*Phew* I thought I was just ugly at 16.

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You *may* have noticed that movies and TV shows don’t usually cast real teenagers.

Paramount Pictures/ Courtesy: Everett Collection

This is largely due to labor laws that requires specific working hours and resources for underage actors.

But what would these classic movies and films look like if they actually *did* use teenage actors?

To that end, here are 24 actors who played teenagers and how they actually looked at the age of their characters!

1. Leonardo DiCaprio playing a 17-year-old in Catch Me If You Can

Dreamworks / courtesy Everett Collection

Leonardo DiCaprio as an actual 17-year-old

Jerry Fitzgerald / ABC / Courtesy Everett Collection

2. Lili Reinhart playing a 16-year-old on Riverdale

Diyah Pera/The CW Network/courtesy Everet Collection

Lili Reinhart as an actual 16-year-old

3. Gabrielle Union playing a teenager in Bring it On

Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

Gabrielle Union as an actual teenager

Gregg Deguire / WireImage via Getty Images

4. Jennifer Lawrence playing a 16-year-old in The Hunger Games

Murray Close/Lionsgate/Courtesy Everett Collection

Jennifer Lawrence as an actual 16-year-old

5. Liam Hemsworth playing a teenager in The Hunger Games

Murray Close/Lionsgate/Courtesy Everett Collection

Liam Hemsworth as an actual teenager

6. Cole Sprouse playing a 16-year-old on Riverdale

Dean Buscher / The CW Network/Courtesy Everett Collection

Cole Sprouse as an actual 16-year-old

Kristin Callahan/Everett Collection

7. Kerry Washington playing a teenager in Save The Last Dance

Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

Kerry Washington as an actual teenager

8. Dylan O’Brien playing a 16-year-old in The Maze Runner

Ben Rothstein/20th Century Fox /Courtesy Everett Collection

Dylan O’Brien as an actual 16-year-old:

9. Lucy Hale playing a 16-year-old on Pretty Little Liars

Danny Feld / ABC Family / Courtesy Everett Collection

Lucy Hale as an actual 16-year-old


Ok, this one pisses me off because if Aria was played by a 16-year-old Lucy, we absolutely would not have been okay with Ezra.

10. Timothée Chalamet playing a 17-year-old in Call Me By Your Name

Sayombhu Mukdeeprom / Sony Pictures Classics / courtesy Everett Collection

Timothée Chalamet as an actual 17-year-old

YoungArts / YouTube / Via youtube.com

Another one where it would’ve been SUPER CREEPY if 17-year-old Timothée played Elio.

11. Harry Shum Jr. playing a teenager on Glee

Miranda Penn Turin / Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection

12. Asa Butterfield playing a teenager on Sex Education

Sam Taylor / Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection /

Asa Butterfield as an actual teenager

Summit Entertainment / courtesy Everett Collection

13. Haley Lu Richardson playing a teenager in Unpregnant

Haley Lu Richardson as an actual teenager

14. Alisha Boe playing a 16-year-old on 13 Reasons Why

Alisha Boe as an actual 16-year-old

15. Darren Criss playing a high schooler on Glee

Adam Rose / Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection

Darren Criss as an actual high schooler

16. James Van Der Beek playing a 16-year-old on Dawson’s Creek

Columbia Tristar Television / Courtesy Everett Collection

James Van Der Beek as an actual 16-year-old


17. Joshua Jackson playing a 15-year-old on Dawson’s Creek

Columbia Tristar Television / Courtesy Everett Collection

Joshua Jackson as an actual 15-year-old

Buena Vista Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

18. Greta Onieogou playing a teenager on All American

Greta Onieogou as an actual teenager

19. Zendaya playing a teenager on Euphoria

Zendaya as an actual teenager

Eric McCandless / Disney Channel / Courtesy Everett Collection

20. Thomas Brodie-Sangster playing a teenager in The Maze Runner

20th Century Fox

Thomas Brodie-Sangster as an actual teenager

Universal /Courtesy Everett Collection

Thomas was 15 when Nanny McPhee was released.

21. Saoirse Ronan playing a teenager in Lady Bird

A24 / Everett Collection

Saoirse Ronan as an actual teenager

Focus Features/Courtesy Everett Collection

Hanna came out when Saoirse was days away from turning 17.

22. Sarah Michelle Gellar playing a 15-year-old on Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Sarah Michelle Gellar as an actual 15-year-old


Sarah was 15 in Swans Crossing.

23. Michelle Trachtenberg playing a 16-year-old on Gossip Girl

Giovanni Rufino / The CW / Courtesy Everett Collection

Michelle Trachtenberg as an actual 16-year-old

24. And finally, Emma Stone playing a high schooler in The Amazing Spider-Man

Sony Pictures Releasing

And Emma Stone as an actual high schooler

Which of these were most surprising? Do you feel better about your teenage self now? Let me know in the comments!

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