See the Cast of ‘Three Kings’ Then and Now
David O. Russell‘s 1999 film, ‘Three Kings,’ starred the awesome trio of George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Ice Cube, and told the story of three soldiers who planned a gold heist during the 1991 Iraqi uprising at the end of the Persian Gulf War — but things don’t quite go as planned. With Russell’s ‘American Hustle‘ and Wahlberg’s new war movie, ‘Lone Survivor,’ currently in theaters, and Clooney about to release his ‘Monuments Men‘ in February, we revisit the cast of this acclaimed satirical hit 14 years later and see what they’re up to now. George Clooney, Major Archie Gates
Then: At the time, George Clooney was known best for his role on the medical drama ‘ER,’ and for playing Batman in ‘Batman and Robin.’ Russell wanted Clint Eastwood to play the role of Major Archie Gates, an Army Special Forces soldier on the verge of retirement. But when Russell rewrote the role for a younger actor and Clooney got his hands on the script, the actor campaigned hard for the part, sending a personal letter to Russell and even showing up at his apartment. Russell didn’t believe Clooney could play the role and wanted Nicolas Cage, but when Cage had to turn the part down due to a scheduling conflict, Russell eventually caved and gave the role to Clooney.
Now: Clooney has starred in Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ trilogy of films, and in ‘Burn After Reading,’ ‘Up in the Air’ and ‘The Descendants.’ In addition to acting, he also directs, and has helmed and starred in the films ‘Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,’ ‘Good Night, and Good Luck,’ ‘Leatherheads,’ ‘The Ides of March,’ and the upcoming film ‘The Monuments Men,’ which reunites him with his ‘Ocean’s’ co-star Matt Damon. He recently appeared in the sci-fi thriller ‘Gravity’ with Sandra Bullock, and is currently filming the Disney’s secretive ‘Tomorrowland’ movie with director Brad Bird.
Mark Wahlberg, Sergeant First Class Troy Barlow
Then: Mark Wahlberg played Troy Barlow, an office worker and Sergeant who identified as a civil reservist; he had a wife and kid back home. Two years prior, Wahlberg earned acclaim for his portrayal of porn star Dirk Diggler in Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Boogie Nights,’ drastically changing the way he was perceived as an actor.
Now: Wahlberg reunited with Russell for ‘I Heart Huckabees’ in 2004, and again in 2010 for ‘The Fighter.’ He also appeared in ‘The Departed,’ ‘The Lovely Bones,’ and in four films in 2013 alone: ‘Broken City,’ ‘Pain and Gain,’ ’2 Guns’ and ‘Lone Survivor’ (to get a wide release January 10). In addition to acting, Wahlberg also produces ‘Boardwalk Empire’ on HBO and will be featured in the upcoming A&E reality show ‘Wahlburgers,’ about his family’s restaurant in Boston. He can be seen next in the films ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ and ‘Ted 2.’
Ice Cube, Staff Sergeant Chief Elgin
Then: The former NWA rapper and star of films such as ‘Boyz in the Hood’ and ‘Friday’ played Staff Sergeant Chief Elgin, an airline baggage handler.
Now: Ice Cube appeared in two ‘Friday’ sequels, ‘BarberShop’ and ‘BarberShop 2: Back in Business,’ and the ‘Are We There Yet?’ films, which led to a TV series on TBS. More recently, he starred in ’21 Jump Street’ as Captain Dickson, and will reprise his role in ’22 Jump Street,’ which hits theaters this March 16. He also stars alongside Kevin Hart in the upcoming action-comedy ‘Ride Along,’ and continues to perform and release music.
Spike Jonze, Private First Class Conrad Vig
Then: Director Spike Jonze was working on his debut film, ‘Being John Malkovich,’ when David O. Russell approached him about a sizable role in ‘Three Kings’ as semi-literate Southern Private Conrad Vig. Jonze never acted before, and Russell had to convince the studio to allow him to cast the director in the role.
Now: Jonze has since directed the films ‘Adaptation,’ ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ and the acclaimed 2013 film ‘Her,’ the latter of which starred Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson. He has also produced and appeared in the ‘Jackass’ series of films, and had supporting roles in ‘Moneyball’ and ‘The Wolf of Wall Street.’
Cliff Curtis, Amir Abdullah
Then: Cliff Curtis played Amir Abdullah, an Iraqi rebel captured by Saddam Hussein’s troops. Educated in America, Amir worked as a translator in Baghdad. Curtis had previously appeared in ‘Six Days Seven Nights’ and ‘Deep Rising.’
Now: Curtis has since appeared in the films ‘Blow,’ ‘The Fountain,’ ‘Sunshine’ and ‘Live Free or Die Hard.’ His recent credits include ‘Colombiana’ and ‘A Thousand Words,’ and a sort-of reunion with George Clooney in ‘Gravity’ — he appeared in a photograph. Curtis also starred on the shows ‘Body of Proof’ and ‘Missing.’
Nora Dunn, Adriana Cruz
Then: Former ‘SNL’ star Nora Dunn played Adriana Cruz, a tough cable news reporter intent on breaking a big story. Dunn left ‘SNL’ in 1990, and appeared in the films ‘Born Yesterday’ and ‘Bulworth.’
Now: Dunn has since appeared in the films ‘Bruce Almighty,’ ‘Pineapple Express’ and ‘It’s Complicated.’ She also had a recurring role on ‘Entourage,’ the HBO series produced by her ‘Three Kings’ co-star Mark Wahlberg and based in part on his life. Recently, she appeared in ‘The Guilt Trip’ and has guest starred on TV shows ‘The Neighbors,’ ‘Franklin and Bash’ and ‘Bones.’
Judy Greer, Cathy Daitch
Then: Judy Greer played Cathy Daitch, a journalist competing with Adriana. Cathy has sex with Archie early on in the film. At the time, Greer’s career was just getting started, and she had appeared in the films ‘Kissing a Fool’ and ‘Jawbreaker.’
Now: Greer appeared in Spike Jonze’s film ‘Adaptation,’ and in films like ’13 Going on 30,’ ‘Elizabethtown’ and ’27 Dresses.’ In 2011, she reunited with George Clooney for ‘The Descendants,’ and has recently appeared in ‘Jeff, Who Lives At Home’ and ‘Carrie.’ She is the voice of Cheryl Tunt on the FX animated comedy ‘Archer,’ reprised her ‘Arrested Development’ role as Kitty in the Netflix run, and can be seen (or rather, heard) next in ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ in a motion-capture performance as the genetically enhanced Caesar’s ape love interest.