16 Actors Who Had To Age Down For Their Roles, And 15 Who Pretended To Be Much Older Than They Really Are

1.In Never Have I Ever, Darren Barnet plays 17-year-old Paxton Hall-Yoshida, but in real life Darren is 30 years old.

Shirtless Paxton Hall-Yoshida with an arrow pointing to him that says "actually 30"
Netflix

2.In Alexander, Angelina Jolie played Colin Farrell's mother, even though she was only a year older than him in real life.

Angelina Jolie and Colin Farrell in Alexander with caption "29 year old mom" and "28 year old son"
Warner Bros. / Everett Collection

3.In Little Women, Florence Pugh played 13-year-old Amy March even though Florence was 23 in real life.

Florence Pugh in Little Women with caption "23 year old playing 13"
Sony Pictures Releasing

4.In Apocalypse Now, Laurence Fishburne played a soldier fighting in the Vietnam War, even though he was only 14 years old at the time.

Laurence Fishburne at 14 and definitely not old enough to join the army

Later on, he admitted that he lied about his age to get the part.

United Artists / Everett Collection

5.In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Andrew Garfield was 31 years old, while his character Peter Parker was just graduating high school at 18.

Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker graduating high school but he's actually 31
Sony Pictures

6.In Lost in Translation, Scarlett Johansson played Charlotte, a college graduate, while Scarlett was only 18 in real life.

Bill Murray, 53, and Scarlett Johansson, 18
Focus Features / Everett Collection

7.In Riverdale, Ashleigh Murray played 16-year-old Josie McCoy but was in her 30s IRL.

  The CW
The CW

8.In Se7en, Gwyneth Paltrow played Brad Pitt's wife and high school sweetheart, even though she was only 22 and Brad was 32 at the time.

Gwyneth at 22 and Brad at 32 in Se7en.
New Line Cinema / Everett Collection

9.In Derry Girls, Nicola Coughlan began playing 16-year-old Clare Devlin when she was 31 in real life.

Nicola Coughlan was actually 31
Netflix

10.In Joy, Jennifer Lawrence played Joy Mangano at age 34 and up, even though Jennifer was only 25 at the time.

Jennifer Lawrence at 25 playing 35
20th Century Fox

11.In Hannah Montana, Jason Earles began playing 16-year-old Jackson Stewart when he was 29 years old.

Miley Cyrus at 14 and Jason Earles at 29
Disney Channel

12.In The Hobbit series, Orlando Bloom was actually two years older than Lee Pace, the actor who played his father.

Lee Pace, the father, about to turn 43 and Orlando Bloom, the son, now 45
Warner Bros.

13.In Pretty Little Liars, Bianca Lawson played 16-year-old Maya St. Germain, despite being 31 years old in real life.

Bianca Lawson, def not 16 years old
Freeform

14.In Orange Is the New Black, Elizabeth Rodriguez played Dascha Polanco's mother, despite only being two years older than her in real life.

Dascha and Elizabeth are basically the same age
Netflix

15.In Outer Banks, Chase Stokes began playing 16-year-old John B. when he was 27 years old.

Chase Stokes at 27 and Madelyn Cline at 22, both playing high schoolers
Netflix

16.In Titanic, Gloria Stuart played 100-year-old Rose even though she was only 87 years old.

Gloria Stuart playing a character 13 years older than her
Paramount

17.In Grownish, Francia Raisa plays 22-year-old Ana Torres, but Francia is actually 33 in real life.

Francia Raisa is playing early 20s characters in her early 30s
Freeform

18.In Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Cher played Meryl Streep's mother, even though at the time, Cher was 72 and Meryl was 69.

Cher was 72 and Meryl, who played her daughter, was 69
Universal Pictures / Everett Collection

19.In the Harry Potter movies, Shirley Henderson played Moaning Myrtle but was actually 35 when she originated the role.

14-year-old ghost, 35-year-old actor
Warner Bros.

20.In Monster, Charlize Theron played Aileen Wuornos from the ages of 33–36, despite only being 28 herself.

Charlize was 28, playing almost a decade older
Newmarket Releasing / Everett Collection

21.In Happy Days, Henry Winkler played 19-year-old Fonzie but was actually 29 in real life — he was about 39 years old by the series finale.

Henry Winkler was much closer to 30 years old than 20 years old
ABC / Everett Collection

22.In Man of Steel, Diane Lane was only 47 when she played Martha Kent, who's always been portrayed as a much older, elderly woman in the comics.

Diane Lane wearing an "old" looking gray wig
Warner Bros.

23.In Gilmore Girls, Keiko Agena played Rory's best friend Lane and fellow high schooler, despite being 27 when the show aired.

Keiko Agena is definitely not a teenager
The WB

24.In The Manchurian Candidate, Angela Lansbury played the onscreen mom of Laurence Harvey, who was only three years younger than her.

Angela Lansbury at 37 and Laurence Harvey at 34
United Artists

25.In Sense and Sensibility, Emma Thompson played 19-year-old Elinor Dashwood but was 35 in real life.

Emma Thompson 16 years older than her character IRL
Sony Pictures Releasing / Everett Collection

26.In Mean Girls, Amy Poehler played Rachel McAdams' mother, even though she was only seven years older than Rachel in real life.

Rachel McAdams at 26 and Amy Poehler at 33
Paramount

27.In Smallville, Tom Welling was actually 24 years old when he played a literal 14-year-old on the show.

Tom Welling at 24, definitely not 14
The WB

28.In Golden Girls, Estelle Getty played Bea Arthur's mom, even though Bea was actually a year older than Estelle in real life.

Estelle at 62 and Bea at 63
NBC

29.In 8 Simple Rules, Amy Davidson played Kaley Cuoco's younger sister, but in real life, she was actually six years older than her.

Amy at 23 playing a 15-year-old and Kaley at 17 playing a 17 year old
ABC

30.In Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Lionel Jeffries played Dick Van Dyke's father, even though Dick was actually six months older than Lionel.

Lionel Jeffries and Dick Van Dyke with caption "actually older than his onscreen father"
United Artists

31.And finally, in Grease, despite all playing high schoolers, none of the cast was even remotely close to their characters' ages.

John Travolta 24, Olivia Newton John 29, Stockard Channing 34, Jeff Conaway 27, Barry Pearl 28, Kelly Ward 21, Didi Conn 26, and Jamie Donnelly 31
Paramount