|Starring: Jason London, Rory Cochrane, Wiley Wiggins, Milla Jovovich, Ben Affleck
Director: Richard Linklater
Year Of Release: 1993
Plot: Its the last day of school before the summer break in a Texas town. As the seniors set out to punish the incoming freshmen, the next years football team is supposed to promise not to drink or take drugs, but everyone from every clique just wants to party.
Dazed & Confused is a great film, and one of the best movies for dissecting American teen culture. Although its ensemble set-up could have made it rather tedious, it works exceptionally well, and secured Richard Linklaters position as a filmmaker to watch out for (hed already made the arthouse hit Slacker, but Dazed & Confused allowed him to break into the mainstream).
When you watch the film, one of the things thats difficult not to notice is that while the movie was made with a cast of almost complete unknowns, since then an impressive amount of them have gone onto major movie success, while others still have to count Linklaters movie as their biggest screen achievement.
So what happened to the Dazed and Confused ensemble?
Ostensibly the lead character, Pink is the bridge between the different groups in the school. Hes the starting football quarterback, but also hangs around with the stoners and will extend an olive branch to pretty much anyone. While he was little known at the time, London was probably the most famous of the cast, having appeared in Man In The Moon (opposite a young Reece Witherspoon), while his identical twin brother, Jeremy, was on TV in Ill Fly Away. Dazed & Confused certainly gave his career a boost, but while hes worked consistently ever since in both film and TV, hes always remained on the b-list.
The other main character, and the link to the incoming freshmen in the film, Wiley Wiggins is incredibly memorable in Dazed & Confused, but its probably the only thing youll have seen him in. While he has made a few other film appearances, most notably in Linklaters experimental rotoscope animated movie Waking Life, hes tended to spread himself across the arts rather than whoring himself to Hollywood. Since Dazed & Confused, which he made when he was only 16, hes acted, designed, edited, created video art, worked on computer games and done various other things, riding the line between art and technology. You can get a fuller résumé CV here or take a look at his blogs, Its Not For Everyone and Video Thing.
Playing long-haired stoner Ron Slater was one of Cochranes first film roles, made not long after he graduated from NYC’s LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts (the place that inspired the movie and TV series, Fame). After Dazed & Confused he played a somewhat similar character in Empire Records, but was mainly consigned to bit parts until he was cast as Tim Speedle in CSI: Miami. He played the character for the first two seasons, before heading off to pastures new, including the lead role in Right At Your Door and reuniting with Linklater for A Scanner Darkly. Hes most recently been seen as Greg Seaton in season 7 of 24.
At the time Dazed & Confused was made, Sasha Jenson was actually one of the better known cast members, having appeared in Halloween 4 and the film version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as well as in the kids TV series Teen Angel. However the son of actor and stuntman Roy Jenson never really managed to capitalise on his early success, and while hes appeared on a few things, theres been little of note. Hes also become a writer, selling several (as yet unproduced) scripts to Hollywood, including one James Mangold is attached to direct, about two brother who took on Shell Oil after a rig sank in a typhoon.
As the slightly nerdy Mike Newhouse, Goldberg has what is probably Dazed & Confuseds best line, when he announces to his friends, I Wanna Dance. While Linklaters film was his first major role, hes since had a very successful career playing slightly kooky characters, including as Chandlers psycho roommate in three episodes of Friends, a major role in Saving Private Ryan, as well as A Beautiful Mind, The Salton Sea, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days and Zodiac. He was most recently seen playing the lead in the indie flick (untitled).
While Rapp hadnt had many screen credits when he made Dazed and Confused, he was already a veteran of the Broadway stage, having made his first professional stage appearance at the age on only 10 in a quickly canned musical based on The Little Prince. Not long after the making Linklaters movie, he scored what has since become his defining role, creating the part of Mark Cohen in Rent on Broadway, a role he recreated in the 2005 film version. While hes also appeared on screen in the likes of Twister and A Beautiful Mind, hes probably found more success on the stage in the likes of Youre A Good Man, Charlie Brown and a revival of The Little Shop Horrors.
