See the Cast of ‘Benny and Joon’ Then and Now
Released in 1993, the rom-com ‘Benny and Joon’ followed the mentally ill Juniper, aka “Joon,” who lives with her brother Ben after their parents have passed away. When Sam (Johnny Depp), a quirky cinephile and cousin of one of Ben’s friends comes to visit, sparks fly between him and Joon and it’s not long before the two are falling for each other. Praised for its touching portrayal of love and mental illness, the film was a sleeper hit, and 21 years later, we’re taking a look back at the cast to see what they’re up to now.
Aidan Quinn, Benny Pearl
Then: Aidan Quinn played Benny Pearl, the older brother of Joon. After their parents die, Benny takes care of his mentally ill sister. Woody Harrelson was originally set to play the role of Benny. Quinn was previously known for roles in ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’ and ‘Stakeout.’
Now: Quinn went on to appear in films like ‘Legends of the Fall,’ ‘Practical Magic’ and ‘Jonah Hex.’ He starred in the HBO miniseries ‘Empire Falls’ and in the HBO film ‘Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee’ before guest starring on ‘Weeds’ and ‘White Collar.’ He recently appeared in the films ‘Rushlights’ and ‘Stay,’ and currently stars on the hit series ‘Elementary.’
Mary Stuart Masterson, Juniper “Joon” Pearl
Then: Mary Stuart Masterson played Joon, Benny’s mentally ill sister prone to violent outbursts. Laura Dern was going to play the role of Joon but changed her mind, with Winona Ryder coming in as the next choice as she was dating Johnny Depp at the time. But when she bowed out after their breakup, the part went to Masterson, who previously starred in ‘Fried Green Tomatoes.’
Now: You probably also know Masterson from roles in ‘Bad Girls,’ ‘Bed of Roses’ and ‘The Postman.’ She had a recurring role on ‘Law and Order: Special Victims Unit’ from 2004 to 2006 as Dr. Rebecca Hendrix, but her acting has been infrequent in recent years. In 2007, she directed and starred in the film ‘The Cake Eaters’ (her most recent film credit), and she also guest starred on episodes of ‘Mercy’ and ‘Touch.’
Johnny Depp, Sam
Then: Johnny Depp played Sam, the quirky cinephile cousin of Benny’s friend Mike who is stuck living with Benny and Joon and made to be Joon’s housekeeper after she loses a poker game. A rising star, Depp previously garnered acclaim for his role in Tim Burton’s ‘Edward Scissorhands.’
Now: Depp reached mega-star status. He’s been a frequent star in Tim Burton’s films, including ‘Sleepy Hollow,’ ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and the more recent ‘Dark Shadows.’ You also know him well as Captain Jack Sparrow in the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ films, and he appeared in movies like ‘Finding Neverland,’ ‘Public Enemies’ and ‘Rango.’ He made a cameo in ’21 Jump Street,’ reprising his role from the ’80s television series that helped put his name on the map. He recently starred in ‘The Lone Ranger’ as Tonto, and he can be seen next in ‘Transcendence,’ the directorial debut from Wally Pfister, Christopher Nolan’s cinematographer. His other upcoming projects include ‘Into the Woods,’ ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 5′ and ‘Alice in Wonderland 2.’
William H. Macy, Randy Burch
Then: William H. Macy was still an emerging talent when he played the supporting role of Randy Burch in ‘Benny and Joon.’ He previously appeared in films like ‘Radio Days’ and ‘Homicide.’
Now: Macy went on to become known for roles in ‘Fargo,’ ‘Boogie Nights,’ ‘Pleasantville,’ ‘Magnolia,’ ‘Seabiscuit’ and ‘Sahara.’ He had a recurring role on the short-lived Aaron Sorkin series ‘Sports Night,’ and currently stars on the hit Showtime series ‘Shameless.’ His recent credits include roles in ‘The Sessions’ and ‘A Single Shot,’ and voice roles in ‘The Wind Rises’ and ‘Ernest and Celestine.’ He can be seen next in ‘Rudderless,’ a film which also marks his directorial debut.
Julianne Moore, Ruthie
Then: Julianne Moore played Ruthie, an actress-turned-waitress and Benny’s love interest. Moore was just getting started in Hollywood, and previously appeared in ‘The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag’ and ‘Body of Evidence.’
Now: Moore also skyrocketed to stardom shortly after, reuniting with Macy for ‘Boogie Nights’ and ‘Magnolia,’ and appearing in films like ‘The Big Lebowski,’ ‘Hannibal,’ ‘Children of Men’ and ‘A Single Man.’ More recently, she appeared in the films ‘What Maisie Knew,’ ‘Don Jon’ (directed by and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt), and the remake of ‘Carrie.’ She can be seen next in ‘Non-Stop’ with Liam Neeson, which hits theaters this week, and in both parts of ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay’ films.
Oliver Platt, Eric
Then: Oliver Platt was an up-and-coming name when he joined the cast of ‘Benny and Joon’ as Eric, a local mechanic and friend of Benny. Platt previously starred in ‘Flatliners’ and ‘The Three Musketeers,’ both with Kiefer Sutherland.
Now: You may have seen him in the films ‘Ready to Rumble,’ ‘The Ice Harvest,’ ‘Frost/Nixon,’ ‘Year One’ and ’2012.’ He starred on the Showtime series ‘The Big C’ with Laura Linney from 2010 to 2013, and had a recurring role on HBO’s ‘Bored to Death.’ More recently he appeared in the films ‘The Oranges’ and ‘Ginger and Rosa,’ and he can be seen next in ‘Kill the Messenger’ and reuniting with his ‘Benny and Joon’ co-star Johnny Depp in ‘Mortdecai,’ which Lionsgate hopes to launch into a new franchise.
C.C.H. Pounder, Dr. Garvey
Then: C.C.H. Pounder, star of films like ‘All That Jazz’ and ‘Postcards from the Edge,’ played Dr. Garvey, Joon’s doctor who suggests she go to live in a group home, which eventually leads to her gaining some independence.
Now: Pounder appeared in films like ‘End of Days,’ ‘Face/Off’ and ‘Orphan,’ and starred on the series ‘ER’ before landing her most memorable role yet: Claudette Wyms on the hit FX series ‘The Shield.’ When that show ended in 2008, she joined the cast of the series ‘Warehouse 13,’ and had recurring roles on ‘Revenge’ and ‘Sons of Anarchy.’ Her recent film credits include roles in ‘Avatar’ and ‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.’