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5 Child Stars Who Successfully Shed Their Former Personas

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It’s almost hacky for a former child star to grow up and become the hottest of messes. Sometimes, though, things turn out just fine for the formerly adorable actors. Almost… too fine? Hmm. Here are five child stars that managed to successfully shed their forma personas.

Macaulay Culkin

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The reason you slapped aftershave onto your face as a kid and screamed, no matter your gender, grew up to churn out some weird films, like the rave-obsessed murder tale Party Monster. Today though, he’s just locked in adorable t-shirt-based prank war with Ryan Gosling.

The Jonas Brothers

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One Jonas bro in the “there’s-no-way-you-didn’t-hear-them-on-the-radio-today” pop group DNCE, another is starring in a TV show about mixed martial arts, and the other one is a veteran of reality shows (two out of three ain’t bad, I guess).

Michelle Trachtenberg

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Née Harriet the Spy, Michelle Trachtenberg grew up to dominate the small screen with roles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Gossip Girl, AND a music video from the band Trapt that you saw if you were lucky enough to be around during their heyday (which I’m pretty sure was literally A day).

Zac Efron

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Once one of the most innocent of American tween stars, Zac Efron now almost exclusively does raunch-fests, including the Neighbors flicks and Dirty Grandpa. Who would’ve thought you could have the abs of Jesus of Nazareth AND a sense of humor?

Christian Bale

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Yes, before he was losing terrifying amounts of weight for roles and berating cameramen, the master of 1000 accents you’ve never heard in your life was a child star, appearing in pictures like Empire of the Sun and Newsies. Transitioning from musicals about old-timey newspaper saleskids to gritty superhero flicks and cult hits about murderous yuppies ain’t a bad gig, but something tells me he’s a little TOO good. I mean, I’m not saying he’s literally the shape-shifting creature from The Thing, but I’m also not NOT saying that.

What was your reputation as a precocious child star? Let me know on Twitter!

Contributor: 
Tyler Davidson
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