Remember the Titans, starring Denzel Washington, is one of the great inspirational sports movies, based on a stunning true story of perseverance and community. What are the stars doing right now?
Here’s an inside look at where everyone who gave us Remember the Titans wound up.
Denzel Washington Then
Before beginning production as Coach Herman Boone in 2000’s Remember the Titans, Denzel Washington had a nineties full of critically-acclaimed roles. He collaborated frequently with Spike Lee in movies like Mo’ Better Blues and Malcolm X. He also garnered high praise starring in Philadelphia and The Hurricane.
Before signing on to Remember the Titans, Washington had some reluctance. But when he went to Boone’s house and interviewed him, he knew he had to play him, saying, “He’s a strong personality. He’s a character. But once it got down to nuts and bolts, he was so happy.”
Denzel Washington Now
After Titans, Washington won Best Actor at the Oscars for Training Day, and directed films like The Great Debaters and Fences. In 2018, he starred in The Equalizer 2, appeared on Broadway in The Iceman Cometh, and signed on to play MacBeth in an adaptation from the Coen Brothers.
Washington takes considerable creative control in his performances. In 2017, his film Roman J. Israel, Esq. was highly re-edited by Washington alongside director Dan Gilroy after a mixed reception at a film festival. The film wound up earning Washington his ninth Oscar nomination.
Will Patton Then
In Titans, veteran actor Will Patton played assistant coach Bill Yoast, who reluctantly (at first) helps navigate racial tensions among the team. Patton was an Obie Award-winning New York stage mainstay, and had notable roles in Desperately Seeking Susan, No Way Out, and The Postman.
In 1998, Patton told the New York Times, “I can’t play anything until I find something that connects to my life, something I can carry as my secret map or code for the character.” Perhaps he used his background as the son of a minister in South Carolina for Titans.
Will Patton Now
Patton continues to appear in tons of movie, TV, and stage work. He had recurring roles in acclaimed TV dramas like 24 and The Good Wife, made an impression in the 2018 Halloween sequel, and played a leading role in TNT’s sci-fi drama Falling Skies.
Additionally, Patton narrates audiobooks, including Stephen King works like Doctor Sleep. Patton loves this work: “When I was a kid, I always sort of lived inside of books. There’s nothing more exciting than being able to sort of live a beautiful piece of literature by reading it aloud.”
Wood Harris Then
Wood Harris played team captain Julius Campbell in Remember the Titans, arguably his breakout role. Another huge 2000 role for him? Jimi Hendrix, in Showtime movie Hendrix. Before then, Harris starred in Tupac Shakur’s gritty basketball drama Above the Rim while he was playing basketball in college.
Remember the Titans wasn’t the first time Harris and Washington worked together. In 1998, they were in action thriller The Siege, which Harris credits for giving him the confidence to shoot Titans. For his performance as Julius, Harris was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor.
Wood Harris Now
Harris went on to star in the sprawling HBO crime epic The Wire as drug dealer Avon Barksdale. He also appeared in the two Creed films, made an MCU appearance in Ant-Man, and guest-starred on Fox’s Empire. And if that weren’t enough, Harris also performed in a Broadway revival of A Streetcar Named Desire.
Harris doesn’t watch many movies or TV shows, as it burns him out to watch actors after long days of acting. But he loves watching sports: “During NBA season I’m one of the ballers out there. Man, I’m out on the court! I’m on the floor. I’m a Chicago Bull.”
Ryan Hurst Then
The story of Gerry Bertier, a player who became paralyzed, is heartbreaking. And actor Ryan Hurst gave Bertier’s story intense accuracy. Born into an acting family, Hurst began at a young age on Saved by the Bell: The New Class. He also appeared in Patch Adams and Saving Private Ryan.
Remember the section of the film where home movies are shown of each character? These were shot and directed by Hurst himself, using vintage 16 millimeter cameras to really achieve that vintage look and feel.
He acts, he directs, he plays football — what can’t Hurst do?
Ryan Hurst Now
After Titans, Hurst earned a starring role on FX’s biker drama Sons of Anarchy. He also recurred on Bates Motel, The Walking Dead, and Bosch. In the film space, Hurst has appeared in We Were Soldiers, The Ladykillers (2004), and Rango. He has his own production company, Fast Shoes.
Hurst’s Sons of Anarchy character, Opie Winston, was supposed to be a smaller role in season one. But when fans responded positively to Hurst’s work, they promoted him to a series regular.
Hurst called motorcycle culture “a distinctively American concept,” saying it grants folks independence and camaraderie simultaneously.
Donald Faison Then
Comedic actor Donald Faison gave Petey Jones’ struggles to stay on the team a sense of endearment. In the 1990s, Faison played Murray Duvall in the instantly-iconic Clueless, reprising his role in the TV adaptation. He also had a recurring role on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.
Much like his character, Faison and the rest of his young castmates attended a football training camp. It was quite the ordeal, with Faison saying “Some of us got injured really bad. We couldn’t understand why we were working so hard.”
You can see that hard work on the screen.
