See the Cast of ‘To Die For’ Then and Now
‘To Die For,’ released in 1995, starred Nicole Kidman as a fame-hungry and ruthless local weather girl who hires three dopey teenagers from a high school to murder her husband. The dark comedy was based in part on a true story and told in mockumentary style, and it helped launch the careers of Joaquin Phoenix and Casey Affleck. Now, 18 years later, we take a look back at the cast of the film and see what they’re up to these days.
Nicole Kidman, Suzanne Stone-Maretto
Then: Meg Ryan was originally offered the role of Suzanne Maretto-Stone, the fame-hungry weather girl who convinces three teens to murder her husband. When Ryan changed her mind, the part was offered to Nicole Kidman. In the book ‘To Die For,’ on which the film is based, the character of Suzanne says she wants “that actress that just got married to Tom Cruise in real life” to play her in the movie version of her story. She’s referring, of course, to Kidman.
‘To Die For’ and the character of Maretto-Stone are actually based on the real story of Pamela Smart, a woman who convinced her 15-year-old lover to murder her husband.
Now: Kidman, who is known for roles in films like ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ (in which she appeared with Cruise) and ‘Moulin Rouge,’ recently appeared in ‘The Paperboy’ and ‘Stoker.’ She can be seen next as Grace Kelly in ‘Grace of Monaco.’
Matt Dillon, Larry Maretto
Then: Matt Dillon, star of ‘Drugstore Cowboy’ and ‘Singles,’ played Larry Maretto, Suzanne’s husband, whom she marries because she believes he is financially stable enough to help her pursue her dreams of achieving fame. When he asks her to start a family, Suzanne plots to have him killed.
Now: Dillon, who is best known for roles in ‘Wild Things’ and ‘There’s Something About Mary,’ recently appeared in ‘Girl Most Likely’ with Kristen Wiig, ‘Pawn Shop Chronicles’ with the late Paul Walker, and ‘Sunlight Jr.’ with Naomi Watts. He can be seen next in ‘The Art of the Steal.’
Joaquin Phoenix, Jimmy Emmett
Then: Joaquin Phoenix played Jimmy Emmett, a high-schooler whom Suzanne seduces and, along with his friends, convinces to murder her husband. Stephen Dorff and Edward Furlong were also considered for the role.
Now: Phoenix went on to star in films like ‘Gladiator’ and ‘Walk the Line’ before taking a break and staging a documentary in which he attempted a rap career — ‘I’m Still Here,’ directed by his ‘To Die For’ co-star and longtime friend, Casey Affleck. Phoenix dropped the ruse and returned to acting, garnering acclaim for performances in last year’s ‘The Master’ and this winter’s awards contender, ‘Her.’
Casey Affleck, Russell Hines
Then: Casey Affleck auditioned for the role of Russell Hines against his older brother, Ben Affleck, and their childhood friend, Matt Damon. The younger Affleck won and made his big-screen debut as one of the teens Suzanne convinces to murder her husband. After working with Gus Van Sant on ‘To Die For,’ he brought the director a little script written by his brother and Matt Damon called ‘Good Will Hunting.’ It became kind of a big deal.
Now: Affleck, who has appeared in all three of Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Ocean’s 11′ films, recently lent his voice talents to ‘ParaNorman,’ and appears alongside Christian Bale in the upcoming ‘Out of the Furnace.’ He’s currently filming ‘The Dark Knight’ director Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi film, ‘Interstellar,’ along with stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain.
Illeana Douglas, Janice Maretto
Then: Illeana Douglas, who had previously appeared in ‘Goodfellas’ and ‘Cape Fear,’ played Janice, the sister of Larry Maretto.
Now: Douglas, who has also appeared in films like ‘Stir of Echoes’ and ‘Ghost World,’ was recently featured alongside comedy legend Jerry Lewis in the film ‘Max Rose,’ and stars in the series ‘Easy to Assemble.’
Alison Folland, Lydia Mertz
Then: Alison Folland made her acting debut as Lydia Mertz, the one teen girl who is convinced, alongside her two male friends, to help murder Suzanne’s husband.
Now: Folland had a small role in ‘Good Will Hunting’ as an M.I.T. student, and has appeared in the films ‘Boys Don’t Cry,’ ‘I’m Not There’ and ‘The Happening.’ More recently, she played Micky Ward’s ex, Laurie, in ‘The Fighter’ (pictured above right).
Kurtwood Smith, Earl Stone
Then: Kurtwood Smith, star of ‘RoboCop’ and ‘Dead Poets Society,’ played Earl Stone, Suzanne’s dad.
Now: He’s known best for playing Red Forman on ‘That ’70s Show,’ and has lent his voice to ‘Beware the Batman’ and the recent animated film ‘Turbo.’ His new show, ABC’s ‘Resurrection,’ premieres in March 2014 and is set in Arcadia, Missouri, when the dead start to rise.
Holland Taylor, Carol Stone
Then: Holland Taylor played Suzanne’s mother, Carol. You may have seen her previously in ‘The Jewel of the Nile’ or ‘She’s Having a Baby.’
Now: Since then, Taylor’s appeared in ‘The Truman Show,’ ‘Legally Blonde’ and ‘Baby Mama,’ but TV fans know her best from her longtime role on ‘Two and a Half Men.’
David Cronenberg, Man at Lake
Then: Since ‘To Die For’ was shot in Canada, Gus Van Sant had friend and fellow director David Cronenberg — a Canadian — cameo as the hitman hired by Larry’s father to kill Suzanne. Cronenberg had directed such classics as ‘Scanners,’ ‘Videodrome’ and ‘The Fly.’
Now: Cronenberg’s recent films have included ‘A Dangerous Method’ and ‘Cosmopolis,’ and his upcoming project is titled ‘Maps to the Stars,’ starring Julianne Moore and Robert Pattinson. His son, Brandon Cronenberg, recently made his directorial debut with the film ‘Antiviral.’