Do you know what the most unrealistic part of teen TV shows is? Is it the fact that they NEVER seem to go to class? Or is it the fact that the teachers always somehow end up dating a student? Nope. I mean, don’t get me wrong, those are all pretty messed up portrayals of teen lives. But, in my humble opinion, the most unrealistic part about teen TV shows is the fact that the most “teen” characters aren’t actually played by teens. In fact, they are rarely ever played by teens. Most of the time, they are played by actors ways into their twenties. I know that with most TV shows, you’re kind of expected to just sort of ignore that fact that the actors are so much other than the character they portray. But, come on, are we really expected to believe that this guy is a teen?
I mean… he’s drinking beer, you guys. Whatever. I know it shouldn’t bother me so much since, realistically, it makes more sense for companies to hire older actors instead of teens, because of school and labor laws and stuff. But, still, it’s annoying. Instead of getting frustrated, I actually found the most ridiculous teen characters that are played by super old actors so we can all have a good laugh about what TV shows THINK teens look like. Check it out.
Josie From RiverdaleJosie, of Josie and the Pussycats fame, might be playing a talented 16-year-old musician who lives to insult Archie on Riverdale, but IRL she is portrayed by Ashleigh Murray, who is 29 years old. Yeah, that's a good 13 years older than the character she plays. It wouldn't be that weird...if the rest of the actors on the show weren't 19 and 20. Eek. Image Source: Riverdale
Lane From Gilmore GirlsTBH, Lane hardly gets enough credit since she was a super important character and BFF to Rory. But, she certainly was not 16 years old in real life. Keiko Agena was actually 27 years old when she began to play the part, making her 11 years older than her character. Image Source: Gilmore Girls
Tim From Friday Night LightsAs mentioned above, did anybody REALLY believe that Tim Riggins, portrayed by Taylor Kitsch, was 16 years old? He was actually 27 IRL, which means he would have been out of high school AND college if he were playing true to his age. Sidenote: why was his hair ALWAYS wet?! Can't seem to get a real answer on that. Image Source: Friday Night Lights
Seth From The OCAdam Brody wasn't that old when he was playing 15-year-old Seth Cohen, but he was still in his 20s, which is wild. He was 23 when he first started playing the nerdiest boy on TV, which actually made him only 14 years younger than his onscreen mom. Image Source: The OC
Cordelia From Buffy The Vampire SlayerTBH, Charisma Carpenter doesn't see to age, which is why she played a 16-year-old high school student when she was 27. In fact, she was actually six years older than Buffy, who was also playing a 16 year old. Image Source: Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Maya From Pretty Little LiarsBianca Lawson was 34 at the time of filming, even though she was playing a 17-year-old. But it doesn't stop there. In fact, she's actually been playing a teen for over TWENTY YEARS in multiple teen shows. Honestly...goals. Does she ever age? Image Source: Pretty Little Liars
Jackson From Hannah MontanaI mean, they never said his age, but he was in high school, so we can assume he was anywhere from 16-18 right? Well, Jason Earles was actually 29, which makes him about 34 when the show ended. Which is....a little weird for a kids show, right? But he does look pretty young, I guess. Image Source: Hannah Montana
Finn From GleeCory Monteith was actually 27 when he began playing the role of Finn, a 16-year-old jock-turned-glee star (relatable, right?). Naturally, he was stuck in a love triangle between the head cheerleader AND the star glee club singer. Side note: those characters were also played by actors in the their late twenties. Why couldn't they just make it a college-themed tv show? Who knows. Image Source: Glee
Which old actors playing teens did we miss? Tell us in the comments!