Friday Night Lights Cast: What The NBC Actors Are Doing Now
It's time for a 10-year reunion. It's hard to believe that a full decade has passed since NBC's acclaimed football drama series, Friday Night Lights, left the air. Starring Kyle Chandler in the Emmy-winning role of Coach Eric Taylor, this television adaptation of H.G. Bissinger's best-selling non-fiction book, which also inspired the 2004 film, featured acclaimed performances from Connie Britton and Aimee Teegarden. It also launched the careers of future big-league stars like Michael B. Jordan, Jesse Plemons, Minka Kelly, Taylor Kitsch, Adrianne Palicki, and Jurnee Smollett. With its 10-year anniversary crossed, let's see what Friday Night Lights' star-studded cast is doing now.
Kyle Chandler (Eric Taylor)
As Eric Taylor, the head coach of the Dillon Panthers, Kyle Chandler won an Emmy playing the protagonist of NBC's Friday Night Lights. Prior to his time on this show, Chandler starred in Early Edition, Homefront, What About Joan?, and The Lyon's Den. Following his time on Friday Night Lights, Chandler gave a two-time Emmy-nominated performance in Bloodline. He was also Emmy-nominated for his guest turn in Grey's Anatomy. His other TV credits include Catch-22, Robot Chicken, and King of the Hill.
Away from TV, Kyle Chandler played Hamilton Jordan in Argo. He was also seen in Super 8, The Wolf of Wall Street, Manchester by the Sea, King Kong, Game Night, First Man, and Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Additionally, the actor appeared in The Kingdom, The Spectacular Now, Zero Dark Thirty, Carol, and The Midnight Sky. Most recently, Chandler starred in Godzilla vs. Kong. Currently, he's filming Slumberland.
Connie Britton (Tami Taylor)
In the role of Tami Taylor, a guidance counselor at Dillon High and the wife of Eric Taylor, Connie Britton gave a two-time Emmy-nominated performance in Friday Night Lights. Away from this series, Britton gave an Emmy-nominated performance as Rayna Jaymes in Nashville. She also received an Emmy nomination for her work in American Horror Story. Additionally, Britton starred in 9-1-1, Dirty John, and Spin City.
Away from television, Connie Britton appeared in Friday Night Lights (2004), Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Bombshell, Professor Marston and the Wonder Woman, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, The To Do List, This Is Where I Leave You, A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), and Beatriz at Dinner. Most recently, Britton was seen in Promising Young Woman. She was also heard in Pandemica. Next, Britton will appear in Joe Bell and The White Lotus.
Aimee Teegarden (Julie Taylor)
Playing the part of Julie Taylor, the eldest Taylor daughter, Aimee Teegarden is a liberal-minded character in Friday Night Lights. Following her time in this show, Teegarden starred in the short-lived Star-Crossed, as well as Notorious. Her other television credits include The Ranch, 90210, Robot Chicken, CSI, Legend of the Seeker, Hannah Montana, CSI: Miami, and Cold Case. Away from TV, Teegarden starred in Prom and Rings. Her other film credits include Call of the Wild, Love and Honor, A Change of Heart, and For Sale by Owner. The actress also produced and starred in Beneath the Darkness, Beautiful Wave, and Bakery in Brooklyn. Last year, she appeared in Guest House.
Most recently, Aimee Teegarden guest-starred on The Rookie. Next, the actress will be seen in The Road to Galena.
Michael B. Jordan (Vince Howard)
As Vince Howard, a troubled teenager who becomes the football team's leader through Coach Taylor's guidance, Michael B. Jordan played a primary part on Friday Night Lights for the show's final two seasons. Discovering his breakout role in The Wire, Jordan found fame after Friday Night Lights with his star performances in Chronicle, Fruitvale Station, Just Mercy (which he produced), and the Creed movies. The actor also stole the show as Erik Killmonger in Marvel's Black Panther. His other film credits include That Awkward Moment, Fantastic Four (2015), Red Tails, Hardball, and Black and White. Additionally, Jordan can be seen in All My Children, Parenthood, and Raising Dion.
