See the Cast of ‘Mystery Men’ Then and Now
Released in 1999, ‘Mystery Men’ starred Ben Stiller, William H. Macy and Hank Azaria as a trio of wannabe superheroes with unimpressive “powers” who unite with an unlikely group of outcasts to stop an insane villain from destroying their city. Based on ‘Flaming Carrot Comics’ by Bob Burden and bolstered by a hilarious ensemble cast, the film unfortunately wasn’t a huge success at the box office, but — like its protagonists — went on to become something of a scrappy underdog in its own right, and is treasured by many as an underrated comedy classic. Fifteen years later, we revisit the cast of this wacky not-so-superhero ensemble flick and see what they’re up to now.
Ben Stiller, Mr. Furious
Then: Ben Stiller played Mr. Furious, the ringleader of the lackluster wannabe superhero group whose power is his explosive rage. Stiller had previously starred in ‘There’s Something About Mary,’ and directed and starred in ‘Reality Bites.’ He also directed the Jim Carrey comedy ‘The Cable Guy,’ in which he had a small role.
Now: Stiller is known for roles in ‘The Royal Tenenbaums,’ the ‘Meet the Parents’ films, ‘Dodgeball,’ ‘Starsky and Hutch,’ and the ‘Night at the Museum’ films. He wrote and directed ‘Zoolander’ and ‘Tropic Thunder,’ and recently appeared in ‘The Watch’ and reprised his voice role for ‘Madagascar 3.’ In 2013, Stiller directed and starred in ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,’ and next he’ll be heading back to the museum for ‘Night at the Museum 3.’ He’s also been working on a ‘Zoolander’ sequel for some time now.
William H. Macy, The Shoveler
Then: William H. Macy played The Shoveler, a devoted husband whose superpower is shoveling. Macy was well known for roles in ‘Fargo,’ ‘Boogie Nights,’ and ‘Pleasantville.’
Now: Macy’s film credits since include roles in ‘Magnolia,’ ‘Jurassic Park III,’ ‘Seabiscuit,’ ‘Thank You For Smoking,’ and ‘Wild Hogs.’ Since 2011, he’s starred on the hit Showtime series ‘Shameless’ as Frank Gallagher. Recently, he starred in ‘The Sessions’ and the indie thriller ‘A Single Shot,’ and lent his voice to the animated films ‘The Wind Rises’ and ‘Ernest and Celestine.’ ‘Rudderless,’ Macy’s directorial debut in which he also stars, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and has been picked up by Paramount Pictures.
Hank Azaria, The Blue Raja
Then: Hank Azaria played The Blue Raja, a man who still lives at home with his mother and who wields silverware as a superpower. Azaria had previously starred in films like ‘Heat’ and ‘The Birdcage,’ and had been lending his voice talents to ‘The Simpsons’ as various recurring characters since 1989.
Now: Azaria continues to lend his voice to ‘The Simpsons’ as characters like Moe the bartender, Chief Wiggum, and Apu. He’s reunited with Ben Stiller for the films ‘Along Came Polly,’ ‘Dodgeball,’ and ‘Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.’ He’s also appeared in ‘Run Fatboy Run,’ ‘Year One,’ ‘Lovelace,’ and played the villain Gargamel in the ‘Smurfs’ films. Azaria also currently stars on the Showtime series ‘Ray Donovan.’
Kel Mitchell, Invisible Boy
Then: Kel Mitchell, best known for starring on the teen sketch shows ‘All That’ and ‘Kenan and Kel,’ played the Invisible Boy, who thinks he is invisible, but actually isn’t.
Now: ‘Kenan and Kel’ ended its run in 2000, and Mitchell has since guest-starred on ‘The Parkers’ and ‘One on One,’ and appeared in the movies ‘See Spot Run’ and ‘Battle of Los Angeles.’ More recently, he’s guest-starred on the hit series ‘Sam and Cat,’ and been a regular on the shows ‘Motorcity’ and ‘Wild Grinders.’ He also appears on the Adult Swim sketch series ‘Loiter Squad.’
Paul Reubens, The Spleen
Then: Better known to audiences for his wacky alter ego Pee-wee Herman, Paul Reubens starred in the film as The Spleen, whose power is his flatulence. He’d also appeared in the films ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and ‘Matilda.’
Now: Reubens went on to star in ‘Blow,’ ‘Reno 911!: Miami,’ and ‘Life During Wartime,’ and reunited with Hank Azaria, lending his voice to the ‘Smurfs’ films as Jokey Smurf. He’s guest-starred on ’30 Rock,’ ‘Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!,’ and lent his voice to the animated shows ‘Adventure Time’ and ‘Tron: Uprising.’ In 2010, Reubens revived Pee-wee Herman for a new stage show — ‘The Pee-wee Herman Show — which aired as a special on HBO in 2011. In 2013, Reubens appeared in character as Pee-wee on an episode of IFC’s ‘Comedy Bang! Bang!’ and is currently working on a new film, produced by Judd Apatow and written by Paul Rust, who has worked on ‘Comedy Bang! Bang!’
