See the Cast of ‘Empire Records’ Then and Now
Although it wasn’t a huge box office hit when it was released back in 1995, ‘Empire Records’ is considered a cult classic by many folks who came of age during the post-grunge era. The film follows a pack of young record store employees over the course of one day. Naturally, all kinds of angsty drama ensues, calling to mind such beloved ’80s John Hughes classics as ‘The Breakfast Club’ and ‘Sixteen Candles.’
Film critics weren’t kind to ‘Empire Records’ upon its release, but a legion of 30-somethings have given the film an 85 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, proving its lasting appeal to that demographic. Today, Diffuser.fm is taking a look at the cast of ‘Empire Records’ to see how the key actors have fared with their careers since appearing in the movie.
Anthony LaPaglia, Joe Reaves
Then: The Australian actor played Joe, the in-over-his-head manager of Empire Records.
Now: LaPaglia is perhaps one of the more instantly recognizable actors profiled on our list. Not only has he found steady work in feature films like ‘Summer of Sam’ and ‘Analyze That,’ but he’s also scored on television, starring in the crime dramas ‘Murder One’ and ‘Without a Trace.’
Liv Tyler, Corey Mason
Then: Tyler took on the role of Corey, the girl you had a crush on in high school but never had the cohones to say hello to.
Now: The daughter of Aerosmith big mouth Steven Tyler, Liv was once married to Spacehog singer/guitarist Royston Langdon, with whom she has one son, Milo. The 36-year-old actress has appeared in movies such as ‘The Strangers’ and the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy.
Johnny Whitworth, A.J.
Then: Whitworth played A.J., the morning-shift manager at the store and Corey’s eventual love interest.
Now: Whitworth quit acting for a short period following the release of ‘Empire Records,’ but he made a comeback in 1997, appearing in Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘The Rainmaker.’ The 38-year-old has gone on to work in ‘3:10 to Yuma’ and ‘CSI: Miami,’ among other film and television productions.
Renée Zellweger, Gina
Then: Zellweger played Gina, a free-spirited cashier at Empire Records.
Now: The most famous actor on this list, Zellweger won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in 2003’s ‘Cold Mountain’ and has been nominated for Best Actress two other times. Briefly married to tank-top-loving country singer Kenny Chesney in 2005, the actress has also dated Jack White and was once engaged to actor Jim Carrey.
Robin Tunney, Debra
Then: Tunney played Deb, an Empire employee going through a personal crisis.
Now: Tunney has kept her agent busy, working in both television and feature films since appearing in ‘Empire Records.’ ‘The Craft,’ ‘Julian Po,’ ‘Prison Break,’ and ‘The Mentalist,’ are just a few of the movies and television shows the 41-year-old has shown up in so far.
Ethan Embry, Mark
Then: Embry played Mark, a (really) horny Empire employee.
Now: The Southern California native has appeared in flicks like ‘Vegas Vacation,’ ‘That Thing You Do!’ and ‘Can’t Hardly Wait.’ Embry, who was a competitive gymnast as a kid, was also one of the featured actors on the critically acclaimed (yet seldom watched) Showtime drama ‘Brotherhood.’
Rory Cochrane, Lucas
Then: Sporting a ’60s beatnik haircut, Cochrane played Lucas, the nighttime manager of the record store.
Now: Perhaps best known for the role of Ron Slater in the 1993 stoner classic ‘Dazed and Confused,’ Cochrane has recently appeared in the dramas ‘Argo’ and ‘Parkland.’
Maxwell Caulfield, Rex Manning
Then: Caulfield played Rex Manning, a former teen idol scheduled to appear at Empire for an autograph session.
Now: Born in England, Caulfield reportedly worked as a stripper in order to get his Equity card and work as an actor. The 54-year-old’s IMDB filmography lists ‘Grease 2′ and ‘Gettysburg,’ among other movies, and in the ’80s, he appeared on both ‘Dynasty’ and its spinoff, ‘The Colbys.’
Brendan Sexton III, Warren
Then: Sexton played a young shoplifter who tells the store clerks his name is “Warren Beatty.’
Now: Before ‘Empire,’ Sexton made his big-screen debut in the cult classic ‘Welcome to the Dollhouse,’ and he was last seen in 2012 in the AMC crime series, ‘The Killing.’
Debi Mazar, Jane
Then: Mazar played Jane, Rex Manning’s unhappy personal assistant.
Now: Born and bred in the borough of Queens, N.Y., Mazar first found fame as one of Madonna’s close friends and collaborators and has had a fruitful career as an actress and television personality. Besides roles in films such as ‘Goodfellas’ and last year’s ‘Lovelace,’ Mazar, along with husband Gabriele Corcos, hosts a Cooking Channel show called ‘Extra Virgin.’