Times Movies Made Actors Look Way Older Or Younger

It’s crazy what we can do nowadays!

When a film takes place over the course of many years or during multiple timelines, filmmakers have two choices: cast a different actor or use makeup and CGI to make an actor look younger or older.


In the past, it was really only possible to make an actor look older, or maybe a bit younger. But recent technology has made it possible to de-age actors or even completely digitally create a younger face.

It’s honestly super impressive, so for your viewing pleasure, I have compiled examples from films where visual effects and makeup teams made actors look wayyyy older or younger.


First up: Chris Evans as Steve Rogers in Avengers: Engame


I couldn’t believe it was actually Chris Evans underneath all that makeup!


And Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter in Captain America: The Winter Soldier


Will Smith as Junior in Gemini Man

Paramount Pictures

His face was actually completely computer generated using new technology, but it was still Smith’s acting.


Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean in Les Misérables

Universal Pictures

Jackman underwent a number of physical transformations to become Valjean at multiple different time periods, including losing a large amount of weight.


Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in Captain Marvel


In using de-aging tech, the filmmakers referenced Jackson in older movies, such as the Star Wars prequels.


And Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson in Captain Marvel


The filmmakers used the same technology as with Jackson, going through each frame to make Gregg appear younger.


Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson as older versions of Harry, Ron, and Hermione in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2

Warner Bros. Pictures

According to the makeup team, getting the 20-year-old actors to look near 40 was difficult, and they had to reshoot the scene after making them look too old.


Brad Pitt as Benjamin Button in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Paramount Pictures

The 44-year-old was aged up (or down, depending on how you look at it) using CGI for the “younger” version of Button.


And again as the “older” version.

Paramount Pictures

Since Benjamin Button aged backward, this version of him was actually older. However, de-aging was used to make Pitt appear younger.


Michael J. Fox as Marty in Back to the Future

Universal Pictures

Fox actually plays four characters in the future: himself, future Marty, Marty Jr., and Marlene.


Robert Downey Jr. as a college-age Tony Stark in Captain America: Civil War


The filmmakers used VFX techniques to make Downey Jr. look like a teenager. I could really go on and on with examples of de-aging from Marvel films — there are so many.


Joe Pesci as Russell Bufalino in The Irishman


Makeup department head Nicki Ledermann revealed makeup was responsible for many of the subtler differences in age in the film, since they didn’t want it all to be CGI.


And Robert De Niro as Frank Sheeran in The Irishman


All three main actors were de-aged for the earlier scenes in the film, using their past performances as references.


Sally Field as Mrs. Gump in Forrest Gump

Paramount Pictures

Field is actually only 10 years older than Tom Hanks (who played Forrest) in real life.


Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures

The effects team “Frankensteined” Depp’s performance with his double to create the younger version.


Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady

20th Century Fox

Streep wore prosthetics to look more like Thatcher, which were adjusted as she played older and older versions of Thatcher in the film.


Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen as Professor X and Magneto in X-Men: The Last Stand

20th Century Fox

The actors actually had no special makeup in the flashback scene — they were de-aged exclusively using digital effects.


And finally, Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in Vice

Annapurna Pictures

It’s already super impressive that Bale was transformed into former Vice President Cheney for the film — but what makes it even more impressive is that he played Cheney at so many different ages. He spent four to eight hours in makeup daily to achieve this feat.

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