Jawbreaker is a black comedy film released in early 1999. Darren Stein wrote and directed the film, while Adam Silverman produced it. Although the film later developed a cult following, it was not a box office success since it only made $3,117,085 on a budget of $3.5 million.
This film is about three Reagan High girls who accidentally killed their best friend on her birthday. These girls wanted to do something crazy for their best friend on her 17th birthday, by grabbing her from her bed; they tied her up, covered her mouth with duct tape, and put her in the trunk of their car. The girls wanted to appear as if they were kidnapping their friend, but they just wanted to take her out for breakfast.
The only problem with their plan was one of them putting a jawbreaker in her mouth to keep her from screaming because, in addition to keeping her quiet, it choked her to death. The girls feared to go to the police because they had obviously killed their friend and would go to jail for their actions, so they covered up the crime.
This film is about the events that began to unfold following this accidental death. The cast was great and the film met the expectations of the audiences. Here is a list of the leading cast members and a number of projects they were involved in after this film.
15. Charlotte Ayanna
Charlotte Ayanna played the role of Elizabeth Purr (Liz), a character who hardly got to speak even one word, but was one of the most important characters in the film. According to the narrator at the beginning of the film, Liz had everything; she was rich, hot, bright, the most popular girl in school, and she cared about everyone.
Her three friends tried to surprise her on her 17th birthday by kidnapping her as a way of getting her out of the house to get her breakfast. In the process, the jawbreaker they put in her mouth ended up killing her, an outcome no one expected or would have anticipated. The events, which followed immediately after, are what make up the content of the film.
Charlotte is an accomplished actress and model who won both the Miss Vermont Teen USA and Miss Teen USA 1993. One of her most recent appearances on TV includes her role as Joanne in Entourage (2004). The films we last saw her in include The Insatiable (2007), Errand boy (2010), and Rain from Stars (2010).
14. Julie Benz
Julie Benz played the role of a popular high school senior called Marcie Fox, who appeared to be Courtney’s closest friend and follower. She was one of the girls who accidentally contributed to their friend’s murder, and was on Courtney’s side when it came to doing everything it took to cover up the crime.
Together with Courtney, Marcie helped transform Fern from the awkward and plain girl she was to a beautiful and elegant teenager, as a way to keep her quiet after discovering what actually happened to Liz. At the prom, when everyone turned against Courtney, Marcie feared she would be next and we saw her hiding under the table.
Julie Benz is an accomplished actress who at the time this film came out was famous for her role on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2000). Some of her other recent and most notable TV appearances include in No Ordinary Family (2010-2011), Defiance (2013-2015), Hawaii Five-0 (2015-2017), and Training Day (2017). Her latest film appearances are in Life on the Line (2015) and Havenhurst (2017).
13. Judy Greer
Judy Greer played one of the most interesting roles in this film, of a girl named Fern Mayo. Fern was a senior at Reagan High, a student none of the students cared much about or even noticed except for all the wrong reasons. Since Liz was the sweetest and most popular student in school, Fern admired her to a weird extent; she even referred to her as the cat’s meow.
Fern stumbled upon Courtney, Julie, and Marcie in Liz’s bedroom, plotting how to make her death appear to be the result of a rape gone bad. In a bid to keep her quiet, Courtney and Marcie gave her a makeover, which transformed her into Vylette, a hip and beautiful girl who joined their clique. Her new identity became a threat to Courtney, and it took Courtney and Marcie printing numerous enlarged photos of Fern and sticking them everywhere, exposing exactly who Vylette was.
Judy is an actress, an author, and a model, who has been part of amazing films in recent times including Tomorrowland, Jurassic World, and Ant-Man all in 2015, as well as in TV series including Casual (2017) and I’m Sorry (2017) among others.
12. Rebecca Gayheart
Rebecca Gayheart played the role of a senior named Julie Freeman, who couldn’t let her friend’s murder remain covered up forever since she knew the truth. As soon as she realized her friend Liz was truly dead, she wanted to go to the police and report the incident, but Courtney didn’t let her.
The guilt she felt over taking part in her best friend’s murder led her to cut ties with her other two friends, who in turn reviled her and abused her. She found comfort in her boyfriend Zack, a drama student who treated her so well and helped her to gain the courage to go to the police, and later reveal Courtney’s dirty secret to the whole school.
In addition to being a great actress, Rebecca Gayheart is also a fashion model. Before this movie, Rebecca had appeared in films such as Nothing to Lose (1997), Scream 2 (1997), and Urban Legend (1998), among others. Some of her recent work includes appearances in films such as G.B.F. (2013) and Grey Lady (2017), as well as in TV series such as Vanished (2006), Ugly Betty (2007), and The Cleaner (2009).
