16 Stars Who Were Way Older Than Their Teenage Characters

Liz Alterman | Apr 28, 2017 Celebrities

Marty McFly in Back to the Future
Universal Studios

Looking younger than your actual age is an attribute you come to appreciate more as you get older. But some celebrities have such youthful appearances, they were able to convince us that they were actually high school or college students when really they were in their mid-20s. No wonder teens always want to make themselves look older than what they are!

It makes sense now that these supposed teenagers look so poised and polished. Take a look at some of the stars who made us believe they were still adolescents when in fact they were full-grown adults! 

  • Scott Wolf: 'Party of Five'

    1

    Scott Wolf was 26 when he played 16-year-old Bailey Salinger in Party of Five. The actor's boyish good looks and dimples definitely fooled us.

  • Keiko Agena: 'Gilmore Girls'

    2

    Keiko Agena played 15-year-old Lane, Rory's pal, in the first season of Gilmore Girls even though she was 26 IRL. Wow!

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  • Michael J. Fox: 'Back to the Future'

    3

    Michael J. Fox was 24 when he started portraying the lovable time traveler Marty McFly in the Back to the Future series. The adorable actor also convinced us he was just a teen in Family Ties and Teen Wolf

  • Jennifer Grey: 'Dirty Dancing'

    4

    Jennifer Grey was 27 when she portrayed 17-year-old Baby Houseman in Dirty Dancing. She was definitely old enough to carry a watermelon!

  • Minka Kelly: 'Friday Night Lights'

    5

    Minka Kelly was 26 when she played high school cheerleader Lyla Garrity on Friday Night Lights. No wonder she knew her way around the pyramid like a pro!

  • Sean Penn: 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High'

    6

    Sean Penn played high schooler Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High despite being 22 years old in real life. He pulled it off perfectly!

  • Lea Michele: 'Glee'

    7

    Lea Michele was already 23 when Glee -- the show about high school singers -- burst on the scene. You never would've guessed, right? 

  • Rachel McAdams: 'Mean Girls'

    8

    Rachel McAdams was 26 when she played a nasty gal in Mean Girls. Clearly, she was old enough to know better than to treat her classmates like that, LOL.


  • Olivia Newton-John: 'Grease'

    9

    Olivia Newton-John turned 29 while portraying high school senior Sandy Olsson in Grease. You'd never have thought the Aussie beauty was a day over 18, right?

  • Gabrielle Carteris: '90210'

    10

    No wonder she was such a know-it-all! Gabrielle Carteris was 29 years old when she played high school newspaper editor Andrea Zuckerman. Guess this explains why she always knew the right thing to do.

  • Taylor Kitsch -- 'Friday Night Lights'

    11

    When Friday Night Lights began, Taylor Kitsch was already 25, which makes us feel way better about crushing on the high school football hottie.

  • Charisma Carpenter : 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'

    12

    Charisma Carpenter was actually 27 when she hit the small screen in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, making her a dozen years older than her character.

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  • Kristen Bell -- 'Veronica Mars'

    13

    At the age of 24, Kristen Bell won the role of the 17-year-old high school student and budding detective in Veronica Mars. She did it brilliantly to boot!

  • Anna Kendrick: 'Pitch Perfect'

    14

    Anna Kendrick was 26 when she played a college freshman in Pitch Perfect. She could pass for a college gal even today at 31!

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  • Channing Tatum & Jenna Dewan Tatum: 'Step Up'

    15

    One of Hollywood's most gorgeous couples, Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Tatum, met when they were 26 on the set of Step Up, in which they played high school students. The pair have come a long way together -- they're now parents to a 3-year-old daughter, Everly.

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