10 Actors Who Made The Jump From Teen Star To Oscar Bait

Chad Michael Murray doesn’t quite have a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance in Fruitvale Station, but his supporting role is a somewhat surprising turn for the actor who probably has a lifetime parking space at CW network HQ. Still, teen stars who make it big on soaps or period high school flicks aren’t beholden to playing those types of characters forever, despite what the career trajectories of certain performers might suggest.

  • Chad Michael Murray

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  • Matthew Lillard

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  • Ryan Phillippe

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  • Heath Ledger

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  • AnnaKendrickOscarBait

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  • Blake Lively

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  • Anne Hathaway

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  • Jesse Eisenberg

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  • Michelle Williams

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  • Leonardo DiCaprio

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For every Amanda Bynes or Mischa Barton, there’s a Michelle Williams or Anna Kendrick— actors and actresses who are skillfully ridding themselves of teen angst or the knowledge of cafeteria hierchary for meatier, more adult roles. Check out our list of impressive performances you may have missed, or actors whose early gigs you somehow managed to forget. (Matthew Lillard playing a character inspired by The Real World: San Francisco’s Puck will forever be a genius move.)

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[Photo Credit: Getty Images]