The surprising real ages of actors when they were cast to play famous teenage roles

Blaque bring it on
Gabrielle Union (center) was not a teen when she starred in ‘Bring It On.’ Universal Pictures

Age is but a number, and you don’t have to be a teenager to play one on TV or film.

While some actors are closer in age to their character counterparts, others can be two or even 15 years older than the characters they portray.

Here are 11 celebrities who are well-known for their teen roles, even though they weren’t teens at the time.

[slideshow]
[slide
permalink=”/#troian-bellisario-plays-spencer-hastings-on-pretty-little-liars-an-18-year-old-high-school-student-1″
title=”Troian Bellisario plays Spencer Hastings on ‘Pretty Little Liars,’ an 18-year-old high school student.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/562a74aabd86ef16008c4534″
source=”Warner Bros./ABC Family/screenshot”
caption=”Troian Bellisario as Spencer Hastings in the series premiere of ‘Pretty Little Liars.'”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#in-real-life-bellisario-is-29-she-was-24-when-she-was-cast-as-the-high-school-junior-the-characters-graduated-in-the-mid-season-finale-and-when-the-series-returns-in-january-its-jumping-ahead-five-years-2″
title=”In real life, Bellisario is 29. She was 24 when she was cast as the high school junior. The characters graduated in the mid-season finale, and when the series returns in January, it’s jumping ahead five years.”
content=”(Als0 0f note: Sasha Pieterse, who plays Alison DiLaurentis, is 19, so when the show returns, she’ll be playing an older character.)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/562a3d509dd7cc1e008c4296″
source=”Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)”
caption=”NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 11: Actress Troian Bellisario attends PaleyFest New York 2015 for ‘Pretty Little Liars’ at The Paley Center for Media on October 11, 2015 in New York City.”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#minka-kelly-played-high-school-cheerleader-lyla-garrity-in-friday-night-lights-3″
title=”Minka Kelly played high school cheerleader Lyla Garrity in ‘Friday Night Lights.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/562a43f99dd7cc14008c4467″
source=”NBCUniversal”
caption=”Minka Kelly as Lyla Garrity in ‘Friday Night Lights.'”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#she-was-26-when-the-show-premiered-and-was-28-when-her-character-finally-graduated-from-high-school-and-headed-off-to-vanderbilt-university-current-age-35-4″
title=”She was 26 when the show premiered and was 28 when her character finally graduated from high school and headed off to Vanderbilt University. Current age: 35″
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/51c0ad8269bedd0566000011″
source=”Jason Kempin/Getty Images”
caption=”Minka Kelly attends the Vanity Fair And Juicy Couture Celebration Of The 2013 Vanities Calendar With Olivia Munn at Chateau Marmont on February 18, 2013 in Los Angeles.”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#rachel-mcadams-ruled-the-plastics-as-high-school-queen-bee-regina-george-in-mean-girls-5″
title=”Rachel McAdams ruled the Plastics as high school queen bee, Regina George, in ‘Mean Girls.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/562a75c2bd86ef335d8b9351″
source=”The Internet Movie Database”
caption=”Rachel McAdams as Regina George.”
credit_href=”http://www.leavemethewhite.com/caps/thumbnails.php?album=221&page=1″
]
[slide
permalink=”/#she-was-25-when-she-was-cast-current-age-36-6″
title=”She was 25 when she was cast. Current age: 36″
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/562a46ed9dd7cc10008c42f6″
source=”Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images”
caption=”TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 14: Actress Rachel McAdams attends the ‘Spotlight’ premiere during the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival at the Princess of Wales Theatre on September 14, 2015 in Toronto, Canada.”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#gabrielle-union-played-a-sophomore-high-school-student-and-best-friend-to-bianca-stratford-in-10-things-i-hate-about-you-7″
title=”Gabrielle Union played a sophomore high school student and best friend to Bianca Stratford in ’10 Things I Hate About You.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/562a4a06bd86ef1c008c4346″
source=”Buena Vista Pictures/screencap”
