Top 10 Teen Movie Stars of the 2000s

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Top 10 Teen Movie Stars of the 2000s

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Felicia Tarantino
These teen movie stars owned the 2000s. For this list, we'll be looking at those big-screen dominating celebrities who were either teens themselves or appealed to that demographic and made a big impact on the film industry in the first decade of this century. Our countdown includes Kristen Stewart, Zac Efron, Lindsay Lohan, and more!
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Top 10 Teen Movie Stars of the 2000s


Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Teen Movie Stars of the 2000s.

For this list, we’ll be looking at those big-screen dominating celebrities who were either teens themselves or appealed to that demographic and made a big impact on the film industry in the first decade of this century.

Which teen movie star did you idolize in the 2000s? Let us know in the comments!

#10: Kristen Stewart


Long before she was walking the red carpet at the Oscars, Kristen Stewart was breaking onto the scene in a big way. As an indie darling, Kristen started her film career in the early 2000s with a few smaller parts before landing the role as Jodie Foster’s daughter in the 2002 thriller, “Panic Room”. For three consecutive years from 2003 to 2005, and then again in 2008, Kristen even received nominations at the Young Artist Awards. However, Kristen is best known for helping to usher in the vampire craze with her blockbuster teen film, “Twilight”. In bringing Bella Swan from book to screen, Kristen became a movie star. While many stars were made from “Twilight”, Kristen can thank the saga for making her a household name.

#9: Hayden Panettiere


While she was dabbling in a singing career and breaking out into TV, Hayden Panettiere was making her mark on the film industry. She started off the 2000s with a few minor parts in Disney flicks, culminating in her role as Gen in “Ice Princess”. But we would be remiss if we didn’t mention her part in the beloved cheerleading film series, “Bring It On”. While it functioned more as a standalone film than a sequel to the original, Hayden gave us an iconic performance in “Bring It On: All or Nothing”. Like her predecessors, Hayden had every 2000s girl wanting to be a cheerleader. And of course, we can never forget her attempt at krumping… No matter how cringe-worthy it may be.

#8: Miley Cyrus


Can anyone honestly say that they weren’t a Miley Cyrus fan in the 2000s? Once she appeared on our screens as a teen girl with a double life, we were hooked. Fans loved hearing the star lend her voice to the 2008 animated Disney feature, “Bolt.” Miley even sang and co-wrote a track for the film, which was nominated for a Golden Globe! However, it was the 2009 “Hannah Montana: The Movie” that marked a maturing point for both Miley Cyrus and her fictional popstar counterpart. It was followed shortly by Miley’s appearance in the Nicholas Sparks drama, “The Last Song” alongside future ex-husband, Liam Hemsworth. While it wasn’t a huge critical success, the role certainly was a hit among fans.

#7: Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen


You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who hasn’t heard of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. These talented twins won over many in their role as Michelle Tanner in “Full House”. But it wasn’t until the 2000s that they really showed off their acting skills in a series of films geared towards teens. Between 2000 and 2004 alone, the twins appeared in a whopping 8 films! Despite most of their films being direct-to-video, they influenced 2000s tweens with their enviable fashion in films like “Our Lips Are Sealed” and “Holiday in the Sun”. While their 2004 film “New York Minute” was considered a box office flop, it has been designated by many as a cult classic. And we can’t deny that it gave us numerous iconic scenes.

#6: Mandy Moore


In the earliest years of the decade, Mandy Moore worked to make herself a huge name in teen dramas and comedies alike. In 2001, following a small voice-over role, Mandy made her on-screen debut as the antagonistic mean girl, Lana Thomas to Anne Hathaway’s Mia Thermopolis. From there, Mandy went on to star in a number of iconic roles that shaped the 2000s. From the warmhearted Jamie Sullivan to the self-righteous Hilary Faye, Mandy showed off her range as well as her ability to create a memorable character. For millennials and Gen Z alike, there’s few scenes quite as influential to pop culture as Lana Thomas getting an ice cream cone smashed into her cheerleading uniform.

