Then + Now: The Cast of ‘Lizzie McGuire’
Believe it or not, it’s been ten years since the cast of ‘Lizzie McGuire’ helped us survive the excruciatingly awkward days of middle school. To make up for the show’s decade-long absence (it ended in 2004), we’re re-living those glorious days at Hillridge Junior High and wondering, of course, just what Lizzie, Gordo, Miranda and the rest of the cast is up to now. Curious to see what happened to your favorite stars? Read on to find out.
Hilary Duff (Lizzie McGuire)
Then: The blonde, bubbly and be-fringed Hilary Duff got her big break by starring as ‘Lizzie McGuire’s’ titular character. One of the earlier Disney Channel stars, Duff shot to fame as Lizzie, everybody’s adorably awkward BFF. After her success on the show, Duff quickly expanded her acting career onto the big screen, starring in films like ‘Cheaper by the Dozen’ and ‘A Cinderella Story.’ Duff’s venture into music was equally as successful, and her breakout album, ‘Metamorphosis,’ went multi-platinum. Did we mention that she also dated Aaron Carter, created a clothing line (who else remembers Stuff by Hilary Duff?), and spawned two more platinum records? Yeah. Because that all happened, too.
Now: After making several less-than-stellar movies (‘Material Girls,’ anyone?), Duff wanted to shake off her teen image and strayed from mainstream films, instead choosing roles in indie flicks like ‘War, Inc,’ and later guest starring on ‘Gossip Girl’ and ‘Two and a Half Men.’ In 2010, she wrote what would become a New York Times best-selling YA novel, ‘Elixir,’ which she has since turned into a series. That same year, she married hockey player Mike Comrie, with whom she has a son, Luca, almost two. (And boy, is he the spitting image of his mom!) Now separated from Comrie, Duff has released new music for the first time in seven years (her new album is dropping this year, and we’re already obsessed with its lead single, ‘All About You.’) She is set to star in the TV Land show ‘Younger,’ opposite Broadway vet Sutton Foster. Oh, and did we mention that Aaron Carter still wants her back? Maybe things haven’t changed so much…
Lalaine Vergara-Paras (Miranda Sanchez)
Then: Lalaine Vergara-Paras (who goes by her first name only) played Miranda, Lizzie’s best friend, partner-in-crime and (usually) the more sarcastic and level-headed of the two. In 2003, after starring in the Disney Channel movie ‘You Wish,’ Lalaine decided not to reprise her role as Miranda in ‘The Lizzie McGuire Movie,’ choosing to focus on her music career instead. She released her independent album ‘Inside Story’ in 2003.
Now: In 2007, Lalaine found herself in some legal trouble when she was busted for possession of crystal meth, but the felony was expunged from her record after completing a treatment program. Since ‘Lizzie,’ Lalaine has acted sporadically, and even scored a cameo appearance in 2010′s ‘Easy A.’ From 2010-2011, Lalaine was the bassist in the band Vanity Theft. You can follow her on Twitter here.
Adam Lamberg (Gordo)
Then: Adam Lamberg (not to be confused with ‘American Idol‘ finalist Adam Lambert) played Gordo, Lizzie’s guy bestie who harbored a not-so-secret crush on her throughout the show. After fans spent almost the entire series rooting for them to get together, Lizzie finally wised up in ‘The Lizzie McGuire Movie,’ and the two shared a kiss.
Now: After the ‘Lizzie’ movie, Lamberg appeared in two independent films and graduated from UC Berkley with a degree in geography. According to his Tumblr, Lamberg no longer acts and is currently living and working in New York City, where he is an “assistant events coordinator at the Irish Arts Center.” Despite primarily being known for his role as Gordo, Lamberg recently told a fan he doesn’t harbor any bitterness about the experience, saying, “I don’t regret it. It’s just hard to be constantly judged on something from the past.” He was last seen smoking hookah on Instagram, and, according to his Twitter, loves fellow child star Macaulay Culkin’s pizza-themed band, the Pizza Underground.
Jake Thomas (Matt McGuire)
Then: Jake Thomas portrayed Lizzie’s scheming younger brother, Matt, who always wound up in some mischievous (read: annoying) bind that he had to get himself out of. In addition to his role on ‘Lizzie,’ Thomas achieved child-star status with several other roles, including portraying a young Hugh Hefner (yes, Lizzie McGuire’s little bro played the young king of Playboy), starring alongside Haley Joel Osment in ‘A.I.: Artificial Intelligence’ and later having a starring role on the ‘That’s So Raven’ spin-off, ‘Cory in the House.’
