See the Cast of ‘From Dusk till Dawn’ Then and Now
In 1996, Robert Rodriguez teamed up with Quentin Tarantino for the vampire horror flick ‘From Dusk till Dawn.’ Directed by Rodriguez from a script by Tarantino, the film follows two criminal brothers (George Clooney and Tarantino himself) as they hijack an RV containing a former preacher and his two teenagers and seek refuge in a seedy bar south of the border. But there’s a catch: this bar is overrun by ancient vampires. 17 years later, we revisit the cast of the film and see what they’re up to now.
George Clooney, Seth Gecko
Then: George Clooney played Seth Gecko, the more level-headed and reasonable of the two criminal Gecko brothers. Prior to his casting, several actors Tarantino had previously worked with were offered the role: Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Steve Buscemi, John Travolta, and Christopher Walken all had to pass due to scheduling conflicts — Travolta passed because he was preparing to star in ‘Pulp Fiction’ for Tarantino.
Now: Clooney recently appeared in the space drama ‘Gravity’ with Sandra Bullock, and can be seen next in ‘The Monuments Men’ (which he also co-wrote, produced, and directed) and the Disney sci-fi film ‘Tomorrowland.’
Quentin Tarantino, Richard “Richie” Gecko
Then: Writer and director Quentin Tarantino, known for films like ‘Reservoir Dogs’ and ‘Pulp Fiction,’ wrote the script for ‘From Dusk till Dawn’ and played the part of Richie Gecko, the sleazier and more impulsive of the two Gecko brothers. ‘From Dusk till Dawn’ was the first script Tarantino was actually paid to write — he received $1,500 from special effects make-up artist Robert Kurtzman to write the script based on Kurtzman’s idea. Kurtzman was responsible for creating the infamous ear-slicing scene in ‘Reservoir Dogs.’
Tarantino was going to direct the film himself, but changed his mind so he could focus more on the script and performing in the film. Renny Harlin and Tony Scott showed interest in directing the film, but Tarantino chose Rodriguez, who had previously directed ‘Desperado.’
Now: Tarantino won an Academy Award for his original screenplay for the 2012 film ‘Django Unchained.’ He’s said that his next film will be ‘Killer Crow,’ a film about WWII-era black troops, which will complete the unofficial trilogy that includes ‘Inglourious Basterds’ and ‘Django Unchained.
Harvey Keitel, Jacob Fuller
Then: Harvey Keitel played Jacob Fuller, a former preacher struggling with his lost faith, who allows Seth and Richie to take him, his family, and their RV hostage down to Mexico. Keitel previously appeared in Tarantino’s ‘Reservoir Dogs.’
Now: Keitel also starred in ‘Pulp Fiction,’ and in recent years has appeared in ‘Little Fockers’ and ‘Moonrise Kingdom.’ He can be seen next in the film ‘God Only Knows,’ and will reunite with Wes Anderson in ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel.’
Juliette Lewis, Kate Fuller
Then: Juliette Lewis played Kate, Jacob’s daughter. Lewis had previously appeared in ‘Cape Fear,’ ‘Kalifornia,’ and ‘Natural Born Killers’ — the latter of which was based on a screenplay by Tarantino that was later heavily revised by director Oliver Stone.
Now: Lewis has appeared in the recent films ‘The Switch,’ ‘Due Date,’ and ‘Hick,’ and can be seen alongside Meryl Streep in the upcoming film ‘August: Osage County.’ In addition to acting, Lewis also leads the rock band Juliette and the Licks.
Salma Hayek, Satanico Pandemonium
Then: Salma Hayek played the sexy dancer and vampire Satanico Pandemonium. Hayek, who had previously starred in Rodriguez’s ‘Desperado,’ was deathly terrified of snakes. When she read the script, she knew she couldn’t possibly take the role, but then Rodriguez tricked her into thinking that Madonna would take the part if she turned it down. Hayek spent two months in therapy confronting her fear of snakes just so she could star in the film.
