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.
12 nerdy child stars that blossomed into super-hot adults
the neville longbottom effect
Illustration by Liz Riccardi
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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