caption=”Gabrielle Union and Larisa Oleynik in ’10 Things I Hate About You.'”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#she-was-26-when-the-film-was-released-while-larisa-oleynik-bianca-was-18-8″
title=”She was 26 when the film was released, while Larisa Oleynik (Bianca) was 18.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/562a4ababd86ef195c8b9126″
source=”Ben Gabbe/Getty Images”
caption=”NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 14: Actress Gabrielle Union attends the rag & bone Spring 2016 fashion show during New York Fashion Week at St. Ann’s Warehouse on September 14, 2015 in New York City.”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#the-following-year-she-appeared-in-another-high-school-role-as-the-head-cheerleader-of-the-east-compton-clovers-in-bring-it-on-current-age-42-9″
title=”The following year, she appeared in another high school role as the head cheerleader of the East Compton Clovers in ‘Bring it On.’ Current age: 42″
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/562a760fbd86ef1c008c44a0″
source=”Universal Pictures”
caption=”Gabrielle Union in ‘Bring it On.'”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#cam-gigandet-portrayed-micah-a-20-year-old-christian-high-school-student-who-contracts-chlamydia-in-easy-a-10″
title=”Cam Gigandet portrayed Micah, a 20-year-old Christian high school student who contracts chlamydia, in ‘Easy A.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/562a521a9dd7cc14008c450c”
source=”Screen Gems/screenshot”
caption=”Cam Gigandet in ‘Easy A'”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#gigandet-was-27-during-filming-because-of-his-real-age-there-is-an-age-joke-incorporated-into-the-film-where-olive-emma-stone-asks-what-a-22-year-old-is-still-doing-in-high-school-current-age-33-11″
title=”Gigandet was 27 during filming. Because of his real age, there is an age joke incorporated into the film where Olive (Emma Stone) asks what a ’22-year-old’ is still doing in high school. Current age: 33″
content=”(SOURCE)”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/562a527b9dd7cc22008c4559″
source=”Ian Gavan/Getty Images”
caption=”:LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 13: Actor Cam Gigandet attends the UK premiere of ‘Burlesque’ at Empire Cinema, Leicester Square on December 13, 2010 in London, England.”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#chad-michael-murray-won-the-hearts-of-teen-girls-everywhere-as-lucas-a-brooding-basketball-player-with-a-penchant-for-writing-in-one-tree-hill-12″
title=”Chad Michael Murray won the hearts of teen girls everywhere as Lucas, a brooding basketball player with a penchant for writing, in ‘One Tree Hill.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/562a560ebd86effb5b8b9220″
source=”Warner Bros./screencap”
caption=”Chad Michael Murray in ‘One Tree Hill.'”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#though-lucas-was-supposed-be-16-in-the-first-season-murray-was-22-when-the-show-premiered-and-26-when-his-character-graduated-from-high-school-in-season-5-the-timeline-jumped-ahead-four-years-current-age-34-13″
title=”Though Lucas was supposed be 16 in the first season, Murray was 22 when the show premiered and 26 when his character graduated from high school. In season 5, the timeline jumped ahead four years. Current age: 34″
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/562a566dbd86ef195c8b9187″
source=”Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Sony Pictures Television”
caption=”NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 30: Actor Chad Michael Murray attends the Crackle NewFronts at Cedar Lake Studios on April 30, 2014 in New York City.”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#ferris-day-off-could-not-be-complete-without-his-best-friend-cameron-played-by-alan-ruck-in-ferris-buellers-day-off-14″
title=”Ferris’ day off could not be complete without his best friend Cameron, played by Alan Ruck, in ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/562a58629dd7cc19008c43c2″
source=”Paramount Pictures/screencap”
caption=”Alan Ruck in ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.'”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#ruck-was-29-when-he-played-cameron-in-comparison-matthew-broderick-ferris-was-23-and-mia-sara-sloane-was-18-current-age-59-15″
title=”Ruck was 29 when he played Cameron. In comparison, Matthew Broderick (Ferris) was 23 and Mia Sara (Sloane) was 18. Current age: 59″
