TV and Movies·Posted on 1 May 2022"The Adam Project" Unearthed A Child Star! Here Are 21 Other Times That Child Actors Were Unbelievably BrilliantI genuinely thought Lindsay Lohan had a twin.by Benjamin DzialdowskiBuzzFeed StaffFacebookPinterestTwitterMailLink Walker Scobell is getting a lot of praise for his role as young Adam in The Adam Project. Netflix At just 13 years of age, Walker did such a good job matching Ryan Reynolds' personality, and their chemistry made their relationship in the film all the more sweet, funny, and convincing. Walker already has his next big project lined up, having been cast as Percy Jackson in the upcoming TV adaptation! Let's take a look at times other child actors absolutely stole the show. 1. Hailee Steinfeld — True Grit Paramount Pictures Standing out amid the likes of Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon is no mean feat, and a 13-year-old Hailee absolutely nailed her performance as Mattie. Hailee got Mattie's gritty, rude demeanour spot-on, and her onscreen interactions with Matt and Jeff were perfect. Matt recalled being blown away by her level of acting when he first starred in scenes with her, which is high praise! View this video on YouTube youtube.com 2. River Phoenix — Stand by Me Columbia Pictures This was one of River's greatest performances, and a real example of the talent he possessed. The subtle emotion that he brought to the role of Chris Chambers was something incredibly rare for an actor of his age. The scene where he breaks down, saying he wants to "go someplace where nobody knows me", is so heartbreaking! View this video on YouTube youtube.com 3. Abigail Breslin — Little Miss Sunshine Fox Searchlight Pictures A 10-year-old Abigail was sensational as Olive in this film. Her sweet, determined attitude comes across so well, and she contrasted excellently with the chaotic and cynical energy of the rest of the family. She was so iconic that in 2021, at age 25, she said that "people forget that I'm not 9 anymore". View this video on YouTube youtube.com 4. Alex Hibbert — Moonlight A24 This was Alex's debut role at age 12, and what an excellent performance it was! His portrayal of the youngest Chiron was full of emotion, particularly in the scene where Mahershala Ali's character teaches him how to swim. Alex brought so much character to such an important part of the movie and hooked people right away. View this video on YouTube youtube.com 5. Kirsten Dunst — Interview With the Vampire Warner Bros. Kirsten's performance as Claire — a terribly angry, ageless vampire in the body of a young girl — was so oddly mature. Kirsten really does get the fury of Claire spot-on, and she rightly won high praise for her breakout role.Dunst has since acknowledged how it was "very weird" for her to kiss Brad Pitt — age 31 at the time — when she was just 11 years old. View this video on YouTube youtube.com 6. Ivana Baquero — Pan's Labyrinth Warner Bros. Pictures I was actually terrified of this film as a kid, but that's a testament to Ivana's performance as Ofelia. Her engaging control of every scene really transported us to the mystical world Ofelia found herself in. Ivana deservedly won the Goya Award for her performance at only age 11! View this video on YouTube youtube.com 7. Henry Thomas — E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Universal Pictures Henry's connection with E.T. is largely why the film reduced so many of us to tears. The 9-year-old really depicted Elliot's love for E.T., and his depth of emotion was perfect for the role. His superb audition tape has been widely viewed, and Steven Spielberg has spoken about it, saying "the improvisation was so heartfelt and honest that I gave him the part right there." View this video on YouTube youtube.com 8. Chloë Grace Moretz — Kick-Ass Lionsgate. This must have been such a fun character to play as a kid! Chloë's performance as Hit-Girl was full of energy and wit, fitting perfectly with the quirky, bizarre tone of the movie. She really took to the role of a mouthy, deadly child, a real achievement for someone just 12 years old! View this video on YouTube youtube.com 9. Christian Bale — Empire of the Sun Warner Bros. Steven Spielberg's war epic really benefited from the performance of a young Christian, and it definitely sewed the seeds for his later dramatic roles. The harrowing journey of Jim going from a wealthy life to a prisoner of war camp was brilliantly acted, and he certainly held his own alongside seasoned actors John Malkovich and Miranda Richardson. View this video on YouTube youtube.com 10. Natalie Portman — Léon: The Professional Gaumont Buena Vista International The young Natalie's performance certainly made us believe how formidable Mathilda is, how she's been through real trauma, and how she could indeed follow in Léon's footsteps. It's tough to believe that this very mature performance was Natalie's onscreen debut! She has since clarified that the film probably wouldn't get made today because it's "largely inappropriate", possibly due to the concentration on Mathilda's feelings for Léon. View