Monday, April 9, 2012

Child Actors: Then & Now

First Movie: Age 9. Playing the precocious ballet-loving Peyton Kelly opposite Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in Disney's "The Game Plan." Now 14, Pettis rocked the red (actually, make that orange) carpet at the 2012 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. Pettis has become a formidable vocal actress, lending her talents to "Jake and the Never Land Pirates" and "Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2."

First Movie: Age 9 Scarlett's first movie was the notorious bomb, "North" in 1994, but she was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award just two years later for "Manny & Lo." She followed that with an impressive performance opposite Robert Redford in 1998's "The Horse Whisperer." She showed she was ready for grown-up roles in 2003's "Lost in Translation," and has racked up a string of hits like "He's Just Not That Into You" and this summer's "Iron Man 2."

First Movie: Age 12 Playing the lead role in a film directed by Steven Spielberg would be the pinnacle for most acting careers, but 1987's "Empire of the Sun" was the start of Christian's. After racking up great reviews in smaller movies, he became an A-list star playing Batman. Last summer, he fought giant robots and a digital Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Terminator: Salvation."

First Movie: Age 5 Drew made an indelible impression in the early 1980s, but personal troubles derailed her career until the mid-'90s. She worked her way back into leading roles, but it was her stunning turn in the opening scene of "Scream" that really made people take a second look at her. She's been a leading lady ever since, with her latest starring role in "Going the Distance" in theaters now.

First Movie: Age 16 Leo's youthful looks made him appear younger than he actually was in his early roles. But he was still only 19 when he scored his first Oscar nomination for "What's Eating Gilbert Grape." He now works with only the most talented filmmakers, including four films with Martin Scorsese. This summer, he had his biggest box-office hit since "Titanic" with Christopher Nolan's "Inception."

First Movie: Age 10 Kristen got great reviews playing the daughter of Jodie Foster (herself a former child star) in 2002's "Panic Room." Of course, it was her lead role in "Twilight" that made her a household name. So far, each installment of the saga has been more popular than the last, with "Eclipse" earning nearly $300 million in the U.S.

First Movie: Age 12 Natalie showed remarkable maturity as an orphan taken in by a hitman in 1994's "The Professional." She's since balanced roles in giant movies like the "Star Wars" prequels with academic pursuits, earning a degree in psychology from Harvard in 2003. Currently, she's drawing rave reviews for playing a ballerina in the dark drama "Black Swan."

First Movie: Age 6 Angelina made a brief appearance in 1982's "Lookin' to Get Out" playing the daughter of her real-life father, Jon Voight. She studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Institute at age 11, but spent most of her teenage years modeling. She was 24 when she won an Oscar for "Girl, Interrupted," and she's continues to balance dramatic roles and action blockbusters like this summer's "Salt." Sponsored Link:

First Movie: Age 10 Christina's first role was as Cher's daughter in 1990's "Mermaids," but her dark, dry sense of humor was best displayed in "The Addams Family" and its sequel. By the end of the '90s, she'd transitioned to adult roles like in Tim Burton's "Sleepy Hollow." She still has a taste for the macabre, like her latest role in the creepy psychological thriller, "After.Life."

First Movie: Age 11 Before all the tabloid stories, Lindsay was simply a talented young actress. By the time she did the dual lead roles in 1998's "The Parent Trap," she was already a veteran of TV and commercials. She had giant hits as a teen with "Freaky Friday" and "Mean Girls." Her personal life has overshadowed her professional pursuits lately, but she can be seen in theaters right now in "Machete."

First Movie: Age 8 After small roles for notable directors Woody Allen and Brian De Palma, Kristen stole the show from Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in 1994's "Interview With a Vampire." She gained international fame as Mary Jane Watson in the three "Spider-Man" movies which took in over $1 billion domestically. She was last on-screen in 2008's "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People," and she recently directed her first short film.

First Movie: Age 8 After appearing with Burt Lancaster in "Rocket Gibraltar" and John Candy in "Uncle Buck," Mac (as he prefers to be called) became a worldwide sensation in the smash "Home Alone." But he disappeared from screens after 1994's "Richie Rich," and didn't return to movies until his acclaimed turn in 2003's "Party Monster." His last movie was 2007's "Sex and Breakfast," but last year he did have a recurring role on the TV drama "Kings."

First Movie: Age 9 Anna didn't intend to audition for "The Piano"; she only went to accompany her older sister. But she won the role, and later an Oscar, becoming the second-youngest winner in history (after Tatum O'Neal). She continued to work through the '90s, and scored huge hits as the mutant Rogue in the "X-Men" trilogy. Currently, she's starring on TV in "True Blood" and this week hits movie theaters in "The Romantics."

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