We all know what happens when boys become men—their chins start to get hairy, their voices break and suddenly they’re taller than all the girls who towered over them when they were 13. But what happens to the little boys, who, exposed to the warm blush of fame as children, are forced to simultaneously grow and be silver screen stars? I’ve looked up some of the most well known baby faces of the 90s to see what happened when our favourite little boys grew up to be big hairy men…
Haley Joel Osment
“I see dead people” was the phrase of 1999 and baby faced Haley Joel Osment even earned himself a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination for his role in The Sixth Sense. He then went on to star in other #meaningful movies like A.I and Pay It Forward, and generally succeeded in being an all-round tear-inducing cutie pie. Fast forward to 2006 and Haley Joel flips his car and is arrested for misdemeanors including driving under the influence and drug possession. Fast-forward even further and 2011 sees Haley Joel spotted at Williamsburg’s Lucky Dog, and this plucky journalist officially challenging him to a game of shuffleboard. And I’m as serious as the ghost of Bruce Willis, bebe.
From angelic child star to Lucky Dog lurker
From Jerry Maguire to Stuart Little to The Little Vampire, Jonathan Lipnicki was the cutest kid to ever live in the history of the world. He had the most adorable little lisp and his stupid round glasses just made you want to take him home and squeeze him to death then eat him for dinner (extreme cuteness often inspires the urge to squash or eat, it’s a natural human impulse). After going through a really horribly awkward teenage phase, which momentarily erased all memories of his cutest, Jonathan has emerged as quite the strapping young man, leaving the bits between my legs locked in a very confusing battle with my brain. I want to sex him, but my mind keeps flashing to images of a tiny little adorable guy with a mouse brother. He’s also a prolific philanthropist now, which adds at least 56 sexy points.
From the cutest fucking kid on earth to confusingly spunky frat boy
Devon Sawa was in some the best 90s movies: Casper, Now And Then, Idle Hands, Little Giants and Wild America to name a few. Now he’s making cameos on TV shows like NCIS, appearing in films no one has ever heard of, and battling a threateningly sparse hairline. What he lacks in hair however, he makes up for in tattoos, having added some really sexy body art to his subtly sculptured body. I’d still date him.
From luscious locks to a suspiciously receding hairline
I don’t know what you were doing in the 90s but I was plastering every inch of my bedroom wall with images of JTT’s face, doing love equations all over my school books adding together the letters of our names to see if we were compatible and planning our very decadent wedding in Hawaii. I used to watch Home Improvement just for JTT’s (often too breif) appearances and it was JTT’s voice that made me fall for Simba. Since his swoon-inducing days, JTT has made a few small TV appearances but seems to have dropped completely off the radar since his 2005 performance in Veronica Mars. Shame, he’s still a bit of a spunk rat.
From being plastered all over your bedroom wall to relative obscurity
If anyone was going to give Jonathan Lipnicki a run for the cute money it would have to be Elijah Wood in North. Making a seamless transition from child to adult star, Elijah Wood, despite being typecast as a Hobbit is as successful as they come in bridging the gap between childhood cuteness and adult appeal. Maybe it’s because his face hasn’t changed a scrap since his youth, but Elijah Wood is an enduring big screen icon.
From angel face to angel face
Mark Paul Gosselaar
Zack was my favourite. Not just my favourite on Saved By The Bell, my favourite everything. I almost cried whenI saw the advertisements for Franklin & Bash, and I respectfully withdraw myself from Team Gosselaar.
From Saved By The Bell to Franklin & Bash
You fell in love with Ethan Embry in Empire Records, Can’t Hardly Wait and That Thing You Do, but it’s been so long since he made something that you can’t even really remember who he is. He’s made a few cameos here and there throughout the noughties, most notably (jokes, I’ve never heard of it before), 2011’s Fairly Legal.