Dazed and Confused was a comedy film released in 1993. Almost everyone who watched this film liked it since even IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, and Metacritic gave it 7.7/10, 94%, and 78% respectively. On the box office front, it’s safe to say the film was a commercial success, earning $8 million against a budget of $6.9 million. This film qualifies to be in the category of cult classics, because the audiences ironically enjoyed it, despite its lack of positive lessons anywhere in the film.
Today, this film wouldn’t be considered so great, since so much has changed over a period of 24 years. The film glorifies bullying, underage drinking, taking drugs, and a host of other behaviors we need to discourage as a society today. However, it was great because it was a depiction of exactly what was happening in the late 1970s.
Perhaps one of the greatest things about this film is the number of stars who have come out of it, characters we would have ignored in the film but have become superstar celebrities today. However, others we would have expected to become film superstars, owing to having leading roles in the film didn’t “make it” as others did, but almost everyone became a success in whichever field they chose to focus on.
One lesson we can draw from this film is we shouldn’t despise humble beginnings because such beginnings are what give birth to greatness in time. Here is a list of 15 characters who had significant roles in the film, and an idea of where these characters are today.
15. Shawn Andrews as Kevin Pickford
In the film, Shawn Andrews played the role of the guy who was supposed to host the party after school named Kevin Pickford. Kevin knew his parents were going on a trip the same day school was ending for summer, and this presented the students with the perfect venue to hold an unsupervised keg party.
The only problem with this plan was the booze delivery guy coming a few hours earlier than they had planned, so he met the parents before they left. Kevin’s parents immediately discovered their son’s intentions and decided to postpone their trip, so the students had to look for another venue.
Kevin was supposed to play a bigger role in the film than he did, but it was significantly reduced because Shawn Andrews didn’t get along with the other actors. Andrews had married Milla Jovovich for a while, but her mother annulled it because Milla was 16 at the time. One of his most notable roles was when he appeared in Fix (2008), a film in which he won the Best Actor Award at the Brooklyn Film Festival.
14. Milla Jovovich as Michelle Burroughs
People who have watched Dazed and Confused know Milla Jovovich played a role that didn’t bring out the best of her abilities since we only saw her a few times and can hardly remember anything she said. According to Richard Linklater, who was the writer, producer, and director of the film, he felt as if her role “didn’t really gel.”
In the film, she played the role of a girl named Michelle Burroughs, the girlfriend of Kevin Pickford, a character played by Shawn Andrews. In addition, Michelle Burroughs performed the song “The Alien Song,” but it wasn’t even included in the film’s soundtracks.
In addition to being a great actress and musician, Forbes recorded she was 2004’s highest-paid model, which is a pretty big deal for a model. Milla is so good in action and science-fiction films that in 2006, VH1 referred to her as the “reigning queen of kick-butt.” Some of the most notable films she has been in include The Three Musketeers (2011), Survivor (2015), and Resident Evil, reprising her role five times in as many sequels between 2004 and 2016.
13. Matthew McConaughey as David Wooderson
In the film, Matthew McConaughey played the role of a man called David Wooderson. This character was a weird 20 something-year-old who loved hanging out with high school students, claiming how although he keeps growing old, the girls in high school remain the same age. Wooderson helped break up the fight between Mike and Clint, two high school students, and later went to the school’s football field to smoke marijuana with a few friends.
However, in real life, McConaughey is a successful actor, director, writer and producer. Arguably, playing David Wooderson in this film was his breakout role, since later he appeared in memorable films such as Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994), Larger than Life (1996), and Contact (1997). Some of his most recent work includes films such as Killer Joe (2011), Magic Mike (2012), The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), and Free State of Jones (2016) among others.
12. Ben Affleck as Fred O’Bannion
It would be safe to claim Ben Affleck is the biggest star on this list since he has played the role of Batman in the most recent DC films. However, if you’re not a fan of superhero movies you clearly have the right to object the claim.
In the film Dazed and Confused, Affleck played the role of one of the biggest jerks in the movie named Fred O’Bannion. Fred is a senior in the school for the second year because he failed to graduate the previous year, and is, therefore, having the time of his life punishing freshmen one more time. We loved seeing the revenge plot against him, when some freshmen dumped wet paint on him, making him so angry he nearly beats up everyone around him.
Affleck has three Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, two BAFTA Awards, and two Academy Awards, evidence of his success as an actor and filmmaker. Apart from playing Batman, he has been in a host of other films including Argo (2012), Gone Girl (2014), and Live by Night (2016).
