See the Cast of ‘Little Women’ Then and Now
‘Little Women,’ based on the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott, was released in 1994, and told the story of the March sisters, who grow up under the guidance of their mother during and after the Civil War. While the fictional girls’ lives were blossoming, so were the careers of the film’s young stars, like Claire Danes, Kirsten Dunst, Winona Ryder and Christian Bale. Nineteen years later, we look back on the cast of this coming-of-age classic and see where they are now.
Winona Ryder, Josephine “Jo” March
Then: Winona Ryder played Jo March, the ambitious March sister who wants to become an author when she grows up. Ryder had previously gained notice for roles in ‘Beetlejuice,’ ‘Heathers’ and ‘Edward Scissorhands.’
Now: Ryder recently reunited with director Tim Burton for the stop-motion film ‘Frankenweenie,’ and appeared in the crime thriller ‘The Iceman.’ She can be seen alongside James Franco and Jason Statham in ‘Homefront,’ and is rumored to star in ‘Beetlejuice 2.’
Gabriel Byrne, Friedrich Bhaer
Then: Gabriel Byrne, star of ‘Miller’s Crossing,’ played Jo’s tutor in New York. He eventually falls for her and the two get married.
Now: Byrne reunited with his ‘Little Women’ co-star Claire Danes for the 1998 film ‘Polish Wedding,’ and starred on the HBO drama series ‘In Treatment,’ which ran from 2008 to 2010. He recently appeared in the History miniseries ‘Vikings,’ and stars in the upcoming ‘Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters.’
Trini Alvarado, Margaret “Meg” March
Then: Trini Alvarado played Meg March, the eldest of the March sisters. She marries their neighbor Laurie’s tutor, John Brooke, and gives birth to twins.
Now: After appearing in Peter Jackson’s ‘The Frighteners’ in 1996, Alvarado chose her roles sparingly, appearing in a couple of episodes of ‘Fringe’ and in the films ‘Little Children’ and ‘All Good Things’ — the latter of which, released in 2010, is her most recent film appearance.
Samantha Mathis, Adult Amy March
Then: Samantha Mathis played the adult Amy March, the youngest March sister and the standout, thanks to her blonde hair and green eyes. Mathis had also appeared in ‘Super Mario Bros.’ and ‘The Thing Called Love.’
Now: Mathis reunited with Winona Ryder and Claire Danes for ‘How to Make an American Quilt,’ and starred with Christian Bale in ‘American Psycho.’ She recently starred in the CBS series ‘Under the Dome.’
Kirsten Dunst, Young Amy March
Then: Kirsten Dunst played young Amy March, the youngest of the March sisters and the only character to be played by two actresses in the film. Christina Ricci and Natalie Portman also auditioned for the role. Dunst had garnered acclaim for her performance in ‘Interview with the Vampire,’ released that same year.
Now: Dunst has gained a lot of notice for her collaborations with Sofia Coppola in films like ‘The Virgin Suicides’ and ‘Marie Antoinette,’ and recently made a cameo in Coppola’s ‘The Bling Ring’ as herself. She starred in Sam Raimi’s ‘Spider-Man’ trilogy as Marie Jane Watson, reunited with her ‘Little Women’ co-star Trini Alvarado for the indie film ‘All Good Things’ in 2010, and recently appeared in the films ‘Melancholia,’ ‘Bachelorette’ and the sci-fi romancer ‘Upside Down.’ She can be seen next in ‘Anchorman 2′ and in ‘The Two Faces of January’ with Oscar Isaac and Viggo Mortensen.
Claire Danes, Elizabeth “Beth” March
Then: Claire Danes, star of ‘My So-Called Life,’ made her film debut as Beth March, the shy middle March child who later contracts Scarlet fever. Alicia Silverstone auditioned for the role, but the producers found her to be a little too old for the part.
Now: Danes reunited with Ryder and Mathis for ‘How to Make an American Quilt’ a few years later, and has appeared in films like ‘Igby Goes Down’ and ‘Stardust.’ She currently stars on the Showtime series ‘Homeland,’ for which she’s won Emmys and Golden Globes.
Christian Bale, Theodore “Laurie” Laurence
Then: Christian Bale played Laurie, the grandson of the March’s neighbor who eventually falls for Amy and marries her. Bale had previously appeared in ‘Empire of the Sun’ and ‘Newsies.’
Now: You know him best as Batman, of course, in Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Dark Knight’ films, and he starred in Nolan’s dark magician thriller, ‘The Prestige.’ He also appears alongside Casey Affleck and Woody Harrelson in this year’s ‘Out of the Furnace,’ as well as opposite Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and Jennifer Lawrence in ‘American Hustle.’ Next year will see him become Moses for Ridley Scott’s ‘Exodus.’
Eric Stoltz, John Brooke
Then: Eric Stoltz, star of ‘Mask’ and ‘Singles,’ played John Brooke, Laurie’s tutor and the man who eventually steals Meg’s heart and marries her. That same year, Stoltz had a memorable role as a drug dealer in ‘Pulp Fiction.’
Now: Stoltz has been directing a lot of television lately, helming episodes of ‘Glee’ and ‘Nashville.’ He also recently guest starred on an episode of the IFC series ‘Maron.’ Stoltz is currently filming the romantic-comedy ’5 to 7.’
Susan Sarandon, Margaret “Marmee” March
Then: Susan Sarandon played Marmee March, the matriarch of the March family who keeps her family together throughout and after the Civil War. Sarandon, known for roles in ‘Bull Durham’ and ‘Thelma and Louise’ at the time, also starred in ‘The Client,’ released the same year as ‘Little Women.’
Now: Sarandon has appeared in a wide variety of recent films, including ‘Cloud Atlas,’ ‘That’s My Boy,’ ‘The Big Wedding,’ ‘Snitch’ and ‘The Company You Keep.’ She can be seen next in ‘Tammy,’ a new comedy with Melissa McCarthy.