11. Rose McGowan
Rose McGowan plays the leading role in the film Jawbreaker, a confident and feared senior called Courtney Shayne. Courtney is one of the three girls who executed a plan to kidnap Liz, one of their best friends, as a surprise prank on her birthday. First, everything went according to plan, except that by the time they were opening the trunk to let Liz out to go for breakfast, they discovered she was dead.
The jawbreaker Courtney put in Liz’s mouth to keep her from screaming choked her to death, and the trio had to find a way of covering up the murder since they were just playing a prank on their friend. Courtney prevented Julie from going to the police and did everything within her power to tie up all the loose ends, which would have led to the police finding out exactly what happened.
Rose McGowan’s performance in the film was so good she received a nomination for the MTV Movie Award for Best Villain in this film. She played a starring role in TV series such as Charmed (2001-2006) and Chosen (2014), among others. She has also been part of great films such as Grindhouse – Planet Terror (2007), Conan the Barbarian (2011), and The Sound (2017).
10. Marilyn Manson
Marilyn Manson was in this film and he played the role of a character who never got to say anything, who we can only refer to as the stranger. When Courtney volunteered to go to Detective Cruz to contribute towards the investigation, she claimed how Liz would often go out at night and have sex with strange men. As she narrated the story, we saw a young girl get into a bar with the intention of attracting the attention of a “mature” man.
The man who came forward was the stranger, and he went with the girl to her home and they had sex. The problem with the story was that the girl doing this wasn’t Liz, but Courtney, and she did these acts on Liz’s bed the night following her death. When the detectives came to collect evidence from the crime scene, they went after the stranger and put him in prison.
Marilyn Manson’s real name is Brian Hugh Warner, and he is a singer, songwriter, actor, composer, author, and painter. He is the lead singer of a rock band called Marilyn Manson, in which he has become a controversial figure and a negative influence on listeners, despite gaining considerable success over the years.
9. Jeff Conaway
We got to see Jeff Conaway in one of the scenes in the film and he was playing the role of Marcie’s father called Mr. Fox. In the scene, he was talking to his daughter and telling her he feared she was just a follower as opposed to being independent.
With the discussion, we also realized he doesn’t have a wife, and he was trying hard to be his daughter’s friend but it was clearly not working. Marcie was clearly at the stage where teenagers want freedom from their parents and they value friendship relationships more than family relationships.
Jeff Conaway died in May 2011 as a result of Pneumonia. From the time he started acting from 1971 to 2010, he appeared in over 40 different films and TV series. Most people remember him from his role as Kenickie in Grease (1978) and in Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.
8. William Katt
William Katt played the role of Mr. Purr in the film Jawbreaker, and he was Liz’s father. Mr. Purr didn’t have many lines and didn’t appear in many scenes, but since his daughter was arguably the focus of the film, we can tell a lot about who he was.
The only time we saw him was when he came home with his wife from a trip we don’t have the details of. The first thing they did was to start looking for their daughter Elizabeth, only to find her dead in her room. They immediately call the police and we never got to hear of him again.
William Katt is an actor, musician, and voice artist. He has been acting since 1970, and since his parents were both actors, he appeared in the same films with them. Arguably, his starring role in the series The Greatest American Hero (1981-1983) was what made him famous, although he had also had significant appearances in numerous other films. In 2013, he played himself in Paranormal Movie, the parody.
7. P. J. Soles
In this film, P. J. Soles played the role of Elizabeth’s mother, a character named Mrs. Purr. Just like her husband, Mr. Purr, she didn’t have a major role in the film, but we can tell these two were great parents.
For Elizabeth to be the most popular girl in school for all the right reasons it shows her parents truly raised her up well since Fern’s description of Liz makes us see as if she was too good to be true. Mrs. Purr and her husband were rich, and their success was a reflection of the values they had as well as shared with their daughter.
P. J. Soles first appeared on TV in a soap opera called Love Is a Many Splendored Thing in 1973 and in the films Blood Bath and Carrie in 1976. Other films she has been part of include The Devil’s Rejects (2005), The Butterfly Room (2012), and 13 Girls (2015), among others.
6. The Donnas
The Donnas is a rock band made up of four female members namely Brett Anderson, Allison Robertson, Maya Ford, and Amy Cesari. Torry Castellano used to be a member of the band but she had to leave owing to developing tendonitis. The band made an appearance in the film Jawbreaker as themselves, entertaining the students at the prom just before the principal came forward to announce the prom king and queen.
