25 Most Shocking Child Star TransformationsPublished on February 12, 2016. Updated January 22, 2018
Child stars change considerably as they get older — it’s part of the process of growing up! However, some definitely change more than others. We have a list of the 25 most shocking child star transformations:
25. Matthew Lewis
One of the most buzzed about child star transformations of recent years definitely goes to Matthew Lewis. Lewis was only 11 years old when he was cast as Neville Longbottom in the first Harry Potter movie, taking on the role of the naive, slightly overweight and big-toothed character, and that is how fans came to know and love Lewis. Throughout the course of the eight films, however, Lewis began to grow up and his looks completely changed. Following the final film, Lewis underwent a further transformation as he hit the gym and started modelling, stunning everyone with his total change!
24. Ariel Winter
Ariel Winter has changed considerably since she first began starring on Modern Family. Winter was only 11 when she first took on the role of Alex Dunphy and in the years since she has gone from child star to awkward teenager to beautiful woman right in front of fans’ eyes and they still can’t believe the incredible change in the actress.
23. Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato began her acting career at only 10 years old in Barney & Friends as an adorable and sweet child. She slowly transformed into a Disney star where she gained millions of young fans with roles in As the Bell Rings, Camp Rock and Sonny with a Chance. As she grew older, she began to change her look and style and then, unfortunately, fell into depression, suffered from an eating disorder, self-harmed and entered rehab at 18. Now, she has taken on a much edgier and sexier look and sound with tattoos and her newest album Confidence.
22. Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore was the epitome of sweetness and innocence when she landed the role of Gertie in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Unfortunately, she went through a rebellious period where she struggled with substance abuse. It took rehab and a break from Hollywood for her to finally make her comeback with roles in films like Boys on the Side, The Wedding Singer, Ever After and Never Been Kissed. Now that Drew is all grown up, she looks great – sweet but sophisticated.
21. Mischa Barton
Long before Mischa Barton shot to A-list thanks to her role in the hit teen drama The O.C., she was a budding film star. She had roles in Lawn Dogs, The Sixth Sense and Notting Hill, and she was absolutely adorable. When she was on The O.C., she looked a lot more grown up she has continued to evolve since she departed from the show. These days, she’s changed her hair, her style, and her makeup, but she still looks good!
20. Lark Voohries
Lark Voohries is best known for her role as Lisa Turtle from Saved by the Bell. While she has continued to act over the years, she hasn’t been in anything for several years. She looks a lot different from her sitcom days. She’s debuted a sleek new hairstyle and a mature new style.
19. Kristen Stewart
Kristen Stewart is known for having a great deal of attitude and style on the red carpet but, when she was just rising star starring opposite Jodi Foster in Panic Room, she looked like a totally different person. With her short hair and total lack of style or pretension, she was adorable. Now she’s got style, attitude and a César Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Clouds of Sils Maria. Looking back on her days in the Twilight franchise, it’s hard to believe she now has the French equivalent of an Academy Award.
18. Soleil Moon Frye
Soleil Moon Frye looks nothing like the orphan child that she played on the Punky Brewster show. These days, she looks like a total rocket. The former child star also doesn’t do much acting anymore. She was a host on the show Home Made Simple and has four children with her husband, film and TV producer Jason Goldberg.
17. Abigail Breslin
We remember Abigail Breslin as this cute little dorky girl in Little Miss Sunshine, but these days, she’s more like a bona fide hottie. She’s all up in the makeup and she has a more marture wardrobe to boot. She’s also taken on more grown-up roles. She recently had a starring ole in the horror-comedy anthology series Scream Queens.
16. Jonathan Lipnicki
Jonathan Lipnicki was the adorable little kid with glasses who stole the show in Jerry Maguire, but these days, it’s hard to recognize him. He practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and kickboxing and, man, he’s got a ton of muscle! He still works in the entertainment business, but not in anything big. In 2017, he appeared in the independent film The Lake.
