Table of content    
  1. Christian Bale
  2. Scarlett Johansson
  3. Timothée Chalamet
  4. Jake Gyllenhaal
  5. Drew Barrymore
  6. Tom Holland
  7. Natalie Portman
  8. Leonardo DiCaprio
  9. Kristen Stewart
  10. Mila Kunis
  11. Kieran Culkin
  12. Zendaya

12 Child Stars Who Are Ruling Hollywood And Show No Signs Of Slowing Down

Most Hollywood actors had a tough long time to establish their names. Many of them started their careers at a very young age and they weren’t aware that they’d reach fame one day. Being a child actor can be challenging as they have to balance their work with their education and personal lives. While some quit Hollywood for good and retire to a life of anonymity, many persevere and continue to work on movie sets to give great performances. 

One advantage for child actors is that it can provide valuable experience and exposure to the Entertainment industry. We’ve made a list of actors who didn’t expect to become famous. Many of them become recognizable when they got their start as children, but now, they are on the list of Hollywood heavyweights. 

Here are 12 celebs who stared as a child actors and never expected to achieve fame.


#1. Christian Bale

Christian Bale debuted in the movie Empire of the Sun when he was 13 years old Known for his versatility and physical transformations in his roles, he won various accolades, including an Oscar and two Golden Globe Awards. In 2014, he was named one of the highest-paid actors by Forbes.


#2. Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson began her career at age 8 in an off-Broadway play and made her first film North at age 9. As an adult, she impressed audiences with her multiple roles, especially Back Widow. 


#3. Timothée Chalamet

As a child, Timothée Chalamet played small roles on TV shows like Royal Pains, Law & Order, and Homeland. The actor came to global attention with the lead role in Call Me by Your Name (2017), in which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor.  


#4. Jake Gyllenhaal

At the age of 11, Jake Gyllenhaal started acting and his first movie was City Slickers. He received nominations for major awards for his portrayals in movies Donnie Darko and Nightcrawler. His highest-grossing release came with the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero film Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019), in which he portrayed Quentin Beck / Mysterio.


#5. Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore got much attention as a child actress with her breakout role in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. During her career, she has received a lot of nominations and awards for her performances. Currently, she hosts her syndicated talk show The Drew Barrymore Show.


#6. Tom Holland

When just turning 12, Tom Holland acted as Michael in Billy Elliot the Musical on London’s West End. He came to international attention with his portrayal of Spider-Man in the Marvel films. 


#7. Natalie Portman

The actress started her career at age 12 when she starred as the young protégée of a hitman in the action film Léon: The Professional. She found fame after playing Padme in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. However, she had to take a break from acting to study at Harvard University. In 2010, she won an Oscar for Black Swan and was nominated a second time for Jackie in 2016.


#8. Leonardo DiCaprio

For his performance in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Leonardo DiCaprio received an Oscar nomination at age 19. he continued to get attention for her roles like Romeo + Juliet and Jack in Titanic. He is a Hollywood heartthrob and is one of the most prolific actors in the world with 38 prestigious nominations. In 2016, he won an Oscar. 


#9. Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart was spotted appearing in a few small TV roles as a child. For her portrayal in Panic Room, she was nominated for a Young Artist Award at age 12. She achieved global stardom for her role as Bella Swan in The Twilight Saga film series (2008–2012), which ranks among the highest-grossing film franchises. Her most recent role was as Princess Diana in Spencer.


#10. Mila Kunis

After taking on the lead role in That 70s Show, Mila Kunis continued to work on many movie projects. Her breakout role was in the romantic comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall and gained critical acclaim for her performance in Black Swan (2010). 


#11. Kieran Culkin

Kieran Culkin made his screen debut in Home Alone, playing Fuller, the cousin of Kevin when he was 8 years old. His recent role is Roman Roy in the HBO TV series Succession, for which he won a Critics' Choice Television Award. 


#12. Zendaya

Before working as an actress, Zendaya was a child model and backup dancer. She began her acting career with her role as Rocky Blue in the Disney Channel series Shake It Up and then starred in the channel’s sitcom K.C. Undercover. He got much attention for her performance in Spider-Man: Homecoming. 


Who is your favorite actor? Have you ever dreamt of being an actor when being a child? Let us know in the comments. 

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