Carla Gugino Lied About Her Age at 16 to Land Her First Movie Role

Lying in Hollywood for a role is not an uncommon occurrence. Actors like Anne Hathaway and George Clooney have lied about some personal details to get a part they’ve eyed. While most celebrities prefer to add a few years to get a mature role, others prefer to knock some years off, as Carla Gugino did. The actor lied about her age at 16 to land what would be her first film part.

Carla Gugino lied about her age for her first job

Troop Beverly Hills is a 1989 comedy film about a socialite who attempts to keep her relationship with her daughter Hannah going. She agrees to take over the duties of leading Hannah’s troop of Wilderness Girls but instead teaches them how to navigate the ‘wild Beverly Hills lifestyle.’

Gugino played Chica Barnfell, one of the scouts whose parents often abandon her to travel. When the casting call came out, Gugino was 16 — older than they were looking for. According to The Huff Post, she decided to shave two years off her age to get the job, lying about being 14.

The actor admitted to the deception during her appearance on The Late Late Show With James Corden. She said she came clean about the lie during filming, but it was too late to recast her. Gugino noted director Jeff Kanew told her he wouldn’t have hired her in the first place if he had known.

At the time, this kind of thing wasn’t uncommon. Mila Kunis did something similar when she auditioned for That ’70s Show, only in reverse. As Gugino pointed out, it was easier to do this before everything in the industry became computerized. 

Gugino was emancipated at 16

Carla Gugino age
Carla Gugino attends “Extra” at Universal Studios Hollywood on June 18, 2015 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Vincent Sandoval/Getty Images)

Not only was Gugino older than her character, but she was considered an adult in the eyes of the state at the time. After finding some success as a model, the young star became legally emancipated with the help of her parents at 16, notes Paste.

She then decided to try her luck at acting, landing her first acting gig in Troop Beverly Hills at 16. Though now a cult classic, the movie was poorly received. But Gugino’s performance didn’t go unnoticed. She landed prominent roles in TV shows like Spin City and Chicago Hope. After appearing in several films throughout the ’90s, she became famous for her performance in the Spy Kids franchise.

What is Gugino up to now?

Gugino’s career has continued to thrive throughout adulthood. The actor turned 50 in August 2021, but it marked a landmark year for her. She had four projects released last year: Zack Snyder’s Justice League (in which she reprised her voice role from previous DCEU films), the anthology drama With/In, the action flick Gunpowder Milkshake, and the horror miniseries Midnight Mass

The last of those is just one example of Gugino’s frequent collaborations with creator Mike Flanagan. The actor appeared in his other Netflix projects, The Haunting of Hill House and its sequel series, The Haunting of Bly Manor. She’s working with him again on The Fall of the House of Usher.

RELATED: Who Is ‘Bly Manor’ Star Carla Gugino’s Long-Time Partner, Sebastian Gutierrez?