliantly portrayed the bothered Californian youngster for four seasons until its cancellation.
13. Keiko Agena as Lane Kim
Lasting seven seasons, Gilmore Girls achieved critical acclaim and like every other entry on the list, involved a character which was portrayed by a much older actress.
The 16-year old Lane Kim was played by the 27-year old Keiko Agena and by the time the show ended, the actress was 34 years old. Apart from the age difference, her nationality was altered too as Agena is a Japanese-American while her character was a Korean-American.
12. Jason Earles as Jackson Stewart
In spite of being the comic relief of the popular Disney show Hannah Montana, Jason Earles made sure that the audience found him entertaining every single second. Often underutilized as the silly brother of Miley Stewart, the character was matured during the course of the show due to his dedication.
As he groomed as an actor, so did the fan’s fascination about him and it is only imaginable how shocking it is once finding out that the goofy teenager was portrayed by the 34-year old Jason Earles.
11. Jon Heder as Napoleon Dynamite
Upon its release, Napoleon Dynamite quickly gained a cult following. For an independent film, the movie was a commercial success despite having mixed reviews and a limited initial release.
The teenage title character was a socially awkward high school student with a reluctant attitude and was portrayed by the 26-year old Jon Heder. The actor repriced the role for the movie’s animated sitcom adaption which ran for just one season.
10. Rachel McAdams as Regina George
The teen comedy movie Mean Girls and was one of Lindsay Lohan’s earliest films but all eyes were on Rachel McAdams. It was the role that established her as a star and even won the MTV Movie Award for Breakthrough Female Performance.
The 26-year old actress played the 17-year old gossip girl Regina George and was even close to bagging the leading role but was considered “too old” for the part.
9. Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly
Even after three decades of its release, Back to the Future remains as the greatest time travelling trilogy on the silver screen and remains Robert Zemeckis’ best work due to the interesting timelines showed throughout the course of the movies.
Revolving around the adventures of the 17-year old Marty McFly, the character was played by 24-year old Michael J. Fox in the first installment of the trilogy. By the time of the third installment’s release, Fox was 29 years old and still playing McFly who was merely a few days older on-screen.
8. Kerr Smith as Jack McPhee
The American teen drama show Dawson’s Creek was one of the most defining television series of The WB and responsible for launching successful movie careers of its leading cast most notably Katie Holmes.
As Jack McPhee, the 16-year old handsome character was portrayed by the 26-year old Kerr Smith – an age of difference of ten long years!