It was one of the definitive, coming-of-age movies of the ’90s and Dazed and Confused continues to be ranked as one of the best high school films of all time. Set in the ’70s, the 1993 film was only director Richard Linklater’s third film but received acclaim from critics, audiences and fellow filmmakers alike. Ans nearly 25 years since its release, the cast may have left high school, but they’re still taking it easy.
20. Matthew McConaughey (David Wooderson)
As the film’s breakout character, lothario Wooderson possessed a smooth-talking charm that made him a hit with audiences – even if he did have a slightly creepy penchant for high school girls. Matthew McConaughey paid homage to the film that launched his career by working Wooderson’s trademark “alright, alright, alright” into his 2014 Oscar acceptance speech, much to the delight of the audience.
19. Jason London (Randall “Pink” Floyd)
Dazed and Confused featured a slew of up-and-coming actors, but only Jason London was lucky enough to snag top billing. Despite playing the lead role of Randall “Pink” Floyd – and being named one of People magazine’s Most Beautiful People in 1996 – London’s promising future failed to materialize. The one-time heartthrob was even arrested for assault and disorderly conduct in 2013.
18. Wiley Wiggins (Mitch Kramer)
As wide-eyed freshman Mitch Kramer, Wiley Wiggins taught us that it’s not always fun to be spanked – sorry, paddled – by Ben Affleck. And though he went on to star in Linklater’s later Waking Life, Wiggins has since retreated from the acting world. These days, he works in video game design and is all but unrecognizable from his on-screen alter-ego.
17. Ben Affleck (Fred O’Bannion)
Just 21 years old when cast as bully Fred O’Bannion, Ben Affleck was a struggling Hollywood actor upon Dazed and Confused’s release. However, the film proved to be the Launchpad he needed – 1997’s Oscar-winning Good Will Hunting sent Affleck into the stratosphere and he has since seen veritable highs as both an actor and director.
16. Milla Jovovich (Michelle Burroughs)
Considering Milla Jovovich’s penchant for kick-ass action roles, it’s surprising that the star began her career with Dazed and Confused. Though far removed from the likes of Resident Evil’s Alice, starry-eyed hippie Michelle proved a perfect fit for the actress. Jovovich even got to play one of her own songs on-screen as well.
15. Joey Lauren Adams (Simone Kerr)
Following her debut role as Simone in Dazed, Joey Lauren Adams seemed destined for big things in Hollywood. In particular, a role in 1997’s Chasing Amy – alongside O’Bannion actor Ben Affleck – saw her gain critical praise and even a Golden Globe nomination. While the still-youthful star continues to pop up in supporting roles, Adams was never able to recreate quite the same level of success again.
14. Rory Cochrane (Ron Slater)
Perhaps the definitive on-screen stoner, Rory Cochrane’s Slater epitomized ’70s pot culture – so much so that he even appeared on the cover of High Times. These days, Cochrane rocks a more somber look than his Dazed counterpart – one tailored to more serious roles in the likes of Black Mass and the Affleck-directed Argo.
13. Parker Posey (Darla Marks)
Like fellow senior O’Bannion, Parkey Posey’s Darla had a seriously mean streak. While her character’s intense hazing rituals may not have made her popular with teenage girls, Posey would go on to have a successful career in independent cinema. Some of her notable credits include Party Girl, Best in Show and Superman Returns.
12. Adam Goldberg (Mike Newhouse)
Adam Goldberg lived out every nerd’s fantasy when his character Mike punched bully Clint towards the film’s end. Since his breakout role, Goldberg has played similarly neurotic characters – most notably as Chandler’s psychotic roommate Eddie in Friends. However, his current rugged facial hair probably means that few people have picked on him in the last few years.
11. Marissa Ribisi (Cynthia Dunn)
Proving that geeks can be sexy, Marissa Ribisi’s redheaded Cynthia was famous for catching David Wooderson’s eye. Though her fiery fro may be gone, Ribisi – Giovanni’s twin sister – is still as stunning as ever and now manages the fashion line Whitley Kros. She’s also just as popular with the guys, having married singer Beck in 2004.
10. Anthony Rapp (Tony Olson)
Anthony Rapp – who played the Abragam Lincoln obsessed Tony – completed the film’s trio of geeky characters. Following this performance, Rapp – unrecognizable without his shoulder-length hair – ventured into Broadway and was one of the first stars of the immensely successful musical Rent. He has also appeared in shows like Little Shop of Horrors and If/Then.
9. Shawn Andrews (Kevin Pickford)
The house party is a staple of any teen movie, but Dazed and Confused was left without one when Kevin Pickford’s parents discovered his fun-loving plans. Like his on-screen persona, actor Shawn Andrews has suffered similar hard luck. Indeed, his last film role was 2008’s The Fix and he’s now best known for his annulled marriage to co-star Milla Jovovich.
8. Sasha Jenson (Don Dawson)
Floyd’s friend Don had some memorable moments in the movie – including one where he hilariously hit on his teacher. And while his character stole his fair share of scenes, actor Sasha Jenson has all but slipped under the radar. In the last three years, Jenson has starred in just one film, suggesting that he’s left the biz behind.
7. Michelle Burke (Jodi Kramer)
Despite being one of the cooler girls in class, Jodi Kramer still managed to embarrass younger brother Mitch with her incessantly protective ways. Nearly 25 years later, actress Michelle Burke has retained her fresh-faced good looks, but isn’t nearly as popular on-screen. Her last film credit was in 2012’s Miley Cyrus helmed LOL.
6. Cole Hauser (Benny O’Donnell)
Following his appearance as the football loving Benny in Dazed and Confused, Cole Hauser didn’t stray too far from his jock roots. Indeed, films likes of A Good Day to Die Hard and Olympus Has Fallen see him playing more action-minded characters as well as showing just how comfortable he his in popcorn movie roles.
5. Christin Hinojosa (Sabrina)
Though many of Dazed’s stars went on to have successful screen careers, Christin Hinojosa had something else in mind entirely. Following her performance as Tony’s love interest Sabrina, Hinojosa – now going by her married name Kirschenbaum – went into anti-war activism. She spearheaded the anti-war exhibit “Eyes Wide Open” in 2005 and now works with charity Solidarity Bridge.
4. Esteban Powell (Carl Burnett)
At some point in time, everyone’s had a friend like Carl – the cowardly wretch who makes his pal Mitch take all the freshman hazing. Now 40 years older, actor Esteban Powell has thankfully grown out of the bratty characters he memorably played on-screen. Today, he can be seen in various supporting roles in both film and TV.
3. Deena Martin (Shavonne Wright)
Known today by the name Deena Delucia, Deena Martin played the popular and pretty high school girl Shavonne Wright. Following her Dazed and Confused performance, Martin had roles in 1996’s Swingers and Law & Order before leaving acting for good. She’s now married and presides over the charity Today’s New Covenant Foundation Ministries in Delaware.
2. Nicky Katt (Clint Bruno)
Nicky Katt’s meat headed Clint came to the party to do two things – “kick some ass and drink some beer.” While his Dazed and Confused character is hard to like, Katt would later play a more loveable role in Fox’s Boston Public. In fact, his character Harry Senate was so admired, Katt received a Golden Satellite nomination for his work.
1. Renee Zellweger (Nesi White)
Besides launching the careers of Matthew McConaughey and Ben Affleck, Dazed also featured a pre-fame performance by Renee Zellweger. After auditioning for a larger part, the future-Oscar winner gained a non-speaking role as beer-funneling student Nesi White. And although Zellweger went uncredited, she snagged a much larger role in Jerry Maguire just three years later.