It has been 10 years since Nicolas Winding Refn’s atmospheric thriller Drive came onto the scene and inspired countless men to buy satin jackets with a scorpion on the back, wear driving gloves, and listen to moody synth-pop while cruising the streets at night. The movie, which felt like both a love letter to the work of directors like Michael Mann and a sign of what was to come, had a lot going for it: a gripping story about a Hollywood stuntman who spends his nights as a getaway driver, an undeniable vibe, and one remarkable cast that included Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, and Bryan Cranston, to name only a few.
If you were wondering what the outstanding and stacked Drive cast has been up to since 2011, you’ve come to the right place. Below we will break down each of the stars and most of the places they’ve been since roaming the streets of Los Angeles.
Ryan Gosling (The Driver)
It is true that Drive is one of the best Ryan Gosling movies, but it is also true that the multi-talented entertainer’s career has only gotten bigger and brighter since he took on the role of the mysterious loner known simply as The Driver. In the time since appearing in Drive, Gosling has been nominated for three Golden Globe Awards, winning one for his outstanding role in La La Land, a performance that also earned him an Academy Award nomination.
Outside of his appearance in Damien Chazelle’s love letter to Los Angeles, Ryan Gosling has portrayed memorable characters in dramas like The Ides of March, The Place Beyond the Pines, and First Man (also directed by Chazelle), as well as a little sci-fi movie called Blade Runner 2049. And, at some point in the near future, Gosling will share the screen with Chris Evans in the Russo Brothers’ upcoming spy thriller The Gray Man.
Carey Mulligan (Irene Gabriel)
Already a rising star in young Hollywood by the time she joined the Drive cast, Carey Mulligan’s portrayal of Irene Gabriel helped take the actress to new heights in late 2011. Immediately following her moving performance alongside Ryan Gosling, Mulligan appeared in Steve McQueen’s psychological thriller Shame, in which she played Sissy Sullivan, the tormented and suicidal sister of Michael Fassbender’s Brandon Sullivan.
The next few years saw Carey Mulligan bounce between big-budget cinematic spectacles like The Great Gatsby and character-driven dramas like Inside Llewyn Davis (which also featured her on-screen husband from Drive, Oscar Isaac). Mulligan’s career reached new heights with her portrayal of the vengeful Cassandra “Cassie Thomas in the Academy Award-winning dark comedy Promising Young Woman. She will soon appear in Maria Schrader’s upcoming adaptation of She Said, which centers on the New York Times journalists who first broke the Harvey Weinstein story.
Bryan Cranston (Shannon)
Bryan Cranston was in the middle of his brilliant turn as Walter White on Breaking Bad when he joined the Drive cast as Shannon, The Driver’s handler and closest thing to a friend. You would think that after the AMC drama series came to an end in 2013 (after the show’s star took home multiple Primetime Emmy Awards and Golden Globes), Cranston would take some well-deserved time off, but that has been far from the case.
In the past decade, Bryan Cranston has appeared in countless movies ranging from Contagion to Trumbo, shows like Sneaky Pete and Your Honor, and even several stage productions like All The Way, which saw him portray former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and Network.
Albert Brooks (Bernie Rose)
Albert Brooks’ portrayal of crime boss Bernie Rose is honestly one of the most terrifying aspects of Drive and is one of his best performances of the 21st Century ,if not his entire career. In the years following the release of the 2011 crime thriller, Brooks, who is perhaps best known either for playing Aaron Altman in Broadcast News (which earned him an Academy Award nomination) or Marlin in Pixar’s Finding Nemo, has shown up a handful of times in movies like This Is 40, A Most Violent Year, and Concussion.
This is on top of all the voice-acting roles Albert Brooks has taken on in the past decade, which includes a reprisal of his Finding Nemo character in 2016’s Finding Dory, The Secret Life of Pets, and The Little Prince.
Oscar Isaac (Standard Gabriel)
Oscar Isaac was already a relatively well-known name by the time he signed on to play Standard Gabriel in Drive, but his portrayal of the recently-released convict in serious money trouble helped usher in a new era for the talented actor. A couple of years after the release of the 2011 drama, Isaac shared the screen with Carey Mulligan once again the Coen Brothers’ musical dark comedy Inside Llewyn Davis, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination and a handful of other awards. After that it was one hit after another until he landed the role of Poe Dameron in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which only took his career to new heights.
