Skip To Content

    17 Actors Who Play A Pivotal Role In The Lives Of 2000s Girls

    What's Oliver James up to these days? Asking for a friend...

    1. Mandy Moore:

    United Artists

    What she's in: How to Deal, The Princess Diaries, A Walk to Remember, Chasing Liberty, Because I Said So, and Saved.

    Why we love her: Listen, this woman is a FORCE to be reckoned with. As a child, I felt like I couldn't watch a movie without seeing her in it β€” and I ain't complaining!

    2. Chad Michael Murray:

    Warner Bros.

    What he's in: One Tree Hill, A Cinderella Story, Freaky Friday, Dawson's Creek, and Gilmore Girls.

    Why we love him: If you're into men, Austin Ames licking his fingertips as he passed the football back and forth before the big game was 100% your sexual awakening β€” at least, it was mine.

    3. Hilary Duff:

    Buena Vista Pictures

    What she's in: Lizzie McGuire β€” show and movie β€” Cheaper by the Dozen, Cadet Kelly, Raise Your Voice, The Perfect Man, Material Girls, A Cinderella Story, and the threesome episode of Gossip Girl.

    Why we love her: Four words: "Sing to me, Paolo."

    4. Anne Hathaway:

    Buena Vista Pictures

    What she's in: The Princess Diaries, The Princess Diaries 2, Ella Enchanted, Bride Wars, and The Devil Wears Prada.

    Why we love her: If Mia Thermopolis wasn't who you wanted to be when you grew up β€” as in, when we were 8 and wanted to find out that we were royalty in high school β€” then we cannot be friends.

    5. Amanda Bynes:

    DreamWorks Pictures

    What she's in: What a Girl Wants, What I Like About You, Hairspray, The Amanda Show, Big Fat Liar, Easy A, Sydney White, and She's The Man.

    Why we love her: No cap, Amanda Bynes is one of the funniest comedians of our generation. "I'm a badass, hunky dude." *Chef's kiss*

    6. Oliver James:

    Warner Bros.

    What he's in: What a Girl Wants and Raise Your Voice.

    Why we love him: If Ollie was able to make Hillary Duff AND Amanda Bynes fall in love with him, then I am definitely buying what he's selling.

    7. Sara Paxton:

    20th Century Fox

    What she's in: Aquamarine, Sydney White, Sleepover, and Darcy's Wild Life.

    Why we love her: From mean girl to horse girl to mermaid, the girl's got RANGE!

    8. Piper Perabo:

    Buena Vista Pictures

    What she's in: Cheaper by the Dozen, Because I Said So, Slap Her, She's French, and Coyote Ugly.

    Why we love her: "Can't Fight the Moonlight" was my anthem. Still is, tbh.

    9. Reese Witherspoon:


    What she's in: Legally Blonde, Cruel Intentions, and Sweet Home Alabama.

    Why we love her: What, like it's hard?

    10. Julia Stiles:

    Kat backing up into Joe's car
    Buena Vista Pictures

    What she's in: 10 Things I Hate About You, O, Save the Last Dance, and The Prince and Me.

    Why we love her: The precise moment when Kat Stratford backs into Joey Donner's car after he blocked her exit is the precise moment she invented a new wave of feminism.

    11. Sophia Bush:

    The WB

    What she's in: One Tree Hill, John Tucker Must Die, and Chalet Girl.

    Why we love her: Her raspy voice LITERALLY had me excited every time I got a cold 'cause I'd sound a SMIDGE like her.

    12. Gabrielle Union:

    Isis bringing the crowd to attention during the basketball game
    Universal Pictures

    What she's in: She's All That, 10 Things I Hate About You, Love & Basketball, and Bring It On.

    Why we love her: Isis's character did more for race relations in America than any president ever.

    13. Zac Efron:

    Disney Channel

    What he's in: High School Musical, Hairspray, Summerland, and 17 Again.

    Why we love him: The dulcet tones of his sweet, sweet voice got me through puberty.

    14. Penn Badgley:

    Woodchuck Todd pretending to munch on wood
    Screen Gems

    What he's in: Gossip Girl, John Tucker Must Die, and Easy A.

    Why we love him: This may be niche, but when Woodchuck Todd, fka Blue Devil Todd, came out and pretended to munch on a wood log, my soul actually left my body.

    15. Stephen Colletti:

    Chase looking at Brooke on the quad
    The CW

    What he's in: One Tree Hill and Laguna Beach.

    Why we love him: Reality star turned television star. A true cinderella story.

    16. Emma Roberts:

    Poppy Moore arriving at boarding school
    Universal Pictures

    What she's in: Aquamarine, Nancy Drew, Unfabulous, and Wild Child.

    Why we love her: Addie Singer's growth into Poppy Moore is honestly a sight to behold.

    17. And the LEGEND, Lindsay Lohan:

    Paramount Pictures

    What she's in: Life-Size, Get a Clue, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Freaky Friday, Just My Luck, and Mean Girls.

    Why we love her: LiLo single-handedly got us through the aughts.

    Nostalgia Trip

    Take a trip down memory lane that’ll make you feel nostalgia AF

    Newsletter signup form