The cast of 13 Going on 30 then and now

Bring out the Razzles because we are taking a stroll down memory lane to one of our all-time favorite middle school movies: 13 Going on 30. This coming of age romantic comedy stole our hearts nearly 15 years ago, so we’re taking a look back at the actors and actresses to see how far they’ve come since the movie’s release in 2004. 13 Going on 30 tells the story of Jenna, a girl on the cusp of her 13th birthday who wants more than anything to be popular. When everything goes wrong at her birthday party, she wishes to be “thirty, flirty, and thriving” and suddenly wakes up to find her dream has come true. Of course, being a 13-year-old in the body of a 30-year-old comes with its fair share of challenges, and Jenna finds that even though she has achieved many of her goals, some things aren’t quite as great as they seem. So, she sets out to right her wrongs and find her place in the strange world of adults. Jennifer Garner stars as Jenna, but there are a number of other celebs in 13 Going on 30 that you may not even have noticed. Whatever happened to the Six Chicks, the clique of popular girls that Jenna desperately wanted to join? Well, read on to find out – the answers may surprise you.


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Then: Sean Marquette as young Matt

Sean Marquette is an adorable young Matt, and even though we’ll never quite understand how he was supposed to grow up to look like Mark Ruffalo, he’s so sweet that we don’t mind. Matt is Jenna’s geeky best friend, who gifts her a pink dollhouse and magic wishing dust for her 13th birthday. It turns out to be the gift that changes her life, sending her nearly 20 years into the future when the magic dust rains down on her head.

Now: Sean Marquette

Best known for his role as the voice of Mac on the animated series Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, Sean Marquette started acting at the young age of six, on the soap opera All My Children. After playing young Matt in 13 Going on 30, Marquette went on to guest star in a number of diverse roles in several television series including crime dramas CSI and Bones. Currently playing the recurring role of Johnny Atkins on the sitcom The Goldbergs, Marquette’s voice can also be heard on a number video games.

Then: Brittany Curran as one of the Six Chicks

The Six Chicks are the popular girls, the clique that young Jenna will do anything to be a part of. These girls all follow the lead of their queen bee, Tom-Tom. And although these six young women are only in the film for a few short scenes, a number of them, including Brittany Curran, have gone on to have illustrious acting careers. 13 Going on 30 was Brittany’s first Hollywood film, in which she plays an unnamed Six Chick.

Now: Brittany Curran

13 Going on 30 was Brittany Curran’s first film credit. Since then, she’s gone on to play a wide variety of roles from guest starring on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody to a recurring role on the television drama Chicago Fire. In 2009 she landed the role of Lucy in the series Men of a Certain Age, for which she was nominated for a Young Artist Award. She is currently starring as Fen in the SyFy series The Magicians.

 

Then: Ashley Benson as one of the Six Chicks

Another of the Six Chicks that made it big after 13 Going on Thirty is Ashley Benson. You can see her standing behind Tom-Tom in the opening school hallway scene, and even then, she manages to steal the show when she laughs at Tom-Tom’s joke, flashing a winning smile. It feels like going back in time to see her with that off the shoulder sweater and green scrunchy, and we can’t believe we didn’t spot her sooner!

Now: Ashley Benson

Ashley Benson was a competitive dancer and a singer before she started acting. Although she’s had some television appearances before 13 Going on 30, this was her first time on the big screen. Since then, among her many guest star spots, she had a recurring role on the daytime soap Days of Our Lives. She also starred in the Bring it On sequel before landing her Pretty Little Liars role as Hanna Marin, for which she is known today.

 

Then: Mark Ruffalo as Matt Flamhaff

30-year-old Matt Flamhaff is quite possibly the perfect man. Played by Mark Ruffalo, Matt is sweet and sensitive (and, lest we forget, quite handsome) and he helps Jenna out even though she was horrible to him in high school. Matt has a fiancé in Chicago, but after he and Jenna spend some quality time together eating Razzles and dancing to Thriller, they start to fall for each other. Matt grew up to be a very talented photographer and Jenna tries to help him move forward with his career as well.

Now: Mark Ruffalo

Most recently, Mark Ruffalo can be seen playing The Hulk/Bruce Banner in The Avengers, but he’s had a number of other high profile film credits since 13 Going on 30 as well. In 2010, he received an Academy Award for best supporting actor for his role in critically acclaimed comedy-drama The Kids Are All Right, and also starred in the psychological thriller Shutter Island. Other notable credits include Academy Award winning film Spotlight and mystery film Now You See Me.

Then: Brie Larson as one of the Six Chicks

If you look closely, you might be surprised to spot a young Brie Larson in the opening scene of 13 Going on 30, laughing and rolling her eyes at young Jenna in the hallway. Sure, it was a long time ago, and she’s only onscreen for a few minutes, but we think we can spot the future Oscar-winner’s talents even then. It sure is fun to notice so many actresses that we love in this movie from almost 15 years ago.

