See the Cast of ‘Footloose’ Then and Now
In 1984, a little movie called ‘Footloose’ captivated audiences with its tale of a tiny conservative town that banned dancing, and the one guy who gave them their groove back. Based on a true story (sort of), ‘Footloose’ was released almost 30 years ago and has since spawned a musical and a 2011 remake. Join us for a look back at the cast of this classic flick and see where they are now.
Kevin Bacon, Ren McCormack
Then: A young Kevin Bacon played Ren McCormack, the new guy who tries to bring dancing and fun back to the conservative town. The studio originally wanted Tom Cruise because of his dancing skills in ‘Risky Business,’ but he was busy working on ‘All the Right Moves.’ Their next pick was Rob Lowe, but after auditioning three times, he sustained an injury and was unable to commit.
Lori Singer, Ariel Moore
Then: A ton of actresses wanted the part of Ariel Moore, daughter of Reverend Moore and object of Ren’s affection. The role first went out to Daryl Hannah and Elizabeth McGovern, who both turned it down due to scheduling conflicts. Madonna, Melanie Griffith, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jamie Lee Curtis, Rosanna Arquette, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Phoebe Cates and Jodie Foster — and many, many more — were all considered for the part before Lori Singer won the role. Singer had previously starred on the ‘Fame’ TV series.
Now: Singer has only had a handful of roles since, including a recent guest appearance on ‘Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.’ The actress is also a cellist, and continues to perform in concert.
John Lithgow, Reverend Shaw Moore
Then: John Lithgow played Reverend Shaw Moore, the conservative beacon of the town and staunch opposition of everything fun, including — and especially — dancing. During his breaks in filming on ‘Footloose,’ Lithgow was starring in ‘Terms of Endearment.’
Now: Lithgow has become a bit of an acting legend, and his work in recent years has included a recurring role on ‘Dexter’ in the show’s fourth season, and roles in ‘This is 40′ and ‘The Campaign.’ When he’s not acting, Lithgow releases books and albums for children.
Dianne Wiest, Vi Moore
Then: Dianne Wiest played Vi Moore, mother of Ariel and wife of Reverend Moore. The stage actress was just getting her start on the big screen, and had previously appeared with co-star John Lithgow in the play ‘Beyond Therapy.’
Now: Wiest went on to work with Woody Allen on a few films like ‘Hannah and Her Sisters’ and ‘Bullets Over Broadway,’ and has appeared in recent movies like ‘The Odd Life of Timothy Green’ and ‘Rabbit Hole.’
Sarah Jessica Parker, Rusty
Then: 1984 was the year Sarah Jessica Parker made the leap from the small screen to the big screen with both ‘Footloose’ and ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.’ Prior to that, she had played Annie on Broadway and starred in the sitcom ‘Square Pegs.’
Now: You know Sarah Jessica Parker best as Carrie Bradshaw from the ‘Sex and the City’ TV series and movies. She’s married to actor Matthew Broderick, has appeared on ‘Glee‘ and has her own line of shoes. Carrie would be proud.
John Laughlin, Woody
Then: The ‘White Shadow’ star played Woody, one of Ren and Ariel’s classmates in ‘Footloose.’
Now: Laughlin has enjoyed a career as long as some of his higher-profile colleagues, with recent roles on shows like ‘Criminal Minds’ and ‘Californication.’
Elizabeth Gorcey, Wendy Jo
Then: Elizabeth Gorcey made her big-screen debut as Wendy Jo, a high-school teen in ‘Footloose.’
Now: Gorcey had a successful career in the ’80s, with roles in ‘Teen Wolf,’ ‘The Trouble with Dick’ and ‘Max Headroom.’ She stopped acting after 1987, and these days she works behind the camera, directing documentaries like ‘Adopting Ginny’ (featured on CNN), and the forthcoming ‘How Old Is Old,’ starring Tony Bennett, Judge Judy, Tony Curtis and Doris Roberts. Gorcey is also an artist, specializing in watercolor, oil and acrylic paintings.