11 Actors Who Were Cast at a Different Age in Movies Than They Were in Real Life

11 months ago

The characters in the movies that we love today can sometimes be deceiving when it comes to their age. Talented actors often defy age by playing characters much younger or older than themselves, showcasing their range and skill. From young actors portraying adults to seasoned veterans taking on teenage and child roles, the magic of film brings these characters to life in unforgettable ways.

As we all probably know, age is just a number, and these movie stars surely know how to play their roles well no matter how old they are. So there’s no reason why casting directors shouldn’t consider defying age to be a magical ability actors possess.

1. Angelina Jolie as Queen Olympias in Alexander

The 2004 epic historical drama, Alexander, featured Angelina Jolie in the role of Queen Olympias, the mother of Alexander the Great, who was magnificently portrayed by Colin Farrell. Jolie’s Oscar-worthy performance as Olympias was highly acclaimed for its sheer intensity and complexity. The film boasted a star-studded cast that included other prominent actors, like Anthony Hopkins, Jared Leto, and Rosario Dawson, among many others.

  • Angelina Jolie was 29 years old when she played the mother of Colin Farrell’s character, who was 28.

2. Gwyneth Paltrow as Tracy Mills in Se7en

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Gwyneth Paltrow’s portrayal of Tracy Mills, the wife of Brad Pitt’s character, Detective David Mills, in the 1995 psychological thriller, Se7en, was a standout moment in her early career. Paltrow’s emotionally charged performance and the chemistry between her and Pitt were highly praised by critics and audiences.

Se7en has become a cult classic and remains a fan favorite to this day, and Paltrow’s remarkable performance as Tracy Mills is one of the many reasons why. The film is a testament to the actors’ talent and the chemistry between them, despite their age gap.

  • Gwyneth Paltrow was only 22 years old while playing the wife of Brad Pitt, who was 32.

3. Paul Wesley as Stefan Salvatore in The Vampire Diaries

Paul Wesley’s portrayal of Stefan Salvatore in the 2009 TV series, The Vampire Diaries, was a standout moment in his acting career. He brought depth and complexity to the character. The chemistry between Wesley and his co-star, Nina Dobrev, who played the lead character Elena Gilbert, was also a major factor in the show’s success. The Vampire Diaries remains a favorite among fans of the supernatural genre, and Wesley’s age-defying performance as Stefan Salvatore is one of the reasons why.

  • Paul Wesley was 27 years old when he played a 17-year-old who was turned in 1864.

4. Toni Collette as Lynn Sear in The Sixth Sense

Toni Collette’s portrayal of Lynn Sear in the 1999 horror film, The Sixth Sense, was a memorable moment in her acting career. Despite her young age, Collette’s performance was critically acclaimed, and The Sixth Sense went on to become a classic in the horror genre.

The film, directed by M. Night Shyamalan, was a box office success, grossing over $670 million worldwide. Today, The Sixth Sense is still widely regarded as a classic in the horror genre, and Collette’s standout performance as Lynn Sear remains a key reason for the film’s success.

  • Toni Collette was only 26 years old when she played a mother to a 9-year-old.

5. Margot Robbie as Naomi Lapaglia in The Wolf of Wall Street

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In the 2013 blockbuster hit, The Wolf of Wall Street, Margot Robbie played the role of Naomi Lapaglia, the stunning wife of Jordan Belfort, portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio. The film, directed by Martin Scorsese, was a box office success, grossing over $392 million worldwide and earning numerous accolades, including several Academy Award nominations.

  • Margot Robbie was only 22 years old when she played the character in her mid-twenties or thirties.

6. John Franklin as Isaac Chroner in Children of the Corn

John Franklin’s breakout role was playing Isaac Chroner, a fanatical child prophet, in the 1984 horror flick, Children of the Corn. Franklin’s convincing portrayal of a 12-year-old earned critical praise. The movie was a commercial success and has since become a cult classic in the horror genre.

  • John Franklin was 25 years old when he played a 12-year-old.

7. Winona Ryder as Susanna Kaysen in Girl, Interrupted


In the popular 1999 movie, Girl, Interrupted, Winona Ryder played the role of Susanna Kaysen, a teenage girl who was admitted to a psychiatric hospital in the 1960s. Although Ryder was 27 years old during filming, she convincingly portrays Susanna Kaysen, who is supposed to be around 18 or 19 years old. If you watch Girl, Interrupted, you can learn more about the mental health struggles that some people go through.

  • Winona Ryder was 27 years old when she played a character who was 18-19 years old.

8. Lucy Hale as Aria Montgomery in Pretty Little Liars


During the 2014-2015 airing of the fifth season of the TV series, Pretty Little Liars, Lucy Hale played the character of Aria Montgomery, who was approximately 18 years old.

Although Hale was 25 years old at the time of filming, her authentic and emotionally compelling portrayal of Aria received widespread acclaim. Pretty Little Liars was a highly popular and successful show at one time. Discover the captivating performance of Lucy Hale in Pretty Little Liars and enjoy this gripping series.

  • Lucy was 25 years old when she played an 18-year-old.

9. Logan Lerman as Percy Jackson in Percy Jackson

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Logan Lerman portrayed Percy Jackson, a 12-year-old boy who learns that he is the son of a Greek god, in the 2010 film Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Despite Lerman being 17 years old during filming, his performance as Percy was critically acclaimed for its depth and authenticity.

Although the character was supposed to be 5 years younger than the actor, Lerman convincingly played the role. Discover the epic journey of Percy Jackson in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and enjoy Logan Lerman’s remarkable performance.

  • Logan Lerman was 17 years old when he played a 12-year-old.

10. Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly in Back to the Future

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Michael J. Fox’s portrayal of Marty McFly in the 1985 classic, Back to the Future, was a stunning performance that continues to captivate audiences to this day. In the film, Marty McFly, a high school student, is accidentally transported back to 1955, despite Fox being 29 years old during filming.

Regardless of the age difference, Fox’s charisma and energy in the role garnered widespread praise, contributing to the movie’s critical and commercial success. Check out the unforgettable performance of Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future and experience the magic of this beloved movie.

  • Michael J. Fox was 29 years old when he played a high school student.

11. Zendaya as Rue Bennett in Euphoria

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Zendaya’s portrayal of Rue Bennett, a high school student battling mental health issues on the HBO series, Euphoria, was a standout performance that left a lasting impression on audiences.

Despite the age difference between Zendaya and her character, with the actor being 23-24 years old during the filming of the first season and 25 at the time of the second season’s release, her nuanced and raw depiction of Rue Bennett’s struggles was highly acclaimed. Experience Zendaya’s compelling performance in Euphoria and join the millions of viewers who have been moved by this powerful and emotionally charged series.

  • Zendaya was 25 years old playing a high school student.
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