12 nerdy child stars that blossomed into super-hot adults
the neville longbottom effect
Illustration by Liz Riccardi
If there is anything more satisfying than gratuitously salivating over nerdy child actors who’ve blossomed into beautiful swans, the collective Internet has yet to find it. Matthew Lewis—better known as Neville Longbottom—is a prime example of this. Sure, sure life happens to all of us; our bodies grow and mature into themselves, but damn, Neville Longbottom! Talk about putting a spell on us. The fascination with Lewis is mind boggling, but he isn’t the only child actor out there who's emerged from the awkward-phase cocoon as a beautiful butterfly. Ahead, meet 12 other celebs who blossomed into beautiful, super-hot adults.
Photos via Fox Searchlight Pictures and Ethan Miller / Getty Images
After collectively creeping out and dropping jaws across the nation with *that* Little Miss Sunshine scene, Abigail Breslin shed the sweatbands and scrunchies, bleached her hair, and became a true Greek life *~hottie~* in Ryan Murphy's upcoming series, Scream Queens.
Photos via Universal Pictures and Tristan Fewings / Getty Images
Mere years after playing Hugh Grant's precocious sidekick in About A Boy, Hoult helped usher many a teenager into their sexual awakenings as the too-smart-and-bored-and-drugged-up-for-his-own-good Tony Stonem in Skins.
Photos via TriStar Pictures and Larry Busacca / Getty ImagesJonathan LipnickiJust like Britney Spears in 2000's "Oops!…I Did It Again" music video, you most likely thought to yourself, Wait a minute; is that…? And in your head the astronaut said, Yeah! Yes it is. as you gazed at shirtless photos of Jonathan Lipnicki your "friend" shared on Facebook. Life has happened to Lipnicki and he is no longer the bespectacled boy from Jerry Maguire and Stuart Little. He's a Brazilian jiu-jitsu pro and looking to get back into acting. Show me the body, erm, money, indeed.
Photos via ApolloProScreen Filmproduktion and Frederick M. Brown / Getty ImagesDaniel Curtis LeeWhen you're cast as the contemporary Urkel on a Nickelodeon show, trying to shake that past is a tough, tough task. You will, for the better part of your life, be known as that character, and Daniel Curtis Lee has a while before he can live Simon Nelson-Cook from Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide down. The Good Gene gods have blessed Lee, though. Four Eyes? More like for our eyes only…amiright?
Photos via Satin City Productions and David Livingston / Getty ImagesTania RaymondeCynthia Sanders, is that you? It is, dear reader! It is Cynthia Sanders, Freddie Muniz's first crush on Malcolm in the Middle. Time has certainly been kind to her. Now, the actress is best known for Lost. You can catch her screaming in the Texas Chainsaw 3D flick, too.
Photos via Dark Castle Entertainment and Christopher Polk / Getty ImagesIsabelle FurhmanFuhrman has fallen under the Look At How Attractive This Child Actor From That Horrifying Movie That Made You Fear Children Is curse. Her role in 2009's Orphan will, uh, haunt her for the rest of her life. Never mind she played a sadistic knife-wielder in The Hunger Games, or Lizzy Caplan's daughter in Masters of Sex. She's the creepy demon child, but that's not going to stop her from killing the style game.
Photos via Paramount Television and Tommaso Boddi / Getty Images
Former Disney stars seem to have a hard time finding their footing. Sometimes, their pathway to adulthood is paved with poor decisions, uncomfortable over-sexualization, and the occasional viral video. The jury's still out on exactly where smart guy Mowry's music videos fall on that spectrum, but they are catchy.
Photos via Dimension Films and Jason Merritt / Getty Images
Sure, you could argue that with Carla Gugino and Antonio Banderas as her ass-kicking sexy film parents, little Carmen Cortez would inevitably blossom into a good-looking woman, at the very least. But it's tough to break out of the annoying, nagging, boring older-sister stereotype, no matter how you paint it. A few sleepovers, trips to Sin City, and lingerie shoots later, PenaVega has finally broken it down.
Photos via Dreamworks and Frederick M Brown/Getty Images
Sure, we thought we spent the week after watching The Ring quivering in fear, and avoiding television sets at all costs. We also carried around a tool band of leave-in conditioner and hair brushes as self-defense weapons ever since. We don't know who conquered that mop on Samara's head, but we must thank them. Years later, they have alleviated us of our nightmares, and showed us that underneath that creepy wet nightgown and dark circles there lied an angel. A beautiful, well-meaning angel.
Photos via Buffy the Vampire Slayer Year 5 Stills on Getty Images and Jason Merritt/Getty Images
She started out nerdy and precocious in The Adventures of Pete & Pete and (the most seminal movie of the '90s) Harriet the Spy, but soon after coming of age in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Michelle Trachtenberg went on to singlehandedly terrorize and seduce the Upper East Side and blow minds via her Maxim spread. Bet Rosie O'Donnell never saw that one coming.
Photos by Frederick M Brown and Kevin Winter of Getty ImagesJosh PeckRemember that time Josh Peck donned a pigtail wig and hammed it up as a popular girl? What about that time he played an underage male dancer and bust out of a cake? Remember how you thought his counterpart on that one Nickelodeon show was going to go farther? Well world, look at Josh Peck now. Josh Peck is living. Josh Peck is thriving. Josh Peck is an inspiration.
Photos by Noel Vasquez and Jason Merritt of Getty ImagesKylie JennerIt seems only like yesterday we were watching a wiry Kylie Jenner pole dance on the stripper pole Kim Kardashian got Kris Jenner for her and Caitlyn (then as Bruce) Jenner's anniversary. She was nine years old. Now, you're more likely to see Jenner Snapchatting from her luxury vehicle than working "dat pole." She's blossomed into a regular, ol' 18-going-on-babe-year old. Sure, there's been a little work done, but if it makes her happy, so be it. Carpe that diem (and slide into them DMs), Kylie.