See the Cast of ‘Being John Malkovich’ Then and Now
Released in 1999, Spike Jonze‘s ‘Being John Malkovich’ starred John Cusack as a struggling puppeteer who finds a portal into actor John Malkovich‘s brain. The clever meta-fantasy dramedy was a hit, and earned Oscar nominations for Best Director for Jonze, Best Screenplay for the wildly imaginative Charlie Kaufman’s script, and Best Supporting Actress for Catherine Keener. This year, the film celebrates its 15th anniversary, so join us for a look back at the cast of the film as we see what they’re up to now.
John Cusack, Craig Schwartz
Then: John Cusack played Craig Schwartz, a struggling puppeteer who finds a portal into actor John Malkovich’s brain and lives vicariously through the star. Cusack was previously known for his roles in ’80s films ‘Say Anything’ and ‘Better Off Dead,’ and had co-starred with Malkovich in the 1997 action thriller ‘Con Air.’
Now: Cusack also made an uncredited appearance as himself in Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze’s ‘Adaptation,’ and has appeared in the films ‘High Fidelity,’ ‘America’s Sweethearts,’ ‘Identity,’ ’1408,’ and ’2012.’ In more recent years, he’s starred in ‘The Raven,’ and the Lee Daniels films ‘The Paperboy’ and ‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler,’ as well as recent indies ‘Grand Piano’ and ‘Adult World.’ You can see him next in David Cronenberg’s ‘Maps to the Stars,’ and in the biopic ‘Love and Mercy,’ in which he plays the older version of Beach Boys singer Brian Wilson.
Cameron Diaz, Lotte Schwartz
Then: Cameron Diaz played Lotte, Craig’s pet-obsessed wife. Diaz was previously known for gorgeous girl roles in films like ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’ and ‘There’s Something About Mary,’ making her role in ‘Being John Malkovich’ quite the dramatic turn in both character type and appearance.
Now: Diaz has since starred in both ‘Charlie’s Angels’ films, ‘Vanilla Sky,’ ‘The Holiday,’ ‘Knight and Day,’ and lent her voice to the role of Princess Fiona in the animated ‘Shrek’ films. More recently she’s starred in ‘Bad Teacher’ with Jason Segel, and ‘The Counselor,’ which reunited her with ‘Vanilla Sky’ co-star Penelope Cruz. Up next, she’ll re-team with Jason Segel for ‘Sex Tape,’ and play Miss Hannigan in the new film adaptation of musical classic ‘Annie.’ She also stars with Leslie Mann in the upcoming women’s revenge comedy ‘The Other Woman.’
Catherine Keener, Maxine Lund
Then: Catherine Keener played Maxine Lund, the co-worker Craig has feelings for, and who begins a relationship with Malkovich while Craig’s wife is inside his brain. You probably recognized Keener from previous supporting roles in films like ‘Boys’ and ‘Out of Sight.’
Now: Keener made a cameo as herself in Jonze and Kaufman’s ‘Adaptation,’ and appeared in films like ‘Death to Smoochy,’ ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin,’ and ‘Friends with Money.’ She’s starred in Jonze’s ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ and played the dead grandmother in ‘Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa,’ which was produced by Jonze. Keener also starred in three films with the late Philip Seymour Hoffman: ‘Capote,’ ‘Synecdoche, New York’ (Charlie Kaufman’s directorial debut), and ‘A Late Quartet.’ More recently, she appeared in ‘Captain Phillips’ and ‘Enough Said,’ and she can be seen next in ‘War Story’ and ‘Begin Again.’
John Malkovich, Himself
Then: John Malkovich played a fictionalized version of himself, an actor who has a portal in his brain which normal people are using to escape the banality of their everyday lives. Charlie Kaufman had always written the script with Malkovich in mind, and at the time, Spike Jonze was married to Sofia Coppola, allowing him to use his connection to director Francis Ford Coppola to secure a meeting with the enigmatic actor.
Now: Malkovich also made an appearance as himself in Kaufman and Jonze’s ‘Adaptation,’ and has appeared in the films ‘Shadow of the Vampire,’ ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,’ ‘Art School Confidential,’ ‘Burn After Reading,’ and ‘Red.’ He recently appeared in ‘Warm Bodies,’ reprised his role for ‘Red 2,’ and stars in the biopic ‘Chavez.’
Orson Bean, Dr. Lester
Then: Orson Bean played Dr. Lester, Craig’s boss and the head of LesterCorp, where Craig finds the Malkovich portal. The veteran actor was known for his appearances on classic shows like ‘The Love Boat’ and ‘Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,’ and for voicing Bilbo Baggins in the 1977 animated version of ‘The Hobbit.’
Now: Bean has since kept up his TV appearances with guest spots on ‘The King of Queens,’ ‘Will and Grace,’ ‘Cold Case,’ ‘Two and a Half Men,’ ‘How I Met Your Mother,’ and a recurring role on ‘Desperate Housewives’ from 2009 to 2012. In addition to acting, Bean has also published four books. He is currently married to actress Alley Mills, who is his fourth wife.
Mary Kay Place, Floris
Then: Mary Kay Place played Floris, Dr. Lester’s receptionist who can never understand what Craig is saying. Place, like Bean, had also appeared on the classic series ‘Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,’ and was known for roles in the films ‘Private Benjamin’ and ‘The Big Chill.’ She also starred on the ’90s series ‘My So-Called Life.’
Now: Place has appeared in the films ‘Girl, Interrupted,’ ‘Sweet Home Alabama,’ ‘It’s Complicated,’ and ‘Youth in Revolt.’ She’s also known for recurring roles on shows like ‘The West Wing’ and ‘Bored to Death,’ but is perhaps best known by TV audiences for playing Adaleen Grant on the acclaimed HBO series ‘Big Love.’ She’s also appeared on episodes of ‘Californication,’ ‘Suburgatory,’ and ‘The New Normal,’ and recently starred in the films ‘Bad Milo’ and ‘Last Weekend.’
Charlie Sheen, Himself
Then: Charlie Sheen played a fictional version of himself, and a longtime friend of John Malkovich. Sheen was best known for his roles in the ‘Hot Shots’ and ‘Major League’ films, as well as classics like ‘Wall Street’ and ‘Platoon.’ At this point in his career, he was starring in less notable films like ‘Free Money’ and ‘Five Aces’ (yeah, you’ll have to look those up).
Now: After notoriously struggling with wives and substance abuse over the years, Sheen’s career has stumbled, but he remains successful somehow. He’s played himself in several movies, including ‘Due Date’ and ‘Madea’s Witness Protection.’ He starred in ‘Scary Movie 3′ and ‘Scary Movie 4′ (as a fictional character), and recently appeared with Lindsay Lohan in ‘Scary Movie 5′ as — you guessed it — himself. In addition to starring in the surprisingly enduring sitcom ‘Anger Management,’ Sheen has also appeared in the films ‘A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III’ and ‘Machete Kills.’