Now: Brie Larson

Although Brie Larson had several television credits before 13 Going on 30, she rose to fame several years later. The actress, filmmaker, and musician played a number of supporting roles in films such as 21 Jump Street before her breakthrough role in independent film Short Term 12. She went on to win an Academy Award for best actress in 2016 for her starring performance in the drama film Room. What’s next for the talented Larson? She’s going to play Captain Marvel in the upcoming film and we can’t wait!

 

Then: Judy Greer as Lucy Wyman

Lucy is 30-year-old Jenna’s frenemy, and her co-editor at Poise magazine where she works. Played by Judy Greer, Lucy is grown-up mean girl Tom-Tom, who apparently became Jenna’s bestie after that fateful birthday party. Although she’s Jenna’s only friend, she’s not loyal at all, and is constantly trying to outdo Jenna. Although Lucy seems to be helping Jenna out in navigating her grown-up life, Jenna overhears Lucy bad mouthing her, and knows something’s gotta change.

Now: Judy Greer

Actress, model, and author Judy Greer is mostly known for playing the best friend role in romantic comedies. Her list of television and film credits, however, is extensive, and she’s particularly recognized for her roles in the comedy series Arrested Development, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Archer. After 13 Going on 30, Greer appeared in films including comedy 27 Dresses, action adventure Jurassic World, and superhero movie Ant Man. She has a lot coming out soon, including a leading role in the next movie in the Halloween horror franchise.

Then: Alexandra Kyle as young Tom-Tom

Alexandra Kyle’s Tom-Tom is leader of the Six Chicks, and the meanest of the bunch. Jenna agrees to do Tom-Tom’s homework so that the popular girls will come to her birthday party, and come they do, but only to humiliate poor Jenna. Young Kyle is perfectly brutal in the role of Tom-Tom, who likes to put others down in order to make herself feel good, and grows up to be none other than Jenna’s selfish frenemy Lucy.

Now: Alexandra Kyle

Alexandra Kyle got a young start at the age of eight in the 1996 thriller Eye for an Eye. After her role as Tom-Tom in 13 Going on Thirty, Kyle had several guest appearances in television shows including Without a Trace and soap opera Days of Our Lives, as well as a recurring role in the crime drama series Justified. She recently tried her hand at directing in the short film Anxiety’s Wilma, in which she also starred.

Then: Christa B. Allen as young Jenna

12-year-old Jenna, played by a young Christa B. Allen, is gawky and awkward (but let’s face it, who wasn’t at that age?) and just wants to be accepted by the Six Chicks, the most popular girls in school. When everything goes humiliatingly wrong at her 13th birthday party during a game of “seven minutes in heaven,” she locks herself in the closet and wishes to be “30, flirty, and thriving.” Allen is so sweet and genuine in the role and truly looks exactly like a young Jennifer Garner.

Now: Christa B. Allen

Christa B. Allen looks so much like Jennifer Garner, that she played the younger version of her again in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, five years after 13 Going on 30. The two reportedly bonded, with Garner giving Allen some important advice, telling her to be sure to maintain a life outside of Hollywood. But Allen has had plenty of roles of her own, including co-starring as Charlotte Grayson in the television drama series Revenge. She also guest starred in a number of television series including Medium, medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, and CSI.

Then: Renee Olstead as Becky

Grown-up Jenna runs into another 13-year-old in the elevator – her neighbor Becky, played by Renee Olstead. She starts up a conversation with her, much to Becky’s surprise, because this Jenna usually ignores her, and it’s one of the most memorable scenes of the whole movie. The two complement each other on their clothes and Jenna even invites Becky to come by her apartment sometime. It’s clear that Jenna feels much more comfortable with Becky than with any of the other adults.

Now: Renee Olstead

Renee Olstead is an actress and singer, best known for her role as popular girl Madison Cooperstein in the hit series The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Before that, she also starred in the sitcom Still Standing for four years. Olstead has released four jazz studio albums, performing on several television shows including The Today Show and The Oprah Winfrey Show as well as at the Live 8 concert in Berlin. In addition, Olstead is a vegan and vocal activist for PETA, appearing in several of their advertising campaigns.

Then: Jennifer Garner as Jenna Rink

Jennifer Garner stars as Jenna, a girl who suddenly wakes up as an adult after wishing she was 30, and finds herself in a body she doesn’t recognize, with the life she always dreamed of. But something’s not quite right – although she is one of the editors of her favorite fashion magazine, she quickly realizes that she has changed in a lot of unpleasant ways – she has lost touch with her parents and is involved with a married man. So Jenna goes on a mission of sorts, to right her wrongs. Garner is absolutely charming as the girl in the body of an adult, and she received applause from a number of critics, while we all fell in love the character.

