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See the Cast of ‘Natural Born Killers’ Then and Now

Natural Born Killers
Warner Bros.

Released in 1994, Oliver Stone’s ‘Natural Born Killers’ follows lovers Mickey and Mallory Knox (Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis) as they go on a mass-murdering spree, which eventually becomes glorified by the media and a fame-hungry reporter (Robert Downey Jr.). Though it wasn’t a hit at the box office, the divisive crime film, which was based on a story by Quentin Tarantino, went on to gain a following and has become regarded by many as a classic. ‘Natural Born Killers’ celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, so join us as we look back at the cast of the film and see what they’re up to now. 

Woody Harrelson, Mickey Knox

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Then: Woody Harrelson, then best known for his role on the long-running sitcom ‘Cheers,’ played Mickey Knox, who teams up with and marries Mallory Wilson; the pair go on a mass-murdering spree filled with outlandish violence.

Now: Harrelson is known for his work in films like ‘The People vs. Larry Flynt,’ ‘EDtv,’ ‘No Country for Old Men,’ and ‘Zombieland.’ In 2013 alone, he appeared in four films: ‘Now You See Me,’ ‘Out of the Furnace,’ lending his voice to the animated kids’ film ‘Free Birds,’ and reprising the role of Haymitch Abernathy in ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.’ Harrelson currently stars on the new HBO series ‘True Detective’ with his best friend and fellow actor Matthew McConaughey.

Juliette Lewis, Mallory Knox

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Then: Juliette Lewis played Mallory, a young woman from an abusive home who is rescued by Mickey. The two damaged souls marry each other and go on a violent crime spree. Oliver Stone approached musician Tori Amos for the role, but insisted on using her song “Me and a Gun,” which detailed the singer’s real-life personal account of her own rape, during every scene in which Mallory kills someone. Amos slapped Stone and refused to take the part. Instead, the role went to Lewis, who had previously appeared in gritty crime films like ‘Cape Fear’ and ‘Kalifornia.’

Now: Lewis went on to appear in ‘From Dusk Till Dawn,’ which was written by and co-starred Quentin Tarantino. In recent years she’s appeared in the films ‘The Switch,’ ‘Due Date,’ and ‘Hick,’ and can be seen alongside Meryl Streep in ‘August: Osage County,’ which has been garnering some awards buzz. In addition to acting, Lewis is also a musician and was the frontwoman of the rock band Juliette and the Licks until 2009, when she went solo.

Robert Downey Jr., Wayne Gale

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Then: Robert Downey Jr. played Wayne Gale — once a prominent and serious Australian journalist, Gale is now the host of American Maniacs, a sensational tabloid news program. The character of Gale was based on real-life Australian reporter Steve Dunleavy, with whom Downey Jr. met to research the role.

Now: Downey Jr. fell on some hard times in the mid to late 90s, but revived his career with parts in films like ‘Good Night, and Good Luck,’ ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ and ‘Zodiac.’ In 2010, he reunited with Juliette Lewis for the comedy film ‘Due Date.’ Today he’s best known for portraying Tony Stark in Marvel’s ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Avengers’ films, and he can be seen next in ‘Chef,’ directed by his ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Iron Man 2′ director and co-star Jon Favreau.

Tom Sizemore, Detective Jack Scagnetti

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Then: Tom Sizemore played Detective Jack Scagnetti, a police officer obsessed with taking down murderers after witnessing his parents’ death at the hands of a serial killer when he was a child. Gary Oldman and James Woods were also considered for the role.

Now: Sizemore has appeared in films like ‘Heat,’ ‘Saving Private Ryan,’ ‘Bringing Out the Dead,’ and ‘Black Hawk Down.’ In 2003, he was arrested on charges of assault and battery, and his subsequent and highly-publicized struggles with substance abuse led him to a stint on ‘Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.’ He’s been trying to turn his career around ever since, appearing mostly in B-movies. Recently, he starred in the films ‘Company of Heroes,’ ‘Reach Me,’ and ‘Paranormal Movie,’ and had a recurring role on ‘Hawaii Five-0.’

Tommy Lee Jones, Warden Dwight McClusky

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Then: Tommy Lee Jones played foulmouthed prison Warden Dwight McClusky, who is in charge of keeping guard of Mickey and Mallory when they get locked up later in the film. Jones had previously appeared in Stone’s ‘JFK,’ and in the films ‘The Fugitive’ and ‘The Client.’

Now: Jones is known for his gruff demeanor in films like the ‘Men in Black’ trilogy, ‘Rules of Engagement,’ and ‘A Prairie Home Companion.’ He reunited with Woody Harrelson for the 2007 film ‘No Country for Old Men,’ and has recently appeared in the films ‘Hope Springs,’ ‘Lincoln,’ and ‘The Family.’ He can be seen next in the upcoming film ‘The Homesman,’ which he’s also directing.

Rodney Dangerfield, Ed Wilson

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Then: Comedian Rodney Dangerfield, who previously starred with Robert Downey Jr. in ‘Back to School,’ gave his first and only dramatic performance in ‘Natural Born Killers’ as Mallory’s abusive father. Dangerfield rewrote almost all of his own dialogue.

Now: Dangerfield sadly passed away in 2004 at the age of 82, but continued working in the years leading up to his illness. He appeared in both ‘Casper’ live-action films, was the star and writer of ‘Meet Wally Sparks,’ and played the devil in the Adam Sandler comedy ‘Little Nicky.’ Dangerfield continued to occasionally perform stand-up throughout the years, as well, never forgetting his roots.

Edie McClurg, Mrs. Wilson

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Then: Edie McClurg played Mrs. Wilson, Mallory’s mother. McClurg was best known for roles in the John Hughes movies ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,’ ‘She’s Having a Baby,’ and ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles.’

Now: McClurg had a recurring role on ’7th Heaven,’ but these days she does a lot of voice acting, lending her talents to the animated films ‘Cars 2,’ ‘Wreck-It Ralph,’ and ‘Frozen.’ She’s also appeared on ‘Two and a Half Men,’ ‘Portlandia,’ and ‘Desperate Housewives.’

Pruitt Taylor Vince, Deputy Warden Kavanaugh

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Then: Pruitt Taylor Vince played Deputy Warden Kavanaugh, Warden McClusky’s right hand man. Vince had previously appeared in Stone’s ‘JFK’ and in the films ‘Mississippi Burning’ and ‘Wild At Heart.’

Now: Vince is a face you’ve undoubtedly seen a lot over the years. Although he’s not a big name,  he’s carved out a niche for himself as a “That Guy” actor, starring in films like ‘Identity,’ ‘Monster,’ and ‘Constantine,’ as well as having recurring roles on shows like ‘Deadwood,’ ‘The Mentalist,’ and ‘True Blood.’ He’s guest-starred on ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘Justified,’ and recently appeared in the films ‘Drive Angry’ and ‘Butter.’

Adrien Brody, Cameraman

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Then: A young Adrien Brody had an uncredited role as one of Wayne Gale’s cameramen. At the time, Brody’s career was just getting started, and his few credits included roles in the films ‘Angels in the Outfield’ and ‘King of the Hill.’

Now: Brody evolved into quite the talented actor, appearing in ‘Liberty Heights’ and ‘Summer of Sam’ before winning the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in the 2002 film ‘The Pianist.’ Since then, he’s appeared in the films ‘King Kong,’ ‘The Darjeeling Limited,’ ‘Splice,’ ‘Predators,’ and ‘Midnight in Paris.’ He can be seen next in ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel,’ which reunites him with his ‘Darjeeling’ director Wes Anderson.

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