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5+ Actresses Who Were Barely Legal When Cast (And 5+ Who Were Too Old)

Jake Bean 19 Feb 2020

There are movies where the actors and/or actresses are just barely old enough to play the roles they're in.

Then there are movies that are the opposite, where the actors and/or actresses are actually too old to be playing a role. These are the movies where either one or the other happened.

1. TOO OLD: Stockard Channing

Paramount Pictures

Movie: Grease

It will not be the only time Grease makes this list. Here we had a 30-year-old playing a high schooler.

To be specific, she was 33. And yet, she totally nailed the role of Rizzo.

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2. TOO YOUNG: Winona Ryder

Paramount Pictures

Movie: Star Trek

She was supposed to play the aging mother of Spock in the Star Trek reboot, but there was one problem: She was six years younger than the guy playing Spock.

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3. TOO OLD: Shirley Henderson

WB

Movies: Harry Potter franchise.

You may not recognize her name, but you will recognize the character: Moaning Myrtle.

She was supposed to be the age of a student, but in her first appearance, she was 37 years old.

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4. TOO YOUNG: Nikki Reed

Searchlight Pictures

Movie: Thirteen.

There were a lot of lewd things happening in that movie, and they all happened to an actress playing a teenager who was, in fact, only 15-years-old at the time.

But she was a co-writer, and actually based the movie off her experiences.

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5. TOO OLD: Barbra Streisand

MGM

Movie: Yentl.

While we all love Babs, we have to admit she was too old to play the 17-year-old lead in Yentl.

How old was she, you ask? Oh, only 41.

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6. TOO YOUNG: Sasha Pieterse

The CW

TV Show: Pretty Little Liars.

They were supposed to be "little," but it wasn't supposed to be in the literal sense.

Sasha was only 14-years-old when she got this role!

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7. TOO OLD: Winona Ryder

Columbia Pictures

Movie: Girl, Interrupted.

She's been too young and too old to play roles! Well, how about that! She was actually 28 when she played the 18-year-old in this drama.

She looked young, but she wasn't that young.

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8. TOO YOUNG: Jodie Foster

Columbia Pictures

Movie: Taxi Driver.

Why did Martin Scorsese think it would be okay to cast a literal 13-year-old in this role?

Did he think it would add authenticity? It was kind of just weird.

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9. TOO OLD: Jennifer Grey

Vestron Pictures

Movie: Dirty Dancing.

She was hardly a "baby" (thank you, thank you) when she signed on to be in Dirty Dancing.

She was playing a girl who was 17, and she was 27.

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10. TOO YOUNG: Dakota Fanning

Apparition

Movie: The Runaways

She was playing this character who did all these... let's charitably call it "controversial" things when she was only 16 years old!

Come on movie producers, that's just not right!

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11. TOO OLD: Carey Mulligan

Warner Bros.

Movie: The Great Gatsby.

This one isn't all that bad, at least she wasn't supposed to be playing a minor.

The character was supposed to be 18-years-old, but Mulligan was 28 years old at the time.

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12. TOO YOUNG: Kirsten Dunst

Warner Bros.

Movie: Interview With A Vampire.

11-years-old. That's how old she was in this movie. Not the character, the actress.

Yeah... this movie (and especially the interactions between her and Pitt) seems pretty creepy now, doesn't it?

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13. TOO OLD: Olivia Newton-John

Paramount Pictures

Movie: Grease.

It turns out that Olivia-Newton John was even older than Sandy when she took on the role.

To be precise, she was 29 years old when she played a 17-year-old.

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14. TOO YOUNG: Jennifer Lawrence

Sony Pictures

Movies: Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle and Mother!.

In each of these movies, she always plays a woman who is supposed to be around the same age as her much older co-stars.

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15. TOO OLD: Rachel McAdams

Paramount Pictures

Movie: Mean Girls

While Regina George is one of the best villains of all-time, Rachel McAdams was actually 26 during filming.

Which is obviously way older than your average high school student.

