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7 popular actors you forgot were child stars

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The road to Hollywood success isn’t easy and sometimes begins when you’re just a child.

For these seven actors, they began their careers as kids and young teens and by doing that subsequently gave up normal experiences in their childhood to be on screen.

Some started out on soap operas while others began on a TV series before landing a feature film. Check them out below:

Christian Bale

Bale landed his first major movie role in 1987 when he was 13 years old.

It was in Steven Speilberg’s “Empire of the Sun” and Bale won Best Performance by a Juvenile Actor award from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures.

“It was money, you know? ‘Christ, my family can do with that!’” Bale told the Hollywood Reporter in 2013 of his “love/hate” relationship with acting and why he started working so young.

“So sure, all right, I did it; there was no reason not to do it. And everybody kept asking me to do it, and then it became sort of a thing of, ‘Oh, I could actually really provide with this,’ and there’s a pride in being able to do that — but there’s also a prison, you know, at such a young age.”

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Christian Bale in a scene from the film ‘Empire Of The Sun’ from 1987. (Warner Brothers/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

“It actually killed my drive of acting because it became something I felt like I had to do,” he explained. “You know, you can’t enjoy something when you’re actually — not being forced to do it, but you feel that duty and obligation that if you don’t a lot of people are going to suffer.”

Scarlett Johansson

She was 9 years old when she was in “North” with Elijah Wood in 1994.

Johannsson also starred in “Just Cause” in 1995 and then in 1998 became the young star of “The Horse Whisperer” with Robert Redford in the lead role.

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Scarlett Johansson (L) and Robert Redford (R) in the ‘Horse Whisperer.’ (Touchstone Pictures)
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Regina King

King played Brenda Jenkins in the 1985 series “227.” She was 14 years old when she started the NBC comedy show which lasted for five seasons.

She went on to appear in the John Singleton film “Boyz n the Hood” in 1991 at 19 years old.

Jennifer Love Hewitt

Hewitt got her start at age 10 when she was cast in the Disney Channel show “Kids Incorporated” which also starred a then 14-year-old Fergie (real name Stacey Ferguson).

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Jennifer Love Hewitt (L) in the 1993 movie ‘Sister Act 2.’ (Touchstone Pictures)

Then, in 1993 she was cast alongside Whoopi Goldberg in “Sister Act 2” at 14 years old. It was her major studio film debut.

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Laurence Fishburne

Fishbourne’s first role was in “One Life to Live” in 1968 as Joshua Hall when he was seven.

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Lawrence Fishburne in 1973 on ‘Once Life to Live.’ (Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives)

He made his film debut in the 1975 movie “Cornbread, Earl and Me” at age 14.

Kirsten Dunst

Dunst played Judy in “Jumanji” alongside comedy legend Robin Williams at just 11 years old.

She was also 11 when she was in “Interview with the Vampire” with Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise and actually kissed Pitt on screen. “It was just a peck,” she previously told Bullett magazine.

“He had this long hair. He was just a hippie-ish cool dude. Everyone at the time was like, ‘You’re so lucky you kissed Brad Pitt,’ but I thought it was disgusting,” she said.

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NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 17: Actress Kirsten Dunst attends the “The Two Faces Of January” New York Premiere at Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema on September 17, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

Hayden Panettiere

Panettiere began her acting career when she played Sarah Roberts at 4 and half years old on the soap opera “One Life to Live” from 1994–1997.

Then, she played Lizzie Spaulding on “Guiding Light” from 1996–2000 and finally made her film debut as Sheryl Yoast in “Remember the Titans” when she was 10 years old.



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