Now: Hayek appeared in both ‘Grown Ups’ and ‘Grown Ups 2,’ as well as ‘Here Comes the Boom.’ She had a recurring role on ’30 Rock,’ and will make an appearance in the upcoming film ‘Muppets Most Wanted.’
Cheech Marin, Border Guard/Chet Pussy/Carlos
Then: Stoner comedian Cheech Marin (one-half of comedy duo Cheech and Chong) played three roles in the film: a border security guard; Chet Pussy, the guy outside the Titty Twister bar who tries to lure in customers; and Carlos, a criminal inside the bar. The role of Carlos was originally intended for Erik Estrada.
Now: Marin, who had a small role in Rodriguez’s ‘Desperado,’ also appeared in some of the director’s other films, like ‘Once Upon a Time in Mexico,’ the ‘Spy Kids’ films, and ‘Machete.’ Marin also provides the voice of Ramone in Pixar’s ‘Cars’ films.
Danny Trejo, Razor Charlie
Then: Danny Trejo, who also appeared in Rodriguez’s ‘Desperado,’ played Razor Charlie, a patron of the Titty Twister bar.
Now: Trejo went on to star in Rodriguez’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Mexico,’ the ‘Spy Kids’ trilogy, and is the star of ‘Machete’ and its recent sequel, ‘Machete Kills.’ Trejo reprised the role of Razor Charlie for two ‘From Dusk till Dawn’ direct-to-video sequels.
Tom Savini, Sex Machine
Then: Special effects whiz Tom Savini played the part of Sex Machine, a patron of the Titty Twister bar who has a very creative and memorable gun apparatus built into his pants. Savini created the make-up and special effects for several classic horror films, including ‘Dawn of the Dead,’ ‘Maniac,’ and ‘Creepshow.’
Now: Savini has recently appeared in ‘Django Unchained,’ ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower,’ and both ‘Machete’ and ‘Machete Kills.’
Fred Williamson, Frost
Then: Fred Williamson, former football player and star of several 70s blacksploitation classics, played Frost, a tough guy at the bar. The actor has black belts in Kento, Shotokan Karate, and Tae-Kwon-Do.
Now: Williamson recently appeared in ‘Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption’ and ‘Last Ounce of Courage.’ He starred in the original film ‘The Inglorious Bastards,’ the film Tarantino used as inspiration for ‘Inglourious Basterds.’
Michael Parks, Texas Ranger Earl McGraw
Then: Michael Parks played Texas Ranger Earl McGraw. Parks had previously appeared on ‘Twin Peaks’ and ‘The Equalizer.’
Now: Parks also starred in Tarantino’s ‘Kill Bill vol. 1′ (in which he also played Earl McGraw) and ‘Kill Bill vol. 2′ (as Esteban Vihaio). He reprised the role of McGraw again in both ‘Grindhouse’ films ‘Planet Terror’ and ‘Death Proof,’ and has starred in ‘Red State,’ ‘Argo,’ and ‘Django Unchained.’ He can be seen next in the horror film ‘We Are What We Are.’
John Hawkes, Pete Bottoms (liquor store cashier)
Then: Tarantino approached ‘Reservoir Dogs’ stars Tim Roth and Steve Buscemi to play the small part of Pete Bottoms, the liquor store cashier, after they both turned down the role of Seth Gecko. When neither could find the time for the part, it went to John Hawkes, a relatively unknown actor who had appeared in ‘Freaked’ and ‘Congo.’
Now: Hawkes has an incredibly successful career, and has earned praise — and awards nominations — for his roles in films like ‘Winter’s Bone,’ ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene,’ ‘Contagion,’ ‘The Sessions,’ and ‘Lincoln.’ He has a recurring role on ‘Eastbound and Down’ as Dustin, Kenny Powers’ brother. Hawkes can be seen next in the 2014 film ‘Life of Crime.’