It is rather interesting to see how far these actors have come in the film world. They have shown incredible talent in becoming fictional or nonfictional characters and give memorable performances. What is rather unsettling but fascinating are the roles the actors take on that are incredibly mature for their age. It can range from being a character who is older and in adult situations or being the right age but in a film that is targeted towards an older audience.
It is very bold of Hollywood to have these actors be in the roles they were cast in despite age or the film's plot. Times certainly have changed since then. Here are twenty actors who were way too young to be cast in these movies.
20 Brooke Shields - Pretty Baby
Brooke Shields was only eleven when she was in Pretty Baby. The plot surrounding her character is even controversial, living in a brothel and having her innocence auctioned. Nowadays, this would certainly not be accepted due to Brooke's age at the time.
19 Jacob Reynolds - Gummo
Gummo was an interesting but pretty troubling film. Jacob Reynolds was only thirteen during this film's making and the themes and situations are just as dark. To put it lightly, he was not kind to cats and paid to have his way with a girl with Down's syndrome.
18 Thora Birch - American Beauty
Having to get permission from her parents to be in a mature film like American Beauty is quite the accomplishment for Thora Birch. She was just sixteen at the time and there was a scene involving her undressing with the knowledge that someone was watching her.
17 Drew Barrymore - Poison Ivy
The lovely Drew Barrymore even dived into roles that were considered too mature for her. She appeared in Poison Ivy, and was seventeen during the film. Her character is known to be seductive to her friend's father and plans to get rid of her mother. Now that is just messed up.
16 Evan Rachel Wood - Thirteen
The film Thirteen has intense mature themes, and what is ironic is the actress Evan Rachel Wood's age. She was only fourteen and it does help make the film look more realistic, even if Rachel's character is very young. Her co-star also was the same age, too.
15 Nikki Reed - Thirteen
Before becoming part of the Twilight franchise cast, Nikki Reed starred and co-wrote the movie Thirteen with Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke. Even if Nikki was young in the film's making, the fact that the movie was loosely based on her life just shows the risks she went for to make this film.
14 Julia Stiles - Wicked
Famous for 10 Things I Hate About You and Save The Last Dance, Julia Stiles has a diverse resume, including the film Wicked. The plot is incredibly torubling, as Julia's character wants to replace her mother and be the one her father loves, literally. Like we said, incredibly troubling.
13 Kirsten Dunst - Interview With A Vampire
Having a star-studded cast including Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise might seem golden, but you also realize that Kirsten Dunst was only ten by the time this film was made. Since she is a young vampire, Kirsten's character does not age physically, but it does not help with the adult experiences she went through.
12 Dafne Keen - Logan
For being in a film like Logan, Dafine Keen has shown to be a fantastic actress. She was only twelve and the film has displayed tons of violence that would be too much at times. It is surprising to know that Dafine's character was actually in her twenties in the comics.
11 Elle Fanning - The Beguiled
Being the sister of Dakota Fanning, Elle has her fair share of roles in movies. She was actually the perfect age for her character in The Beguiled, at only nineteen. However, there is a scene that would have been more suitable for an older woman since co-star Colin Farrell was forty-one at the time.
10 Jodie Foster - Taxi Driver
While she may not look it, Jodie Foster starred in the film Taxi Driver, which has her play a controversial role. Being only twelve at the time, Jodie's character is a street worker. Thankfully, she took precautions while filming and had her older sister be a stand-in for more mature scenes.
9 Dominique Swain - Lolita
As if there couldn't be any more child actresses taking on roles where young girls are in mature situations, there is Dominique Swain in Lolita. Just like Sue Lyon, both played a young girl who is in a relationship with an older man. That should explain why the film was pretty controversial.
8 Alicia Silverstone - The Crush
Known for the 90s classic Clueless, Alicia Silverstone's first film is actually The Crush. While she was seventeen, Alicia's character had to remove lots of clothing in the movie. She also has an obsessive crush on an older man, so the situation could not get more creepy.
7 Tatum O'Neal - Paper Moon
As it needs to be rephrased, "times certainly have changed." Tatum O'Neal stars in Paper Moon alongside her father and at the time, Tatum played quite the mature role. For her to engage in adult activities like smoking was incredibly bold and risky.
6 Macaulay Culkin - The Good Son
The infamous Macaulay Culkin might have been the 90's poster child for when it comes to kid actors, but you would be very surprised to know of his role in The Good Son. Watching this movie will give you a different side of Culkin that you'd never thought he could pull off in acting.
5 All Of The Cast - Kids
This film took the risk and gained controversy with the use of "adult fun." Kids originally had an NC-17 rating, but then became unrated. This film is one that is talked about in how shockingly realistic it is. The ages of the actors during this film's release are still unsettling to think about.
4 Dakota Fanning - The Runaways
Dakota Fanning has done so many recognizable movies that were mostly family-friendly, but being the one and only Cherie Currie was quite risqué while being only sixteen. The Runaways showcases the dark side of being a rockstar and it was a bold role of Dakota's.
3 Linda Blair - The Exorcist
Being thirteen and starring in the supposedly scariest film at the time was truly something that only Linda Blair could pull off. After all, she won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal. Linda arguably has one of the most mature roles any actor can have.
2 Claire Danes - Romeo & Juliet
Playing half of the star-crossed lovers, Claire Danes was only seventeen at the time Romeo + Juliet was released in theaters. While that is not really young (especially compared to some of the other entries), her character does go through a passionate night and we all know how the Shakespearean story ends.
1 Natalie Portman - Léon: The Professional
Natalie Portman is an extremely talented actress, and believe it or not, the 1994 film Léon: The Professional is her film debut! That's right, the movie has her portray a twelve-year-old who goes through tons of adult situations. Natalie was also thirteen by the time the film released!