Celebs Who Looked Completely Different In High School

We all know what celebrities look like, and it’s like their faces are saved in our brains. But sometimes, seeing pictures of them before they were famous is just shocking, because a lot of them looked nothing like what they look like today. Most of them were just regular teenagers without all the glitz and glam of fame. Without further ado, let’s take a look at 30 celebs who looked completely different in high school – and see if you can even recognize them!

#30. Matthew McConaughey

Mattew McConaughey rose to fame during the 1990s and quickly stole everyone’s hearts. His charisma, his smile, and his impressive looks just scream movie star. After starring in many blockbusters, he finally received his first Academy Award for Dallas Buyers Club in 2013.

Photo: Courtesy of Her Moments

But when Matthew was in high school, he was already breaking hearts. As you can see, he was prom king, and was also voted most handsome – shocking, right? During his years in Longview High School in Texas, Matthew was on the golf and tennis teams and also participated in the Pan Am club.

#29. Chris Pratt

Chris Pratt started out as a nerdy yet adorable comedian on Parks and Rec and later became an action hero. He changed his looks and went on to star in Marvel‘s Guardians of the Galaxy and the Jurassic World movies, where he solidified himself as a leading man. Now, he’s one of Hollywood’s most recognizable faces – but that’s far from his high school days, isn’t it?

Photo: Courtesy of Her Moments

With his adorable haircut, little Pratt attended Lake Stevens High in Washington and took part in the wrestling team. Not only that, but the young athlete also played football and ran track. In an interview, he said that he didn’t know back then what he wanted to do for the rest of his life, but he knew he was going to be famous someday. You were absolutely right, Chris!

#28. Anna Faris

Speaking of Chris Pratt, let’s take a look at his former love, Anna Faris. Anna made her way into Hollywood thanks to her comedic talents in movies like Scary Movie and The House Bunny, and later got her own sitcom, Mom, on which she has been working since 2013. But the truth is, she hasn’t changed much since her high school days.

Photo: Courtesy of Her Moments

She knew she wanted to be an actress and make people laugh since she was very little. But her biggest goal while in high school was to become a writer. Back then, she rocked her red-blonde hair as she took part in her school’s drama club. Looking back to her days in school, Faris said she was a dork, and that guys weren’t interested in her. Well, look what they missed out on!

#27. Halle Berry

Halle Berry made Hollywood history when she became the first African-American woman to win the Academy Award for Best Actress, thanks to her fantastic performance in 2001’s Monster’s Ball. Ever since then, she’s been chilling at the top of the A-list. Not only is she known for her acting chops, but for her good looks. But she’s almost unrecognizable in this high school yearbook photo.

Photo: Courtesy of Upsocl

In high school, Berry was super popular. Not only was she a cheerleader, but also an honor student, and she was the editor of the school newspaper. What’s more, she was elected prom queen, but we’re not surprised. Right after high school, she started competing in beauty pageants.

#26. Reese Witherspoon

The gorgeous Reese Witherspoon has been around Hollywood since the 90s. During her spectacular career, she took on the iconic role of Elle Woods in the Legally Blonde movies and won the Academy Award for Best Actress thanks to her role as Carter Cash in Walk the Line. But before she started working as an actress, she was a total nerd.

Photo: Courtesy of Her Moments

In high school, she was a book worm and couldn’t hide her excitement every time she stepped into a bookstore. Witherspoon was an overachiever and always got the highest grades, and at the same time, she was a cheerleader. And just take a look at her photo – she hasn’t aged a bit!

#25. Will Ferrell

Beloved comedian Will Ferrell has made us laugh countless times in hit comedies such as The Anchorman, Zoolander, and as a regular on Saturday Night Live. But before moving to Hollywood and becoming an actor, Ferrell lived in the quiet, suburban town of Irving, California, and he really didn’t like it.

Photo: Courtesy of Her Moments

Will has said that the boredom of growing up in a small town is what made him want to become an actor. He was so bored, that his escape was making people laugh. At school, he was a kicker for the varsity football team of his school, and he also served in the student council. Luckily everything turned out well for him, and the only tragic part of his story was that haircut.