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16. TOO YOUNG: Elle Fanning

Focus Features

Movie: The Beguiled.

She may have been 19-years-old for this movie, but the fact that she was in bed with a 41-year-old Colin Farrell is more than a little creepy.

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17. TOO OLD: Stacy Dash

Paramount Pictures

Movie: Clueless

She was supposed to be 15 to 17-years-old in this picture, but she was 29 when they started filming.

Wow, she looked good for her age. Totally fooled me!

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18. TOO YOUNG: Beyoncé

New Line Cinema

Movie: Austin Powers: Goldmember.

Did she kill the role of Foxxy Cleopatra? Yes, absolutely. Was she too young to be playing an erotic, undercover special agent? Probably.

She was only 21 when the movie came out.

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19. TOO OLD: Sarah Hyland

ABC

TV Show: Modern Family.

She is, technically, three years older than her character on Modern Family. So, technically, she was too old to play the part of Haley Dunphy. You know, technically.

But definitely not the worst one on this list.

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20. TOO YOUNG: Scarlett Johansson

Focus Features

Movie: Lost In Translation

While 17 doesn't seem like that young, it was compared to her costar Bill Murray. Who, I will be quick to remind you, was 53 at the time of filming.

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21. TOO OLD: Minka Kelly

NBC

TV Show: Friday Night Lights

She was only a few years older than her role, but she was still too old to be playing a student in college. Oh well, what can you do?

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22. TOO YOUNG: Dafne Keen

Marvel

Movie: Logan.

She is supposed to be 20 in the comics. Yes, we know they were going for a bit of a different spin, but was it smart to subject a 12-year-old to all that violence?

On the other hand, that may have been the point.

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23. TOO OLD: Keiko Agena

The CW

TV Show: Gilmore Girls.

She was 12 years older than her TV counterpart. Yes, you read that right, 12 years older. She was even 8 years older than Alexis Bledel.

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24. TOO YOUNG: Drew Barrymore

New Line Cinema

Movie: Poison Ivy

Drew Barrymore was only 17 when she took on the role of the seductive teen Ivy in Poison Ivy.

Old enough to be a teen, not old enough to be seducing old men.

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25. TOO OLD: Maria Thayer

IMDb

Movie: Accepted

One of the founders of South Harmon Institute of Technology, she was way too old to be playing a college student at the time.

She was 10 years older than an average college student.

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26. TOO YOUNG: Chloe Grace Moretz

Lionsgate

Movie: Kick Ass

If we're talking about actresses who were too young to be subjected to obscene amounts of violence, then we have to talk about the original: Hit-Girl, aka Chloe Grace Moretz.

She was only 13.

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27. TOO OLD: Drew Barrymore

Dimension Films

Movie: Scream.

An actress who was both too young and too old for roles. Is there anything she can't do wrong (kidding).

She was 21 when she was supposed to be playing a high school student.

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28. TOO YOUNG: Sally Field

Paramount Pictures

Movie: Forrest Gump

She was Forrest's mama, which is weird considering A) Sally Field is only ten years older than Tom Hanks and B) they had just played lovers in a previous film.

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29. TOO OLD: Sarah Michelle Gellar

The WB

TV Show: Buffy The Vampire Slayer

She, like many actresses before her, was not high school age when she played one on TV.

But this wasn't the worst offense: she was only 20.

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30. TOO YOUNG: Miley Cyrus

Disney Channel

TV Show: Hannah Montana

While she may have matched the age of her character, it was still weird for her to be thrust into such stardom at such a young age.

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31. TOO OLD: Kristen Bell

The CW

TV Show: Veronica Mars

You'll never guess what: Kristen Bell wasn't actually in high school when she started playing this 17-year-old! She was actually 24 at the time! I know, crazy, right?

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32. TOO YOUNG: Linda Blair

Warner Bros.

Movie: The Exorcist

Yeah... We wouldn't subject any 13-year-old we know to this kind of role. She was screaming about "letting Jesus [expletive] you" and what not.

It just wasn't appropriate.

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