Celebs at 17 (or close enough)

There’s heaps happening when you’re on the edge of 17, mostly you’re awkward AF.
But take heart, everyone goes through it and most come out the other side better for it. Just ask your fave celeb:

Adam Levine at 17Adam Levine
Source: Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library & Mark Burnett Productions

His first gig was at a school dance and he was so shy, he played with his back to the audience.  Could you predict that in 2013, Adam Levine would be voted People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive? Note to self: the shy ones are the ones to watch... 

Zooey Deschanel at 17Zooey Deschanel
Source: Vinyl Films & Elizabeth Meriwether Pictures

Frequently mistaken for Katy Perry, Zooey Deschanel was one of those “doesn’t-fit-in-theatre-types” who was teased badly. In 2011 she did something constructive about it: she launched a website designed to create a positive online community for women, with a strict “no-gossip” policy.  #girlcrush

James Franco at 17James Franco
Source: Columbia Pictures Corporation & Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Voted "Student with the best smile" (though probs not based on this pic!) Instead this was taken around the time heartthrob James Franco was arrested for underage drinking and theft, so we figure he wasn’t in the mood to flash his pearly whites. Fortunately acting saved him – and the whole world has enjoyed his smile ever since. 

Blake Lively at 17Blake Lively
Source: Alcon Entertainment & FilmNation Entertainment

Thanks to her parents’ jobs, she went to 13 different schools, yet Blake Lively still managed a big smile for her yearbook. That’s a girl who can either act really well, or just #cool.  We figure it’s both and is probably the reason she has not stopped acting since her first role at 17.

Mathew Lewis at 17Mathew Lewis

Fans of Harry Potter watched him transform from a plump klutz to a brave wizard who caught the eye of many admirers, including Luna Lovegood. Life imitated art with actor Matthew Lewis transforming  a bit of a heartthrob, yet he has admitted that like Neville Longbottom, he found Luna - and girls in general -  more scary than Voldemort.

Tine Fey at 17Tine Fey
Source: Upper Darby High School Yearbook & Broadway Video

The best comedians have no problem poking fun at themselves so when Tina Fey was asked about her teenage years, she was pretty sure of the reason she never really dated in high school:
“I don’t think we should discount the fact that unplucked eyebrows and short hair with a perm may not have been the best offering...”. We kinda agree Tina...

Matthew McConaughey at 17Matthew McConaughey
Source: Longview High School Yearbook & Bluegrass Films

You can see that as a teenager Matthew McConaughey had some serious potential. His classmates thought the same, voting him "Most Handsome" in his senior year. In 2005 People magazine went further, honouring him with the title of “Sexiest Man Alive”.

Kate Blanchett at 17Kate Blanchett
Source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) & Sony Pictures Classics

As a teen Cate Blanchett hated her pale skin and for a couple of summers tried the baby oil trick to get a tan. When her mum warned her that she would one day regret it, Cate embraced her pale complexion and became a Goth – even shaving her head for authenticity. A little extreme, but today she’s praised for her luminous skin and ethereal-like beauty.

Alexander Skarsgard at 17Alexander Skarsgard
Source: MTV Produktion

This was about the age Alexander Skarsgard became fame-phobic and uncomfortable in front of the camera. "It hadn't really been my choice when I first started acting and I got paranoid and didn't like people recognising me, so I took off for eight years until I found my way back," he says. We’re so happy you did Alexander. So. Happy.

Jamie Fox at 17Jamie Fox
Source: Yearbook Library

Based on his high school pic, there was obviously no way Jamie Foxx was going to take his education all that seriously. Today he is a mega-huge stand up comic, musician, actor - and is considered one of the most attractive men to never win People’s Sexiest Man Alive award.

Angelina Jolie at 17Angelina Jolie
Source: Classmates.com & Columbia Pictures

Angelina Jolie was teased at school for being skinny and wearing glasses. In 2003 she was voted the woman most American males would like to date on New Year's Eve and in 2004 was named Esquire Magazine's Sexiest Woman Alive. All we can say is revenge is sweet.   

Mark Ruffalo at 17Mark Ruffalo
Source: Yearbook Library & Marvel Studios

Even as a teen with a mouthful of metal, Mark Ruffalo’s natural charm shines through. It took ten years of bartending and 800 failed auditions until Ruffalo finally got his break. And he hasn’t looked back, scoring 3 Academy Award nominations, 3 Golden Globe nods and an Emmy award win. That’s something to smile about, with our without braces

Recommended articles

Harry Potter and The Philosophers Stone Movie

Sweet Sixteen

16 - pimples, braces, greasy hair, gangly limbs, pure awkwardness. But not if you’re one of the movies on our list turning sweet sixteen.
Lawrence Fishburne in The Matrix Movie

Movies Turning Legal

Turning 18 is the milestone we all hang out for - we’re finally legit and legal. So raise your Aperol Spritz, boutique beer or artisanal whiskey for the movies made when the Prince song reigned supreme.
Hailee Steinfeld The Edge Of Seventeen

Which Coming-of-Age movie character are you?

Which Coming-of-Age movie character are you? Take our quiz to find out now!
Hailee Steinfeld The Edge Of Seventeen

Four Times The Edge of Seventeen Took Us Back to Year 11

Get ready to re-live your awkward youth with plucky Nadine from The Edge of Seventeen...

Get the latest movie updates sent directly to your inbox!

Want more from inside of Australia's biggest movie and home entertainment company? Join the crew today for news, exclusive offers and competitions.

Thank you