11. Jason London as Randall “Pink” Floyd
Jason London played the role of a football player named Randall “Pink” Floyd, the school’s star quarterback. In the film, the football coach required each member to sign a form where they would promise to stay away from drugs or anything that would stand in the way of making it to the championship.
Of course, Floyd was the only player who refused to sign the pledge since he believed it violated his beliefs and rights. Towards the end of the movie when the coach lectures him about spending time with losers and refusing to sign the form, he told him he might play football the following season, but he wasn’t going to sign the form.
Jason has had moderate success as an actor since appearing in this film, starring in roles where the characters are edgy and rebellious addicts or players, in films like Broken Vessels(1998), Poor White Trash (2000), and $pent (2000).
10. Christin Hinojosa as Sabrina Davis
In the film Dazed and Confused, Christin Hinojosa played the role of a freshman named Sabrina Davis. Although her role was small, she was one of the most prominent freshmen in the film. We felt sorry for her at the parking lot, when she was forced to propose to Tony, having gone through a terrible time in the hands of the senior girls.
At least Tony wasn’t a jerk, so he treated her humanely and even spent time with her that night during the party. It was clear these two developed feelings for each other since Tony drove her home in the morning and they kissed as soon as he dropped her off.
Christin continued acting only for a few years since she only landed small roles on TV. Some of these roles were in The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1995), Clueless (1996), and The Love Bug (1997). After leaving acting, she joined the American Friends Service Committee in 2004 and later became Eyes Wide Open’s first coordinator in Chicago. Today, she is the Solidarity Bridge director of communications, a Christian medical charity that concentrates on Latin America.
9. Wiley Wiggins as Mitch Kramer
Wiley Wiggins played the role of a freshman at Lee High School named Mitch Kramer, the kid who, together with his best friend Carl, managed to escape the hazing his fellow freshmen were receiving on the final day of school. However, later in the evening after playing baseball, the seniors from his school cornered him and made him pay for escaping the hazing.
Together with his friends, Mitch came up with a plan to get back at O’Bannion, since they all hated him. They drew him out of the Emporium with the prospect of hazing the only other freshman who he didn’t get his hands on, but he ends up with paint dumped on his head.
Wiley Wiggins is an actor and a blogger, whose first appearance in a film was starring in this movie, and has appeared in several others including Love and a .45 (1994), The Faculty (1998), and Computer Chess (2013). He is currently running “It’s Not For Everyone,” a blog which focuses on art, technology, film, and free culture.
8. Anthony Rapp as Tony Olson
Anthony Rapp played the role of Tony Olson, a senior who was one of the three intellectuals who wanted to experience the evening’s activities with all the other cool kids. Tony was present when the senior girls were hazing the freshmen, and one of the girls, Sabrina, was asked to propose to him.
Being a decent guy, he didn’t treat her harshly as was expected of him since he went ahead and introduced himself and even asked her what her name was. At the party, Tony ran into Sabrina and the two spent a lot of time talking to each other, and towards the end of the night, he drove her home and they kissed.
Today, Anthony Rapp is a stage and film actor as well as a singer, famous for playing Mark Cohen in Rent, both in the Broadway production in 1996 and in the 2009 film of the same name. Currently, he makes regular appearances in the TV series Star Trek: Discovery, he was in If/Then, a 2014-2015 Broadway production, and has been in a host of other films.
7. Marissa Ribisi as Cynthia Dunn
In the film, Marissa Ribisi played the role of the girl who was part of the trio of intellectuals named Cynthia Dunn. She was driving Tony and Mike around in search of something to do on this night when all other cool kids were out drinking and having fun.
These three decided to participate in the random party under the moonlight tower, and their presence was immediately felt since Mike almost got into a fight with Clint even before they joined the party. Cynthia clearly liked Wooderson, whom she gave her number, hoping to hook up with him at some time in the future.
Some of the other films we remember Marissa Ribisi from include True Crime (1999), The Brady Bunch Movie (1995), and Pleasantville (1998) among others. She also appeared on TV in a few episodes of hit shows including Friends, Felicity, Grace Under Fire, Tales of the City and Watching Ellie, among others.
6. Sasha Jenson as Don Dawson
Sasha Jenson’s character in Dazed and Confused was named Don Dawson, one of the seniors who weren’t afraid of doing or saying anything. In one of the opening scenes before the end of the school day, we saw him and Floyd walking up to a class, which was still going on, and he started hitting on the teacher.
