Some of the best horror films feature kids so creepy they'll leave you with nightmares and The Ring was no exception — featuring not one but two of them.

Samara, the evil spirit of the little girl responsible for the cursed videotape that kills everyone who watches it within seven days, is often credited as the reason the 2002 supernatural horror is so scary. But Aidan, played by David Dorfman, also left viewers terrified with his spine-chilling premonitions and knowledge of sinister supernatural entities.

As the son of protagonists Noah and Rachel, the young boy was supposed to be one of the film's heroes, but David's performance was so eerie he'll forever associated with the creepy role. While he's still renowned for his appearance in the horror, more than two decades since the film's release David, now 30, is leading a very different life.

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The young actor initially went on to see more success in Hollywood, starring in the The Ring Two as well as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Drillbit Taylor. But acting wasn't the only thing young David excelled at - he was also gifted academically.

DAVID DORFMAN as Aiden and NAOMI WATTS stars as Rachel Keller The Ring film movie
David was just nine when he starred in The Ring

In fact, he was so clever he ended up going to college at The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) when he was just 13 years old, just a few years after his role in The Ring catapulted him to fame. The impressive feat was no big deal to the talented child star, who told Business Insider: "Being an actor, I was already accustomed to working in adult environments so college wasn't a shock. All things considered, I really enjoyed my time at UCLA."

David Dorfman during Hollywood Film Festival's Opening Night Film & World Premiere of The Ring at The ArcLight in Hollywood, CA, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
David was child prodigy who went to college at just 13

David went on to graduate as valedictorian when he was just 17 but his remarkable education didn't end there. At 18 years old he was accepted at Harvard Law, where he worked on three different law journals while serving on the student government before graduating from the prestigious college at 21.

The former star's last acting role came in 2010 when he appeared in six episodes of the TV series Zombie Roadkill. But after graduating from Harvard at the top of his class, he left Hollywood behind as he pursued a totally different career as an attorney.

Actor David Dorfman attends the Los Angeles Premiere of Paramount and Nickelodeon Movies "The Spiderwick Chronicles" held at Paramount Pictures on January 31, 2008 in Los Angeles, California
His stopped acting in 2010

Since then he's worked for top law firms in Hong Kong, the US Justice Department and currently works at the US House of Representatives, where he serves as Legislative Director to the Energy & Commerce Committee’s Vice Chair and Homeland Security Committee’s Cybersecurity Subcommittee Emeritus Chair.

Opening up about his new career, David told Refinery29 in 2017: "Honestly, I just feel so lucky to have such interesting experiences. From Hollywood to Harvard, from the Boston bombing prosecution to ISIS prosecutions to actually being able to write some laws in the Philippines, I'm just really incredibly grateful for all these great opportunities."

David now works at the US House of Representatives
David now works at the US House of Representatives

And while he appears to have left Hollywood behind for good, David revealed he still keeps in touch with his co-stars from The Ring and other films. He added: "They're great people. Like any friends, you keep in touch, and that's true for a lot of projects, like Drillbit Taylor.

"I ran into a colleague in a grocery store in Oregon, which is probably the last place you'd expect to see someone from Hollywood." David is also surprised by how often he still gets recognised as Aidan.

He explained: "For work, I was on a deal in South Korea, and this businessman in Seoul starts asking me something in Korean, and my friend tells me he was asking me 'Are you Aidan?' In Seoul, of all places."

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