Janeane Garofalo, The Bowler
Then: Comedian Janeane Garofalo played The Bowler, who wields a bowling ball with her dead father’s skull inside. Garofalo had previously appeared on Stiller’s short-lived series ‘The Ben Stiller Show,’ and had supporting roles in his films ‘Reality Bites’ and ‘The Cable Guy.’ She also had a small role in ‘Now and Then,’ which co-starred Hank Azaria.
Now: Over the years, Garofalo has appeared in the films ‘Dogma,’ ’200 Cigarettes,’ ‘Wet Hot American Summer,’ ‘Wonderland,’ and lent her voice to Pixar’s ‘Ratatouille.’ She’s guest-starred on ‘The West Wing’ and ’24,’ and was a regular on the short-lived series ‘Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior.’ More recently, she guested on the Adult Swim series ‘Delocated’ and lent her voice to episodes of ‘Metalocalypse,’ and appeared in on an episode of ‘Broad City.’
Wes Studi, The Sphinx
Then: Wes Studi played the enigmatic (or so he thinks) wannabe superhero The Sphinx. The Native American Studi was well known for roles in ‘Dances with Wolves’ and ‘Geronimo: An American Legend,’ and had previously appeared with Hank Azaria in ‘Heat.’
Now: Studi has since appeared in ‘Undisputed,’ ‘Skinwalkers,’ ‘Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee,’ and ‘Avatar.’ He has a recurring role on the AMC series ‘Hell on Wheels,’ and has recently appeared in the films ‘Being Flynn’ and ‘Sugar.’ Up next, Studi is lending his voice to the animated film ‘Planes: Fire and Rescue.’
Geoffrey Rush, Casanova Frankenstein
Then: Geoffrey Rush played the evil villain Casanova Frankenstein, who is released from an insane asylum and takes the city’s only real superhero hostage. Rush had previously won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in ‘Shine,’ and had also starred in ‘Shakespeare in Love.’
Now: Rush has since appeared in films like the ‘House on Haunted Hill’ remake, ‘Quills,’ and played the villainous Captain Barbossa in the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ films, and has appeared in ‘The King’s Speech’ and ‘Green Lantern.’ More recently, he starred in ‘The Book Thief,’ and he will reprise the role of Barbossa for the upcoming ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,’ which is set to hit theaters in 2016.
Eddie Izzard, Tony P.
Then: Comedian Eddie Izzard played Tony P., one of the Disco-flavored henchmen of Casanova Frankenstein. In addition to comedy, Izzard had also appeared in the film ‘Velvet Goldmine.’
Now: Izzard has also appeared in ‘Shadow of the Vampire,’ both ‘Ocean’s 12′ and ‘Ocean’s 13,’ ‘My Super Ex-Girlfriend,’ ‘Valkyrie,’ and lent his voice to ‘Cars 2.’ He starred on the FX series ‘The Riches,’ which only ran for two seasons, and had a recurring role on ‘United States of Tara.’ Izzard portrayed Grandpa in creator Bryan Fuller’s television update of ‘The Munsters,’ titled ‘Mockingbird Lane’ — the pilot aired as a special in 2012 and never went to series, but Izzard recently had a recurring role on Fuller’s new NBC series, ‘Hannibal.’
Greg Kinnear, Captain Amazing/Lance Hunt
Then: Greg Kinnear played Lance Hunt, the man known to Champion City as their only real superhero, Captain Amazing. Kinnear had previously starred in the films ‘As Good As It Gets’ and ‘You’ve Got Mail.’
Now: Kinnear has since appeared in ‘Auto Focus,’ ‘Stuck On You,’ ‘Little Miss Sunshine,’ ‘Baby Mama,’ and ‘Ghost Town.’ He portrayed President John F. Kennedy on the 2011 miniseries ‘The Kennedys,’ has guest-starred on ‘Modern Family,’ and starred in the first season of the new Fox series ‘Rake.’ He recently appeared in the films ‘The English Teacher’ and ‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,’ and can be seen in the new film ‘Heaven Is For Real.’
Claire Forlani, Monica
Then: Claire Forlani played Monica, the waitress Mr. Furious has a crush on at the local diner. Forlani had previously appeared in the films ‘Mallrats’ and ‘Meet Joe Black.’
Now: Since then, Forlani has starred in ‘Boys and Girls,’ ‘Antitrust,’ and ‘The Medallion.’ She had a recurring role on the third season of ‘CSI: NY,’ and reprised the role later for two more episodes. She had supporting roles in lesser films like ‘In the Name of a King: A Dungeon Siege Tale’ and ‘Beer for My Horses’ before landing a starring role on the ‘Camelot’ miniseries and a recurring role on ‘NCIS: Los Angeles.’ Forlani is one of many celebrity narrators of the upcoming educational documentary ‘Unity,’ and you’ve probably seen her in commercials for Dewar’s Scotch whisky.