Leonardo DiCaprio
youtube | Binge Society

15 Adult Actors Who Played Teenagers On-Screen

It pays to look young!

In Hollywood, it is not uncommon for adult actors to be cast as teenagers instead of actual child or teen actors, no matter how unrealistic it may appear. What's worse, is that against all odds, it is often somewhat passable! Other times however, it's laughable.

Here are 15 grown adults who played high-schoolers on-screen.

Stockard Channing

Stockard Channing
youtube | eneskeskin1907

Starting things off strong with Stockard Channing, now 78, who was 33-years-old when she played Betty Rizzo, a high school student, in the 1978 musical, Grease.

Not sure who signed off on this one, 'cause in hindsight, she certainly did not look like a teenager.

Michael Tucci

Michael Tucci
youtube | Movieclips

Somehow, we were meant to believe that this man was young enough to be in high school.

However, Michael Tucci was 31-years-old at the time he played Sonny in Grease.

Antwon Tanner

Antwon Tanner
youtube | UPtv

Antwon Tanner was around 28-years-old when he played the role of Antwon "Skills" Taylor, a 16-year-old in the iconic teen drama series One Tree Hill.

Emma Thompson

Emma Thompson
youtube | Movieclips

In the 1995 period drama based on Jane Austen's 1811 novel, Sense and Sensibility, Emma Thompson who was 36 at the time of filming, played 19-year-old Elinor Dashwood, and none of us batted an eye.

Gabrielle Union

Gabrielle Union
Giphy | Giphy

In the iconic 2000 cheerleading film Bring It On, Gabrielle Union, who was 27 at the time, played Isis, a rival high school cheerleader.

Honestly, she pulled it off.

Stacey Dash

Stacey Dash
youtube | Movieclips

In the 1995 romantic comedy, Clueless starring Alicia Silverstone, Brittany Murphy, and Paul Rudd, Stacey Dash who was 28 at the time played Cher's 16-year-old BFF, Dionne.

Tobey Maguire

Tobey Maguire
Giphy |

While it might've not seemed like it, Tobey Maguire was far from 17-years-old when he played Peter Parker in Spider-Man.

He was 26 at the time!

Andrew Garfield

Andrew Garfield
youtube | Movieclips

Like his predecessor, Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield was in his late 20s — 29 to be exact — when it was his turn to play Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man.

Chad Michael Murray

Chad Michael Murray
youtube | nedlovesyou

Chad Michael Murray played a high school senior, Austin Ames, in A Cinderella Story when he was 22-years-old, alongside his co-star, Hilary Duff, who was in fact a teenager IRL.

Rachel McAdams

Rachel McAdams
Giphy |

Rachel McAdams who famously played Regina George in the iconic high school flick, Mean Girls, was 25-years-old in real life, despite being cast as a teenage it-girl.

Winona Ryder

Winona Ryder
youtube | Movieclips

Winona's timeless features landed her the role of an 18-year-old Susanna in the 1999 drama Girl, Interrupted. At the time, however, she was 10 years older than her character, 28.

Cole Sprouse

Cole Sprouse
Giphy | Giphy

When Suite Life of Zack and Cody star Cole Sprouse first took on the role of 15-year-old Jughead Jones in Riverdale he was actually 25-years-old.

Could've fooled me!

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio
youtube | Binge Society

In the 2002 crime-drama, Catch Me if You Can, Leonardo DiCaprio played the role of a 17-year-old con-artist. In real life, the Titanic star was 28-years-old.

Tom Welling

Tom Welling
Giphy | Giphy

Last, but certainly not least, the star of Smallville, Tom Welling — who played the iconic role of 14-year-old Clark Kent, was emphatically older than that, 24, and most definitely did not look 14. But he's Superman, so we let it slide.