Everyone goes through the awkward phase in their lives when they try out new styles and experiment with new looks. Unfortunately, child actors had done to that in the spotlight. However, many of those child stars have grown up to be super attractive. Here are the child stars that went from super awkward to insanely hot!
Celebrity childhood photos always inspire us to achieve great things.
1. Emma Watson
Emma Watson is best known for playing the brainiac wizard, Hermoine Granger. Watson’s role in Harry Potter launched her into superstardom. Not only did it launch her professional career, but also gave her a platform to become a prominent social activist. Everyone is also anxiously awaiting the premiere of the live action Beauty and the Beast, in which she will play the lead role of Belle. This beauty has truly become a role model for people everywhere!
2. Lacey Chabert
We know what you’re thinking: Lacey Chabert! Of course, we’d recognize her on the street! But have any of you guys actually seen Party of Five? Chabert started on the show playing Claudia Salinger when she was just ten years old and you can barely tell it’s her if you go back and watch it. Known for her distinctive voice, Chabert also portrayed the character of Eliza Thornberry in the animated kid’s television series, The Wild Thornberrys.
Since she breakout role in Party of Five, Chabert’s acting career has remained steady. She appeared in films such as Lost in Space, Daddy Day Care, Dirty Deeds, and Not Another Teen Movie. Probably her most famous role as an adult was her portrayal of Gretchen Weiners in the blockbuster hit, Mean Girls. We’ve watched it way too many times to count.
The crush we’ve always had on Neville Longbottom has never needed justification. Now that Matthew Lewis has grown into his looks (and what mighty fine looks they are), there’s no justification needed. Where can we get some amortentia to use on him?
4. Keshia Knight Pulliam
Keisha Knight Pulliam played the adorable daughter of Cliff and Clair Huxtable on the NBC sitcom The Cosby Show. During her time on the show, she became the youngest actress to ever be nominated for an Emmy award. The Cosby Show ended in 1992, and in 2007, she returned back to her TV roots as Miranda Payne on House of Payne. She played Miranda until the show wrapped in 2012. In early 2017, Keisha welcomed a baby girl, who she named Ella Grace.
5. Josh Peck
Josh Peck is an actor, voice actor, and comedian from New York City. He has never met his biological father. He grew up with his Jewish mother, Barbara, who works as a career coach. He attended the P.S. 40 and The Professional Performing Arts School in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan. He dealt with asthma during his childhood. As a result, he often stayed indoors watching old-school sitcoms. He started getting involved in stand-up comedy when he was eight years old.
Josh is best known for playing Josh Nichols in the Nickelodeon live-action sitcom Drake & Josh. If someone told you years ago that the successful yet anxious boy who worked for the school newspaper was a cutie, you would be like “yeah, sure.” Now, things have changed, and the 30-year-old has grown to be quite a handsome man. Just look at him. You could see stars in his eyes.
6. Hayden Panettiere
Hayden Panettiere’s parent didn’t waste any time getting Hayden into acting. She began appearing in commercials at the very young age of 11-months. However, she landed her first big role soon after she began talking, in the soap opera, One Life to Live. Her career took off after her time on the soap. She has starred in TV series such as Heroes and Nashville, and movies like I Love You, Beth Cooper and Ice Princess. However, her most favored role may have been when she was only 11-years-old, as Sheryl in Remember the Titans.
7. Robert Ri’chard
You may remember Robert Ri’chard from the Nickelodeon series, Cousin Skeeter. Richard played Bobby Walker, who would get into some sticky situations with his cousin Skeeter (who was played by a puppet). Cousin Skeeter ended in 2001, and Richard moved onto bigger and better things. He has had roles in films such as House of Wax, Coach Carter, and Chocolate City.
8. Taylor Momsen
If someone asked you to guess what the adorable little girl from Ron Howard’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) wanted to be when she grew up, rock star probably wouldn’t be your first answer. Taylor Momsen didn’t exactly steal the show with her vocals on “Where Are You Christmas” in the Jim Carrey-led adaptation of the Dr. Seuss classic, but that didn’t stop her from pursuing a music career.
“Once I got to an age where I was old enough to make my own decisions, I quit everything and did what I actually wanted to do, which was start a band,” she told Cosmopolitan. It was during Momsen’s time on Gossip Girl (she appeared in 88 episodes as Jenny Humphrey between 2007 and 2012) that The Pretty Reckless band was formed. In those early days, the lead vocalist went out of her way to show people that she wasn’t Cindy Lou Who anymore. “I wore Xs on my nipples and corset dresses with stripper heels,” she said.
