Growing up from a dorky teenager to a full-fledged adult can be a bumpy road. From struggling with acne, to your voice changing, and gaining responsibility and independence can make anyone uncomfortable.
Growing up in the spotlight makes the whole process worse, with your most awkward moments splashed across tabloid news, leading many child stars down a rough path. The person that emerges on the other side of this process is often unrecognizable to the child star we once knew.
Back in 2008, the world was a very different place, so it’s no surprise that these kids are no longer children and they have entered into adulthood with a completely different look.
Here are your favorite kid stars from the early 2000s that will definitely make you feel old.
7. Zac Efron
In the 2000s, Zac was the cute hearthrob that stole our hearts in the Disney classic High School Musical. Starring as Troy alongside Vanessa Hudgens, the 18-year-old shot into stardom.
Other the last 10 years, Zac’s star power only continued to rise, but somehow he maintained his boy-next-door charm.
Recently, however, he broke away from his typecast and has gone from adorable teenage dream to hunk, thanks to the recent Baywatch remake. Becoming ripped beyond recognition, he starred next to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, which makes it hard to remember him any other way.
I think we are all okay with this.
6. Bella Thorne
If there is one former child star of the 2000s that is more known for her off-screen antics than her on-screen talents, it’s Bella Thorne.
Thorne’s first role came in the short-lived 2008 TV show, My Own Worst Enemy. She followed it with Disney Channel’s Shake It Up, a show about two girls who aspired to become professional dancers.
But that is definitely not what made this actress note-worthy.
Caught in a feud with the Pretty Little Liars‘ girls, part of a cheating scandal, and getting revenge on her ex, she has definitely made headlines. She also dated rapper Lil Peep before his death in 2017, and got it on with Kourtney Kardashian’s baby daddy Scott Disick.
While she may only snag the occasional B-roles, who needs work when you are making headlines like those.
5. Nick Jonas
For Nick Jonas, 2008 was the year that changed his life. As part of the Jonas Brothers, it was the year they produced platinum-selling albums, toured the world, and won the hearts of teenagers everywhere. What made Nick and his brothers more popular was their openness about their faith and opting to wear purity rings as a promise to stay virgins until marriage.
Fast forward 10 years and a lot can change. After the band officially split in 2013, Nick started working on solo projects. This brought a sexier new sound to go with his sexy new body. He also dabbled in some acting, taking on a juicy role in Kingdom where he played a closeted gay MMA fighter, which brought him a following in the LGBT community.
As for the purity ring? In 2014, Nick shared that he taken it off…when he lost his virginity.
4. Alexa PenaVega
You may remember her from the 2001 hit, Spy Kids, which led into three follow-up movies. By 2003 Vega became one of the world’s hottest teen celebrities and starred in several made-for-TV movies for that audience.
By 2013 she proved that she had outgrown her child star status by showing off her washboard abs and a revealing outfit in Machete Kills. .
In 2014 she married Carlos Pena and they combined their last names Vega and Pena.
Taking a break from acting, she participated in the 21st season of Dancing with the Stars, challenging her husband and finishing in sixth place in the competition.
In 2016, the couple welcomed their first child Ocean King PenaVega.
But she’s not the only child star who’s changed a lot in the last ten years…
3. Jaden Smith
Born into celebrity royalty as the son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, the sky is the limit for this child actor that appeared alongside his dad in The Pursuit of Happyness in 2006, when he was only eight-years-old.
In 2008, he continued his acting career starring in the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still. Now Jaden is not only known for his movies, but his rap music, modeling and being a songwriter.
Not bad for only being 19 years old!
2. Ariel Winter
Like many child stars, Ariel Winter began her career by starring in small roles and commercials before landing her permanent role on Modern Family.
Airing in 2009 as 13-year-old Alex Dunphy, she was the nerdy kid that seemed to be different from the rest of her family.
Continuing to be busy in her downtime from the show, she has been involved in voice-over work. She has recently become a target for tabloids since she has developed from a child into a woman, speaking opening about undergoing breast reduction surgery in 2015.
1. Angus T. Jones
Starring on the popular CBS show Two and a Half Men, this “half-a-man” has changed a lot since the show started in 2004. Becoming a household name for playing the dim-witted but lovable Jake Harper, the actor had as much on-screen drama as he did off-screen.
In 2012, Jones shared that he wanted to leave the show after being baptized, claiming his work conflicted with his faith. He then grew out his beard and went on YouTube, calling out Two and a Half Men for being “filth” and encouraged people to stop watching the show.
There’s no doubt that there have been some drastic changes for these child celebrities.