ByKristin Lai, writer at
MP Staff Writer, cinephile and resident Slytherclaw // UCLA Alumna // Follow me on Twitter: kristin_lai
Kristin Lai

I think that everyone longs for that "look at me now!" moment. For most of us, our awkward years are now only remembered through Throwback Thursdays, yearbooks, and the slight emotional scarring of adolescence, but for young celebrities, there's publicized documentation of that phase.

Luckily, it's called an awkward phase because it's just that; a phase that, for the most part, we grow out of. All of these celebrities were definitely cute when they were younger, hence why they were actors and not faces for radio, but who could have imagined that they would grow into these total hotties? I have compiled a list of some child stars who outgrew the awkward roles and aged in a stellar fashion. Puberty done right.

1. Neil Patrick Harris

Who knew Doogie Howser would turn into everyone's favorite lovable womanizer, Barney Stinson? No one, that's who. It's no wonder he's so LEGEN-wait for it-DARY!

2. Jerry O'Connell

On the real though, I had no clue that the chubby kid from Stand By Me was actually Jerry O'Connell until an episode of Family Guy brought it up. And now he's married to Rebecca Romijn. Just sit and think about how great that is for a bit.

3. Alexa Vega

If Alexa's physical transformation into a total babe in Machete Kills wasn't enough, she's also got a great voice, as featured in her role as Shilo in the film Repo! The Genetic Opera.

4. Daniel Curtis Lee

Cookie from Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide turned into quite the slice of pie. I feel like that's the wrong desert-themed idiom. Oh well!

5. Alyson Stoner

After always playing the tomboy, Alyson ended up turning into a truly beautiful lady.

Bonus link: She's even more talented as an adult than when she was as an uber multitalented kid!

6. Tahj Mowry

Whatever is going on with the Mowry genetics is absolutely crazy.

7. Tania Raymonde

Malcolm, you should have never let Cynthia Sanders get away. Look at her with her stunning eyes and bone structure!

8. Danica McKellar

This one isn't super surprising. Winnie Cooper was a cutie then and a total bombshell now. The years have certainly been wonderful to her! And get this, guys! She's a brainy babe, too! She's a mathematician who writes scientific papers and everything.

9. Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Ah yes, one of my personal favorites. JGL transitioned smoothly from being an adorable kid in Angels in the Outfield, to a (slightly geeky) hunk in 10 Things I Hate About You really quickly. And, like a fine wine, he's only getting better with age.

10. Nicola Peltz

Nicola just played Tessa Yeager in [Transformers: Age of Extinction](movie:206531), but the biggest transformation here happened for her in the four years between Transformers and Avatar the Last Airbender!

11. Josh Peck

Josh Peck, of the hilarious show Drake and Josh, started out playing the chubby comic relief. But soon enough, we got to see Josh stretch out on screen as he outgrew the awkward and became shockingly handsome. Best part? He's still really funny.

12. Nicholas Hoult

The moment I learned that the kid from About a Boy was the same person that played Hank/Beast in X-Men: First Class and [X-Men: Days Of Future Past](movie:203942) was the moment that my eyes were opened to a whole new world of possibilities.

13. Bonnie Wright

Bonnie is just the first of a few incredible Harry Potter cast transformations. We were lucky enough to watch these actors grow up as their characters did. When they were awkward, we were awkward. It was great.

14. Emma Watson

There must be some serious magic going on at Hogwarts. Not to say that Emma wasn't adorable to begin with, but I don't think any of us could have expected this! Not even Firenze. She went from being the brightest witch of her age to a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador.

15. Matthew Lewis

And here we have the crown jewel of all puberty stories! A shining beacon of hope for awkward pre-teens everywhere. Wowza. I'm not exactly sure how or when this happened, but I think we can all agree that we're glad it did. Thank you, Matt, for just existing! You've done the Wizarding World so very proud.

I wish I could go back in time and show my 14-year-old self these pictures. So if you're in your awkward phase, or you're just not totally comfortable with your looks at the moment, have no fear. Just remember that with enough fame, Hollywood money, and a good attitude anything is possible!


Which celebrity do you think had the best transformation from kid to adult?


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