10 Actors Who Played Teenagers In Their Mid To Late 20’s


It’s important to cast the right person for the right role when making a TV Show or movie, even if that means casting someone who is older than the character they are playing.  A little make-up here, and the right haircut and clothing can make the years slide right away.  We take a look at some of the best known actors to play a teenager.

Most of the cast of Grease were much older than the teenagers they were playing.  When filming began on the 1978 film John Travolta was 23, Olivia Newton-John was 28, Jeff Conaway was 26, Stockard Channing was 33, Michael Tucci was 31 and Didi Conn was 25. The only real teenagers in the main cast were Dinah Manoff and Lorenzo Lamas who were 19.

Another musical high-school cast that were much older than the characters they were playing, was the cast of Glee.  Lea  Michele was 23 when she was first cast as Rachel Barry, while Cory Monteith, who played Finn Hudson, was 27 when the series began. Matthew Morrison, who played teacher Will Schuester wasn’t much older than Monteith was at the time.  He was 31.

Perhaps one of the most popular cases of adults playing teenagers was for the original Beverly Hills 90210.  Gabrielle Carteris was 29 when she was cast to play 16 year old Andrea Zuckerman.  rumour has it she lied about her age to get the part.  And here we all thought Luke Perry had a hard time making 24 look like 16.  At least Tori Spelling, Jennie Garth and Brian Austin Green were really teenagers.

If Jennifer Grey played her real age in Dirty Dancing, baby really wouldn’t be put in a corner.  The actress was 27 at the time of filming, not even close to the teenager she was playing.

Leonardo DiCaprio may look younger than his years (well before the beard at any rate) but in Catch Me If You Can the 28 year old played 16 year old Frank Abagnale.  He even got a Golden Globe nomination for the role.

The cast of Pretty Little Liars are, well liars, especially when it comes to their age.  The lot of them are well over their characters ages of 17 and 18.  Troian Bellisario is 29, Shay Mitchell is 27, Lucy Hale is 25,  and Ashley Benson  is 25.

If you want to kick off your Sunday shoes with Kevin Bacon in the original Footloose, be warned that he’s not a teenager while he’s doing it.  He was actually 26.

Clueless hits 20 this year, and when filming began in 1995 Stacey Dash who plays 15 year old Dionne was 28.  That’s a pretty huge age difference.  To put things in perspective, Paul Rudd, who plays Alicia Silverston’s ex-stepbrother who is a college student, was 2 years younger than Dash.

Superheroes aren’t immune to older actors playing them either.  In Spider-Man, Tobey Mcguire was 27 when he was playing the teenaged Spider-Man/Peter Parker.

Does Rachel McAdams ever seem to age?  In Mean Girls the 25 year old played the 16 year old Regina George, leader of the Plastics.  To be honest even 11 years later she could still probably pull the role off.

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