Casting grown adults to play teenagers is a practice that goes back decades. It’s because of child labor laws: actual teens have strict restrictions on how many hours they can work. With grown-ups there’s no such problem. As a result, some of the most well-known teenage characters of film and TV look suspiciously older than they should. However, the actual ages of the actors playing them may still surprise you.
20. Trevor Donovan – 90210
When Trevor Donovan joined the cast of the rebooted 90210 TV series in September 2009, he quickly became a popular character. He played tennis ace Teddy Montgomery, whose coming-out storyline struck a chord with viewers. And of course, he was also incredibly handsome. So good-looking, in fact, that one could overlook his being 31 years old while playing a high school junior.
19. Diana Ross – The Wiz
In The Wiz, an adaption of The Wizard of Oz, Diana Ross was cast as the young protagonist Dorothy. This caused utter chaos. The original director of the film dropped out when she was cast, thinking Ross was too old at 33, and was replaced by Sidney Lumet. And critics panned the movie, focusing on Ross’ age when they did. But still, The Wiz later attracted a cult following, so maybe it wasn’t that bad a decision.