Now: After scoring one-episode stints on shows like ‘CSI: Miami’ and ‘Criminal Minds,’ Thomas took it to Lifetime, where he starred in ‘Maternal Obsession’ in 2010 and ‘Betrayed at 17′ in 2011. Thomas, now 24 (!), currently stars on the YouTube series ‘Storytellers’ and, based on his Instagram, is a genuinely talented part-time photographer.
Hallie Todd (Jo McGuire)
Then: With her blonde updo and librarian-looking glasses, Hallie Todd played Lizzie’s well-meaning mom, Jo. Prior to her role on ‘Lizzie,’ Todd was most well-known for playing Penny Walters on ‘Brothers.’
Now: After taking a long hiatus from acting (a time in which she penned two acting “how-to” books), Todd starred in 2013′s ‘The Mooring,’ a movie she co-wrote with her daughter and husband, who also served as director. Currently, she serves as the co-founder for In House Media, a film production company, and runs her own acting conservatory. You go, Mrs. McGuire.
Robert Carradine (Sam McGuire)
Then: By the time Robert Carradine played Lizzie’s dad, Sam, he was most well-known for his role as in Lewis Skolnick in the ‘Revenge of the Nerds’ films from the ’80s. For those of us who grew up on the Disney Channel, he was also known as vampire hunter Van Helsing in 2000′s ‘Mom’s Got a Date With a Vampire.’
Now: After ‘Lizzie,’ Carradine continued to act in film, including a part in 2012′s blockbuster ‘Django Unchained.’ According to his Twitter, Carradine currently serves as the self-proclaimed “shy host” and executive producer of ‘King of the Nerds,’ a TBS game show that he co-hosts with his ‘Nerds’ co-star Curtis Armstrong.
Ashlie Brillault (Kate Sanders)
Then: Ashlie Brillault played Kate Sanders, the popular, snobby, head cheerleader of Hillridge Junior High who served as Lizzie’s nemesis throughout the series.
Now: Brillault reprised her role as Kate in the 2003 ‘Lizzie McGuire Movie,’ which was her last acting role to date. She has since retired from the spotlight, and, unfortunately, hasn’t even updated her website since 2006.
Clayton Snyder (Ethan Craft)
Then: Clayton Snyder portrayed Ethan Craft, the wavy-haired, doofy-yet-adorable jock who was the object of Lizzie’s affection throughout the show’s run.
Now: Looks like Snyder took a page from his character’s book and has since become a serious athlete, making the U.S. National Water Polo team. (He also played the sport in college, attending Pepperdine University.) This year, he has taken on his first acting role since ‘Lizzie’ in the TV mini-series ‘Famous in Flagstaff.’ Based on his blog, Snyder appears to be a devout Christian — and, from the looks of it, a pretty decent writer as well.
Kyle Downes (Larry Tudgeman)
Then: Kyle Downes’ character, Larry Tudgeman, was the smart-but-socially-awkward-nerd who befriends Lizzie. Apart from his recurring role on the show, ’90s kids may remember him from his stints on ‘Are You Afraid Of The Dark?,’ ‘Goosebumps’ and starring alongside Hayden Christensen in ‘Higher Ground.’
Now: Like most of his fellow Hillridge students, Downes is still most well-known for his role on ‘Lizzie,’ but he did have a two-episode stint on ‘The L Word’ in 2005. He now goes by ‘K.J. Downes’ and has since shifted his focus behind the camera, and currently works as a director, writer and producer.
Christian Copelin (Lanny Onasis)
Then: Christian Copelin played Matt’s mute best friend Lanny, who never uttered a word throughout the entire series and instead only spoke through body language. Of course, Matt could understand him because this was Disney Channel TV in the early 2000s.
Now: Copelin’s Twitter handle is @yesicantalk, but he hasn’t tweeted in four years — which begs the question, can he really? Apparently the answer is yes, because in 2008, he created and starred in a bizarre YouTube cartoon series called ‘Tux.’ Since then, Copelin has been virtually absent from the internet and does not boast any film or TV credits since 2004.