Now: Jennifer Garner

From her rise to fame starring in the hit TV spy show Alias to today, Jennifer Garner has steadily appeared in films and television shows, often praised for her acting skill and comic timing. Since the release of 13 Going on 30 in 2004, Garner wrapped up her role as double agent Sydney Bristow on Alias and is known both for action roles and for her parts in comedies such as Juno and The Invention of Lying. She will come back to the big screen as an action star in thriller Peppermint, to be released this fall. And we would be remiss without mentioning her magazine-cover marriage to Ben Affleck in 2005, which ended after they separated ten years later and divorced in 2017.

Then: Kathy Baker as Bev Rink

Kathy Baker played Jenna’s wise mother, Bev Rink. At the beginning of the movie, Bev is the caring mom who just wants her nearly-teenage daughter to be happy, and doesn’t understand why she’s struggling so much. 30-year-old Jenna has lost touch with her mother, however, and when she goes back to visit her, Bev gives her some of the best advice of the movie, telling her that she doesn’t regret her mistakes because they helped her “make things right.”

Now: Kathy Baker

A renowned theater actress, Kathy Baker also has over 50 impressive film credits to her name. After getting her start on stage, Baker made the move to film in the 1983 film The Right Stuff. Before playing Bev Rink in 13 Going on 30, she appeared in films including the popular dramas Street Smart, Edward Scissorhands, and The Cider House Rules. She also won several awards for her performance as Dr. Jill Brock in the series Picket Fences. She’s been acting on television and in films ever since.

Then: Sam Ball as Alex Carson

Alex Carson, played by Sam Ball, is 30-year-old Jenna’s boyfriend. She wakes up with him in her apartment and is utterly confused as to why he is there, and why he is not wearing any clothes. Later in the film, Alex shouts to Jenna, calling her “beautiful.” She’s shocked, as her 13-year-old self, and her best friend Lucy explains to her that not only is he her boyfriend, he’s also a famous hockey player. Jenna, however, realizes that she doesn’t like him very much.

Now: Sam Ball

Sam Ball has had many small roles on television from crime shows Law and Order to CSI and teen drama Dawson’s Creek. Following his part as Alex Carson in 13 Going on 30, Ball continued acting on television and landed a recurring role as Aaron in the TV drama series The Event in 2010. He has been largely out of the spotlight since the early 2000s but has done some writing and editing, making his own independent film short called Touched.

Then: Marcia DeBonis as Arlene

Arlene is 30-year-old Jenna’s trusty secretary at her job at Poise Magazine. Played by Marcia DeBonis, Arlene is thoroughly confused by Jenna’s apparent memory lapse when she shows up at work thinking she is, in fact, a 13-year-old girl. She has some of the most memorable lines in the movie, when Jenna thinks that the rapper “Eminem” is actually a type of candy, and she also plays an important role in helping Jenna find and get back in touch with Matt.

Now: Marcia DeBonis

Since appearing in 13 Going on 30, Marcia DeBonis has guest starred in several popular television shows such as drama Homeland and sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm. She has also had larger roles in the sitcom Lipstick Jungle, on which she played Ellen, and on the web drama series Wallflowers, where she played the recurring character of Leslie. She is also a casting director, and has worked in the casting department on a number of productions including comedies Bride Wars and Step Mom.

Then: Kiersten Warren as Trish Sackett

Trish Sackett is the editor in chief of Sparkle Magazine, the rival of Poise, the magazine where adult Jenna is a co-editor. Trish, played by Kiersten Warren, tries to take down Poise magazine by stealing their content. Jenna tries to insult Trish at their company party, but since she has the mind of a 13-year-old, the sentence she shouts is one of the most quoted lines of the film: “You are rude and mean and sloppy and frizzy. I don’t like you at all.”

Now: Kiersten Warren

Kiersten Warren is currently best known for playing the role of Nora on the drama series Desperate Housewives. She began her career as a model in Japan before trying her luck in Hollywood. She had minor roles in television shows and TV movies before landing her big break in sitcom Saved By the Bell: The College Years, playing Alex Tabor. She went on to act in more films such as dramas Independence Day and The Astronaut Farmer, and has been continuously acting in small roles ever since.

Then: Susan Egan as Tracy Hanson

Susan Egan played the small but important role of Tracy Hanson, a woman who works in the art department at Poise Magazine, where Jenna works. When Jenna is propelled to the future, she finds out that her adult self is having relations with Tracy’s husband, Pete, and she is disgusted with herself. Jenna finds out about this arrangement when Pete stops by the office to bring Tracy her lunch, and comes to say hello to Jenna as well.