Donald Faison Now
Faison got his big break in classic medical TV comedy Scrubs, playing Turk to Zach Braff’s J.D. He’s also appeared in movies like Pitch Perfect, and had another lead TV role in TV Land sitcom The Exes. His “Turk dance” was also allegedly stolen for video game Fortnite.
Would you want to watch a Scrubs reunion movie? Yeah, of course you would, you’re a reasonable human being.
But for Faison, who heard Braff’s pitch for the idea, there’s one condition for such a project: “It’d have to be everybody. We couldn’t leave anybody out.”
Craig Kirkwood Then
Craig Kirkwood’s first on-screen credit? A Levi’s commercial, cast by his aunt.
Then, he appeared in every notable teen ‘90s show, including My So-Called Life, Family Matters, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. In Remember the Titans, he played quarterback with a wrist injury, Jerry “Rev” Harris.
One year after Titans, Kirkwood starred in the Disney Channel Original Movie Hounded, alongside the Smart Guy himself, Tahj Mowry. It’s a wacky caper with hijinks galore, as Mowry and Kirkwood try and find a lost, volatile dog that belongs to a bully played by none other than Shia LaBeouf.
Craig Kirkwood Now
After Titans, Kirkwood played just a few more roles, including appearances in JAG and Calendar Girls.
Then, he retired from acting, and studied law at Loyola Law School. He’s currently practicing as a senior associate at the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.
Kirkwood also worked as a Deputy Public Defender for 10 years, representing those who could not afford their own legal representation. His last screen role was in a 2006 pilot called Everything I Know About Men, which was retooled and aired as Courting Alex without him.
Ethan Suplee Then
Remember the cafeteria scene where Louie Lastik leads his team in a rousing rendition of The Temptations’ “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”? That’s thanks to Ethan Suplee, whose pre-Titans work included Mallrats, American History X, and Boy Meets World. Suplee dropped out of school at 14 to pursue acting.
Both of Suplee’s parents were actors, with his mother highly active in the New York scene. But when Suplee was born, they moved to Los Angeles and gave up the performance lifestyle. However, they would still read plays to Suplee as bedtime stories, and named their cats after acting teachers.
Ethan Suplee Now
Suplee wound up reuniting with Washington in 2002 thriller John Q. He also reunited with his Mallrats costar Jason Lee in a leading role on NBC sitcom My Name Is Earl. Suplee has lost more than 200 pounds since Titans, crediting the practice of riding bicycles.
Like his role in Remember the Titans, Suplee played a real person in Deepwater Horizon, about the 2010 oil rig explosion. He met the wife of his deceased character, Jason Anderson, and believed it gave him “a bigger stake in portraying this guy.”
Kip Pardue Then
Backup quarterback Ronnie Bass gets the nickname “Sunshine” from his blonde hair and perpetual sunburn. And when Molly Ringwald’s publicist discovered Kip Pardue after he graduated from Yale (where he played football), Pardue began lighting the sun on a modeling career, before playing Bass in Remember the Titans.
Among the many brands Pardue modeled for, he was the face (and body) of Abercrombie & Fitch, Polo, and Armani. He was also known in the Hollywood scene for being a bit of a ladies’ man, and he dated actors like Rose McGowan, Estella Warren, and Jennifer Love Hewitt.
Kip Pardue Now
Pardue has since appeared in movies like The Rules of Attraction and stars on Marvel’s Runaways as a former teen actor struggling (hmm…).
In 2019, the Screen Actors’ Guild found Pardue guilty of sexually harassing co-star Sarah Scott on the set of unaired TV pilot Mogulettes.
Pardue was fined $6,000 and told to complete sensitivity training. At the time, Pardue told the Los Angeles Times that he “never intended to offend her in any way and deeply regret my actions and have learned from my behavior.”
Hayden Panettiere Then
Sheryl Yoast, daughter of assistant coach Bill, is a football expert ahead of her time. At age 10, Hayden Panettiere gave Yoast screen presence for days.
Before this role, Panettiere started her early show biz chops on soap operas like One Life to Live and Guiding Light.
To be fair, Panettiere had an easy in to the soap opera scene: Her mother, Lesley Vogel, was a soap opera actor herself, appearing in ABC’s Loving. When Panettiere’s Guiding Light character was diagnosed with leukemia, Panettiere received the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Special Recognition Award.
Hayden Panettiere Now
Since playing a young football expert, Panettiere has become a young TV expert. She had leading roles on NBC’s superhero drama Heroes and network-hopping country music soap opera Nashville. Panettiere is also an active philanthropist and charity worker, involved in efforts to save the whales and ensure voting rights.
At times, Panettiere has complained about being typecast “as either the popular cheerleader type or just the blonde,” especially during the midst of Heroes. To her credit, she has diversified her presence with some musical works, both as part of Nashville and on her own.
Nicole Ari Parker Then
As Coach Boone’s wife Carol, Nicole Ari Parker provided Remember the Titans with a sturdy, supportive backbone. Before the movie, Parker appeared in many 1990s indie darlings like Boogie Nights and 200 Cigarettes. She was also a member of the Washington Ballet Company.