15. Candace Cameron Bure
This former child shot to fame as a D.J. Tanner in Full House. These days, she can be seen in Full House’s sequel, Fuller House, and we think it’s safe to say that she doesn’t look anything like she did during the ‘80s and ‘90s. She’s said goodbye to the big hair and the baggy clothes and she’s never looked better.
14. Mackenzie Rosman
Mackenzie Rosman won everyone’s hearts with her role as Ruthie Camden on 7th Heaven. It was hard not to love her sweet little curls and little doe eyes. Now, she’s all grown up! She straightens her hair now and knows how to rock a strapless dress with heels.
13. Kylie Jenner
We watched Kylie Jenner grow up on her family’s reality TV show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians. When she was young, she looked just like her sister Kendall, but now she looks a lot more like her older half-sister Kim Kardashian.
12. Jodie Sweetin
Jodie Sweetin was pretty darn cute when she first launched her career on Full House. She had this curly blonde hair, blue eyes and she seemed so precocious. Unfortunately, growing out of child stardom wasn’t easy for Jodie. She had difficulty finding work after Full House ended, but now she’s back on top thanks to the show’s spin-off series Fuller House. While she doesn’t look like her child star self anymore, she’s turned into a pretty beautiful-looking adult star.
11. Ryan Gosling
Ryan Gosling is considered such a stud thanks to his role in The Notebook, but for those of us who remember him from his days on the Canadian teen comedy Breaker High, he was once kind of dorky. Who knew that the actor would go from Canadian television programs like Breaker High and Who’s Afraid of the Dark? to the top of the A-list? We sure didn’t!
10. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were pretty cute when they played Michelle Tanner on Full House and they grew into pretty young women. These two have definitely changed a lot over the years. Now they don’t even taking on acting roles because they have a huge business empire to run!
9. Alexa Vega
Alex Vega shot to fame thanks to the Spy Kid franchise. While she continues to act, it is in projects with more mature themes. It might be hard for her old fans to recognize her cause she’s totally changed up her wardrobe, but she’s still got the same angelic-looking face.
8. Emma Watson
Emma Watson was just your average pre-teen when she first landed the role of Hermione in the Harry Potter series. Now she’s a stunning fashionista with a degree from an Ivy League school and she’s also an outspoken feminist.
7. Haley Joel Osment
Haley Joel Osment shot to fame after The Sixth Sense and while he disappeared for a bit so that he could go to school he’s now back in the spotlight, looking like an adult. It feels like he’s grown up so fast! It seems like just yesterday that he was seeing dead people.
6. Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan was always a natural beauty. She won our hearts with her roles in The Parent Trap and Mean Girls and she’s literally grown up before our very eyes. Although she’s disappeared from the spotlight for several years now, she’ll probably be making a comeback very soon.
5. Macaulay Culkin
Macaulay Culkin was one of the most beloved child stars of the ‘90s and since he disappeared from the spotlight after his parent’s breakup, he hasn’t really looked back. These days, he doesn’t look anything like his child star self. He’s grown out his hair and lives a much more bohemian life.
4. Amanda Bynes
Amanda Bynes had a rough couple of years following her successful career on Nickelodeon, which had everyone worried, but she’s back on track and looking to make a comeback. She’s always been such a beauty – with her natural brown hair or when it’s bleached blonde.
3. Angus T. Jones
Angus T. Jones rose to fame in 2003 when he starred in Two and a Half Men alongside Charlie Sheen. He’s changed his hair since he left the show and grew a beard. Now he looks much more manly! He’s clearly not a kid anymore.
2. Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus was the wholesome girl next door during her Hannah Montana years after which she went through a rebellious phase. She used to go out of her way to shock people, but not anymore. She’s definitely settled down a lot and has matured considerably in the last couple of years.
1. Taylor Momsen
Taylor Momsen was absolutely adorable when she starred in How the Grinch Stole Christmas with her blonde hair and blue eyes. She’s grown up a lot since she left acting behind and has now established herself as a force to be reckoned with in the rock music industry.