See the Cast of ‘Hot Shots!’ Then and Now
Released in 1991, ‘Hot Shots’ was a spoof of ‘Top Gun,’ starring Charlie Sheen as a cocky Tom Cruise stand-in, and Cary Elwes in the Val Kilmer role. The film spawned an eventual sequel, but today we take a look back at the first ‘Hot Shots’ to see how much the cast has changed.
Charlie Sheen, Lt. Topper Harley
Then: ‘Platoon’ and ‘Wall Street’ star Charlie Sheen started making his transition to more comedic fare in the late ’80s. In 1991, he played Lt. Topper Harley (named after the Harley motorcycle) in ‘Hot Shots!’
Now: As we all know, Charlie Sheen has gotten himself into some high profile trouble over the years, but after starring on several seasons of ‘Two and a Half Men,’ he’s now cleaned up and stars on the FX sitcom ‘Anger Management.’
Cary Elwes, Lt. Kent Gregory
Then: Cary Elwes was known for his roles in ‘The Princess Bride’ and ‘Glory’ when he signed on to play Lt. Kent Gregory, the character meant to spoof Val Kilmer in ‘Top Gun.’
Now: Elwes maintained a successful career throughout the ’90s, appearing in films like ‘Robin Hood: Men in Tights’ and ‘The Crush.’ A staple of the ‘Saw’ series, he most recently played the role of E. Pierce Marshall in Lifetime’s ‘The Anna Nicole Story.’
Valeria Golino, Ramada Thompson
Then: Prior to playing the role of the sexy Ramada Thompson in ‘Hot Shots,’ Valeria Golino had starred in ‘Big Top Pee-wee‘ and ‘Rain Man.’
Now: The Italian actress has done a lot of acting in her home country, and premiered her feature-length directorial debut, ‘Miele,’ at Cannes this year.
Kevin Dunn, Lt. Cmdr. James Block
Then: Comedic actor Kevin Dunn had appeared on ‘Roseanne’ and ‘Seinfeld’ prior to joining the cast of ‘Hot Shots!’
Now: Dunn went on to star in the ‘Transformers’ films as Shia LaBeouf’s dad, and currently appears on the HBO comedy series ‘Veep.’
Jon Cryer, Jim “Wash Out” Pfaffenbach
Then: Jon Cryer was known best as Duckie from the John Hughes film ‘Pretty in Pink.’ In ‘Hot Shots,’ he played the role of Jim Pfaffenbach, aka “Wash Out.”
Now: Cryer went on to reunite with his ‘Hot Shots’ co-star Charlie Sheen on the sitcom ‘Two and a Half Men.’ He has won two Primetime Emmy awards for his performance on the series.
Kristy Swanson, Kowalski
Then: Kristy Swanson already had ties to both Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer: Like Sheen, she had a minor role in ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,’ and she played the role of Duckette in ‘Pretty in Pink.’
Now: Just a year after ‘Hot Shots,’ Swanson found major success in the role of Buffy in the ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ film. (She also reunited with Sheen in the 1994 film ‘The Chase.’) Swanson recently appeared on the USA show ‘Psych,’ and competed on ‘Skating with Celebrities,’ where she met and married her skating partner, Lloyd Eisler.