27 Teen Movies That Cast Actual Teenagers

There are so many movies I couldn’t even include because there was not one (1) single teen.

Now, we already know Hollywood notoriously casts adults to play teenagers. This makes sense with labor restrictions for those under 18, but honestly, sometimes the casting is just ridiculous.

To celebrate times teenagers were actually cast in teen roles, here are 27 times teen movies actually cast teens!

When Mean Girls was released, Lindsay Lohan was 17 and Amanda Seyfried was 18. Rachel McAdams was 25, and the rest of the teenagers were in their early 20s.


Paramount / ©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

Lohan was also 17 when Freaky Friday came out.

Amanda Bynes was 19 when She’s the Man was released — for about a month.


DreamWorks / courtesy Everett Collection

Kirsten Dunst was 18 when Bring It On was released, and Eliza Dushku was 19.


Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

Gabrielle Union was a full ten years older than Kirsten.

Hilary Duff was 16 when A Cinderella Story came out.


Warner Brothers / courtesy Everett Collection

This one may not be a surprise, as Hilary was already a Disney Channel star as a preteen. In contrast, Chad Michael Murray was 22.

Selena Gomez was also 16 when Another Cinderella Story came out.


Warner Premiere / courtesy Everett Collection

Drew Seeley, who played her love interest, was 26.

Alicia Silverstone was 18 when Clueless came out, and Brittany Murphy was 17.


Paramount / courtesy Everett Collection

Stacey Dash and Paul Rudd were almost 10 years their senior.

Austin Abrams was 18 and Justice Smith was 19 when Paper Towns came out.


Michael Tackett / 20th Century Fox / courtesy Everett Collection

But Q’s besties were the only ones in the film to play close to their actual age.

Logan Lerman was 18 when he played Percy Jackson in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.


Fox 2000 Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

The rest of the cast were in their 20s and above.

Keir Gilchrist was newly 18 when It’s Kind of a Funny Story came out, and Emma Roberts and Thomas Mann were 19.


K.C. Bailey/Focus Features/Courtesy Everett Collection

If you don’t remember, Thomas played Craig’s best friend Aaron.

Jennifer Love Hewitt was 18 when Can’t Hardly Wait came out, and Ethan Embry and Charlie Korsmo were 19.


Columbia Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

Kat Graham was 19 in 17 Again.


Warner Bros. Pictures

Turns out no one was 17 in 17 Again.

Michael Cera was 19 in Juno.


Fox Searchlight / courtesy Everett Collection

Anthony Michael Hall and Molly Ringwald were both 16 in Sixteen Candles.


Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

Michael Schoeffling, who played Jake, was 23, and Haviland Morris was 24.

They were also both 16 in The Breakfast Club!


Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Judd Nelson was almost a decade older. Emilio Estevez and Ally Sheedy were both 22.

Winona Ryder was 17 in Heathers, while Christian Slater was 19. Shannen Doherty was also 17!


New World Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Lisanne Falk was 24 and Kim Walker was 20.

Bella Thorne was 17 in The DUFF.


Guy D. Alema/Lionsgate/Courtesy Everett Collection

Mae Whitman and Robbie Amell were both 26.

Morgan Turner was 18 in Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle.


Sony Pictures Releasing

Everybody else was 20 or older — Ser’Darius Blain was actually a full 12 years older than Morgan.

Hayden Panettiere was 19 for about a month after I Love You, Beth Cooper came out.


Joseph Lederer/Fox Atomic/Courtesy Everett Collection

Haylie Duff and Tina Majorino were 18 when Napoleon Dynamite premiered at Sundance.


Fox Searchlight, Fox Searchlight /Courtesy Everett Collection

Most of the rest of the cast was much older. Jon Heder, who played Napoleon, was 26.

Most of the teenagers in 10 Things I Hate About You were played by actual teens!


Touchstone Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Julia Stiles was newly 18 when it was released. Heath Ledger was 19 for a few days. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was 18, and Larisa Oleynik was 17.

In Twilight, Kristen Stewart was 18, and Taylor Lautner was only 16.

Josh Hutcherson was 19 in The Hunger Games.


Murray Close/Lionsgate/Courtesy Everett Collection

Amandla Stenberg was 13 (she was supposed to be around 12), and some of the other tributes were also teenagers (Alexander Ludwig was 19 and Isabelle Fuhrman was 15), but out of the main characters, Josh was the only teenager.

Cynthia Davis was about the age of her character Brenda, 17, in Cooley High, as was Corin Rogers, who played Pooter.


American International Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection, American International Pictures

Corin Rogers was also around 17.

Jacob Latimore was 18 when The Maze Runner came out. Blake Cooper, who played Chuck, was 12 — but he was supposed to be really young.


Ben Rothstein/20th Century Fox Netherlands/Courtesy Everett Collection, 20th Century Fox

The Glade was supposed to be entirely made up of teenagers, but looks like there were only 2.

Ryan Gosling was the only one of the football players under 20 in Remember the Titans.


Walt Disney Co./courtesy Everett / Everett Collection

He was 19. Kate Bosworth, who played Emma, was 17.

Redge Green and Dedrick D. Gobert were both about 19 when they played Little Chris and Dooky in Boyz in the Hood, respectively.


Columbia Pictures

However, most of the main characters were older!

And finally, basically all the high schoolers in The Princess Diaries were 17 or 18!


Walt Disney/Courtesy Everett Collection

Anne Hathaway, Heather Matarazzo, Robert Schwartzman, and Erik von Detten were all 18. Meanwhile, Mandy Moore was 17. Disney tends to be pretty good about casting teenagers!

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