Now: Susan Egan

Best known for her roles in Broadway musicals, Susan Egan also guest starred on several television show prior to her appearance in 13 Going on 30. Egan began performing in high school, when she toured with the Young Americans, a group of performers. She originated the role of Belle in the Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast in 1994, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. As a voice actress, Egan was featured in the animated films Spirited Away and Porco Rosso as well as in Hercules.

Then: Andy Serkis as Richard Kneeland

Jenna’s boss at Poise Magazine is Richard Kneeland, played by Andy Serkis. Richard is the foul-mouthed chief editor at the magazine. He is trying to keep Poise afloat despite rival magazine Sparkle stealing their scoop every month. He is looking for a redesign for his magazine, and gives Jenna the opportunity to come up with her own idea. When she finally does, it’s with the help of none-other than her old friend, photographer Matt, and Richard loves it.

Now: Andy Serkis

Andy Serkis is one of the most famous actors in 13 Going on 30. Perhaps best known for playing Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, he often plays computer generated characters through motion capture and voice acting. He is critically acclaimed and recognized for his work in these roles, as well as other acting parts. Recently, he played villain Ulysses Klaue in superhero flicks The Avengers and Black Panther. Keep an eye out for his latest films, coming out this year and next year as well.

Then: Lynn Collins as Wendy

Lynn Collins played Wendy, grown-up Matt’s fiancé in 13 Going on 30. When Jenna finally gets back in contact with Matt, she learns that he is engaged to a woman in Chicago, and is set to get married and move across the country very soon. Wendy is a news anchor and doesn’t seem to be so thrilled by Jenna’s sudden reappearance in Matt’s life. Matt isn’t sure if Wendy is the so-called “love of his life” but he is set on marrying her, despite Jenna’s objections.

Now: Lynn Collins

Lynn Collins’ television debut was as a guest star in an episode of crime show Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. She went on to play Jessica Manning in the TV horror series Haunted before landing the small role in 13 Going on 30. Now, she is most recognized for playing Dawn Green in the vampire series True Blood, Dejah Thoris in the blockbuster film John Carter, and Natalie in the TV drama mini-series Manhunt: Unabomber. She is married to musician Matthew Boyle and they have a child together.

Then: Megan Lusk as one of the Six Chicks

Another one of the infamous Six Chicks, Megan Lusk brought out her best teenage sassy face for 13 Going on 30. She sure brings out the color with her ‘80s style pink sweater with rainbow straps across the front. She makes an appearance in the opening scene in the school hallway, laughing at poor Jenna, and then again at Jenna’s birthday party where the girls play a trick on Jenna, and we all know how that turns out.

Now: Megan Lusk

Today, Megan Lusk is one of the least known stars from 13 Going on 30. She does not have very many credits to her name, but she did make an appearance on television drama show The Division a year before 13 Going on 30, and the crime series Without a Trace in 2005. She got her start acting in the made for TV children’s movie Search for the Jewel of Polaris: Mysterious Museum at the young age of 10, but seems to have retired from the spotlight since then.

Then: Alex Black as young Chris Grandy

13-year-old Jenna has a huge crush on Chris Grandy, the school’s heartthrob, played by Alex Black. Tom-Tom and the Six Chicks convince Jenna to do their homework in exchange for coming to her birthday party – and bringing Chris with them. Jenna is hoping that Chris will finally notice her, but the popular kids all play a trick on her and leave her in the closet while they flee with her homework. Chris Grandy isn’t doing too great in the adult world though – he grows up to be a taxi driver.

Now: Alex Black now

As a child, Alex Black was in several movies and television shows, starting with biography film The David Cassidy Story in 2000. He can also be seen in the teen drama film Bubble Boy and superhero movie Spider-Man. After his small part in 13 Going on 30, Black guest starred on crime show CSI: Miami and hospital drama series ER before he landed his most famous role, as Seth Powers in the television sitcom Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide. He has not been active on screen since 2008.

Then: Julia Roth as one of the Six Chicks

Julia Roth is the final member of the Six Chicks. She stands with the girls in the hallway in the first scene, giggling with them and laughing at Jenna. When the group leader Tom-Tom says that her school photos didn’t come out so good, she disagrees and flatters Tom-Tom, saying, “Yours are the best.” She also shows up at Jenna’s house later with the girls for Jenna’s birthday party, throwing her coat on top of Jenna as she walks in.

Now: Julia Roth

13 Going on 30 was Julia Roth’s first film credit. Since then, she has acted in a few more films and worked as a producer, assistant director, writer, and has had several other positions on film sets. She is currently mostly working as an independent filmmaker, writing and producing some of her own work. A short narrative film that she produced, called Yoyo, was shown at the Tribeca Film Festival in a special screening called Out of This World: Female Filmmakers in Genre.

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