The 'Dazed and Confused' Cast: Then and Now

As the film turns 28, look back at the then-newbies who've gone on to become major stars

01 of 08

THE CAST

THE CAST
Everett

When Dazed and Confused hit theaters in 1993, it wasn't a huge success; the film only grossed $8 million. But 20 years later, the high school comedy – set on the last day of class in 1976 at fictional Lee High School in Austin, Texas – is considered a cult classic, and helped launch the careers of mega-stars like Ben Affleck and Matthew McConaughey. "The whole movie lived or died with the cast," director Rick Linklater told PEOPLE at an Austin Film Society anniversary party for the film in Texas. "They were just such a great young bunch of actors with a lot of energy and humor."

02 of 08

BEN AFFLECK

BEN AFFLECK
Universal Studios

Then: Affleck tackled the role of angry soon-to-be super-senior Fred O'Bannion, who took pleasure in paddling freshmen during Lee High School's annual hazing ritual. "Ben could get pretty scary when he was in character," costar Wiley Wiggins recalled.

Now: Do we even need to go there? He's an in-demand actor, two-time Oscar winner (most recently for Argo), father of three with ex Jennifer Garner and back with Jennifer Lopez. "Nothing Ben has accomplished in the past 20 years has surprised me, at all," Linklater said of the star's success.

03 of 08

JOEY LAUREN ADAMS

JOEY LAUREN ADAMS

Then: Adams played Simone Kerr, girlfriend of Lee High School's star football player, and had a blast with her costars. "We were exploring Austin, drinking and being typical 20-year-olds," she said at Wednesday's party. "But we were also writing. We were such rebels – we'd go down to the hotel lobby in our pajamas and write scenes."

Now: She reunited with Affleck for 1997's Chasing Amy, played Jennifer Aniston's best pal in 2006's The Break-Up, and has also dabbled in writing and directing.

04 of 08

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY
Everett

Then: The actor played David Wooderson, an older guy who hadn't quite moved on from high school. "The film kind of took off to another level when Matthew came aboard," Linklater said. "You could tell that [he] was someone special," Wiggins added.

Now: Also a father of three – and married to longtime love Camila – the former Sexiest Man Alive has found success in dramas, rom-coms and comedies. According to Linklater, McConaughey decided to skip law school in favor of acting after filming Dazed.

05 of 08

MILLA JOVOVICH

MILLA JOVOVICH
Getty

Then: The Ukrainian model-actress had a small role in the film as hippie Michelle Burroughs. But off-screen was another story: at just 16, she married Dazed costar and on-screen beau Shawn Andrews, then 21, only to have her mom annul the marriage a few months later.

Now: Married to director Paul W.S. Anderson and mom to three children, Jovovich has found success mainly in action films, starring in the Resident Evil series.

06 of 08

RENÉE ZELLWEGER

RENéE ZELLWEGER

Then: At just 23, the Texas native had a super-quick, uncredited cameo as "girl in blue pickup truck," seen funneling a beer through a bong at a nighttime party.

Now: Though she scored major acting awards for her work in films like Chicago, Cold Mountain, Nurse Betty and Judy, her most commercial success has come as the leading lady in the Bridget Jones series. She's currently dating television personality Ant Anstead.

07 of 08

JASON LONDON

JASON LONDON

Then: Newcomer London landed the role of rebellious football star Randall "Pink" Floyd. "With the majority of the cast, this was their first film. Others had been working since they were little kids," Linklater said. "But I didn't treat anyone any differently than anyone else."

Now: Finding numerous TV and film roles after Dazed, married in 2011 and playing the good guy to troubled twin brother Jeremy, London made headlines recently when he was arrested for public intoxication in Mississippi.

08 of 08

PARKER POSEY

PARKER POSEY

Then: Posey seemingly had a ball playing Darla Marks, a hazing-happy cheerleader who nailed one-liners like, "Wipe that face off your head, b---h." Of her time on set, she told PEOPLE, "We'd shoot from 4 p.m. to 6 a.m. When we'd wrap we'd go eat breakfast burritos. Then we'd go to sleep and wake up at 4 p.m. and do it again."

Now: The actress is still a cult-film queen, earning laughs in movies like Best in Show (2000) and A Mighty Wind (2003) while juggling a steady stream of TV roles.

Updated by Anne Lang
Related Articles