Top 10 Actors and Actresses Who Have Played Roles of Characters Who Were Younger Than They Were at the TimeHollywood is weird. More often than not, characters in films are or were played by actors and actresses who are or were way older than the character or characters they played. Please do your research before submitting someone. Thanks.
The Top Ten
I don't know if it's common knowledge that Michael J was way older than both of his trademark roles (Alex P Keaton and Marty McFly) or not, but it's true. Michael J Fox was 24 in the first Back to the Future (and 29 in Back to the Future III) but still played a convincing high school student.
Before Spider-Man 3, Tobey Maguire was known for his "boy charm," and in the original Spider-Man trilogy and he was 27 in the first installment and played a convincing dorky 19-year-old. Honestly, Tobey is one of those actors who doesn't seem to age much at all. Or at least when he's clean-shaven, he doesn't seem to age much. The beard makes him look older.
Andrew Garfield, another Spider-Man, was older in his first film than Tobey was in his, by two years. The Amazing Spider-Man movies were flops that caused there to be three live-action Spider-Men within nine years, but much like Tobey Maguire, in the first Amazing Spider-Man movie, was a convincing high school senior. (Dunno about TASM 2. Still haven't seen that one.)
In Game of Thrones, Emilia Clarke played an 18-year-old and was 31 in real life
Although I doubt she's as well known for playing younger roles as Michael J or Tobey, back in 2015, when she was in San Andreas, Daddario was 29 and easily could pass for being a decade younger, or at the very least 23.
Perhaps number 9 is too low considering how extreme an example this is (I'm a lot younger than he was and there is no way anyone would think I was 16). Also it strikes me that that there are a lot of cases like this but seemingly very few the other way I can't think of anyone who has played a significantly older character.
Back when Miley Cyrus was a normal, ditzy country singer, Jason Earles played Miley's older brother in Hannah Montana. He started out as a 29-year-old playing a 16-year-old, and by the time the show ended, he was in his mid-thirties.
Jim Parsons is a decade older than Sheldon unless Sheldon ages, which usually is the case but, I can think of instances when characters don't age, but if he does, Jim is seven years older than Sheldon.
Anyone remember "Mean Girls"? Rachel McAdams played a junior in high school when she was 26.
In Riverdale, Sprouse was portraying a 16-year-old and was 25.
He was the same deal as Michael J Fox. He was twenty-something in most of the Karate Kid movies. (Unless you include the reboot or "the New Karate Kid" which are actually two different things.)
In Tron: Legacy, Jeff Bridges had two roles- Kevin Flynn and Clu. Clu is a character who is supposed to be 33 in the role. In real life, Jeff Bridges was 61, at the time.
I read that she was younger than one of her roles. Forgot which one it was, but know it's true.
He was 39 years old in It's a Wonderful Life but played a character who was at one point described as 28. There is even an earlier scene in which he was just starting college but it does not say how old he was (the film portrays him throughout his life).
Her character is described as a teenager in "To Catch a Thief" she was in fact 30 years old though.