These 5 adult movies with child lead actors have done extremely well at the box office. While they may have been young in years, the actors displayed incredible maturity, showcasing their impressive acting talents in front of the camera. Although a number of these actors and actresses are all grown-up, many still remember their impressive performances in these adult movies with child lead actors.
It's rare that child lead actors get started as young as Drew Barrymore. She was barely out of diapers when she had her first big break in the hugely popular “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” and snagged another big role two years later in the motion picture adaptation of Stephen King's "Firestarter." Barrymore took on the role of Charlie McGee, a girl with uncanny pyrokinetic abilities who is hunted down by the government to be quarantined and studied. Unfortunately for the hapless government operatives, not even fire retardant suits can stop Charlie when she's ticked off.
"Leon: The Professional"
Even as a child Natalie Portman was already oozing talent. Working alongside French cinematic standout Jean Reno and the ultra-versatile Gary Oldman in "Leon: The Professional." Portman showed she had the chops to keep up with acting veterans. In the movie, Portman plays Mathilda a pretty girl who survives a brutal attack of crooked cops. She befriends her enigmatic neighbor and learns he is deadly assassin. Eventually, she hires him to eliminate the men who killed her family. As far as child lead actors go, Portman was fortunate enough to make the smooth transition from young actress to a more mature and seasoned performer.
Abigail Breslin has been a busy little trooper with a plethora of projects since 2002. Less successful child lead actors may have look at her resume with envy. A nice and juicy part in M. Night Shyamalan's "Signs" working with industry juggernauts like Tom Cruise and Joaquin Phoenix kickstarted her career. A favorite film among fans is the 2009 hit "Zombieland". Abigail Breslin plays the tough Little Rock, a girl who teams up with another young lass to survive the zombie apocalypse. They team up wih Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg, blasting away at the undead while headed out to what they think is a zombie-free theme park.
It's hard to imagine child lead actors in a savage, ultra-violent movie such as “Kick-Ass.” The movie, based on a popular comic book series, is basically about a group of vigilantes who don superhero costume to fight crime. Although the boyish looking Aaron Johnson took the lead as the dual stick-weilding hero Kick-Ass, Chloe Moretz stole the show as she sliced and diced through bad guys, killing them a 1,001 ways as the purple-haired Hit-Girl. Fans of this diminutive performer are in for a treat as several of her projects are due for release in 2012.
"War of the Worlds"
Are there any other lead child actors who can say they worked with the likes of Denzel Washington, Sean Penn, Robert De Niro, Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg? Most seasoned actors don't even have a resume half as impressive. Perhaps the most gifted child lead actors of her generation, Dakota Fanning not only held her own against some of the Hollywood's legends, she even managed to outshine some of these stars with impeccable acting prowess. In “War of the Worlds,” Fanning plays the part of Cruise's daughter. She and her on-screen brother stay with father for the weekend, but the family has to suddenly deal with and survive a devastating alien invasion.