#24. Tina Fey

There’s nothing that Tina Fey can’t do. She started out on Saturday Night Live like many big comedians and later moved on to the big screen. She’s best known, however, for her work behind the scenes, as she created the critically acclaimed 30 Rock and Mean Girls. And what’s interesting is that she’s been overachieving since her days in school.

Photo: Courtesy of Her Moments

During her time in Upper Darby High School, she was an honors student and participated in the tennis team, drama club, and choir, and she was co-editor of the school newspaper. She also had an anonymous satirical column in the newspaper. She clearly always had a passion for comedy.

#23. Will Smith

Will Smith is now one of the most familiar faces of Hollywood. But did you know he almost became an engineer? Before he starred in The Prince of Bel Air, I Am Legend, and The Pursuit of Happiness, Smith was a student in Overbrook High School in Philadelphia and had extremely good grades.

Photo: Courtesy of Her Moments

He was admitted to a pre-engineering summer program and was also offered a scholarship at MIT, but he turned it all down because he wanted to be a rapper. In high school, he formed a rap group with two friends, and his parents were OK with it as long as he kept his grades up. And about his looks – it looks like these pictures are from the same year, don’t they? He doesn’t age at all!

#22. Bruce Willis

Believe it or not, there was a time when Bruce Willis wasn’t a superstar and had hair. Who would’ve thought? The Die Hard action hero was actually born in West Germany and moved to the United States when he was two years old. Growing up, he was bullied at school because he struggled with a stutter.

Photo: Courtesy of Her Moments

To deal with his issue, he joined the drama club, and acting helped him reduce his stutter. He enjoyed it so much, that he decided to become an actor. However, he always put school first and was even the student council president. Also, let’s talk about that Pantene hair. What a stunner!

#21. Blake Lively

The beautiful Blake Lively became known for her role as Serena van der Woodsen on the teen drama Gossip Girl, but she actually began acting when she was just 10 years old. She got into acting thanks to her parents, who were acting coaches and took her to their acting lessons to avoid getting a babysitter.

Photo: Courtesy of Youtube

In high school, she was extremely busy. She juggled her acting career with school, and she also took many extracurricular activities. She was a cheerleader, a class president, and participated in the championship choir. In this high school photo, it’s almost impossible to recognize her. Her glow up was really fascinating.

#20. George Clooney

It’s almost impossible now to imagine George Clooney without his signature silver hair, but there was a time when he was breaking hearts while sporting black locks. Of course, his dashing smile was there from the very beginning. Before his breakout role in ER, Clooney was a high school athlete.

Photo: Courtesy of Her Moments

During his time in Augusta High School in Kentucky, George played in the baseball and basketball teams, and he even tried to get into the Cincinnati Reds team in 1977, but he wasn’t accepted. In retrospective, that’s a good thing because that allowed him to pursue an acting career.

#19. Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt always looked like a movie star, except for the hair (but we’ve all been there in high school, am I right?). Before starring in countless hit movies like Fight Club, World War Z, and Ocean’s Eleven, Pitt lived in Springfield, Missouri.

Photo: Courtesy of Her Moments

There, he attended Kickapoo High School, where he was super popular – what a surprise! He played in the golf, tennis, and swimming teams, and also took part in the Forensics club, as well as in musicals and school debates. He was even voted most popular and best dressed. It’s like his classmates knew he would end up being a movie star.

#18. Oprah Winfrey

Before becoming one of the most powerful women in America, Oprah Winfrey lived in Mississippi and later moved to Wisconsin. Far from her lifestyle today, Winfrey grew up in poverty, and she and her mother struggled to make ends meet every month.

Photo: Courtesy of Her Moments

She then moved with her grandparents to Tennessee, where she became an honors student and was even voted most popular. She excelled at public speaking, which made her join her high school speech team. She also took part in beauty pageants, which is no surprise – just look at her!

#17. Julia Roberts

The stunning Julia Roberts rocked a completely different hairstyle in her high school days, and she would be unrecognizable if it weren’t for that big, bright smile that always made her stand out. Before she starred in Pretty Woman, Notting Hill, and Eat, Pray, Love, Roberts was a musician.

