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15 Times Actors Pretended Not To Be Their Age In TV And Movies But Fooled Absolutely Nobody

Every time a 30-year-old plays a high schooler, an angel gets its wings.

There's been plenty of times when actors play characters whose age isn't necessarily the same as their own. And sometimes it's very believable!


Mila Kunis in That '70s Show, prime example!

But other times, it's just not. So here's a few times when actors, try as they might, just couldn't convince us that they were actually their characters' age.

1. Florence Pugh as Amy March in Little Women

Columbia Pictures

We all knew that Florence, who was 22 at the time of filming, wouldn't exactly look 13 during the Young Amy scenes in Little Women. But who could complain when a terrific actor was playing a great role? However, the classroom scene in which Amy/Florence was surrounded by actual 13-year-old children required too much suspension of my disbelief.

2. Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones


This one's a relatively minor offense because it's never stated what age Tyrion was supposed to be on the show. All we know is that he was supposed to be younger than Jaime and Cersei by a few years, which doesn't quite ring true when you see them next to each other.

3. Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker in Spider-Man


Tobey was 26 playing a 17-year-old Peter. This isn't suuuch an outrageous age difference, even if he did look a little too old for high school. The bigger problem was when Tobey was 32 in Spider-Man 3 and Peter was supposed to be at most 21. Tobey's got a youthful face, but 11 years is a big ole gap to cover.

4. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone in The Amazing Spider-Man


Look, maybe if Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone weren't already super famous when this movie came out, I could have bought them as high schoolers. But The Social Network and Easy A came out two years before The Amazing Spider-Man, and, as great as Andrew was at portraying Peter's nervous teen energy, he was still almost 30 in 2012 when the movie came out. Emma had also already done Crazy, Stupid, Love, in which she played an actual adult. Sorry, love them both, but the picture of high school they were not.

5. The cast of most teen dramas (but specifically Riverdale and The Vampire Diaries)

Disney Channel/CW

I know you can't have actual teenagers playing teenagers on teen dramas. I understand this. But you can't tell me it's not funny when you see a man clearly in is mid- to late-twenties worrying about who he'll invite to prom. It's particularly noticeable when someone like Cole Sprouse plays a teenager when the world saw him playing a teenager 10 years ago. Or when Nina Dobrev's character, Elena, looks the same age as her aunt, who's supposed to be 30.

6. Angelina Jolie as Queen Olympias in Alexander

Intermedia Films

Angelina Jolie played Colin Farrell's mother in this movie. She is less than one year older than him! This movie came with a serious case of cognitive dissonance, and their scenes together are an odd experience.

7. Aaron Tveit as Danny Zuko in Grease: Live


The original Grease also had adults playing teenagers, so maybe Grease: Live deserves some slack because it was just living up to its predecessor. He may have made a great Danny, but he was very clearly a 32-year-old Danny, and I'd be lying if I said it didn't distract me when he sang next to Jordan Fisher, who looked young enough to be his son.

8. Rachel McAdams as Regina George in Mean Girls

Lorne Michaels Productions

An iconic role performed by an iconic actor! But Rachel McAdams (and to be honest, most of the cast) looked like anything but a passable high schooler. In this scene, she looks like a lawyer or some other adult professional.

9. Jennifer Lawrence as Joy Mangano in Joy

Fox 2000 Pictures

Jennifer Lawrence is a great actor, but at 24 she looked waaay too young to play a woman who was supposed to be in her mid-thirties. It was odd to see someone as young as Jennifer playing a character who'd been through so much in life.

10. Alan Ruck as Cameron Frye in Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Paramount Pictures

Cameron Frye is one of my favorite movie characters of all time, so I say this with all the love in the world — he was not a convincing teenager. Maybe the character's old soul played into it, or the fact that he was so much taller than Matthew Broderick and Mia Sara, but Alan Ruck looked every bit the 29-year-old he was at the time of filming.

11. Jesse Metcalfe as John Tucker in John Tucker Must Die

Landscape Productions

Yes, another teen movie in which a 28-year-old plays a high schooler and can't quite pull it off. But before you yell at me for being repetitive, please consider that Jesse Metcalfe really does look too old for high school in this movie!

12. Any time Marvel has tried to digitally de-age their actors, particularly Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., and Samuel L. Jackson


Allow me to go on record stating that I hate this new de-aging technology we're seeing so much of. It looked weird when they put Chris Evans' de-aged head on a smaller body in the first Captain America, it looked weird when they tried to make Robert Downey Jr. look like a college student in Civil War, and it looked weird when they made Samuel L. Jackson look like young Nick Fury in Captain Marvel! Nobody's face is that smooth! I'm sorry, but I hate it!

13. Natalie Portman as Padmé Amidala in Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones


The character's age didn't really matter in the prequel trilogy, but you can't tell me it wasn't a little weird that she was 14 in Phantom Menace and looked exactly the same age in Attack of the Clones, which took place 10 years later. Meanwhile, Anakin was played by a little boy in Phantom Menace and then became Hayden Christensen, an adult man, 10 years later.

14. Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing

Great American Films

Would it really have cost the screenwriters that much to say Baby was 21 or so in the movie?? She could have been a very sheltered 21-year-old! Her name was Baby, for crying out loud! Anyway, saying she was 17 when her love interest looked at least 30 didn't help sell the adolescence of it all — even if Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze were amazing in the movie.

15. And finally, Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter epilogue

Warner Bros.

The epilogue took place 19 years after the main story ended. Read that again — 19 years, not 30, not 40. So can someone explain to me why Ron looked like this at *checks notes* 36 years of age?! Who did Rupert Grint make so angry that they did him like this?! He looks at least 50.