10 Actors Who Played (Much) Younger Roles

28 going on 16, apparently.

Hollywood magic means more than just crazy hair and makeup. Sometimes, it means getting a 30-year-old to play a 16-year-old cheerleader. No joke. You’d be surprised how common it is to have older actors play much, much younger roles. From Rachel McAdams to Channing Tatum, everyone has done it. Here are 10 noteworthy (and shocking) examples of stars playing their shoe sizes, but not their ages.

  1. Rachel McAdams, Mean Girls (2004)

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    Rachel was around 25 years old when she played high school junior Regina George.

  2. Channing Tatum, She’s the Man (2006)

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    Even though he was 26, Channing played a convincing high school student named Duke.

  3. Jesse Metcalfe, John Tucker Must Die (2006)

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    The very, very hot actor was actually 28 when he played the high school-aged champion douche John Tucker.

  4. Judd Nelson, The Breakfast Club (1985)

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    Tough-guy John Bender was probably around 16 years old; however, Judd was 25 when he played him.

  5. Wood Harris, Remember the Titans (2000)

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    He was 31 when he filmed Remember the Titans, but his character was just 18 years old.

  6. Monique Coleman, High School Musical (2006)

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    Her character Taylor was 16, but Monique was actually 27 at the time she shot this flick.

  7. Stacy Dash, Clueless (1995)

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    Dion may have been 17, but Stacy was 29 when she portrayed her. That’s a 12-year difference!

  8. John Cho, Star Trek (2009)

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    John was 37 years old when he played 21-year-old Sulu.

  9. Gabourey Sidibe, Precious (2009)

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    Precious was 16 when Gabourey, who was 10 years older at the time, stepped into her shoes.

  10. Emma Thompson, Sense And Sensibility (1995)

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    The actress played 19-year-old Elinor Dashwood at the surprising age of 35.