Thanks to his memorable role as the in-his-20s-but-unable-to-give-up-the-high-school-lifestyle Woody Gunderson, Matthew McConaughey probably got the biggest career boost from Dazed & Confused. It was his first named movie role, and helped him secure parts in The Return Of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, before going on to become a big star thanks to 1996s Lone Star and A Time To Kill. While he seems to be the epitome of a slacker, McConaugheys rom coms are very popular and he remains a big box office draw.
Although she never became a big star, after Marissa appeared Dazed and Confused, she went on to appear in the likes of The Brady Bunch Movie and Pleasantville. However while shes had a fairly successful career, shes also notable for being Giovanni Ribisis twin sister, and she married Beck in 2004. Like her hubby and brother, shes also a well known scientologist. Marissa has also written a couple of indie flick screenplays.
Shawn Andrews has had a slightly odd career. While making Dazed & Confused, he had such a difficult relationship with Jason London that their roles had to be rewritten to keep them apart as much as possible. He also eloped with Milla Jovovich to Las Vegas and married her, however as she was only 16 at the time, her mother had the marriage annulled. Since then hes appeared in a few indie flicks, such as After The Flood, Matt Dillons City Of Ghosts, The Caretaker and Fix. It was recently announced hed be playing a Jim Morrison-like character in The Last Beat.
Although Dazed & Confused was only his second movie role, Hauser comes from a bit of a showbiz family, as his father was an actor, his mother a producer, his grandfather an Oscar-winning screenwriter and his great grandfather one of the original Warner Brothers. Since then hes become one of cinemas favourite young character actors, appearing in Good Will Hunting, Pitch Black, Tigerland, Harts War, White Oleander, Tears Of The Sun, 2 Fast 2 Furious and The Break-Up. Incidentally, when, in 1999, Matthew McConaughey was arrested for possessing pot and playing the bongos in the nude, Hauser was there too.
Although she didnt have a very big part in Dazed & Confused (she shot a lot more scenes, but they were mostly cut), Jovovich was perhaps the most recognisable face in the movie. Since the age of 12 shed been a model, making it to the cover of numerous magazines around the world (even since her film career has taken off, shes remained one of the highest earning models in the world). Immediately after Dazed & Confused, she left acting behind for a while and tried her hand at a music career, having been disappointed by her experiences in Linklaters movie, as well as Return To The Blue Lagoon and Kuffs. However a few years later, Luc Besson cast her in The Fifth Element, and since then shes become a major star.
Like most of the rest of the cast, Dazed & Confused was one of Parker Poseys first screen roles, although since then shes become one of the queens of the indie world and a favourite of Christopher Guest in the likes of Waiting For Guffman and Best In Show. Shes appeared in over 50, mainly independent, movies (with a few forays into Hollywood) including Sleep With Me, Kicking and Screaming, Basquiat, The Doom Generation, Youve Got Mail, Josie and the Pussycats, Superman Returns and The Eye.
Although hed made a few films before Dazed & Confused (where he plays the rather sadistic Fred OBannion, whos obsessed with paddling the incoming freshmen), and made a few more afterwards, including Kevin Smiths Mallrats and Chasing Amy (opposite fellow Dazed & Confused star Joey Lauren Adams), none of Afflecks early roles seemed to be taking his career very far. However he then famously teamed up with Matt Damon and wrote Good Will Hunting, which launched him as a star. Hes also recently tried his hand at directing, with the likes of Gone Baby Gone and the upcoming The Town.
Played: Girl in blue pickup truck
As you may realise, Zellweger didnt exactly have a big role in the film. Shed auditioned for one of the bigger roles in the film, but instead ended up with an uncredited non-speaking part (allegedly called Nessi White), who appears briefly in a blue pick-up truck. However the fact she now has an Oscar suggests the snub didnt exactly hurt her career.
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