The Pretty Reckless released its first album, Light Me Up, in 2010, and attracted notable success with its lead single, “Make Me Wanna Die,” which topped the rock and metal charts. The band’s second album, Going to Hell, dropped in 2014 to positive reviews, making Billboard’s top ten hard rock albums of the year. It’s next album, 2016’s Who You Selling For, performed even better, peaking at an impressive No. 13 on the mainstream Billboard 200 chart.
9. Alexa Vega
The world got to know Alexa Vega as the resourceful kid with the serious face in the Spy Kids movies. The actress worked hard to put her tomboy image behind her. She clearly traded it in for a much more glamorous one, complete with a sexy body and lovely face. It’s hard to connect her to the awkward little girl we saw on the big screen.
10. Michelle Trachtenberg
Michelle Trachtenberg is an actress from New York City. Her mother worked as a bank manager while her father worked as a fiber optics engineer. Her family didn’t have any connections to the industry, but that didn’t stop her parents from noticing their youngest daughter’s talent. She made her acting debut in a commercial for Wisk detergent. She then went on to star in more than 100 commercials before landing her first major television role in the Nickelodeon comedy-drama series, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, as Nona F. Mecklenberg.
11. Meagan Good
Across Cousin Skeeter’s three seasons, Meagan Good was the perfect picture of a teen girl in transition, experimenting with eyebrow shapes, hairstyles, and clothes. All the experimenting paid off. Meagan Good is now polished and beautiful, a knockout on shows like Sleepy Hollow and the new Minority Report on Fox.
12. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Who can forget this adorable, extremely smart and cunning child from “The Third Rock from the Sun”? Joseph was brilliant in the role, and it was only a matter of time when he will become one of the hottest, and best paid actors in Hollywood. Gordon-Levitt was successful from his childhood days, through his teenage days in movies like “10 things I hate about you” to his adulthood.
13. Abigail Breslin
Abigail Breslin is an actress and singer from New York City. Abigail appeared in her first commercial at age three, starred in her first film Signs at age five, and went on to play roles in various movies. She won the hearts of many fans as Olive Hoover, a wannabe child pageant star, in the 2006 road film Little Miss Sunshine.
Abigail was one of the most sought-after child actors of her generation, but now, she has become a beautiful young woman with a pale complexion, gorgeous blond locks, and a drool-worthy wardrobe. Abigail landed her first regular role in a television series in September 2015 through the FOX horror comedy, Scream Queens, in September 2015. She apparently wanted to let the world know that she isn’t a little girl anymore.
14. Chauncey Leopardi
Michael ‘Squints’ Palledorous was able to do what no boy has done perform, he kissed Wendy Peffercorn. That iconic moment in the film certainly would not have been the same without the acting talents of Chauncey Leopardi. After The Sandlot, Leopardi had many various roles on TV shows and in films, however, never as memorable as his role of Squintz. His last acting gig was in 2013. He is happily married and has 2 daughters.
15. Danica McKellar
Danica McKellar is an actress, mathematics scholar, and education advocate who was born in La Jolla, California and was raised in Los Angeles. She played Winnie Cooper, Kevin Arnold’s on-and-off awkward, geeky teenage girlfriend in the sitcom The Wonder Years. After the sitcom ended, she went back to school and graduated summa cum laude at UCLA with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. She later wrote five non-fiction books—Math Doesn’t Suck, Kiss My Math, Hot X: Algebra Exposed, Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape, and Goodnight, numbers. Danica’s career in showbiz continued to thrive after the conclusion of The Wonder Years and her college years. This brunette beauty appeared on the shows The West Wing, The Secret Life of an American Teenager, and How I Met Your Mother. In 2015, she was cast in the Netflix original series Project Mc2.
16. Christian Bale
Christian Bale grew up with parents who were performers, so it’s no wonder he entered the entertainment industry at such a young age. His first real gig was appearing on a fabric softener commercial when he was eight years old. Clearly, he has moved onto much more lucrative jobs since then! Though he starred in some minor productions before then, his big break hit in 1987 when he played Jim Graham in the Steven Spielberg film, Empire of the Sun. Now, Bale is recognized as one of the most successful actors in the world. He has starred in American Psycho, The Machinist, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, The Fighter, American Hustle, and The Big Short, amongst others. He won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Fighter.
