Before Stacey Dash made headlines last year due to her controversial statements, she was known for her role in the 1995 film Clueless. She played 16-year-old high school student, Dionne. While Dash looked like she could pass for a high school girl, she was actually 28-years-old when she took the role.
In the ‘80s teen classic, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off the titular character’s best friend, Cameron, seemed wise beyond his years. He would try to be the voice of reason to Bueller’s impulsive antics. That may have to do with that the actor who played Cameron, Alan Ruck, was 30-years-old when he starred in the film.
Tobey Maguire has a perpetual baby face. That’s why it’s not too surprising that he got away with playing a 17-year-old kid in Spider Man when he was 26. He continued with the movie franchise and played a teenager until his early 30s.
Regina George from Mean Girls, seemed a little mature for her age. Rachel McAdams, who played the queen of the plastics, was 25-years-old when they started filming. She’s seven years older than her co-star Lindsay Lohan, and she was only seven years younger than Amy Poehler, who played her mother.
Gabrielle Union totally passed as a high school cheerleader I the 2000 film Bring It On. Her rival, played by Kirsten Dunst, was close to the age of a high school student, at 18. But, Union was 28-years-old. They looked about the same age, despite the 10-year difference.
This one just didn’t work for me. To me, Gabrielle Carteris did not pass for a 16-year-old high school student in the original Beverly Hills 90210. At 29-years-old, Carteris played Andrea Zuckerman, the high school newspaper editor. She looked like she was a seasoned reporter to me.
Everybody loved the Fonz in Happy Days. Henry Winkler played the high school dropout turned mechanic in the series. But, when did he drop out of high school? Like 10 years ago? That’s because the supposedly 18-year-old Arthur Fonzarelli was played by a 28-year-old Henry Winkler. He was nearly 40-years-old when the series ended.
Due to Michael J. Fox’s short stature, high-pitched voice, and overall boyish looks, it’s not surprising that the then 24-year-old got away with playing the 17-year old Marty McFly in the Back to the Future films. He played in all three movies and was still playing a 17-year-old when he was 29.
I had no idea how old Daenerys Targaryen was supposed to be in Game of Thrones, but I guess she was introduced as a 17-year-old. But, Emilia Clarke, who plays the Queen of Dragons, is actually 30. Oh, and in the books, Daenerys was supposed to be 13-years-old. I don’t think Clarke could pull that off.
Rizzo from Grease was a rebel. Rebels tend to not get the best grades in school. But, Rizzo looks lie she was held back about 15 years. Stockard Channing, who played Rizzo, was 33-years-old when they started filming.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s was one of Audrey Hepburn’s most iconic roes. She played an 18-year-old girl who just moved to the Big Apple. But, Hepburn was 32-years-old when they filmed the movie. Airbrushing wasn’t such a thing back then, and you could tell that she wasn’t a teenage girl.
This might be one of the biggest age differences on this list. In the 1983 film Yentl, Barbra Streisand played a 16-year-old girl who dressed like a boy so she could go to Yeshiva school. But, Streisand was 41-years-old when they made the movie.
In Save the Last Dance, Sara and Derek were supposed to be teenagers. However, Julia Stiles is 10 years younger than Sean Patrick Thomas. I did think that he looked a bit mature for the role. He was 30-years-old during filming.
If you ever watched Hannah Montana, you may remember Hannah’s older brother, who was supposed to be a teenager in the Disney show. But, the actor who played him, Jason Earles, was 29-years-old when he played the older brother. But, he really looks like he’s not much older than 14.
Leo was a major teen heart-throb for many years. Even when he was pushing 30, he was still playing teenagers. Catch Me If You Can, is based on the life of con artist Frank Abagnale Jr, who was 17-years-old when he rose to infamy. DiCaprio was 28-years-old when he portrayed Abagnale on screen.