We always think of child stars as being so lucky to have made it big before they’re even adults. We look at their lives and think, “Wow, they have it all.”
It’s not hard to become jealous of a celebrity child who seems to have accomplished so much before they even reached their teens. Meanwhile, we’re 10, 20, and 30 years older and struggle to make ends meet.
However, some of these kids were forced to grow up way too fast because of that spotlight. Sure, they may seem like they have more than the average person, but they also seem to have zipped through their childhoods. These child celebs seem to have grown into young adults while we weren’t even looking.
1. Dakota Fanning
Dakota Fanning is one of the most well-known child stars out there. Fanning got her big break as Lucy Diamond Dawson in I Am Sam. The child star was immediately thrown into the Hollywood spotlight working with huge names like Sean Penn and Michelle Pfeiffer.
Now, Dakota Fanning is 23 years old. Not only is she still starring in major films, but she’s also winning covers of major fashion magazines.
2. Thomas Brodie-Sangster
Anyone remember Thomas Brodie-Sangster? He played an adorable little boy who lost his dear mother in the romantic Christmas film, Love Actually. He also had a pretty big role as Jojen Reed in seasons three and four of Game of Thrones.
Since then, he seems to have grown up a bit while the world wasn’t looking. You might have noticed him in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and as the lead in the Maze Runner movies.
3. Alexa Vega
Alexa Vega made a name for herself as the sister in the 2001 movie Spy Kids. While it was only a couple of years before she was named one of the most attractive teen celebrities, Alexa Vega looked her age in the film.
A few years later, the child actress seemed to have matured overnight. Alexa Vega is now 29 years old, has one kid, and has been married twice! Where has the time gone?
4. Bella Thorne
Bella Thorne made her first big screen appearance in 2003 in the film Stuck On You when she was only six years old. After that, her roles just kept getting bigger and bigger.
Now, about 15 years later, Bella Thorne has grown into a beautiful young woman. She’s also still acting and has appeared in movies like The DUFF and The Babysitter.
5. Freddie Highmore
Freddie Highmore is the cute little kid from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, August Rush, and Finding Neverland. He was one of the biggest child actors in the 2000s. However, there’s no doubt that working with big names like Robin Williams and Johnny Depp will cause a child to mature more quickly than others.
Freddie Highmore is now 25 years old and no longer resembles the adorable little boy we all used to know him as. Nonetheless, 25 years looks good on the actor. You’ll find him in the popular TV shows Bates Motel and The Good Doctor.
6. Maddie Ziegler
Maddie Ziegler was one of the child dancers on the popular TV show Dance Moms. She’s been no stranger to cameras ever since her dance studio got its own TV show. However, the young girl wasn’t exactly a celebrity until recently.
Ziegler was cast as the star of the music video for Sia’s “Chandelier.” The music video was an instant hit, going viral almost immediately. Since then, Ziegler has been growing up in the spotlight.
7. Jaden Smith
Jaden Smith is the son of world famous actor Will Smith. He even starred with his father in the 2006 film The Pursuit of Happyness. Ever since then, Jaden Smith has been fast-forwarding through his childhood.
He has his own clothing brand and a promising rap career, which all of his celebrity friends have been promoting. Jaden even wanted to get emancipated from his parents for his 15th birthday present. If anyone is excited for adulthood, it’s Jaden Smith.
8. Cole Sprouse
Most people remember Cole Sprouse – and his brother Dylan – from the Disney Channel show The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. The young actor also appeared on Grace Under Fire and Friends.
After The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and its spinoff show, The Suite Life on Deck, stopped airing, the twins seemed to drop out of the spotlight. Recently, Cole Sprouse made a big reappearance as Jughead Jones in the TV show Riverdale. And it’s evident that the child actor was growing up quickly in the meantime.
9. Bindi Irwin
Bindi was just a tiny girl when she started appearing on television with her father, Steve Irwin. Steve Irwin, the “Crocodile Hunter,” tragically passed away when his daughter was only eight years old. In a eulogy for her father, Bindi promised to continue her father’s legacy.
The Australian girl is now a beautiful 19-year-old. Along with continuing her father’s conservation efforts and television prominence, Bindi Irwin also acts, sings, and dances.
10. Ariel Winter
Ariel Winter made a big name for herself as Alex Dunphy on the popular TV show Modern Family. The actress played the nerdy sister who doesn’t exactly fit in with the rest of her family.
While Modern Family is still airing, many people are shocked with how quickly Ariel Winter grew up. If you follow her on her social media accounts, you’ll discover that she’s nothing like her character on the show. Winter has quickly matured and is currently trying to balance the media attention and a normal, young adult life.