Brett is the lead vocalist, Alison plays the guitar, Maya plays the Bass, and Amy plays the drums, although all the instrumentalists also sing the backing vocals. This band received a cult following back in 1997 and achieved commercial success in the early 2000s. The band first made it in the punk scene and later mixed punk with classic rock sounds and metal. The band has at least eight studio albums but has been on hiatus since their last big show in Sioux City, Iowa on June 15, 2012.
5. Carol Kane
Carol Kane played the role of the school principal at Reagan High, a weird lady called Ms. Sherwood. Courtney called her pretending to be Liz’s mom, informing her Liz couldn’t make it to school because she had a serious case of the flu. At first, Ms. Sherwood looked like the normal discipline-loving principal with a terrible car, but we got a glimpse of her smoking in her office and trying to hide it as soon as someone walked in.
Ms. Sherwood loved Fern because she was disciplined and knew how to keep time, a quality she emphasized Courtney lacked. When Detective Cruz was interviewing her, she revealed an important detail about the case, concerning a call Liz’s mom had supposedly made.
Carol Kane is a film and TV actress and comedian who became famous in the 70s. To date, she has appeared in over 140 different films and TV series and received numerous awards and award nominations. Some of her most notable performances were in Hester Street (1975), Norman Loves Rose (1982), Taxi (1980-1983), Chicago Hope (1995), Gotham (2014-2015), and the on-going Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2015-present).
4. Tatyana Ali
Tatyana Ali played the role of a character named Brenda. Although she played a minor role with few lines, she was on screen long enough for us to notice her and love her performance. She must have been a cheerleader, judging from her dress code, and she seemed to be a positive character all through. Right before the principal made the most important announcement of the night at the prom, we remember Brenda complimenting Courtney on how great she looked.
Tatyana Ali is an actress, R&B singer, and model who we clearly remember from her role as Ashley Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-1996). Her first role in a film was in Eddie Murphy Raw in 1987 and has since been in numerous other films including Brother (2000), Mother and Child (2009), Dear Secret Santa (2013), and her most recent one November Rule (2015). On TV she has appeared in shows including In the House (1995), The Young and the Restless (2007-2013), and Zoe Ever After (2016) among others.
3. Ethan Erickson
Ethan Erickson played the role of a senior named Dane Sanders. Sanders was the hot guy who would occasionally be seen hanging out with Courtney, Julie, Marcie, and Vylette. He was probably the only individual worthy enough to hang out with these girls since he was the most popular guy in school and was great at sports.
Sanders went to the prom together with Courtney, and as everyone would expect, these two were pronounced Prom King and Queen. As soon as Zack hacked the sound system and everyone discovered Courtney had killed Liz, Sanders immediately abandoned Courtney and the new title, because he didn’t want to be associated with a murderer.
Ethan Erickson is an actor and TV host. Before appearing in this film, he had appeared in a few small roles in films such as Two Bits & Pepper (1995) and New Testament (1998), as well as in one episode of Step by Step (1995). After this film, we remember him for starring in Pact with the Devil (2001), Accidentally in Love (2011), I Married Who? aka: Always a Bride (2012) and Vendetta (2013).
2. Pam Grier
Pam Grier was part of the cast of Jawbreaker, and here she played the role of a character named Detective Vera Cruz who came to investigate Liz’s mysterious death. When Detective Cruz was asking Courtney, Julie, Marcie, and Fern questions concerning the murder, it seemed as if she didn’t believe the answers the girls were giving her. The time she brought up the jawbreaker, it seemed as if she had cracked the case, but apparently, Courtney misled her to believe a lie.
Pam Grier has been part of numerous films since 1970 and has starred in films popularly referred to as Blaxploitation and Women in prison films. Her most notable film appearances include Jackie Brown (1997), where she won the San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress, Bones (2001), and The Man with the Iron Fists (2012) among others.
Some of the series she has played major roles in include Linc’s (1998-2000), The L Word (2004-2009) where she was nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, and in Smallville (2010).
1. Chad Christ
Chad Christ played the role of one of the most reasonable characters in the film Jawbreaker, called Zack Tartak. Zack was one of the star drama students, who confessed to having had feelings for Julie for a long time. When Julie broke away from her clique, she met Zack and they started going out.
At one point, Zack started telling Julie about how Vylette had approached him, and she revealed to him her identity. His curiosity concerning her transformation led to Julie telling him about what actually happened to Liz and how Courtney was trying to cover up the murder. Zack, Julie, and Fern went to the prom together, but they didn’t just go there to have fun, they went there to expose Courtney.
Before this film, Chad had appeared in films such as Gattaca (1997) and the TV movie About Sarah (1998). After the film, he appeared in films such as Ricky 6 (2000), New Port South (2001), as well as in the TV movie An American Town (2001).
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