Acting is one of the toughest arts in the world. Behaving and portraying a certain character is already tough enough but not acting your age is tougher. Especially when you are a full-grown adult and need to act like a child, comedy ensues. Over the years, there have been several comedy movies where older actors had to portray the character of a child.
Whether it is swapping the body, a child growing through magic, absurd casting, or a child who wanted to grow old, enjoyed it first but regretted instantly, pulling off such an acting gig is truly commendable as an actor. Let’s look at 10 such actors and movies where they made the audience believe their child-like character effortlessly along with some honorable mentions.
Tom Hanks in ‘Big’
The movie where a 12- year old boy is frustrated with being a child anymore and wishes to be an adult, Big is a must-watch quintessential movie. And Tom Hanks who beautifully plays the role of a child stuck in an adult body delivers one of his finest performances.
Whether it is playing with toys innocently or being scared to live alone in the hotel room, Tom Hanks has portrayed each emotion perfectly that immerses the audience effortlessly.
Jack Black in ‘Jumanji- Welcome to the Jungle’
Jumanji is already a fan favorite. Whether it is the classic movie with the late Robin Williams or the latest version of the movie. However, the unique thing about the latest Jumanji-Welcome to the Jungle is Jack Black portraying the character of a popular high school girl, Bethany.
Through his classic acting talent and finesse, Jack Black was able to make the audience believe that they were watching Bethany who is stuck in the body of a much older, adult male. From the moment Bethany discovers her new body and gender to the delivery of dialogs such as ‘Can’t Even’ or ‘Oh my God’, Jack Black was perfect.
Jamie Lee Curtis in ‘Freaky Friday’
One of the greatest chick flicks ever made, Freaky Friday is not just about the story of a teenager (Lindsy Lohan) who swaps body with her overbearing mother (Jamie Lee Curtis). But it is also about the wonderful acting of Jamie Lee Curtis as a teenager.
Delivering teenage rage dialogs such as ‘You mean we’re like stuck in this suckfest’ with the perfect expressions made it a worthwhile watch and a memorable movie for a lot of people. And who can forget the outstanding guitar shredding in the final scene of the movie, Jamie Lee Curtis truly did justice to the role.
Zachary Levi in ‘Shazam’
When you just thought superhero movies can’t get weirder, we find Zachary Levi in Shazam playing the grown-up version of 14-year old boy Billy Batson. So, basically, Billy Batson when takes the name of the wizard Shazam, turns into a full-grown adult superhero who has powers similar to Superman. Sounds very funny and it’s funnier to watch too!
There are subtle moments in the movie that show the child-like attitude of Zachary Levi’s character such as blowing up his school books and going viral on the Internet. Zachary Levi has truly done his job as an actor well.
Judge Reinhold in ‘Vice Versa’
Swapping bodies with your distant 11-year-old son, the then 31-year-old Judge Reinhold plays the perfect role. He has given his sincere efforts to portraying the role of an 11-year-old boy in the body of a grown-up. The thing that needs to be appreciated about Judge Reinhold is taking up the mannerisms of an 11-year-old boy such as feeling excited when hearing rock music or accompanying the young guitarist of a band.
Jennifer Garner in ’13 Going on 30’
A 13-year-old girl Jenna Rink skips to being 30 as she wants to live her best life. And when you find Jennifer Garner as the 30-year-old Jenna Rink, you will be refreshingly surprised. Jennifer Garner has brought the innocence and drama of the 13-year-old on the screen.
There are moments in the movie such as her excitement to see that her 30s have turned out to be the same as she expected. Or her childish embarrassment when her supposed boyfriend Alex gives her a striptease. Jennifer Garner has done justice to the character and the movie.
Rob Schneider in ‘The Hot Chick’
One of the best comedy movies about high school, The Hot Chick is one of Rob Schneider’s best performances. The body swap between the petty crook and the high school cheerleader is hilarious. From the very first moment, Rob Schneider is funny and adapts the mannerisms of a high school girl.
Moments such as waking up and going to the bathroom only to find out that the high school girl character is stuck in the body of well Rob Schneider. Hilarity ensues!
Brad Pitt in ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’
Yes, we know this is not the classic body swap movies we have been talking about however, the sheer brilliance of Brad Pitt and his acting needs a mention in the list. In this movie, Bradd Pitt starts as an old man with a mind of a child and grown in reverse ending up as a baby but with the mind of an old man.
This is truly an incredible test of Brad Pitt and his acting skills and he passes with flying colors.
Martin Short in ‘Clifford’
Yes, this is a strange film! But isn’t that the whole point? In the movie, Martin Short is an elder priest who is telling a young troublemaker the story from his youth. Most of the movie is based on flashbacks and you find Martin Short behaving like the 10-year-old Clifford in these flashbacks. This is hilarious to see however it might seem unsettling for some.
But Martin Short has done a great job!
Vince Vaughn in ‘Freaky’
Yes, you have body swapping in the movie but not the traditional kind. You won’t find a mother swapping bodies with the daughter or a father swapping bodies with a son, instead, it is a high schooler and a serial killer.
Vince Vaughn’s whimsical serial killer swaps body with a high schooler Millie Kessler. In the movie, you will find Vince Vaughn delivering a fantastic performance as a high schooler. This movie is sure a treat to watch the metal of Vince Vaughn as an actor.
This list is incomplete without mentioning Sydney Walker in ‘Prelude to Kiss’ and Dudley Moore in ‘Like Father Like Son’. In both movies, the respective actors did a wonderful job of enacting the younger version of one character.
If you know any more such wonderful actors who might have impressed you with their acting skills, make sure to comment below!