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Started from the bottom
February 18th, 2014
February 18, 1994 saw the release of one of the greatest films of our time. Reality Bites perfectly illustrated the struggles and the triumphs of Generation X in the ’90s. Sure, some of us were just babies at that time, but, 20 years later, it’s still relatable as hell. Why? To quote the female lead, Lelaina, (portrayed by Winona Ryder): “The answer is… I don’t know.” Do we always need answers for why something is so good?
So, two decades have passed since the Ben Stiller-directed film went on to be a cult classic and the cast have aged very, very well.
First, there’s Winona Ryder, who played Lelaina Pierce. Believe or not, Winona is forty-freakin’-two this year!
She was the It Girl of the ’90s, landing two Oscar nominations before Reality Bites even came out. Now, Winona appears to be flying under the radar, focusing on a few projects per year. She last appeared on an episode of Drunk History and the idnie sleeper Homefront with James Franco.
Who could ever forget Ethan Hawke who played the brooding Troy Dyer.
Ethan went on to star in an array of well-received movies including Training Day for which he earned an Oscar nomination. In addition to theatre production, he’s also tried his hand at screenwriting. Ethan teamed up with actress Julie Delpy and director Richard Linklater to write Before Sunset and Before Midnight, the sequels to the critically acclaimed romantic drama Before Sunrise. Last year, he made a transition into the action genre with Getaway, co-starring Selena Gomez.
Then there’s Janeane Garofalo who played the wisecracker Vickie Miner.
The always funny and outspoken Janeane has appeared on a number of t.v.shows including 24, and Criminal Minds: Suspect Behaviour. Nowadays, she focuses her time on political activism and stand-up comedy. Her last film was 2013′s Satan, Hold My Hand.
Steve Zahn perfected the role of closeted Sammy Gray.
Since Reality Bites, Steve’s continued to play off-beat characters like Fuller Thomas in Joyride and Frank Heffley in all three Diary of a Wimpy Kid instalments. Steve’s also part of the award-winning ensemble in Dallas Buyers Club, where he showcased some serious acting chops. He’s set to star in the upcoming t.v. series Mind Games, debuting this month.
Lastly, Ben Stiller not only wore the director’s hat, but also starred as Lelaina’s romantic interest, Michael Grates.
Since his directorial debut, Ben has gone on to direct other popular comedies including The Cable Guy. Zoolander, and Tropic Thunder. He worked in front and behind the camera for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which premiered late last year to good reviews. Ben is currently filming a second sequel to Night at the Museum.
So to recap: Reality Bites is a timeless movie and so are its cast members. Perhaps it’s a good idea to re-watch this classic tonight and see how many life lessons you can pick up.