In 2022, Oscar Isaac will join the list of actors who have appeared in both Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe when he takes on the role of Marc Spector in the upcoming Disney+ series Moon Knight.
Christina Hendricks (Blanche)
When Christina Hendricks joined the Drive cast in 2011, she was in the middle of her run as Joan Holloway on Mad Men, a role that earned her five consecutive Primetime Emmy nominations from 2010 to 2015. In the years following her portrayal of Chris Cook’s (James Biberi) ill-fated accomplice, Blanche, in Drive’s pawn store robbery gone wrong, Hendricks has shown up in movies like Bad Santa 2, The Neon Demon, American Woman, and Toy Story 4 (she was the voice of Gabby Gabby).
Over on the television side of things, Christina Hendricks has taken on major roles on shows like Hap and Leonard, Tin Star, and Good Girls. She currently voices the character Cherie on the adult animation comedy series Solar Opposites.
Ron Perlman (Nino 'Izzy' Paolozzi)
Ron Perlman, who portrayed Nino “Izzy” Paolozzi in Drive, has appeared in countless movies and TV shows since his character learned the hard way that trying to pull a fast one on The Driver wasn’t the best of ideas. In the past decade, Perlman has wrapped up his portrayal of Clay Morrow on Sons of Anarchy, starred on shows like Hand of God, StartUp, and The Capture, as well as smaller roles on The Blacklist, Maron, and the 2020 Reno 911! revival. And, that doesn’t even touch his voice-over work that includes American Dad, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Tangled: The Series, and Transformers: Power of the Primes.
The film work completed by Ron Perlman since Drive is just as impressive. In the past decade, Perlman has appeared in several dozens of movies like Pacific Rim, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Stonewall, and Monster Hunter. Perlman is set to voice Mangiafuoco in Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming adaptation of Pinocchio.
Kaden Leos (Benicio Gabriel)
Kaden Leos played Standard and Irene Gabriel’s young son, Benicio, in Drive. It appears that playing the young boy who forms a unique bond with The Driver in Nicolas Winding Refn’s 2011 crime thriller was Leos’ first and only time in front of a camera.
James Biberi (Chris Cook)
James Biberi’s character, Chris Cook, doesn’t get the best way to go out in Drive, but it’s hard to feel bad for the guy after everything he did in the moments leading up to his demise. In the years since being on the receiving end of a fork to the eye, Biberi has appeared in movies like Dead Man Down, The Girl on the Train, and Ocean’s 8.
The veteran actor, who happens to have completed the “Dick Wolf Hat Trick” with appearances on Law and Order, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (he’s appeared on all three shows multiple times), has shown up on The Blacklist and Daredevil in the years following the release of Drive.
Jeff Wolfe (Assassin In Elevator)
Jeff Wolfe only appears in one scene in Drive, but short amount of time on screen as the would-be assassin who gets his head kicked in by The Driver in the elevator is just too good to not include here. Over the years, the stuntman/actor has appeared in everything from The Avengers to Bosch, and Mayans M.C. to Gangster Squad, and several movie and TV projects. Wolfe has also served as a stunt coordinator on shows like MacGyver, Rush Hour, and Stalker, with additional work on Furious 7, Game Night, and Scandal.
Russ Tamblyn (Doc)
And then there is Russ Tamblyn, whose appearance in Drive is so short, you’ll miss if you’re not careful. In the years since playing Doc (he’s the doctor who stitches up The Driver near the end of the movie), Russ Tamblyn, who received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Riff in West Side Story, has shown up in movies like Django Unchained and Hits. Tamblyn’s television work includes appearances on The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, The Haunting of Hill House, and the 2017 revival of Twin Peaks, which saw the veteran actor reprise the role of Dr. Lawrence Jacoby from the original 1990 series.
As you can see, the Drive cast has remained quite busy, for the most part, over the course of the past decade. If you want to know when you can expect to see any of the stars on the big screen once again, check out CinemaBlend’s 2021 movies release schedule.
- Take a look at this list of Marvel Characters Ryan Gosling could play.
Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.
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