15 College Films With Actors Too Old For Their Roles

Posted on May 11, 2009

By Tara Miller
It’s no secret that actors are typically older than the roles of characters they play. This could be for various reasons, and sometimes it goes unnoticed. There are times, however, when the casting of actors to play a character at least a decade younger is just too far of a stretch. The following is a list of the most memorable films in which the starring actors were just too old to be believable.

How High – Method Man



Method Man and Redman weren’t fooling anyone when they stared as college students in How High. But believability is not something Hollywood is known for.  Both stars were in their early thirties playing young college students at the time this film was shot. Regardless, 30-year-old, Method Man and, 31-year-old, Redman proved they could make an audience laugh with their brand of hip-hop stoner humor.

Road Trip – Tom Green



In the late 1990’s it seemed Tom Green could do no wrong.  From painting lesbians on the hood of his parents’ Buick, to dating Drew Barrymore, he ruled the MTV generation. During his popularity decline, he played the role of the mouse-ingesting weirdo in a little film called “Road Trip”. Not surprisingly, this film was about a group of students taking a road trip – at the time Green was 29 and a half years old.

PCU – Jeremy Piven



Trying to have Piven convincingly play the roole of a young college student who looks at least 35 old was a questionable move. He was however, only 29 at the time. In spite of Piven’s receding hairline, PCU was still a great film.  Note: this movie was single handedly responsible for reminding people never to wear the t-shirt of the band they’re going to see in concert.  Piven’s words, “Don’t be that guy!”

Revenge of The Nerds – Donald Gibb



Revenge of the Nerds was the first film in which nerds were allowed to play the role of heroes.  Part of the success of this film was casting the ultimate douche bags as the rival frat. “Ogre, Orge, Orge!” Even though he was 30 at the time, Donald Gibb was cast as the mighty jock, and the bane of the film’s socially inept protaganists.

Son In Law – Pauley Shore



Pauley Shore was one of the most popular young celebrities in Hollywood in the early 1990’s.  And as a result, he was cast into a number of college-themed movies, such as Biodome and Son-In-Law. Shore was 25 when he played ‘Crawl’ in the latter, and he may go down in the annals of time for this character. Either that or Encino Man.

The Waterboy – Peter Dante



Having been in nearly every Adam Sandler movie since the Wedding Singer, Peter Dante has continually enjoyed the perks of being close friends with the former. This much  was apparent as Dante was 30 when cast as a college quarterback in the 1998 comedy, The Waterboy.

Glory Daze – French Stewart



French Stewart has always been one of those annoying character that plays the same character in every one of his roles.  In 1996’s college comedy Glory Daze, 32-year-old Stewart plays a senior in college who has no idea what he wants to do with his life.

The Curve – Matthew Lillard



At 28, Matthew Lillard stared in this film as a young college student who would do anything to get a 4.0, even kill his roommate and make it look like a suicide.

Sorority Boys – Harlan Williams



It is amazing that Harlan Williams was 39, and is still being cast in roles as cross dressing college students.

Orange County – Colin Hanks



Colin Hanks is an interesting actor.  Having received his start on his father’s production, Band of Brothers, his career has slowly but surely improved over the years.  Though it may seem odd to cast a 25-year-old actor as a high school senior gearing up to go to college, if you’r Tom Hanks’ son, normal rules probably don’t apply to you.

Senseless – David Spade



All throughout his 30’s, David Spade continued to take movie roles as college students.  When Spade was cast as a 30-year-old in PCU, it was a stretch but it turned out to be plausible.  But when he was cast for the same role four years later in the film Senseless, a 34-year-old playing a college student is just too unbelievable.

American Pie 2 – Alyson Hannigan



Alyson Hannigan will forever be remembered for her role as the lovable girl dork in the American Pie franchise. It’d be suprrising for most to findo out that, by the end of her role as the infamous band girl, she was in her early thirties.

Brick – Joseph Gordon Levitt



Although Joseph Gordon Levitt co-starred along side French Stewart on 3rd Rock, I won’t hold it against him.  What I will hold against him is, a 25-year-old playing a student gearing up for college in the independent thriller Brick.  It wouldn’t surprise me to find out that Levitt, who is nearly 30, continues to try and pick up college freshman because he still looks 14.

Dead Man On Campus – Lochlyn Monroe



At 34, Lochlyn Monroe stared as the college dorm mate to Zach Morris (aka Mark Paul Gosselaar) in the 1998 comedy, Dead Man on Campus.  Sharing a similar plot line with The Curve, Monroe starred as the student his roommates wanted dead.  After seeing Monroe’s performance in this film you will have wish his roommates succeeded to off him earlier on in the movie.

Animal House – Tim Matheson



Animal House is the quintessential college comedy, and one of the most beloved movies of all time.  To many, this film can do no wrong, except for the fact that most actors cast in the film were either in their late 20’s or early 30’s.   The  oldest of the bunch was “Otter”, played by Tim Matheson at the age of 31.