this video on YouTube youtube.com 11. Millie Bobby Brown — Stranger Things Netflix On to someone who has often been described as a Natalie Portman lookalike — and much like Natalie, Millie's first main role was full of maturity. She did such a good job of getting across the confusion and loneliness of Eleven, particularly in her initial interactions with Mike and his family home. Her engaging performance was undoubtedly one of the reasons for the show's success. View this video on YouTube youtube.com 12. Quvenzhané Wallis — Beasts of the Southern Wild Fox Searchlight Pictures Hushpuppy, played by Quvenzhané, takes us through a tale of survival on an isolated island in Louisiana. Narrated through her 6-year-old eyes, this movie probably wouldn't have hit so hard without Quvenzhané's excellent performance. Her acting transformed a run-down area into a magical fantasy land and won her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress at the age of 9! View this video on YouTube youtube.com 13. Jodie Foster — Taxi Driver Columbia Pictures Jodie's casting at just 12 years old as Iris in a movie with very adult themes has since been questioned. Jodie has commented that she "wasn't confused" by the sexuality of the film, but mentioned that "no one knew" how to direct her, and most people on set were uncomfortable around her. Jodie's performance is unquestionably excellent, and the maturity and emotion she conveys are certainly worthy of the Oscar nomination she received. View this video on YouTube youtube.com 14. Kiernan Shipka — Mad Men AMC Kiernan, who played Sally Draper, grew up in front of our eyes during the run of Mad Men. She really took on the mannerisms of Don and Betty, and expertly portrayed the trauma stemming from the moment she walked in on Don and Sylvia, as well as the ensuing moral battle that followed. View this video on YouTube youtube.com 15. Saoirse Ronan — Atonement Universal Pictures Saoirse had to display such intelligence and imagination as Briony, and in the opinion of many, she perfectly brought director Joe Wright's vision to life. Joe himself has spoken about working with Saoirse on Atonement, commenting that "she’s the most talented person I ever met in my life". Saoirse also received an Oscar nomination for her performance at age 12. View this video on YouTube youtube.com 16. Lindsay Lohan — The Parent Trap Buena Vista Pictures Distribution I'm pretty sure that when I saw this film as a kid, I just assumed there were two Lohan twins. That might be due to my naivety, but irregardless (get it?), Lindsay really made both characters come alive as independent, separately raised children. Doing accents at that age is super impressive too, even though she was sort of doing an accent of someone doing an accent, which maybe made it a bit easier. View this video on YouTube youtube.com 17. Sunny Pawar — Lion Transmission films The way that 8-year-old Sunny played the lost young Saroo in the first part of the movie is absolutely harrowing. His desperation and innocence immediately got us invested in his story and definitely contributed to the tears that may or may not have been rolling down our faces as the film played out. When he was lost at that station, it was just TOO MUCH. View this video on YouTube youtube.com 18. McKenna Grace — The Handmaid's Tale Sophie Giraud / Hulu McKenna absolutely made the part of Esther her own and was such an interesting addition to the show in Season 4. She really conveyed Esther's disturbing past and the uncomfortableness of the situation she was in. There's so much depth to her relationship with June, and when she learns of Esther's past, it's pretty unbearable to watch. McKenna was recognised for her work in the role with an Emmy nomination. View this video on YouTube youtube.com 19. Roman Griffin Davis — Jojo Rabbit Searchlight Pictures Starring as the lead and a member of the Hitler youth, with Hitler as his imaginary best friend — that's a tough ask for any experienced actor, let alone a 12-year-old! Roman did such a great job playing Jojo, and his innocent but defiant energy — plus his amazing chemistry with Taika Waititi — was exactly what the role required! View this video on YouTube youtube.com 20. Jacob Tremblay — Room A24 / Studio Canal / Elevation Pictures Jacob, who played Jack, was so grounded in his portrayal of Jack. Through his eyes, we got to see the two very different views of the same situation between him and Ma (Brie Larson). Brie's Oscar-winning performance would probably not have been as impactful without Jacob's accomplished depiction of Jack. View this video on YouTube youtube.com 21. Asa Butterfield — The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures This is naturally a tough watch, but a 10-year-old Asa as Bruno delivered a performance that the subject matter deserved and required. The tenderness of Asa's portrayal helped communicate such a harrowing experience and was so necessary for the storyline. View this video on YouTube youtube.com Are there any other child acting performances we missed? Let us know in the comments below!