Then + Now: The Cast of ‘Legally Blonde’
Since Legally Blonde was released in 2001, it has spawned two sequels, Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, and Blonde and the direct-to-DVD Legally Blondes, as well as a successful Legally Blonde Broadway musical.
But it was the original film — and the original cast — that stole our hearts quicker than you can say “bend and snap.” Read on to see what the cast is up to now.
Reese Witherspoon (Elle Woods)
Then: Reese Witherspoon starred as the film’s heroine, Elle Woods, everyone’s favorite pink-wearing, chihuahua-toting sorority-girl-turned-Harvard-Law grad. While ‘Legally Blonde’ was the film that made her a household name, Witherspoon had already starred in several films around this time, including ‘Election,’ ‘Cruel Intentions,’ (with her then-hubby, Ryan Phillippe), and later, ‘Sweet Home Alabama.’
Now: Witherspoon’s take on June Cash in 2005’s ‘Walk The Line’ turned her into an Academy Award-winning actress, and she earned a second nom for 2015’s Wild. In 2012 she founded production company Pacific Standard, and she has a Southern-inspired fashion and housewares line called Draper James. Now divorced from Phillippe (with whom she has two children, Ava and Deacon), Witherspoon married Jim Toth in 2011, and welcomed their son Tennessee James a year later.
Luke Wilson (Emmett Richmond)
Then: Luke Wilson played Emmett, the good-hearted young lawyer who fell in love with Elle and helped to win her case. Around this time, Wilson also had major roles in ‘Charlie’s Angels,’ ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’ and ‘Alex and Emma.’
Now: As part of the ‘Frat Pack’ group of comedians (other members include Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn and Wilson’s older brother, Owen), Wilson went on to star in successful comedies with his fellow brethren, including ‘Old School’ and ‘Anchorman.’ In addition to a steady stream of film role’s he also starred in Showtime’s 2016 series Roadies.
Selma Blair (Vivian Kensington)
Then: Selma Blair portrayed the snooty Vivian Kensington, Elle’s fellow Harvard Law student and Warner’s new fiancee. ‘Legally Blonde’ marked the second time that Witherspoon worked with Blair, who famously made out with Sarah Michelle Gellar in 1999’s ‘Cruel Intentions.’
Now: Blair remains friends with her co-star Witherspoon. She went on to star in the Hellboy franchise and played Charlie Sheen’s therapist for two years on his Anger Management show. In 2016, she played a ’90s-era Kris Jenner in FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson and co-starred in the film Geezer with Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong. She also made headlines for getting carried off of a plane on a stretcher after pills mixed with alcohol led to outbursts on a flight she was taking with ex Jason Bleick and their son, Arthur.
Matthew Davis (Warner Huntington III)
Then: Matt Davis’ character Warner was the guy everyone loved to hate. He dumped Elle, insulted her intelligence and quickly got engaged to someone else. But all’s well that ends well: At the end of the film, Warner had no girlfriend, no honors, and best of all, no job prospects. Ha.
Now: Davis has continued to act and is best known today for his role as history teacher-turned-vampire hunter Alaric Saltzman on The Vampire Diaries. He has reportedly dated Alphas actress Azita Ghanizada on and off since 2012.
Jennifer Coolidge (Paulette Bonafonté)
Then: Jennifer Coolidge played Elle’s lovable manicurist Paulette, desperate to get her beloved dog back from her ex-husband.
Now: The buxom blonde actress, best for her roles in 2001’s Best In Show and as Stifler’s Mom in the ‘American Pie’ movies, has worked on an number of films and TV shows since ‘Legally Blonde,’ including ‘A Cinderella Story,’ ‘Epic Movie’ and ‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager.’ She currently stars as Sophie Kaczynski on ‘2 Broke Girls’ and provides voices on the animated series ‘Gravity Falls’.
Ali Larter (Brooke Taylor-Windham)
Then: Ali Larter played Brooke, Elle’s former sorority sister and famous fitness instructor, who is later on trial for the murder of her husband. Brooke hires Elle as her lawyer and is found innocent. In the late ’90s and early 2000s, Larter was also known for her modeling career and roles in ‘Varsity Blues’ and the ‘Final Destination’ horror movies.
Now: From 2006-2010, Larter portrayed the characters of Niki Sanders and Traci Strauss on Heroes. In 2009, she married her longtime boyfriend, Hayes MacArthur, with whom she has two kids. In 2013 she released a cookbook, Kitchen Revelry, and she’ll reprise her franchise role as Claire Redfield in Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.
Victor Garber (Professor Callahan)
Then: Victor Garber portrayed Professor Callahan, Elle’s creepy law professor who assigns her to help with a court case only to later proposition her. At the time, Garber was an already well-established actor, with award-winning roles on Broadway, in film and on TV. He is most well-known for his role as Thomas Andrews in the 1997 blockbuster ‘Titanic.’
Now: From 2001-2006, Garber played Jack Bristow on Alias. He continues to have a successful acting career in TV, film, and on Broadway, recently appearing on Power and as Dr. Martin Stein/Firestorm on the CW’s Legends of Tomorrow. Openly gay, he’s been with partner Rainer Andreesen for 16 years and they wed in 2015.
Holland Taylor (Professor Stromwell)
Then: Holland Taylor’s Professor Stromwell was a tough-as-nails professor at Harvard who initially dislikes Elle, but later supports and stands up for her. In 1999, two years before ‘Legally Blonde,’ Taylor won an Emmy Award for her work on ‘The Practice.’
Now: Taylor went on to play Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer’s mother, Evelyn Harper, in CBS’ ‘Two and a Half Men,’ which garnered her four Emmy nominations. In 2013, Taylor wrote and starred in the critically-acclaimed Broadway play ‘Ann,’ for which she was nominated for a Tony. In 2016 she co-starred in the movie Kepler’s Dream, and as of 2015 she’s been in a relationship with American Horror Story star Sarah Paulson.
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