Most recently, Michael B. Jordan produced and starred in Tom Clancy's Without Remorse. The actor also lent his voice for Love, Death & Robots. Next, he'll be heard in What If. Currently, Jordan is filming a role in Denzel Washington's A Journal for Jordan. He'll also expected to star in Danny Boyle's Methuselah. Additionally, Jordan reprises his titular role in Creed III, which serves as the actor's directorial debut.
Jesse Plemons (Landry Clarke)
In the role of Landry Clarke, a well-studied student-turned-football standout, Jesse Plemons plays a transformative character in Friday Night Lights. Shortly after his time in this show, Plemons played Todd Alquist in Breaking Bad, which is a role that he reprised in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. He also received an Emmy nomination for playing Ed Blumquist in Fargo Season 2. Furthermore, Plemons received another Emmy nomination for his performance in Black Mirror. Plemons' other TV credits include Olive Kitteridge and Drunk History.
Away from television, Jesse Plemons starred in Other People. He also appeared in The Irishman, Game Night, Vice, Bridge of Spies, Black Mass, The Master, Observe and Report, Varsity Blues, and The Post. Last year, Plemons starred in I'm Thinking Of Ending Things. Most recently, Plemons appeared in Judas and the Black Messiah. Next, he'll be seen in Jungle Cruise, Antlers, and The Power of the Dog. Currently, Plemons is filming the lead role in Martin Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon. He's also signed on for Love and Death.
Taylor Kitsch (Tim Riggins)
Playing the part of Tim Riggins, the party-loving fullback of the Dillion Panthers, Taylor Kitsch found his first brush with fame in Friday Night Lights. Following this NBC series, Kitsch played the titular role in John Carter and starred in Battleship, Savages, Lone Survivor, The Grand Seduction, and Only the Brave. His other film credits include X-Men Origins: Wolverine, American Assassin, 21 Bridges, John Tucker Must Die, Snakes on a Plane, and The Covenant. Additionally, Kitsch appeared in HBO's The Normal Heart.
Away from film, Taylor Kitsch played Paul Woodrugh in True Detective Season 2. Later, the actor earned acclaim for portraying David Koresh in Waco, which Kitsch produced. Most recently, Kitsch starred in Shadowplay. Currently, Kitsch is filming Amazon Prime's The Terminal List. Additionally, he's signed on to star in Neill Blomkamp's Inferno.
Jurnee Smollett (Jess Merriweather)
As Jess Merriweather, the East Dillon Spirit Squad leader and the former girlfriend of Landry Clarke and Vince Howard, Jurnee Smollett played a primary character in the last two seasons of Friday Night Lights. Away from this NBC series, Smollett played Nicole Wright on True Blood. Additionally, the actress was a series regular on Underground, The Defenders, Wanda at Large, and On Our Own. Her other TV credits include Grey's Anatomy, Parenthood, Do No Harm, and Full House. She's also heard in Sofia the First.
Away from TV, Jurnee Smollett played Eve Batiste in Eve's Bayou. She also starred in Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor. Her other film credits include The Great Debaters, Gridiron Gang, Hands of Stone, Roll Bounce, and One Last Thing. Most recently, Smollett starred in HBO's Lovecraft Country. She also appeared in Birds of Prey and The Twilight Zone. Next, Smollett will be seen in Escape from Spiderhead.
Minka Kelly (Lyla Garrity)
In the role of Lyla Garrity, a smart, bubbly cheerleader infatuated with Jason Street, Minka Kelly played a primary character in Friday Night Lights for four seasons. Away from this show, Kelly played Gaby in Parenthood, Valerie Stahl in Almost Human, and Eve French in Charlie Angels (2011). Her other TV credits include What I Like About You, Jane the Virgin, and Drunk History. Currently, Kelly plays the part of Dawn Granger/Dove in HBO Max's Titans. The actress also starred in Hallmark Channel's The Beach House.
Additionally, on the big screen, Minka Kelly starred in The Roommate. She also played Jackie Kennedy in The Butler. Her other notable film credits include (500) Days of Summer, The Kingdom, Papa: Hemingway in Cuba, Just Go With It, Searching for Sonny, and Naked. Next, Kelly will be seen in Lansky, She's in Portland, and Titans Season 3.