Photo: Courtesy of Her Moments

Instead of joining the drama club as you would expect, Roberts played the clarinet at Campbell High School in Smyrna, Georgia. She also had plans to go to college, and she actually attended Georgia State University for a while, but then dropped out to become an actress and move to New York, putting her clarinet days behind her.

#16. Tom Hanks

We all love the great and wonderful Tom Hanks, but we also have to admit that he wouldn’t have gotten any acting jobs had he kept that awful hair! In high school, Tom was a geek and struggled to socialize with others because he was really shy.

Photo: Courtesy of Her Moments

When talking about his high school days, Tom said:

“I was a geek, a spaz. I was horribly, painfully, terribly shy. At the same time, I was the guy who’d yell out funny captions during filmstrips. But I didn’t get into trouble. I was always a real good kid and pretty responsible.”

We’re glad he overcame his shyness (and cut his hair!)

#15. Jennifer Lopez

Even though she claims she’s still Jenny from the Block, Jennifer Lopez lived a very different life growing up in The Bronx, New York. Her family struggled with poverty but still encouraged Jennifer to take singing and dancing lessons and to pursue her dreams.

Photo: Courtesy of Her Moments

In high school, Lopez looked like a totally different person with short hair. She was super active and athletic at that time, so she didn’t want to have any hair on her way as she ran track on a national level, did gymnastics, and played in the softball team. Who would’ve thought?

#14. Meryl Streep

Although she looked completely different, Meryl Streep already had the looks of a movie star during her high school days. Apparently, her schoolmates agreed, because they voted her homecoming queen. She also caught the acting bug really early in her life.

Photo: Courtesy of Her Moments

She was in her school’s drama club, and she was so good at acting that she starred in most of the school plays. She also took part in the cheerleading squad. She even sang opera back in the day, but she quit because she found it boring.

#13. Snoop Dogg

Before he became one of the world’s most famous rappers, Snoop Dogg was just another normal teenager growing up in Long Beach, California. Snoop, whose real name is Calvin, was nicknamed after the character Snoopy, who he loved.

Photo: Courtesy of Her Moments

He started rapping at the age of six, and he also sang and played the piano at his local Baptist church. Another fun fact about Snoop: he actually went to school with Cameron Diaz, and they remember each other. How random is that?

#12. Nicolas Cage

You can barely recognize actor Nicolas Cage in this high school yearbook photo. Back in the day, he went by his real name, Nicolas Kim Coppola – yes, those Coppola. He is the nephew of acclaimed director Francis Ford Coppola and cousin of actress and director Sophia Coppola.

Photo: Courtesy of Her Moments

In high school, Cage got straight As, but this changed when his parents divorced. Their divorce was too hard on him, and he actually moved with his uncle for a year. During that time, he tried to convince him to let him act in one of his movies, but he said no. Luckily, he made it on his own years later.

#11. Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman began acting when she was just a child, having her breakout role as Mathilda in Léon: The Professional in 1994. She then went on to star on numerous films, such as the Star Wars prequels and won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in The Black Swan.

Photo: Courtesy of Insider

What many people don’t know is that she was born in Israel, and came to the US when she was three years old. She excelled in high school and always got straight As, and also took part in the winter track team. She always knew she wanted to be an actress, and she already looked like a movie star back in the day.

#10. Ellen DeGeneres

Before having her own talk show and sitcom, Ellen DeGeneres attended Atlanta High School in Texas. Although she grew up to be a comedian, actress, television host, writer, and producer, DeGeneres didn’t really know what she wanted to do for the rest of her life when she was at school.

Photo: Courtesy of MSN

In fact, she tried out many different jobs, such as working as a waitress and a store clerk, until she found her passion for comedy and began doing stand up. She hasn’t changed much since then, but she used to rock long hair, which she hasn’t had for decades.

#9. Melissa McCarthy

Melissa McCarthy slowly made her way into the A list and was named one of the most influential people in the world by Time Magazine. But before her days in Mike and Molly and Bridesmaids, McCarthy was a goth. Can you believe it?

Photo: Courtesy of Her Moments

With her thick black eyeliner and short, spiky black hair, Melissa attended St. Francis Academy in Illinois. During her childhood, she was very close with her cousin, Playboy model turned actress Jenny McCarthy. We must admit, she looks great with her current style!

