These Actors Played High Schoolers As Adults, But Here's What They Actually Looked Like As Teenagers

·4 min read

Hollywood has been casting adults to play teenagers since the dawn of time. Some of these actors fit the bill, but some of them looked wildly out of place in their roles, especially when compared to how they *actually* looked during their high school years.

1.The late and great Olivia Newton-John was a decade older than her character Sandy — a high school senior — when she filmed the iconic Grease movie.

Olivia Newton John and John Travolta posing for a promotional picture for Grease
Fotos International / Getty Images

Here's what Olivia Newton-John (left) actually looked like at 18 years old, circa 1966.

Olivia Newton John and Pat Carroll posing for a portrait
Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

2.Leonardo DiCaprio got away with playing a teenager in Catch Me If You Can when he was 28. Of course, that can be credited to his charming "baby face" at the time.

Leonardo DiCaprio on set filming Catch Me If You Can
Diane L. Cohen / Getty Images

Leo has never looked his age, even as a teenager. This was him at 17 years old.

A teenage Leonardo DiCaprio posing on for the camera
Abc Photo Archives / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

3.At 26, Minka Kelly starred as 16-year-old Lyla Garrity on Friday Night Lights.

Minka Kelly wearing a cheerleading outfit in Friday Night Lights
Nbc / NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Here's a video montage that Kelly posted after reuniting with one of her high school best friends. The clip features several nostalgic photos of the pair during their teenage years.

4.Ross Butler played 17-year-old Zach Dempsey in 13 Reasons Why when he was 26 years old. He also briefly played a teenaged Reggie Mantle on Riverdale before Charles Melton took over the role for Season 2.

Ross Butler posing on a red carpet
David Livingston / Getty Images

And this is how he actually looked throughout his high school years.

5.Troian Bellisario was 24 while playing 16-year-old Spencer on Pretty Little Liars.

Troian Bellisario posing in character as Spencer Hastings
Andrew Eccles / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

And this was Troian during her early teen years, proudly displaying her science fair trophy.

6.This is how Cole Sprouse looked while playing a teenaged Jughead Jones on Riverdale.

Cole Sprouse speaking at an event
Robin Marchant / Getty Images

...And this is how Cole Sprouse really looked as a teenager. Fascinating stuff.

Cole Sprouse smiling at a red carpet
Christopher Polk / FilmMagic

7.Lucy Hale wasn't drastically older than her Pretty Little Liars character. She was 20 years old while playing 16-year-old Aria.

Lucy Hale posing in character as Aria Montgomery
Andrew Eccles / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

This was Hale when she was actually in high school.

Lucy Hale smiling
Gregg Deguire / WireImage

8.Bianca Lawson was 31(!) while playing 16-year-old Maya on Pretty Little Liars.

Bianca Lawson with her hands on her hips
Randy Holmes / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Bianca spent her real-life teenage years appearing on shows like Saved by the Bell and Sister, Sister.

Bianca Lawson on set with two costars in Saved By The Bell
Nbc / NBCUniversal via Getty Images

9.27-year-old Ben Platt sadly couldn't pass as a convincing high schooler in the Dear Evan Hansen film.

Ben Platt in the Dear Evan Hansen movie
Universal Pictures / Via youtube.com

This is what he really looked like in his late teens.

Ben Platt smiling on a red carpet
Kevin Winter / Getty Images

10.Ashley Benson wasn't much older than 16-year-old Hanna while filming Pretty Little Liars, though she was still an adult playing a teenager. She was 20 years old when she got cast in the popular series.

Ashley Benson posing for a photo
Andrew Eccles / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Here's what Benson looked like when she was the same age as Hanna.

Ashley Benson smiling at a red carpet
Jason Merritt / FilmMagic

11.The ever youthful Gabrielle Union got away with playing high school cheerleader Isis at the age of 26 in Bring It On.

Gabrielle Union posing at a film premiere
Getty Images

This was Gabrielle during her real-life school years, every bit as athletic.

12.You'd never guess it, but Asa Butterfield was 24 when he started playing 17-year-old Otis on Sex Education. His boyish appearance definitely works in his favor.

Asa Butterfield posing at a red carpet
Jason Mendez / Getty Images

This was Asa Butterfield at 16. Not much has changed.

Asa Butterfield smiling at a film event
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13.Ryan Phillippe was 25 when he starred as a high schooler in 1999's Cruel Intentions.

Ryan Phillippe posing at a film premiere
Ron Galella, Ltd. / Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

And this is how Ryan Phillippe looked at 18. A little more innocent and a little more charming, but he was always a good-looking guy.

Ryan Phillippe smiling at a camera
Steve Fenn / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

14.As its title implies, some of the characters in The Vampire Diaries are...vampires. That said, Paul Wesley's Stefan Salvatore is supposed to be forever 18, though the actor was 27 years old when he got cast.

Paul Wesley at a red carpet event
Jason Laveris / FilmMagic

These are some photos of Wesley during his teenage years.

15.Nina Dobrev was 20 years old when she was cast to play 17-year-old Elena Gilbert on The Vampire Diaries.

Nina Dobrev and actor Paul Wesley posing on a red carpet
Jason Laveris / FilmMagic

This was Dobrev as a teenager, just two years before joining TVD.

Nina Dobrev smiling at a press conference
Philip Cheung / Getty Images