Do you know there are a couple of Oscar-winning actors on the My So-Called Life cast? Of course, they didn’t have Oscars when they joined the show. But in just one season, the show made a bigger impression on viewers than long-running series. The series launched the career of many actors and actresses, some of them to an Oscar-level. So, what happened to the cast of My So-Called Life?
Two decades later, the show has a cult following. And that is with only one season on the air. The show premiered on August 25, 1994. More than 25 years later, the show rose to the status of royalty. It launched the careers of Claire Danes and Jared Leto. What happened to the cast of My So-Called Life? Let’s find out.
Many fans now recognize Claire Daines as Carrie Mathison. And rightfully so. Homeland is one of the most popular drama/thriller and high-tension television shows. But before she portrayed Carrie, Claire played the angst-ridden teenager Angela Chase. For this role, she won a Golden Globe and earned an Emmy nomination at the age of 15.
Claire cites the experience as “seminal, both professionally and personally”. Since the show, Claire went on to win many other Emmys and even an Academy Award.
In 1996 she had her first leading role portraying Juliet in the movie Romeo + Juliet. The director of the movie called her “Meryl Streep of her generation”. And she was only 16 at the time. Fun fact: Claire turned down the female lead role in Titanic.
In 1998, she played Cosette in Les Miserables and then the pregnant teenage daughter of Polish immigrants in Polish Wedding.
For a brief period, she left her acting career. She wanted to attend Yale and get a break from filming. After all, she did 13 movies in five years. In 2002, she returned to movies. And she co-starred alongside Meryl Streep in the Oscar-nominated movie, The Hours.
In 2011 she got her Carrie Mathison role in the TV series Homeland. She won two Golden Globes and one more nomination for her portrayal of the covert agent. In 2012, Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2015, she got her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
A.J. starred as Claire’s onscreen BFF. Following the end of My So-Called Life, she had some recurring roles in different shows. Some of her appearances include The Wonder Years, Baywatch, Drexell’s Class, It’s Like, You Know.
Langer and Danes haven’t communicated much after the end of their show. In 2005, Langer married Charles Courtenay, the 19th Earl of Devon. They raise their children in his ancestral home of Powderham Castle in the English countryside.
In 2011, after a long-acting hiatus, she appeared in 14 episodes of Private Practice.
Wilson Cruz makes history every day. He is an LGBTQ activist. Two decades earlier, he made history by playing an openly gay teen on TV as an openly gay actor. The show definitely changed his life and made others around him accept his sexuality.
Following the end of the show, he appeared in Nixon and had a small role in On Seventh Avenue. His latest role includes playing Dr. Hugh Culber on Star Trek: Discovery. It is another openly gay character. And this time, in the Star Trek franchise. Wilson continues to make history.
Devon is one of the cast members that continued hanging out with Claire Danes. She says the two went to each other’s weddings. They forged that friendship during the filming of My So-Called Life. Following the end of the show, Devon made an appearance in a couple of TV shows and movies. But all small parts.
Some of her latest work include Private Practice, Strip, Broken Angel, Mad Cowgirl, Noah’s Arc, Fade, and Once and Again.
Leto and Daines are the two most successful cast members of My So-Called Life. And Jared barely spoke during the show. Since the end of the show, Leto has found success in two highly competitive industries, music, and filming.
Jared formed his highly-successful band, Thirty Seconds to Mars. And he won an Oscar in 2014 for Dallas Buyers Club.
In 1995 he made his movie debut in How to Make an American Quilt and then in Prefontaine. He played a supporting role in Fight Club and American Psycho. In the early 2000s, he focused more on his music, but then returned to acting in 2002.
In the movie, Dallas Buyers Club Leto played a transgender woman. That role earned him an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
He formed Thirty Seconds to Mars in 1998 and serves as the lead vocalist of the band. Their second album, A Beautiful Lie, achieved commercial success. The band sold more than 15 million albums worldwide so far.
Devon played the nerdy next-door neighbor Brian Krakow. He had an unrequited crush on Angela, serving as a grueling storyline in the show. Since the end of the show, he played in The Last Ship and directed an episode of Nashville.
In one interview, he said, “we are grateful for being such a short-lived and kind of perfect thing that happened under glass”. That is the real truth about My So-Called Life. Short, but perfect. And it helped launch the career of many cast members.
Lisa was the youngest star of the show. She played Angela’s little sister. Considering 17 of 19 episodes got narrated by Angela, Lisa had a lot of screen time.
Following the end of the show, she focused more on voiceover work for animation. Wilhoit voiced characters in Family Guy and The Smurfs.
Irwin found a lot of job offers following the end of the show. He started his career in 1999 on the My Life and Times. And then three years later he joined the My So-Called Life cast.
Following the end of the show, he had some decent roles in Angel, ER, and Lost. He had a regular role for three seasons in Saving Grace. In 1999 he starred in the movie No Higher Lover.
As of 2013, he serves as a series regular in the comedy-drama show Devious Maids.
Bess played Angela’s mother in the show. The show ended with her husband kissing another woman. And Armstrong says that should have served as her character development in the second season. But that never happened.
Following the end of the 1990s hit show, she got acting stints in House of Lies and Mad Men. In 2000, she appeared in Frasier. Other acting credits include Boston Legal, Castle, and NCIS.