19 Celebs Who Lied About Their Age To Further Their Careers

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It’s no secret that Hollywood has an ageism problem, especially when it comes to women. Goldie Hawn put it best as Elise in The First Wives Club: “There are only three ages for women in Hollywood — babe, district attorney, and Driving Miss Daisy.”

Some women have been told they’re “too old” for love interest roles in their late twenties, and others have been made to feel they’re too old for “interesting” roles in their thirties and beyond. On the flip side, however, teenage actors are sometimes considered too young for the kinds of roles they want to play.

Here are 19 celebs who lied about their ages to further their careers:


When Mila Kunis auditioned for That ’70s Show, she lied to the show creators and claimed she was 18 so they’d think she was old enough. She was actually 14 at the time.

MIla with her hands on her hips

She told Vanity Fair, “You have to sign a contract before you get the job, and in my contract, I had to put an asterisk for ‘studio teacher.’  They were like, ‘What do you mean?’ And I was like, ‘Oh P.S., I’m 14.’ But at that point, if you talk to the creators, they were like, ‘We loved you at that point, so what did we care?'”


In a 2019 interview with InStyle, Alexa Demie went along with a question about being “almost 25 now.” However, fans found a 2009 blog post that called her the “19-year-old designer/founder of MainFrames (her sunglasses line).” So, she was actually almost 30 when she spoke to InStyle.

closeup of Alexa in a cheer uniform for Euphoria

Her true age has been such a conspiracy theory among fans that it sparked a meme about how she’s “lived a thousand lives.”


A tabloid story claiming that Rebel Wilson was lying about being 29 came out around the same time Pitch Perfect 2 did. A Time investigation revealed that she was actually 35.

closeup of rebel

Jokingly addressing the reports on Twitter, Rebel said, “OMG I’m actually a 100-year-old mermaid formerly known as ‘CC Chalice’….thanks shady Australian press for your tall poppy syndrome.”


When Laverne Cox was 28, the guy she was dating broke up with her for being “too old.” So, for the next two years, she claimed to be 22 on dating apps and online. However, she felt uncomfortable with the lie, so she simply said she was “over 21” from 2002–2019.

closeup of laverne

On The Ellen Show, she said, “Then IMDb found out my real age, so it started appearing places, and it was freaking me out. I was having such anxiety, and so I started talking to my therapist about it. I started unpacking all the stories I had about being older. The stories were like, I wasn’t hirable, I wasn’t datable, I wasn’t F-able…and then I worked through all that.”


When Paloma Faith released her debut album, she told her record label she was 23 instead of 27. However, she was forced to admit the truth earlier than she wanted to because a fan kept changing her age on her Wikipedia page.

paloma sitting at a mic

In an essay for iNews, she said, “Every time I set my age to 23, they would change it back to 27. Eventually, they provided my birth certificate to Wikipedia, so I was blocked from editing my own page – it really brought home to me how much my age was going to be a factor in my career.”


When Agyness Deyn began modeling, she claimed to be 18. However, in 2007, her former classmates called her out for lying by creating a Facebook group named “Agyness Deyn You’re Not 18” and alleged they could “verify she is 24.” In 2012, she admitted to being 29.

Agyness Deyn on the runway


After 14 years as a struggling actor, then-32-year-old Riley Weston began pretending to be a 19-year-old writing prodigy, which got her a job as a writer on the WB series, Felicity, and a $300,000 development deal with Touchstone Television. However, while working on a story about her, Entertainment Tonight uncovered the truth.

closeup of riley

In a statement, she said, “I could not be one age in the acting world and another in the writing world, so I chose to maintain the ruse. In a business fraught with age bias, I did what I felt I had to do to succeed.”


Mariah Carey’s true birth year has long been debated both in the press and on social media, with evidence supporting both 1969 and 1970 as the correct answer. Mariah herself, however, wants to “remain eternally oblivious to age.”

mariah singing on stage

She told Complex, “I don’t have a birthday. I was just dropped here. It was a fairyland experience.”


In 2013, Jessica Chastain told the Independent, “I will never say my age because I’m an actress, and I want to play different ages.”

closeup of jessica


When Sandra Bullock was about 28, she reportedly told the Love Potion No. 9 casting directors that she was 29 because they were looking for a 29-year-old actor.

closeup of sandra sitting in a chair for the film


In 1998, Teen People named Nelly one of its “Hottest Stars Under 25.” However, it was soon revealed that he was actually 28.

nelly on stage


In 2013, Junie Hoang sued IMDB for revealing her true age as 42. She won the lawsuit.

junie on the red carpet

In the complaint she filed against them, she said, “In the entertainment industry, youth is king.”


On Howard Stern’s radio show in 1999, Eminem claimed to be 24. However, he was actually 27.

closeup of eminem


Early in her career, Nicki Minaj reportedly said she was born in 1984. However, in 2011, a police report revealed she was actually born in 1982, making her 28 instead of 26.

nicki rapping on stage


To land the role of 16-year-old Andrea Zuckerman on Beverly Hills 90210, Gabrielle Carteris told producers she was 21 instead of 29 because “a lawyer told [her that she] could sign a contract and state a different age, as long as it was over the age of 21.”

closeup of Gabrielle Carteris

She told People, “When [my real age] did come out, the show was just starting to take off and my character was established enough that they did not fire me. But a producer did say to me, ‘You’re lucky we didn’t know your age when we hired you.'”


Whoopi Goldberg “had to lie about [her] age to get some jobs.” In 1986, she revealed that, contrary to reports that she was 35, she was actually 30.

closeup of whoopi


In 2015, The Sun revealed that stand-up comedian, Russell Kane, was born in 1975, making him 40 when he’d previously claimed to be 35.

russell at an event

Rather than deny the report, he embraced it, naming his next comedy tour Right Man, Wrong Age.

He told the Warrington Guardian, “I was desperate to find something to write about. You need a negative to start with, and the only thing I’ve got is my refusal to get older or grow up. I thought, ‘I’m in denial about my age, but I’ve suddenly started throwing my skinny jeans in the bin — something’s happening here.'”


When Carla Gugino auditioned for Troop Beverly Hills, she lied about being 14. She was actually 16.

closeup of carla in the show wearing a trooper uniform

She told People, “After I got the job and when we were deep into filming, I said to the director [Jeff Kanew] one day, ‘Just so you know, I am actually 16, but I told you I was 14 to get the job.’ He said, ‘Had I known you were 16, I wouldn’t have hired you!’ So my lying was sadly confirmed as the right choice in that moment.”


And finally, when Girls Aloud member, Nadine Coyle, tried out for the Irish version of Popstars, she lied to producers about being 18 so they’d think she was old enough to audition. However, she was kicked off the show after accidentally admitting she was actually 16 while introducing herself on camera.

closeup of nadine

She also pretended to look for her passport to “prove” she was 18, even calling her mom to help her look for it at home. Eventually, she confessed to lying.

However, they invited her back to audition for Popstars: The Rivals, where she was matched up with her bandmates.

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