17. Anna Paquin
Not many kids tend to take home Academy Awards, but Anna Paquin managed to do it. In 1993 she won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress at the age of just eleven, making her the second-youngest winner of all time (Tatum O’Neal was the youngest, at age ten). She won the award for her performance in The Piano, despite having very little experience in acting at the time. She was certainly off to a promising start!
Paquin has continued to achieve success in the entertainment industry. After a string of blockbuster movies as a child actor, including Fly Away Home, The Member of the Wedding, A Walk on the Moon, and Almost Famous, Paquin went on to star in the television series, True Blood as an adult. She also starred in the film, X-Men: Days of Future Past in 2014.
18. Bug Hall
Brandon “Bug” Hall is best to remember for his role of the geeky, girl-loving little rascal Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer. The Little Rascals was Hall’s screen debut. He has since gone on to play other roles. He has appeared on TV shows such as Criminal Minds, 90210, CSI: NY, and Masters of Sex. His latest role was in 2016, in the TV mini-series Harley and the Davidsons. He has also recently been spotted sporting a bushy beard, certainly a far stray from little Alfalfa.
19. Alyson Stoner
Alyson Stoner is an actress, singer, singer-songwriter, choreographer, dancer, and model from Toledo, Ohio. She’s best known for her roles as Sarah Baker in Cheaper by the Dozen, Max in The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, and Camille Gage in the Step Up series. Alyson worked as a backup dancer for several musical artists such as Missy Elliott, Eminem, Kumbia Kings, Outkast, and Will Smith. She also hosted the Disney Channel series Mike’s Super Short Show from 2001 to 2007 and voiced Isabella Garcia-Shapiro in the animated musical comedy television series Phineas and Ferb from 2007 to 2015.
20 Nicholas Hoult
The awkward and kind of chubby Mystikal-loving child from About a Boy made everyone fall in love with him as Tony Stonem on Skins, but then he continued to prove how grown up and sexy he is with roles in A Single Man and Warm Bodies. In fact, he’s such a hottie that he landed one of the most beautiful women on the planet, Jennifer Lawrence.
21. Madeline Zima
Madeline Zima is almost unrecognizable from the time she played, little Grace Sheffield, on the hit series, The Nanny. She now has close to 60 acting credits to her name. However, she may best be known for playing Gretchen Berg on Heroes or Mia Lewis on Californication. In 2017, she is expected to appear in one episode of Twin Peaks.
22. Amber Scott
Amber Scott is a former American actress. She’s best known for playing Maggie Banning, the daughter of Robin Williams’ Peter Pan, in the Steven Spielberg-directed Peter Pan family fantasy film, Hook, in 1991. She later graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where she was a member of the Delta Psi Epsilon sorority. Now, there’s not a lot of buzz about Amber in the media, but she definitely grew up to be quite the hottie. Her blonde locks, blue eyes, and tan skin certainly make her look younger than her years. Amber once shone as the daughter of Peter Pan, but she continues to shine as a blonde stunner.
23. Nicola Peltz
The awkward-looking girl from The Last Airbender turned into a hottie in a major way. Who didn’t drool at the sight of Bradley on Bates Motel? Most of the characters on the show drooled over her too. There’s no doubt that Nicola is extremely attractive and this before-and-after photo collage is just one of the many proofs. She has been in the public eye since 2008. Since then, she has built up a large following for both her talents and appearances.
24. Selena Gomez
It seems like Barney & Friends is just producing all of the young stars! Selena Gomez starred on the show as Gianna, which is where she met Demi Lovato. Like so many other child actors, Gomez also got a great start at Disney. She had a recurring role on the series Hannah Montana as a pop star, Mikayla, which she played alongside Miley Cyrus, who had the lead role. Fast forward a few years and Gomez is now one of the biggest celebrities in the world. After moving away from acting gigs, she developed a thriving career as a pop star and is in an on again/off again relationship with one of the other biggest celebrities in the world, Justin Bieber. She really has come a long way, but she has worked hard and totally deserves it!
25. Hilary Duff
Hilary Duff is an actress and singer from Houston, Texas. She enrolled in acting, singing, and ballet classes with her older sister, Haylie, at a young age and then began to work her way up the ladder in showbiz. Many people labeled her as a “teen idol” during her teenage years. In 2001, she got her first major role as Lizzie McGuire on the titular Disney Channel teen sitcom Lizzie McGuire. Since then, she has created merchandise, produced music, and starred in movies.