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/562a58b19dd7cc1a008c4278″
source=”Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images”
caption=”NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 17: Alan Ruck attends ‘World War Z’ New York Premiere on June 17, 2013 in New York City.”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#benjamin-mckenzies-ryan-atwood-was-the-bad-boy-with-a-big-heart-whose-arrival-rocked-newport-beach-in-the-oc-16″
title=”Benjamin McKenzie’s Ryan Atwood was the bad boy with a big heart, whose arrival rocked Newport Beach, in ‘The O.C.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/562a5b249dd7cc19008c43de”
source=”Warner Bros./screencap”
caption=”Benjamin McKenzie in ‘The O.C.'”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#mckenzie-was-25-when-he-landed-the-role-and-28-when-ryan-finished-high-school-current-age-37-17″
title=”McKenzie was 25 when he landed the role and 28 when Ryan finished high school. Current age: 37″
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/562a5b629dd7cc01308b8e06″
source=”Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images”
caption=”NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 11: Benjamin McKenzie of ‘Gotham’ attends New York Comic Con 2015 – Day 4 at The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on October 11, 2015 in New York City.”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#stockard-channing-earned-a-peoples-choice-award-for-her-role-as-high-school-student-rizzo-in-the-musical-grease-18″
title=”Stockard Channing earned a People’s Choice Award for her role as high school student, Rizzo, in the musical ‘Grease.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/562a5d929dd7cc1e008c43d3″
source=”Paramount Pictures/screenshot”
caption=”Stockard Channing in ‘Grease.'”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#she-was-33-when-she-was-cast-in-the-role-much-of-the-cast-was-older-than-their-high-school-counterparts-for-example-olivia-newton-john-was-turning-30-when-she-cast-current-age-71-19″
title=”She was 33 when she was cast in the role. (Much of the cast was older than their high school counterparts. For example, Olivia Newton-John was turning 30 when she cast.) Current age: 71″
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/562a5de39dd7cc24008c42fe”
source=”Jenny Anderson/Getty Images for the McKittrick Hotel”
caption=”NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 03: Stockard Channing attends ‘Six Degrees Of Stockard Channing’ at The Lodge at The McKittrick Hotel on March 3, 2015 in New York City.”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#jason-earles-is-best-known-as-mileys-goofy-older-brother-on-disneys-hannah-montana-20″
title=”Jason Earles is best known as Miley’s goofy older brother on Disney’s ‘Hannah Montana.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/562a5f3dbd86ef775d8b937b”
source=”Disney Channel/screenshot”
caption=”Jason Earles in ‘Hannah Montana.'”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#but-though-he-was-portraying-a-16-year-old-high-school-student-earles-was-29-21″
title=”But though he was portraying a 16-year-old high school student, Earles was 29.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/562a5f6fbd86ef195c8b91db”
source=”Mark Davis/Getty Images”
caption=”LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 03: Jason Earles attends the ‘Summer With Cimorelli’ red carpet premiere event at YouTube Space LA on June 3, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#stacey-dash-is-well-known-as-chers-best-friend-in-the-cult-comedy-clueless-22″
title=”Stacey Dash is well-known as Cher’s best friend in the cult comedy ‘Clueless.'”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5387423969bedd822346c950″
source=””Clueless””
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”/#dash-was-28-during-the-filming-of-the-movie-ten-years-older-than-alicia-silverstone-cher-current-age-48-23″
title=”Dash was 28 during the filming of the movie, ten years older than Alicia Silverstone (Cher). Current age: 48″
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/562a60fe9dd7cc25008c4440″
source=”Rob Kim/Getty Images”
caption=”NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 15: Stacey Dash arrives at the ‘American Sniper’ New York Premiere at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on December 15, 2014 in New York City.”
credit_href=””
]
[/slideshow]