Before they were sexy, they were gawky. The super-attractive stars you see on television today weren’t exactly telegenic growing up. Some were just downright awkward while you wouldn’t give others a second glance. But boy did they turn out hot, from ugly ducklings to swans courting the limelight and the adoration of fans.
We’ve compiled a list of 15 child stars who grew up to be bangable adults. We’ve compared photos from their teen years to their current adult avatars. We’ll leave it to you to be the judge of how far they’ve come!
1. Shia LaBeouf
When he was in Even Stevens, Shia LaBeouf’s mass of curly hair and his cheeky grin made him sort of an oddball. In 2003’s Holes, we saw a slightly more mature Shia but the hair and goofiness remained. And then Disturbia and Transformers happened in 2007, and all of a sudden we were looking at a bona fide hot piece of meat with the acting skills to back up the good looks. With Fury, Lawless and Nymphomaniac, Shia has transformed into an intense and magnetic young man with the occasional idiosyncrasies that keep him in the news.
2. Abigail Breslin
Abigail is just twenty but her filmography is impressive, boasting such A-list co-stars as Alan Arkin, Cameron Diaz, Ryan Reynolds and Catherine Zeta-Jones. 2006 was a breakout year for the starlet and her heart-melting performance as a chubby, bespectacled girl in Little Miss Sunshine earned her numerous accolades, including a SAG ‘Best Supporting Actress’ nomination. Back then, Abigail was a sweet girl with a slight underbite; today, she is a stunning young actress who will be taking on Jennifer Grey’s role in ABC’s three-hour musical version of Dirty Dancing.
3. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
He is all set to play whistleblower Edward Snowden in the eponymous Oliver Stone movie, and has flirted with danger in Inception and The Dark Knight Rises. His nerdy good looks and suave attitude may have women swooning, but a then teenage Gordon-Levitt was just a puny kid with long hair in the hit sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun.
4. Emma Watson
As Hermione Granger, she was cute but rather scraggly. Twenty-six year old Emma Watson is today a vision of grace and beauty, featured on ‘Best Dressed’ and ‘Sexist Movie Star’ lists. She can rock a suit and deliver powerful speeches as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. Ladies – take notes!
5. Taylor Swift
Tay-Tay is one of the biggest superstars on the planet, and looks every part of it. Famous for her never-ending pins and tasteful dressing, Taylor Swift wasn’t the blond goddess she is now, but a rather chubby and homely looking gal-next-door as a teen.
6. Keke Palmer
She held her own alongside such talent as Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett in Akeelah and the Bee. Now a series regular on Fox Network’s Scream Queens, Keke Palmer is a gorgeous 22-year old and winner of the ‘Sexiest Breakout Star’ gong at Victoria’s Secret’s 2016 What is Sexy? Awards.
7. Kylie Jenner
Kylie Jenner went from a ho-hum teen with sallow skin and bad teeth to a va va voom vixen with an envious pout and body. Not sure what we can attribute the transformation to, but it’s safe to say that the Kardashian went all out to compete on equal footing with Kim and Kendall.
8. Josh Peck
Remember pudgy Josh from the hit Nickelodeon sitcom Drake & Josh? He couldn’t get girls to like him, while his hip brother Drake (Drake Bell) had no trouble finding a date. Now twenty-nine, Josh is slim, hawt and most recently starred in the Fox television series Grandfathered. Josh has lent his voice in the Ice Age movies and 2016’s The Angry Bird Movie.
9. Michelle Trachtenberg
From the annoying sister in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the naughty people-watcher in Harriet the Spy to the manipulative antagonist in Gossip Girl and budding figure skater in Ice Princess, Michelle Trachtenberg’s evolution from freckled girl with bunny teeth to glamorous seductress has been pleasantly surprising to anyone who has followed the talented actress’s career.
10. Dakota Fanning
The pint sized actress started in the business at the tender age of five, bagging roles in major prime time TV shows and big-budget movies, most notably as Jane Volturi in The Twilight Saga. She grew up literally in front of cinema-goers’ eyes, from a scrawny kid with braces to a doe-eyed beauty with a slender frame and a hot British model on her arm!
11. Zac Efron
Girls end Zac Efron’s name with a collective sigh : that body, those eyes, and an estimated net worth of $18 million at twenty-seven years of age. But before Efron was a hunk with the right amount of stubble, he was a dorky kid with a Justin Bieber haircut and prominent tooth gaps. Check out his ‘then’ and ‘now’ photos to see what we’re talking about.
12. Matthew Lewis
Who knew that the long-toothed kid who played Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter movies would grow up to be such a ruggedly attractive man with a sexy accent? Actor Matthew Lewis is the poster boy of awkward to smokin’ hot. If you can’t take your eyes off that chiseled body, we don’t blame ya!
13. Adrian Grenier
Adrian Grenier is best known for his role as the suave actor on Entourage, with his character being based on a real-life multi-talented hunk : Mark Wahlberg. Adrien’s gorgeous green eyes, curly hair and luscious lips have made him a permanent fixture on People magazine’s Sexist Man Alive list.
14. Anna Chlumsky
She won hearts as a spirited young girl in 1991’s My Girl opposite Macaulay Culkin. After a brief stint with stardom, Anna pretty much faded into oblivion, doing what normal kids do – finishing college and getting a job. But the acting bug bit her once again, and Anna’s currently starring as a supporting character on the Emmy-award winning series Veep. From sweet kid to bombshell blonde, Anna – soon to be a mum a second time – is a good role model for every awkward teen who doesn’t feel beautiful.
15. Justin Timberlake
JT with suit and tie plus light stubble, or JT as a curly blonde in boy band attire? We would take the former over the latter any day. The talented singer with the smooth moves has brought sexy back alright, and like a fine wine, is getting better with age.
There’s no business like show business. While learning the ropes at a young age does give you an advantage, you also feel the pressure to stay slim,youthful and attractive as you advance in age. The child stars on our list have accomplished this feat very well.
Image Credit : Flickr