See the Cast of ‘True Romance’ Then and Now
Directed by Tony Scott and based on the first script Quentin Tarantino ever wrote, the 1993 film ‘True Romance’ follows the story of Clarence, a video store employee who marries a hooker and steals her boss’ cocaine, leading the two on a dangerous adventure through LA. 20 years later, we take a look back at the all-star cast of this film and see what they’re up to now.
Christian Slater, Clarence Worley
Then: ‘Heathers’ star Christian Slater played Clarence Worley, a video store clerk inspired by Quentin Tarantino’s own life. Tarantino wrote the script while he himself was working at a video store, and had Robert Carradine in mind for the role. Val Kilmer wanted to play the part, but was given a cameo appearance as Elvis instead.
Patricia Arquette, Alabama Whitman
Then: Tarantino wrote the part of prostitute Alabama (named for Pam Grier’s role in ‘Women in Cages’) with Joan Cusack in mind. Drew Barrymore was the first choice for the part, and Juliette Lewis was also considered — the original script was 500 pages long and was split in half, with the second part going on to become the basis for ‘Natural Born Killers,’ in which Lewis played the main role. The part in ‘True Romance’ eventually went to Patricia Arquette.
Now: Arquette starred on the long-running TV series ‘Medium,’ and has appeared in the recent films ‘Girl in Progress’ and ‘A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III.’ She can be seen next in the upcoming season of HBO’s ‘Boardwalk Empire.’
Michael Rapaport, Dick Ritchie
Then: Michael Rapaport was originally set to play Marvin, a much smaller role, but the casting director found him more ideal for the role of Dick Ritchie, an actor.
Now: Rapaport has appeared in the recent films ‘Baytown Outlaws’ and ‘Kiss of the Damned.’ He also lends his voice to the animated series ‘Pound Puppies.’
Bronson Pinchot, Elliot Blitzer
Then: ‘Perfect Strangers’ star Bronson Pinchot played Elliot Blitzer, one of Dick Ritchie’s actor friends — Clarence intends on using Elliot to get to a film producer so he can sell the stolen cocaine.
Now: Pinchot has his own reality series on the DIY Network, ‘The Bronson Pinchot Project,’ in which he restores old homes using salvaged materials.
Saul Rubinek, Lee Donowitz
Then: Saul Rubinek played Lee Donowitz, a movie producer loosely based on Joel Silver and Oliver Stone.
Now: Rubinek has appeared on several television shows, including ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm,’ ‘Psych,’ and ‘Leverage,’ and currently stars on the SyFy original series ‘Warehouse 13.’
James Gandolfini, Virgil
Then: James Gandolfini’s breakout role was in ‘True Romance’ as Virgil, one of mobster Vincenzo Coccotti’s henchmen. Tom Sizemore was originally cast in the role, but when he took another part instead, he suggested Gandolfini.
Now: Gandolfini is best known for his role as mob boss Tony Soprano on the acclaimed HBO series ‘The Sopranos.’ He reunited with his ‘True Romance’ co-star Brad Pitt in ‘The Mexican,’ and also starred in films like ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ and ‘Not Fade Away’ (directed by ‘Sopranos’ creator David Chase). Gandolfini tragically passed away on June 19, 2013, but still has three films on the horizon: ‘Enough Said,’ ‘Animal Rescue,’ and ‘Nicky Deuce.’
Gary Oldman, Drexl Spivey
Then: Gary Oldman played Drexl Spivey, Alabama’s pimp. He based his look on an actor named Willi One Blood — Oldman would go on to co-star with Willi One Blood in ‘Leon: The Professional.’
Now: Oldman reunited with Patricia Arquette for the best-if-forgotten film ‘Tiptoes’ in 2003. He starred in both the ‘Harry Potter’ series and Chris Nolan’s ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy, and can be seen next in ‘Paranoia‘ and the ‘RoboCop‘ remake.
Christopher Walken, Vincenzo Coccotti
Then: Christopher Walken, star of ‘The Deer Hunter’ and ‘King of New York,’ portrayed mob boss Vincenzo Coccotti.
Now: Walken reunited with Tarantino for ‘Pulp Fiction,’ and with ‘True Romance’ director Tony Scott for ‘Man on Fire’ and ‘Domino.’ He’s recently appeared in the films ‘Seven Psychopaths’ and ‘A Late Quartet.’ His wife, Georgianne Walken, was the casting director for ‘The Sopranos.’
Tom Sizemore, Cody Nicholson
Then: Tom Sizemore played Cody Nicholson, a detective trying to track down the big drug deal. Sizemore also played a cop in ‘Natural Born Killers,’ the sister film to ‘True Romance.’
Now: Sizemore has dealt with some personal struggles over the years, including a battle with addiction and financial struggles. He had a recurring role on the television series ‘Hawaii Five-0,’ and appears in the recent films ‘Black Gold’ and ‘Cousin Sarah.’
Brad Pitt, Floyd
Then: Brad Pitt had a small role as Floyd, Dick Ritchie’s stoner roommate. It was Pitt’s idea for his character to never leave the couch.
Now: Pitt reunited with Christian Slater for ‘Interview with the Vampire,’ starred in Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Inglourious Basterds,’ and recently starred in ‘World War Z‘ and is married to Angelina Jolie. He can be seen next in ’12 Years a Slave.’