Hilary once played the gifted Lizzie who made many people feel like they weren’t alone in navigating the world of adolescence, but a lot has changed in 16 years. Compared to Lindsay Lohan and Miley Cyrus, she managed to transition into a more mature adult. She married former NHL player Mike Comrie in 2010. The couple got divorced last year, but they agreed to co-parent their five-year-old son, Luca. She’s got a new beau, Ely Sandvik, but she still has the same hot beach body.
26. Alyssa Milano
Alyssa Milano is an actress, producer, singer, and activist who was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Staten Island. She’s best known for her roles in Who’s the Boss?, Melrose Place, Charmed, Mistresses, and Project Runway All Stars. She will be starring in the upcoming Netflix series Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later.
Alyssa got her big break at age nine when her babysitter took her to audition for the national touring company, Annie, and walked away with a role. She used her native Brooklyn accent to play a plethora of characters. She eventually outgrew her awkward years and blossomed into a veritable hottie, who went on to star in hit dramas such as Melrose Place, Charmed, and Mistresses.
27. Alexandra Kyle
Alexandra Kyle had the dream break out role when she first hit the big screen in 1996 as an eight-year-old. She got to star alongside both Sally Field and Kiefer Sutherland in the psychological thriller, Eye for an Eye. Kyle really stole the show with her portrayal of adorable Megan McCann. In that same year, she also got to appear with Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey, Ashley Judd, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kevin Spacey in A Time to Kill.
Kyle continued her acting career, however, she never quite made it back to Sally Field’s co-star levels of fame. She appeared in 13 Going On 30, which starred Jennifer Garner, as well as a few television shows, including The Practice, Days of Our Lives, and Without a Trace. Her most recent role on television was as Roz in the series, Justified.
28. Danielle Fishel
Danielle Fishel kicked off her career on the stage at the age of ten. She was involved in performances of The Wizard of Oz and Peter Pan, which both gave her the drive to pursue acting as a serious career. After a string of commercials, Fishel finally landed a regular role as Topanga Lawrence-Matthews in the television series, Boy Meets World.
Things were looking promising for Fishel, who even took home a Young Star award for Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Comedy TV Series. Since Boy Meets World, Fishel has enjoyed modest success acting in several films, as well as appearing in the Boy Meets World spin-off, Girl Meets Boy. It wasn’t quite the super big acting career we’re sure she was after, but she has still done a pretty good job.
29. Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan is perhaps the most famous child-to-adult actor there is. We all know her work and we probably all have a favorite Lindsay Lohan film. Ours are The Parent Trap and Mean Girls! In fact, The Parent Trap was probably her first real big break (she had appeared in other things, but this was when she really started to get noticed).
Anyone with an internet connection will be able to tell you that Lohan has had her problems with substance abuse. She definitely went of the rails for a while and was often photographed partying late at night. Her main problem was alcohol abuse, but she also dabbled in other party drugs. After several stints in rehab, she seems to be back to her old self again, but she hasn’t done anything major since starring alongside Jane Fonda and Felicity Huffman in the film Georgia Rule in 2007.
30. Alia Shawkat
Any Arrested Development fan will know this former child actor as Maeby Fünke. In the comedy series, she plays the cousin of George Michael Bluth (played by Michael Cera) who is secretly in love with her and extremely confused about his feelings. Arrested Development is her most famous role to date, but Alia Shawkat got started well before she landed that role. Shawkat secured her first major role at the age of eleven years old on the television series State of Grace.
Funnily enough, Shawkat didn’t actually start out pursuing acting. She was discovered after appearing in an ad for Calvin Klein and things took off from there. In more recent times, she has appeared on the television series, Broad City, where she plays Ilana’s doppelganger and lover. All in all, things are going very well for her!
31. Chloe Grace Moretz
Chloe Grace Moretz is the very picture of success. After launching her career at age seven with a role in The Amityville Horror, Moretz has only continued to rise through the ranks of Hollywood. Like Mason Vale Cotton, she is also a graduate of the Desperate Housewives series – she played Sherri Maltby on the show.
As a child actor, she also starred in The Poker House, (500) Days of Summer, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Let Me In, Kick-Ass, Kick-Ass 2, Hugo, Carrie, If I Stay, and The Equalizer, amongst others. Since becoming an adult three years ago, she has continued to land awesome film roles, including The 5th Wave and Neighbors 2, as well as various roles in theater productions. It seems like Moretz is going to achieve even more success as she gains more experience.