Child Star To Wild Star: How Did Lindsay Lohan, Emma Watson, Zac Efron, Selena Gomez And More Ditch Their Teen Idol Image?

04 April 2013 by

GALLERY >> From child stars to wild stars

Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens

Barely recognisable in their mismatched day-glow bikinis, former Disney stars Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens have quite literally shed the image of their much-loved teen characters. While Selena made her breakthrough on Wizards of Waverly Place before dating Justin Bieber and telling the world how she made him cry, Vanessa Hudgens sang her little heart out in High School Musical and became one half of Disney’s golden couple when she got together with co-star Zac Efron. While a topless photo scandal in 2009 didn't tarnish Hudgens' goody two-shoes image, we're sure her role in [a href="/fashion/news/exclusive-interviews-with-spring-breakers-stars-selena-gomez--james-franco---rachel-korine">Spring Breakers[/a], featuring an orgy of bikini-clad girls, booze and drugs, will.

Lindsay Lohan

It's hard to believe that the girl [a href="/conversation/entertainment/lindsay-lohan-is-sentenced-to-90-days-in-rehab--heres-her-6-mug-shots">with six mug shots[/a] was once a squeaky-clean child actress. After roles in a remake of The Parent Trap and Herbie Fully Loaded, Lindsay flashed a little flesh all in the name of exposing those Mean Girls in Tina Fey's brilliantly funny teen comedy. It was just before the release of flop-fest I Know Who Killed Me in 2007, in which she played a stripper, that the arrests started coming thick and fast. See the correlation? You could say that just as Lindsay found her edge she fell off it.

Zac Efron

Vanessa's ex followed up his breakout role in High School Musical with similarly tame 17 Again. Now, alongside romance flick like The Lucky One, Zac's been showing off his seriously buff arms in thriller The Paperboy during sex scenes with Nicole Kidman.

Drew Barrymore

It seems our girl Drew has come full circle. After her iconic role in 'E.T.', Barrymore suffered from recurring drug and alcohol abuse problems in her teens, visiting rehab twice and penning autobiography, Little Lost Girl. She made the transition from child to adult actress with sexy parts in films including Poison Ivy in 1992. Three marriages later and mother-of-one Drew is more at home in rom com's including 1999 hit Never Been Kissed, produced by her own Flower Films, in which she went back to high school.

Miley Cyrus

Once a country singer, Miley Cyrus (AKA Hannah Montanna) has developed an increasingly rock 'n' roll image. Borrowing a few [a href="/fashion/archive/2012/08/28/miley-cyrus-wears-agyness-deyn-for-dr-martens-bag-and-boots-is-she-morphing-into.htm">style tips from Brit supermodel Agyness Deyn[/a], Miley's invoked 90s grunge in her teen tearaway look. Now 20, let's just hope MC doesn't start playing strippers, as we all know how that turned out for Lindsay!

Alex Pettyfer

Speaking of strippers... Anyone who saw Alex Pettyfer in the big screen adaptation of Anthony Horowitz's popular children’s book Stormbreaker could not have predicted that he'd grow up to play a male *ahem* dancer alongside Matthew McConaughey and Channing Tatum. A genious move and no sign of a LiLo-style breakdown yet.

Emma Watson

Emma Watson's already shown us she's far from just Hermoine with her role as troubled Sam in The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, but she's set to hang up her wand for good with the release of [a href="/conversation/entertainment/emma-watson-will-shed-her-innocent-image-in-the-bling-ring-and-more-things-were-learnt-from-the-trai">The Bling Ring[/a]. Find out what you can expect from the film in which she plays a member of an LA gang- named ‘The Burglar Bunch’. 

James Van Der Beek

As Dawson Leery, actor James Van Der Beek was forever in the shadow of his best friend Pacey Witter (the still gorgeous Joshua Jackson). 100% of Dawson's Creek viewers admitted that they would prefer to snog naughty Pacey than sappy Dawson. FACT. So what did James do to up his stud-factor? He played drug dealer Sean Bateman (brother of American Physcho's Patrick Bateman) in the film adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis's novel The Rules of Attraction. Nowadays JVDB is starring as himself in Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23.

From Selena Gomez and Vannessa Hudgens in Spring Breakers to Emma Watson in The Bling Ring, there's no end of former child stars stepping out of their comfort zone into more provocative cinematic territory. It’s not a new phenomenon either, as original child star-turned-wild star Drew Barrymore was at it in the 90s, ditching her squeaky-clean image for Poison Ivy – and an even wilder time off-screen which led to a couple of stints in rehab. We’re happy to report Drew is back to her Prom Queen best, but there are plenty of other actors keen to shed the shackles of their early working life and maintain a career even when they loose their matinee idol looks.

Take a look through our gallery above and see the best child star to wild star transformations...


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