#5: Chad Michael Murray


As far as teen crushes went, Chad Michael Murray ranked high on just about everyone’s lists. In his many portrayals, he proved himself to be the quintessential 2000s heartthrob. While he was featured in smaller roles and even starred in the 2005 slasher, “House of Wax”, it was Chad’s teen rom-com roles that made him a big name. Playing the romantic lead alongside two of Hollywood’s biggest it-girls of the decade, Chad was able to play two very different but equally swoon-worthy characters. By the mid-2000s, he cemented himself as a teen icon and even earned himself two Teen Choice Movie Awards. There’s no one else we would want to kiss in the rain in the middle of a football game.

#4: Zac Efron


When Zac Efron was cast in “High School Musical”, a million people fell in love. With a childhood background in musical theater, Zac was practically born to sing, dance, and act his way into our hearts. After being dubbed by Drew Seeley in “High School Musical”, Zac proved his musical chops, as well as his ability to handle more mature subject matter in the 2007 remake of “Hairspray”. He closed off the decade honing his comedic skills in the comedy, “17 Again” which introduced Zac to an adult audience. On top of his incredible performances, we have to give Zac props for inspiring “Bet On It” to become a meme over 10 years later. We’re tempted to break out into dance every time we see a golf course.

#3: Amanda Bynes


If there’s one actor from the noughties we can place above the rest in terms of comedic timing, it has to be Amanda Bynes. Starring in her own sketch comedy show, Amanda proved to audiences that she could make you laugh, despite her age. Whether she was breaking gender norms on the soccer field or causing trouble among the English elite, Amanda had audiences in stitches. 2000s teens admired Amanda’s girl-next-door personality, perfect sense of humor, and enviable style. When we thought she couldn’t be more talented, she showed that she could hold her own in a musical role as Tracy Turnblad’s rebellious best friend Penny Pingleton in “Hairspray”. To this day, we still reference Amanda whenever we dive into a cheese plate.

#2: Lindsay Lohan


Lindsay Lohan was the definition of booked and busy in the 2000s. Starring in an impressive 13 films throughout the decade, Lindsay had a number of successful comedies such as “Get A Clue”, “Just My Luck” and “Life-Size”. The 2003 remake of Disney’s “Freaky Friday” was met with critical and commercial success, receiving an impressive 88% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. However, Lindsay catapulted to the A-list with the ever-popular and extremely quotable “Mean Girls”. Unfortunately, Lindsay’s career hit a snag in the late 2000s after she endured a number of controversies, such as arrests and rehabilitation. No matter what, we will still be wearing pink on Wednesdays to celebrate this 2000s icon.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Josh Hutcherson
Before “The Hunger Games”, Josh Hutcherson Was a Promising Action-Adventure Star

Michael Cera
Outside of Being a Meme King, Michael Cera Had a Major Film Career in the 2000s

Selena Gomez
This Disney Channel Witch Conquered Both Disney Films & More Mature Roles

Corbin Bleu
Corbin Bleu Was a Star On & Off the Wildcats Basketball Court

Michelle Trachtenberg
This Former Child Actor Pumped Up a Number of Great Teen Filmsin the 2000s

#1: Hilary Duff


After she burst onto the scene, there was no one who didn’t know and love Hilary Duff. The starlet connected with audiences in a way that set a trend for future Disney Channel stars. From “Cheaper by the Dozen” to “The Perfect Man”, she was pumping out one iconic role after the next. While some films, like “A Cinderella Story”, may not have been the biggest critical successes, they received largely positive responses among younger crowds. While Hilary had many notable films in the 2000s, her most remembered is arguably the theatrical finale of her Disney Channel TV series, “Lizzie McGuire”. Portraying both Lizzie and her Italian doppelganger, Hilary created a timelessly classic teen film that is still popular today.
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