Have you ever watched a classic early-2000s movie and thought to yourself, “What in the world happened to that early-2000s actor?”
John Tucker Must Die (2006) is the perfect example of a movie that checks all the teen rom-com boxes. Dorky girl who’s actually hot? Check. Love triangle? Check. Varsity basketball team full of men that look way too old to be in high school? Double check. But, what became of the actors who created this piece of early-2000s culture?
Luckily for fans of the movie, many of the actors have been pretty busy since the release of John Tucker Must Die. But, like many actors from any era of film and TV, you might have to look a little bit harder to track these stars down.
Here’s what all your favorite John Tucker Must Die actors have been up to lately, including the projects you can catch them in if you’ve been missing them in the nearly 20 years since the film came out.
Brittany Snow (Kate)
Shy outsider-turned-“it girl” Kate was played by Brittany Snow, a teen queen from this era of TV and movies.
Shortly after the release of John Tucker Must Die, Snow starred in Hairspray (2007) as Amber von Tussle, although most fans of the actress would probably first recognize her from her role in the Pitch Perfect movies as Chloe, the bubbly soprano whose vocal nodes turn her into a bass.
In the years since, Snow has starred in ore guested on a number of TV series, including Ben and Kate, Full Circle, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and Almost Family, as well as the A24 horror film, X (2022). Upcoming projects for Brittany Snow include Stripped and Big Nickel, both currently in pre-production.
Jesse Metcalfe (John Tucker)
The titular character in John Tucker Must Die was played by Jesse Metcalfe, a teen-heartthrob actor who successfully carried the weight of portraying an unlikable character who still has enough redeeming qualities to make the audience root for him.
After the release of John Tucker Must Die, Metcalfe continued his recurring role on the ABC drama Desperate Housewives, as well as performing in a number of other TV shows, including Chase and Dallas.
In the years following John Tucker Must Die, Metcalfe became a staple of Hallmark romantic TV movies, acting in a number of them, including A Country Wedding, Fairfield Road, and Christmas Next Door. You may also recognize Metcalfe from films like Beyond A Reasonable Doubt and the Dead Rising zombie thriller series.
In the future, Metcalfe will appear in On a Wing and a Prayer, a drama/thriller about a pilot who dies in the middle of a flight; he’ll also star in the third installment of the Fortress franchise, although a release date hasn’t yet been announced.
Sophia Bush (Beth)
In addition to playing Beth, a character regrettably referred to as a “vegan slut” in John Tucker Must Die, Sophia Bush is best known for her nine-year run as Brooke David on the CW drama One Tree Hill.
While still working on One Tree Hill, Bush appeared in the horror film The Hitcher, as well as the comedy, Table for Three.
In the years since the conclusion of One Tree Hill, Sophia Bush has appeared in a number of TV series, including Partners, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Good Sam, and Love, Victor. From 2013 to 2017, she also held a starring role on Chicago P.D. as detective Erin Lindsay, while guest starring as that character on Chicago Med and Chicago Fire.
Bush is also known for her podcasts, including Work In Progress and Drama Queens OTH, the latter of which discusses One Tree Hill plotlines, behind-the-scenes commentary, and even negative set experiences from the stars of the show themselves.
Upcoming appearances for Bush include Junction, a movie about the opioid crisis in America, set to premiere some time in 2023.
Penn Badgley (Scott)
Penn Badgley was the “dorky” little brother in John Tucker Must Die, but he evolved into Joe Goldberg, everyone’s favorite serial killer from the Netflix original series You.
Prior to appearing in the highly successful thriller series, Badgley's best roles were in Easy A (one of my personal favorite teen comedies) alongside Emma Stone, as well as the massively popular series, Gossip Girl, where he starred for six seasons as Dan Humphrey.
While Badgley has been pretty busy with You since its premiere in 2018, you can also catch him in the recent mob-thriller, The Birthday Cake (2021).
While Ashanti’s most popular film appearance is probably that of spunky cheerleader Heather in John Tucker Must Die, the actress/singer is a Grammy award-winning artist. If you need an Ashanti fix, she’s starred in many music videos during her long career as an R&B singer, all of which are available to watch on YouTube.
Ashanti appeared in Army Wives as Latasha Monclair, but has also played herself in small roles in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Dynasty.
Ashanti will appear in the upcoming film, The Plus One, alongside fellow early-2000s movie alum, Jonathan Bennett.
Arielle Kebbel (Carrie)
Right around the same time as John Tucker Must Die, Arielle Kebbel appeared in the mermaid movie, Aquamarine, portraying the role of the local bully, Cecilia. In the years following these successful films, Kebbel has appeared in movies like Daydreamer (2007) and Vampires Suck (2010).
She also appeared in the CW show 90210 as Vanessa Shaw, as well as a number of other television shows including The League, The Vampire Diaries, Midnight, Texas, Ballers, and 9-1-1. She’s also starred in some TV movies for the Hallmark channel, much like fellow John Tucker Must Die star Jesse Metcalfe.
In 2022, Kebbel will star in the film, Site, a horror movie about an abandoned government test site.
Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg (Lori)
Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg, known at the time as Jenny McCarthy, played the role of Kate’s free-spirited mom, Lori, in John Tucker Must Die. In the years since the film’s release, McCarthy has starred in shows like Tripping the Rift, In the Motherhood, Two and a Half Men, and Return of the Mac.
Fans of Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg can currently find her on The Masked Singer, where she serves as a panelist on the popular celebrity singing competition.
Taylor Kitsch (Justin)
After playing the minor role of Justin in John Tucker Must Die, Taylor Kitsch went on to originate the role of Tim Riggins in the series Friday Night Lights (which might be rebooted).
In the years since Friday Night Lights, Kitsch has appeared in movies such as John Carter (2012), Lone Survivor (2013), and the recently released Amazon series, The Terminal List. More of Kitsch’s TV work includes a lead role on the anthology series, True Detective, as well as the lead in the miniseries, Waco.
In 2022, Kitsch will appear in the new TV miniseries Painkiller, a Netflix drama about the opioid crisis.
Patricia Drake (Coach Williams)
Patricia Drake’s portrayal of the strict cheerleading coach in John Tucker Must Die is just one credit in this actor’s lengthy filmography.
Following John Tucker Must Die, Drake appeared in the TV series The Guard, Class of the Titans, and Being Ian. She’s also done a fair amount of voice work for Barbie-related projects, as well as the 2018 Polly Pocket series.
Most recently, Drake was seen in Mike Flanagan’s horror series, Midnight Mass. She’ll appear in the next Mike Flanagan work, The Midnight Club, as well, which is set to premiere some time in 2022.
Terrell J. Ramsey (Tommy)
Known by the name Fatso-Fasano at the time of John Tucker Must Die, actor Terrell J. Ramsey now goes by his real name.
Ramsey is known for the TV series Weeds, but has had a number of smaller roles, including stints on The Mentalist, Entourage, Harry’s Law, and Kidding. In 2022, Ramsey will star in Cheddy Ace, a comedy about a man and his nephews working to repay a debt to a local gang.
To relive the masterpiece that is John Tucker Must Die, you can rent or buy the movie on Amazon.
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She/her. Lover of female-led comedies, Saturday Night Live, and THAT scene in Fleabag. Will probably get up halfway through the movie to add more butter to the popcorn.