There are some things that we think will just stay the same forever – where the sun rises, the smell of fresh cut grass, Twinkies. But apparently, not our favorite child stars. These celebrities have grown up right before our eyes, and yet I am still surprised by each one. It’s amazing to see the new generation of actors coming into their own. Actors who seemed like they were kids just yesterday, will be our leading men and women before we know it. Do you remember where you first saw these familiar faces?

Emma Roberts, 29 years old

The initial inspiration for this list came to me yesterday in the grocery checkout line – turning to my left to see Emma and her baby bump gracing the cover of Cosmopolitan. How was this possible? I came to realize that she was no longer a teenager strumming her guitar on Nickelodeon’s Unfabulous. The niece of one of Hollywood’s leading ladies, Julia Roberts, was truly her own woman now. Her career has been steady throughout the years, some of her most notable roles being in American Horror Story and We Are the Millers. Emma began dating actor Garret Hedlund in March of 2019 and their romance flourished quickly from there. The beautiful baby, a boy named Rhodes, was born on December 27, 2020.

Thomas Brodie-Sangster, 30 years old

Netflix’s original series, The Queens Gambit, has been the talk of the town for months. And the moment the character of Benny Watts appeared on the screen under that oddly large cowboy hat, I gasped.  That chess afficionado was once young, baby-faced Sam from the romantic comedy, Love Actually. What a contrast! Thomas has definitely grown up while keeping very busy over the years, working on both The Maze Runner and Game of Thrones franchises. Another face you may have recognized amongst Beth Harmon’s chess crew is Harry Beltik, played by Harry Melling. We used to know Harry as tubby, little Dudley Dursley from the Harry Potter movies! These boys are now men, and we can’t wait to see where they pop up next.

Cole & Dylan Sprouse, 28 years old

These boys originally stole our hearts alongside Adam Sandler in the in the 1999 hit comedy, Big Daddy. They were then Disney stars throughout their adolescent years, starring in The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and all its spin-offs. After their whirlwind of young success, the actors took a nearly 10-year hiatus from the limelight. Cole made a comeback for himself in 2017 as Jughead on The CW’s Riverdale, and Dylan will make his return to television with the upcoming HBO series, The Sex Lives of College Girls. The show will be directed by Mindy Kaling, and Dylan will share the screen with Pauline Chalamet, older sister of actor Timothee Chalamet. It seems the Sprouse duo has a lot more on their plates now than just playing with Scuba Steve!

Saoirse Ronan, 26 years old

Like a proud parent, I smile looking back on all that Saoirse has become. Once a troublemaking, little girl in Atonement, then onto playing Susie Salmon in The Lovely Bones, critics always had an inkling that she would become one of Hollywood’s leads. Seeing Saoirse in her recent transition from Lady Bird to Little Women was extraordinary and shined light on her amazing acting range.  Wise behind her years and a true force on camera, she can be seen next in Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch.

Freddie Highmore, 28 years old

Maybe the most impressive, this child star is now a doctor! Well, on TV of course.  Freddie’s acting has impressed many ever since his breakout roles in Finding Neverland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory back in the early 2000s. And as his voice got deeper, so did his roles. He terrified us in A&E’s Bates Motel, and now mesmerizes us as Dr. Shaun Murphy in The Good Doctor. Freddie’s mother is a talent agent who also managed young Daniel Radcliffe – no doubt she knows talented, young stars when she sees them.

Taylor Momsen, 27 years old

We had to add this one to the list because, wow what a development! Whether you are more familiar from with little Cindy Lou Who from How the Grinch Stole Christmas or Taylor Momsen from the rock band The Pretty Reckless, they are one in the same. Taylor put a hold on acting after the Christmas classic and her time on Gossip Girl. Her band then announced they would be going on their first tour in the Spring of 2009. Trading in her rosy cheeks and holidays bows for skulls and leather, Taylor has been rocking hard ever since.

And that’s a list of young celebrities that became adult starlets overnight. We’ll be keeping an eye out as more millennial child stars begin re-appearing on the scene!