What 20+ Teen Idols From the 2000s Look Like Today (Some of Them Are Already Over 40)
We saw them star in a TV series, launch a new album, give group or solo concerts, fall in love, split up, break up, and then find love again... And suddenly, without us even noticing anything, they all turned 40 years old! Yep, our favorite teen stars from the 00s have grown up and are now very, very different from what we remember seeing 2 decades ago on small screens that weren’t flat yet!
Bright Side wanted to take a one-way ticket to the past on the Nostalgia Express by comparing how our teen idols look today and how they looked back when thinking of having a device with a touchscreen meant that you were reading too many sci-fi stories. Some of them have changed so much, you won’t even be able to recognize them!
1. The Backstreet Boys
Although the concept of a “boy band” seems a bit obsolete today, for the Backstreet Boys that has never been a problem. After becoming one of the most famous pop bands in the world in the ’90s and early 2000s, they took a break from 2003 to 2006. Then, they came back and even managed to win over a new generation’s heart. Today, Kevin (48 years old), Brian (45 years old), Nick (40 years old), Howie (47 years old), and A.J. (42 years old) are still active, giving concerts and touring around the world. In total, they’ve been active for about 27 years... Not too bad, right?
2. JC Chasez
Singer, dancer, composer, producer, and actor JC Chasez has conquered more than one teenage heart since he was a member of the band NSYNC. Oh, how many times we wondered who was really leading the band, him or Justin! But thanks to Chasez’s charisma, he sort of became that element that held the whole band together in perfect harmony. Chasez is now 44 years old and, although he gave up his solo career, he is still in the music business composing songs for other artists.
3. Spice Girls
The Spice Girls were a completely new and revolutionary phenomenon for pop music back in the 1990s and early 2000s. Each of the girl’s personalities (Geri, Melanie C, Victoria, Melanie B, and Emma) attracted a different type of crowd of young people in their time. After experiencing some difficulties between members, the group disbanded in 2001. However, in 2007 they returned to the stage after successfully bonding again and repairing the relationship between the 5 of them. Today, all of them have celebrated their 40th birthday, but they continue to give concerts. That is, of course, except for Victoria, who is now more dedicated to her public image as a soloist.
4. Rachel McAdams
What kind of list would this be if we didn’t add the beautiful and charismatic “Queen Bee” Rachel McAdams. She was launched to fame after playing Regina George in the modern classic rom-com Mean Girls. Her obnoxious but equally adorable character is remembered for making Lindsay Lohan’s life miserable. Her great performance didn’t leave anyone indifferent and she soon became a youthful idol. However, the actress proved that she was not only a talented rom-com actress. She has since played other roles that are demanding and interesting as well. Thanks to her skills and dedication she has already received, at the age of 41, several nominations for important awards like an Oscar, a BAFTA, and a SAG.
5. Leonardo DiCaprio
The popular and amazing “Leo” DiCaprio became every teenage girl’s dream boy from the 2000s, after his stunning performance as Jack Dawson in Titanic. But that wasn’t enough for him. Time and again he has gone out of his comfort zone, which is why he became one of the best actors of our time. At the age of 45, he’s still rocking the set and delivering one great performance after the other. On top of that, he is also known for his engagement in the fight against climate change.
6. Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar
Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar met in the 1990s on the set of the movie I Know What You Did Last Summer... and the rest is history. In the early 2000s, they appeared in virtually all of the magazines covering the lives of celebrities. They were the example of the perfect relationship, which finally led them to walk down the aisle in 2002. Since they met and fell in love, they have been one of the most solid couples in Hollywood’s history. And even if roughly 20 years have passed and Freddie is 44 and Sarah Michelle 43, they are still the perfect example of how happy endings don’t just happen in the movies. They are both parents now and lead a happy life.
7. Nick Lachey
Nick Lachey is known for having been a member of another of those vibrant and short-lived boy bands that were so typical of the 90s. His was called 98 Degrees and it has split up and reunited several times since it was first created in 1995. But that isn’t Lachey’s sole source of fame. For a while, he appeared on many magazine covers because he was dating pop singer Jessica Simpson, whom he eventually married. Too bad their “dream” marriage only lasted for 4 years. At 46, he is still active on social media, but in the last 3 years or so we haven’t really seen him anywhere near showbiz.
8. Tia and Tamera
The famous Nickelodeon twins of the ’90s, Tia and Tamera Mowry, are now 42 years old. And even if they were both amazingly skilled actresses, Tia is the only one that is still active in television series and movies. But the great thing is that they are still very close. Also, notice how they look just as young as when we first saw them on TV!
9. Mark Hoppus
The bass guitarist and co-vocalist of Blink-182 known for his rebellious attitude, Mark Hoppus, is now 48 years old. And while he is still involved in many projects related to the music industry, mainly writing and producing songs for other artists, he got a complete makeover and left behind his rebel-without-a-cause teenage look.
10. Rider Strong
Boy Meets World co-star, Rider Strong, is already in his 40s. Strong has appeared in a few television series in recent years and, of course, he also played a part in some of the episodes of the spin-off of the series that made him famous, Girl Meets World, that aired in 2004.
11. Melissa Joan Hart
If we are going to talk about the real teenage icons of the late 1990s and early 2000s, there’s no way we can leave out Melissa Joan Hart. She first became famous for playing Clarissa, but she really hit the jackpot when she brought Sabrina, the teenage witch of Archie’s world, to the small screens of teenagers all over the world. And although it seemed that Melissa would remain a teenager for the rest of her life, the truth is that she has turned 44. She is actually a mother now and, while she’s decided to dedicate her life to acting, she also shares her day-to-day life on social media.
12. Joshua Jackson
Famous for bringing Pacey Witter’s character to the small screen in Warner Brothers’ Dawson’s Creek, Joshua Jackson managed to get everything a celebrity could have wished to have in the 2000s. Now, at 42, he is the star of the miniseries Little Fires Everywhere.
13. Ryan Phillippe
More than one teenage girl fell for the iconic bad boy of Hollywood, Ryan Phillippe. And it’s kind of funny because he wasn’t particularly rebellious outside of the sets, that is. Clearly, his character in the film Cruel Intentions was far from being the guy you’d want to introduce to your parents. And even if you wouldn’t believe it, he is now 46 years old and already the father of 2 children. He is still acting but hasn’t announced any new projects in a while.
The controversial rapper who gave us plenty to talk about in the early 2000s is about to turn 48. Yep, that’s almost 50! And although his songs are no longer known for their sharp criticism of the music industry, he is still a respected figure in the music of his genre. Today his projects are of course much more mature and developed. Still, it will be hard for millennials to forget Eminem’s rebellious yet sensitive image that granted him immense success.
15. Ashton Kutcher
At 42 years old, Ashton Kutcher is no longer the scatterbrained Kelso we saw on That ’70s Show or the prankster who hosted MTV’s Punk’d. He is now married to Mila Kunis, with whom he has 2 children. His life has changed quite a bit since those crazy years after he dated actress Demi Moore. He is now focused on other more mature projects, as well as some altruistic and socially responsible campaigns.
16. Jared Leto
In the early 2000s, Jared Leto’s name was in everyone’s mouth, either because they were talking about the movies he starred in or because they listened to the music he composed. As the lead singer of the alternative punk-rock band 30 Seconds to Mars, Jared’s style has changed several times over these years. Now, at 48, he remains a renowned actor and musician, as well as a committed philanthropist.
How does it feel to see your teen idols turn 40 and have kids and an adult life? Do you think they’ve changed a lot over the years? Who else do you think should appear in our list?