Outside in the parking lot when a freshman was forced to propose to him, he was so naughty to the extent of asking her whether she would spit or swallow, though the freshman seemed as if she didn’t understand what he meant. Also, he was one of the friends who went to smoke marijuana in the school’s football field. This was clearly someone who was the definition of trouble.
Sasha Jenson’s first film appearance was in a film called Free Ride (1986), and later on in films such as Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) among others. In recent times, he has appeared in film and TV shows such as Venice Beach (2001), The Grind (2010), and Trust Me (2013) among others.
5. Michelle Burke as Jodi Kramer
In the film Dazed and Confused, Michelle Burke played the role of Jodi Kramer, one of the senior students in the school. Jodi’s younger brother was Mitch Kramer, one of the freshmen who happened to escape the hazing every freshman in school was receiving. Earlier in the day, Jodi had approached some of the senior guys and requested they to go easy on her brother, and they decided to do the opposite.
Since Jodi was used to hanging out with the bad company we saw in the movie, she felt a bit weird seeing her small brother join the company. She warned her brother about going home late, thinking their mom would be tough on him, which wasn’t the case when he got home.
This was one of Michelle’s first appearances in a major film since she had only been part of Coneheads and in one episode of Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, all in 1993. Some of her latest appearances in film and on TV include Scattering Dad (1998), 24 episodes of Little Men (1998-1999), Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (2011) and in LOL (2012).
4. Adam Goldberg as Mike Newhouse
In the film, Adam Goldberg played the role of a character named Mike Newhouse, who was one of three bright students who decided to take part in the evening activities with the other students. As soon as the three got to the party under the moonlight tower, another student named Clint threatened to beat him up for mentioning the drugs he was taking.
After a while, Mike went back to where Clint was standing, poured beer on his head and punched him. This caused a fight to break out between the two, with Mike receiving most of the beating. Wooderson and Floyd broke up the fight and the party went back to normal.
In real-life, Adam Goldberg is an actor, musician, director, and producer, who plays unforgettable supporting roles on TV and in films. Some of his memorable appearances include films such as Saving Private Ryan (1998), A Beautiful Mind (2001), Déjà Vu (2006), and No Way Jose (2015) among others.
3. Rory Cochrane as Ron Slater
In the film, Rory Cochrane played the role of a character called Ron Slater. He appears throughout the film as a fun-loving individual who hardly takes life seriously. In one of the scenes, Ron and a few friends went to smoke marijuana in the school’s football field, and he is one of the people the coach of the football team referred to as a loser.
Before appearing in this film, he had been part of two other films, namely A Kiss Before Dying (1991), and Fathers & Sons (1992), as well as in one episode of H.E.L.P. (1990).
Other projects in which he played major roles include films such as Hart’s War (2002), where he starred alongside Colin Farrell and Bruce Willis, as well as in A Scanner Darkly (2006), Argo (2012), and Black Mass (2015). Between 2002 and 2007, he appeared in at least 50 episodes of CSI: Miami, and later in a few other episodes of The Company (2007) and 24 (2009).
2. Joey Lauren Adams as Simone Kerr
Joey Lauren Adams was in the film Dazed and Confused, where she played the role of a character named Simone Kerr. Most of the scenes she was in she appeared to be cruising in the back of a vehicle or drinking together with her friends. In the final scene, we got to see her go to purchase tickets for an upcoming Aerosmith concert, which to them was their next biggest priority.
As a successful actress and director, Joey Lauren Adams has appeared in over 40 films to date and has also received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress for her role in Chasing Amy (1997). Two years later, her performance in Big Daddy also earned her a Blockbuster Entertainment Award nomination for Favorite Supporting Actress, evidence of just how good she is. In recent years, she has been part of films such as ExTerminators (2009), Art Machine (2012), Sequoia (2014), and Animal (2014).
1. Cole Hauser as Benny O’Donnell
Cole Hauser played the role of a football player named Benny O’Donnell in the film. He was one of the seniors in the movie who was looking forward to hazing the freshmen on their last day of school. Jodi Kramer had specifically asked Benny to go easy on her brother, who she thought was too small to handle the beating.
Despite being the only student with the body size to convince us he was a member of the football team, he had signed the pledge every member of the team was supposed to sign. However, it seemed as if signing the pledge and living up to it were two totally unrelated things because he did engage in the activities all other students were engaging in.
Cole Hauser’s first appearance in a film was in School Ties (1992), a film he also acted in alongside Ben Affleck, as was the case in this film. Some recent films he has been part of include The Hit List (2011), A Good Day to Die Hard (2013), Olympus Has Fallen (2013), and Jarhead 2: Field of Fire (2014).
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