Adrianne Palicki (Tyra Collette)
Playing the part of Tyra Collette, a self-thinking woman who doesn't care about football in a sports-obsessed town, Adrianne Palicki is a strong-willed girl in Friday Night Lights. Outside of this series, Palicki plays Barbara "Bobbi" Morse in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Commander Kelly Grayson in The Orville. Her other notable TV credits include Supernatural, Robot Chicken, From Dusk till Dawn: The Series, and Supernatural.
Away from TV, Adrianne Palicki played Ms. Perkins in John Wick. She also appeared in G.I. Joe: Retaliation, S.W.A.T.: Under Siege, Legion, Elektra Luxx, and Red Dawn (2012). Most recently, Palicki was seen in the short film, Thoughts and Prayers. Next, Palicki is expected to appear in The Orville Season 3, which was picked up by Hulu, and With/In.
Scott Porter (Jason Street)
As Jason Street, a quarterback for the Dillion Panthers, Scott Porter plays a protege player in NBC's Friday Night Lights. Outside of this show, Porter played George Tucker in Hart of Dixie. He also played Blake Calamar in The Good Wife and Nestor Williams in Caprica. His other television credits include Scorpion, Why Women Kill, and As the World Turns. Additionally, the voice actor has a recurring role in Harley Quinn. He can be heard in Avengers Assemble and Ultimate Spider-Man.
Additionally, Scott Porter's film credits include Bandslam, Dear John, Speed Racer, Music and Lyrics, 10 Years, Prom Night, The Good Guy, and The To Do List. Currently, the television actor plays a main role in Ginny & Georgia. He was also seen in Lucifer.
Gaius Charles (Brian “Smash” Williams)
In the role of Brian "Smash" Williams, the confident running back for the Panthers, Gaius Charles played a joke-loving, career-driven star athlete on Friday Night Lights. Following this show, Charles played Dr. Shane Ross in Grey's Anatomy. He was also a series regular on Taken and Aquarius. Additionally, he had a recurring role in God Friended Me.
Additionally, in film, Gaius Charles can be seen in Salt, The Messenger, The Stanford Prison Experiment, and Takers. Most recently, the television actor provided a recurring role in Roswell, New Mexico. Next, Charles will be seen in Land of Dreams and Alice.
Matt Lauria (Luke Cafferty)
Playing the part of Luke Cafferty, a newcomer to the East Dillion team, Matt Lauria is a hard-working personality in Friday Night Lights. Outside of this series, Lauria played Ryan York in Parenthood, Ryan Wheeler in Kingdom, and Ben Newton in Dickinson.
Additionally, Matt Lauria played main roles in Tell Me a Story, Little Birds, Traitors, and The Chicago Code, as well as a recurring role in Lipstick Jungle. In film, he appears in Miss Bala (2019), Ma (2015), and Shaft (2019). Next, Lauria is seen in CSI: Vegas and To Leslie.
Dora Madison (Becky Sproles)
As Becky Sproles, Luke's girlfriend, Dora Madison, a.k.a. Madison Burge, played a recurring role in Season 4, followed by a lead part in Season 5, in Friday Night Lights. Elsewhere, Madison starred in Chicago Fire. She was also a series regular on What Would Diplo Do? and a recurring player on Dexter, Star-Crossed, and Chicago Med.
On the big screen, meanwhile, Dora Madison starred in Bliss. Also, Madison appeared in Everybody Wants Some!!, The Loft, Song to Song, Divine Access, and Night of the Babysitter, which she also produced. Most recently, Madison appeared in VFW. Next, the actress will be seen in Lapsis.
Zach Gilford (Matt Saracen)
Playing a main role in Friday Night Lights' first three seasons and a recurring role in the final two, Zach Gilford portrayed Matt Saracen, a rising quarterback for the Dillon Panthers. He was also a love interest to Julie Taylor. While Friday Night Lights wasn't Gilford's first screen credit, it was certainly one of the roles that took his career to the next level. Since the NBC drama wrapped up, Zach Gilford has gone on to take on a number of TV roles, the most recent of which include Good Girls and the part of Ben Walker on L.A.'s Finest.
On the big screen, Zach Gilford appeared in the Arnold Schwarzenegger film The Last Stand, and played a starring role in The Purge: Anarchy. Coming up, he's among the cast of the Netflix horror series Midnight Mass.
You can stream Friday Night Lights on Peacock.
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Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.
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