'Thelma & Louise' 25 Years Later: Who Has Changed the Most?

Celia San Miguel | Apr 17, 2016 Movies

It's hard to believe it's been 25 years since Thelma and Louise hopped into that 1966 Ford Thunderbird convertible and set out on a vacation that would turn them into outlaws and, in the process, solidify their sisterhood. At the time, the movie proved incredibly divisive, with some heralding it as a feminist masterpiece and others slamming it as glorifying violence. 

Thelma and Louise may have taken a fatal dive off a cliff, but they've remained in fans' hearts for years -- 25 years, to be exact. Find out where the stars of this iconic film are now.


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  • Susan Sarandon -- Then


    Image via Antoine Verglas/Sygma/Corbis

    New York native Susan Sarandon always sought out roles that upended female stereotypes. Remember 1988's Bull Durham? Sarandon played a sexually liberated professor with a history of seducing baseball players. With 1991's Thelma & Louise, a film so controversial in its time that it made the cover of Time magazine, Sarandon ascended to fame as a feminist icon, a role she also embraced off-screen through her political activism.

  • Susan Sarandon -- Now


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    After her Oscar-nominated turn in Thelma & Louise, Sarandon continued seeking roles that explored complex societal issues, such as when she played a nun who befriends a man on death row in Dead Man Walking (for which she won a Best Actress Oscar). At almost 70, neither her career nor her social activism has slowed. She has spoken out on issues such as homelessness, the mass incarceration of black men, and police brutality.

  • Geena Davis -- Then


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    Two years before Thelma & Louise's release, Geena Davis won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Accidental Tourist. Her public profile was also increasing thanks to her work in cult classics like 1986's The Fly and 1988's Beetlejuice. Through Thelma & Louise, the outspoken feminist hoped to spearhead change in Hollywood and spark a wave of movies that empowered women.

  • Geena Davis -- Now


    Image via Paul A. Hebert/Press Line Photos/Corbis

    Davis has continued playing strong women: a baseball player in 1992's A League Of Their Own; an assassin in 1996's The Long Kiss Goodnight; and the first female POTUS in 2005's Commander in Chief. Now 60, Geena Davis is fighting gender bias in Hollywood via her eponymous research-based organization, which strives to create children's content that represents women in a stereotype-free manner. 

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  • Brad Pitt -- Then


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    According to some reports, a then-unknown Brad Pitt earned a paltry $6,000 for his role as J.D., a charming thief who beds Thelma (Geena Davis) and then steals all her money. The meager earnings were worth it: The role kick-started Pitt's career. Curiously, George Clooney auditioned five times for the role of J.D., ultimately losing out to the up-and-comer.

  • Brad Pitt -- Now


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    Now an A-lister, Brad Pitt is the rare Hollywood star who women desire and men aspire to be, an actor that is both bankable and credible. Nine of Brad Pitt's movies have grossed over $300 million, and he brought home an Oscar for 12 Years a Slave, which he produced. Alongside wife Angelina Jolie, with whom he has six children, Pitt is also a tireless philanthropist, building housing in New Orleans's Ninth Ward after Hurricane Katrina and funding a center in Ethiopia devoted to fighting HIV/AIDS.

  • Michael Madsen -- Then


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    As Louise's kindhearted (if hot-tempered) boyfriend, Jimmy Lennox, Michael Madsen staged one of the most poorly timed proposals in movie history, one that ended up with a good-bye kiss rife with ominous foreboding.

  • Michael Madsen -- Now


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    One year after Thelma & Louise, Madsen starred as the sadistic Mr. White in Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, another career-defining role. Throughout the late '90s and early 2000s, however, a series of lackluster projects thrust Madsen into B- and C-list obscurity. That all changed when he reunited with Tarantino for the Kill Bill series and 2015's The Hateful Eight. Thanks to Tarantino, Madsen's career is getting a second wind.

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  • Christopher McDonald -- Then


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    While Christopher McDonald had guest starred on shows like Knight Rider and Matlock since the '80s, it was his performance as Thelma's no-good, controlling, insensitive husband Darryl that put him on the map. Interestingly, McDonald was Geena Davis's ex-fiancé IRL: The two dated before she met, married, and ultimately divorced her second husband Jeff Goldblum.

  • Christopher McDonald -- Now


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    McDonald went on to portray another now-iconic antagonist: the smug professional golfer Shooter McGavin in the Adam Sandler comedy Happy Gilmore. Since then, McDonald has perfected the arrogant jerk persona with such memorable roles as the gregarious TV personality Tappy Tibbons in 2000's Requiem For A Dream and crooked politician Harry Daugherty in HBO's Boardwalk Empire.

  • Harvey Keitel -- Then


    Image via Stephane Cardinale/Sygma/Corbis

    A former US Marine, Brooklyn-born actor Harvey Keitel teamed up with Martin Scorsese on such game-changing productions as 1973's Mean Streets, 1976's Taxi Driver, and 1988's The Last Temptation of Christ. By the time he the played the sympathetic detective Hal Slocumb in Thelma & Louise, he was already well on his way to screen legend status.

  • Harvey Keitel -- Now


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    "I don’t think anybody loses their powers as they get older," Harvey Keitel says of aging and staying relevant in Hollywood. "As long as you’re involved and creative and interested, then you can’t lose it." Keitel, 76, hasn't lost his magic touch. His filmography includes 1992's Reservoir Dogs, 1993's The Piano, 1994's Pulp Fiction (remember The Wolf?), 2002's Red Dragon, 2014's The Grand Budapest Hotel, and 2015's Youth.

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