We’ve all been through that awkward stage in our lives, and just because celebrities enjoy glamorous lifestyles now doesn’t mean that they’re any different from the rest of us when it comes to growing up. Plenty of stars got their start at a young age and had to grow up right in front of our eyes, blossoming into full-blown celebrities. How would you handle dealing with the awkwardness of adolescence in front of the public?

MTV’s Awkward returns for Season Three tonight, and the protagonist Jenna Hamilton knows a thing or two about everyone being all up in her (very awkward) business. In honor of the season premiere, maybe we can take some tips from these stars as we showcase the metamorphosis from awkward kid to talented superstar.


Ryan Gosling

Yup, he was a mouseketeer! Landing a gig on Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club when he was 12, Ryan entertained in full-blown 90s attire for kids on the daily. After working for a young audience, he decided to get more “serious” and enter the indie world. Now? Oh, he’s just the Most Wanted man, not only by women across the world, but also by everyone in the film industry.


Zac Efron

Zac was the gap-toothed, floppy-haired basketball star trying to land the girl by showing off his theater skills in Disney's High School Musical. Now trying to break into that “serious actor” role, he’s worked with the likes of Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey and more. Plus, let’s face it –- he’s ain’t gap-toothed anymore!

Shia LaBeouf

Since Shia takes himself super-seriously now, it’s kind of hard to imagine him on Disney’s Even Stevens as a young goofball that was constantly causing trouble. Plus, he’s traded those awkward button-up shirts to well-fitted tuxedos, making him one handsome man on the red carpet!


Miley Cyrus

Getting her start on the Disney Channel like many child stars in Hannah Montana, Miley has completely shed her “good-girl” image and cutesy, color-coordinated outfits. Now, it’s all about her platinum-blonde pixie cut, tattoos, songs with Snoop Lion and belly-baring ensembles.

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Drew Barrymore

Drew was the cutest little thing when she got her big break in E.T., but it was a crazy hard-partying lifestyle in her teens that’s probably harder her to look back on. She’s pulled her life together to become a respected actress and role model for women.


Anna Paquin

Anna got her big break starring in 1993’s The Piano, landing her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress at the age of 11. While that may be not be too awkward, growing up in front of the world can be. But since she plays super-hot Sookie Stackhouse on True Blood, we think she’s doing okay now.


Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Look at JGL’s long hair! Making audiences laugh week after week on 3rd Rock From The Sun, Joseph just seemed the like the geeky young brother we all pick on. Then a few notable roles in indies and a massive hit called Inception came and as it turned out, he wasn’t geeky anymore! He was an unbelievably attractive man who just so happens to be a phenomenal actor as well. No fair!


Kristen Stewart

Playing the tomboy daughter of Jodie Foster in Panic Room helped Kristen nab a Young Artist Award at the age of 11. Not too shabby, right? But she’s gone from that awkward tomboy 11-year-old to, well, a still-awkward tomboy who throws on a glamorous dress here and there and starred in one of the biggest franchises ever.


Neil Patrick Harris

Doogie Howser he is not. Well, not anymore at least. Neil has traded in his white doctors coat for a snazzy suit as Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother and become everyone’s favorite human in general.

Season 3 of Awkward premieres tonight at 10/9c on MTV!