#8. Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx really has it all: he can sing, he can dance, he can act, and he’s also very athletic. So much so, that he wanted to pursue a career as a professional football player before he discovered his love for acting. In fact, his dream was to play for the Dallas Cowboys someday.

Photo: Courtesy of Her Moments

Jamie was raised in a very traditional home, and he did extremely well in school. On top of his good grades, he played the piano and sang for the school choir. He also played in the school’s football and basketball teams. It wasn’t until his time in college that he realized he wanted to become an actor.

#7. Jessica Chastain

Yes, Jessica Chastain is a natural redhead, and this high school yearbook photo proves it. She already looked stunning back then! But, as opposed to other celebrities on our list, Jessica had a tough time at school. She didn’t do well academically, and she felt like she didn’t fit in.

Photo: Courtesy of Entertainment Tonight

According to Jessica herself, she was a misfit and a loner, but she finally found an outlet in art and performing. It was her love for Shakespeare that inspired her to become an actress, and she even snuck out of school to read his work. She had so many absences, that she wasn’t allowed to graduate, although she later received a diploma. School just wasn’t her thing.

#6. Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington has had an impeccable career ever since he began acting in the 1980s. Not only has he received Two Golden Globes and a Tony Award, but also two Academy Awards. Basically, every movie he stars in is an instant success. He said that he owes his success to a very important decision his parents made when he was little.

Photo: Courtesy of Her Moments

According to Washington, he was getting in a lot of trouble and hanging with the wrong crowd, so his parents sent him to a military school to get him off the streets, and it changed his life. He is sure that if his parents hadn’t made such a decision, he wouldn’t have survived.

#5. Viola Davis

We can barely recognize Viola Davis without her signature glamorous hair! But when she was just a young girl, she already knew what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. According to her, it was her school, Central Falls High School, that allowed her to discover her true passion.

Photo: Courtesy of Her Moments

The school offered students a lot of involvement in the arts, so she got a taste of what it is like to be on stage really early. While in high school, she also enrolled at the Young People’s School for the Performing Arts, where she was discovered by a director.

#4. Bill Murray

Can you even believe that is Bill Murray in that photo? Also, can you believe that nerdy-looking kid was in a rock band? Neither can we! Before he starred in classics like Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, and Tootsie, Murray lived in Wilmette, Illinois.

Photo: Courtesy of Her Moments

He was raised Catholic and had to work a part-time job as a gold caddy in order to pay for his Catholic school tuition. On his free time, he was the lead singer of Dutch Masters, a rock band, while also taking part in high school and community theater. What an original childhood!

#3. Macklemore

Macklemore kind of looks the same as he does now, but at the same time he looks completely different. Maybe it’s because of his hair? Whatever it is, he used to go by his real name back when that photo was taken. Benjamin Haggerty came up with his pseudonym when he was in high school.

Photo: Courtesy of Her Moments

He discovered his passion for music at a very young age, and he was part of a program called Gateways for Incarcerated Youth, which intended to reach younger generations through music. In the program, he taught music workshops to other kids, and his rap name was Professor Macklemore.

#2. Robin Williams

It’s hard to believe that this wide-eyed kid would turn out to be one of the biggest movie stars of all time, right? But he grew up to be none other than Robin Williams, who has starred in so many hit films that is impossible to remember all! And he has left an empty space in Hollywood no one could ever fill.

Photo: Courtesy of Her Moments

But can you believe that while in high school, he was voted least likely to succeed? Boy, were they wrong! He was an extremely shy kid growing up, and he overcame his anxiety by becoming involved with the drama club at his school. That is when he realized that he wanted to make the world laugh.

#1. Robert Downey Jr.

Before he became everyone’s favorite superhero, Robert Downey Jr. was a young kid who loved performing and hated going to school. His first role came at the age of five, where he played a puppy in one of his father’s movies. Since then, he knew he wanted to be an actor for the rest of his life.

Photo: Courtesy of Giao Duc

He got involved with everything that involved performing, and he even did classical ballet. What he hated, however, was going to school, and he dropped out. His poor grades weren’t helping either, so he figured he might as well just dedicate to acting full-time.

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