POPSUGAR Entertainment

12 Actors You Forgot Were Child Stars

Dec 16 2014 - 9:00am

There are plenty of grown actors whose childhood careers you're pretty familiar with (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson [1]), but sometimes there are actors who had a memorable role as a kid and then rose to prominence some time later. That (and their matured visages) sometimes makes it hard to remember them, but that's why we're here. We've found 12 current stars who had a memorable childhood role (or two) — and some of their roles as younger people may blow your mind a little.

Tyler Posey

You know him as the sexy (often shirtless [2]) star of Teen Wolf, but did you know that he played the kid of a sexy diva in a memorable '90s romantic comedy?

Tyler Posey

That's right: Posey costarred with Jennifer Lopez [3] in Maid in Manhattan. Did you catch their recent reunion [4]?

Tyler Hoechlin

And Posey isn't the only Teen Wolf Tyler with a child-star past.

Tyler Hoechlin

Hoechlin starred in Road to Perdition as the son of Tom Hanks [5], when he was just 14.

Kat Dennings

Dennings is most recognized now for her role as filthy-mouthed waitress Max on the TV series 2 Broke Girls.

Kat Dennings

And back in 2000, Dennings was just as foul-mouthed (if not more) as precocious teen Jenny Brier, one of Sam's clients, on Sex and the City.

Gaby Hoffmann

Hoffmann has been making waves as offbeat characters in the past few years, like a supporting role in this Summer's Obvious Child and the part of Adam's sister on Girls. If her face looked familiar to you, let us tell you why.

Gaby Hoffmann

Hoffmann was just 7 when she played Kevin Costner [6]'s daughter. She had a thriving career as a child star, also memorably appearing in Now and Then.

Joaquin Phoenix

He's created controversy (I'm Not There) and earned praise in Her, but do you know how far back Phoenix's career goes?

Joaquin Phoenix

Well, it goes all the way back to 1986, when he made his starring debut in SpaceCamp! (He was just 12.)

Evan Rachel Wood

Maybe you knew that Wood was a child star (seen here as crazy Queen Sophie-Anne in True Blood), but did you know she got her start before her breakout role in Thirteen?

Evan Rachel Wood

Here she is as Kylie in Practical Magic, in which she played one of Sandra Bullock [7]'s daughters.

Mae Whitman

Parenthood's Mae Whitman has become well known for her emotional portrayal of Lauren Graham's daughter Amber.

Mae Whitman

And here's where she perfected her cry-face: in movies like Hope Floats, as Sandra Bullock [8]'s sensitive daughter. (She was also adorable as George Clooney [9]'s daughter in One Fine Day.)

Anna Paquin

Paquin played Sookie Stackhouse for the last seven years on True Blood, but before she was a telepathic faerie, she got her start very, very young.

Anna Paquin

Paquin starred with Holly Hunter in The Piano — and snagged an Oscar at the tender age of 11. (Bonus: remember when she played Freddie Prinze Jr [10].'s little sister in She's All That?)

Christa B. Allen

The glamorous Charlotte Grayson on ABC's Revenge had an adorable and memorable breakout role as a child star, but do you remember it?

Christa B. Allen

Yep, Allen played the younger version of Jennifer Garner [11] in 13 Going on 30!

Kristen Stewart

You know her well as Twilight's leading lady, plus the sexually open Marylou in On the Road, but do you remember her pre-, pre-Bella days?

Kristen Stewart

There was this role, in Panic Room, in which she played Jodie Foster [12]'s daughter when she was just 12.

Jake Gyllenhaal

The dashing actor has become an in-demand leading man, but do you remember what he was doing before movies like Love & Other Drugs?

Jake Gyllenhaal

Yes, cute little Gyllenhaal was acting — remember him as Billy Crystal's son in City Slickers?

Logan Lerman

The young star who is so affecting in The Perks of Being a Wallflower got started earlier than the Percy Jackson franchise.

Logan Lerman

His cute little mug also played young Ashton Kutcher [13] in 2004's The Butterfly Effect.

Child Stars You Forgot About


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