Parker is a master of many artistic disciplines, but unlike many of her Titans castmates, she did not come from a show biz family. Her parents were both medical professionals — her dad a dentist, her mom an entrepreneur. Still, she studied acting at New York University’s Stonestreet Studios conservatory.
Nicole Ari Parker Now
Immediately after Titans, Parker broke through on the TV adaptation of Soul Food, which aired from 2000-2004. She even married her costar, Boris Kodjoe, and the two hosted a talk show for a year. Parker is also a series regular on Empire, and reunited with Panettiere in Scream 4.
Outside of acting, Parker has become an entrepreneur, creating sweat-absorbing headbands called Gymwrap. She has implored other aspiring creators to make their own way, saying, “I didn’t have a business degree… But I had an idea.”
And if you’re still afraid, listen to this blunt advice: “You’re so much stronger.”
Kate Bosworth Then
Kate Bosworth had a thankless task in Remember the Titans. She played the (fictional) girlfriend of Gerry Bertier, who racistly breaks up with him when he starts bonding with Julius. Before then, Bosworth was a champion equestrian, and translated those skills in a supporting role in The Horse Whisperer.
Bosworth grew up just outside of Boston, and attended an open casting call in New York for The Horse Whisperer simply because it said they were looking for horse riders.
Right after her role in Titans, Bosworth decided to move to Los Angeles and take this acting thing more seriously.
Kate Bosworth Now
Two years after Titans, Bosworth broke through in surfing drama Blue Crush, becoming a star. She has gone on to play Lois Lane in Superman Returns, and has appeared in films like Still Alice and Before I Wake. Bosworth actively fights human trafficking, even developing films about the issue.
Has Bosworth been able to keep riding horses, paying tribute to how she got started?
Unfortunately, not so much: From Superman Returns on, productions forbade Bosworth from riding due to insurance risk issues. She wants to ride again, though, saying simply, “I miss it.”
Earl Poitier Then
Before his debut role as Daryl “Blue” Stanton in Remember the Titans, Earl Poitier was an army brat, classically trained saxophone and trombone player, and a kindergarten teacher. He gave all of these lives up when he decided to devote his time to acting.
Poitier was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, before moving to Florida at age 7, where he eventually attended college and taught kindergarten. He was likely able to use all of these Southern experiences to inform his role in the Virginia-set Remember the Titans.
Earl Poitier Now
After Titans, Poitier put his musical skills to good use in 2002’s Drumline, the Nick Cannon-starring drama. He’s since gone on to appear in other films like The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and the big-screen Baywatch adaptation. He’s also appeared in TV shows like Roswell, Burn Notice, and Bloodline.
In 2005, Poitier starred in the independent crime drama Little Chicago. The film concerns two best friends since childhood who get way in over their heads in a criminal underground, all for a bit of money. His costar, Scott Thomas, also appeared in Remember the Titans.
Ryan Gosling Then
After appearing on The Mickey Mouse Club with co-stars like Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, the Canadian-born Ryan Gosling appeared in other children’s programming staples like Goosebumps and Are You Afraid of the Dark? He plays struggling linebacker Alan Bosley in Remember the Titans.
On the red carpet premiere for Titans, an awkward looking Gosling told reporters what it was like to work with Washington: “There wasn’t a whole lot of acting involved from us, because when Denzel looks at you, and he’s yelling at you, you’re, like… scared.”
Ryan Gosling Now
One year after Titans, Gosling turned heads in The Believer, a gripping drama about a Jewish Neo-Nazi. He’s gone on to be a bonafide Hollywood superstar, anchoring hits like The Notebook, Crazy, Stupid, Love, The Big Short, and La La Land. In 2014, he directed his first movie, Lost River.
In Blade Runner 2049, Gosling worked with Hollywood legend Harrison Ford. And Hollywood legend Harrison Ford… punched Gosling in the face.
No hard feelings, though. According to Gosling, “It was kind of, you know, a rite of passage.” Ford made up for it by getting Gosling some scotch.
Burgess Jenkins Then
To beef up the film’s conflict, filmmakers created the racist character of Ray Budds, a tight end who’s kicked off the team when he opposes integration. Budds is played by Burgess Jenkins, who had also appeared in the 2000 movie Unshackled and an episode of Dawson’s Creek.
Jenkins is originally from North Carolina, earning a degree in psychology from Lenoir-Rhyne University. He studied acting at the famed Los Angeles studio Playhouse West, founded by Jeff Goldblum. Titans director Boaz Yakin told Jenkins that 400 people auditioned for Budds, but only Jenkins had what it took.
Burgess Jenkins Now
After Titans, Jenkins appeared in over 100 episodes on long-running soap opera The Young and the Restless. He also reunited with Panettiere in a recurring role on Nashville. Additionally, Jenkins had a recurring role on One Tree Hill and Army Wives.
In 2014, Jenkins starred as a little league coach in need of redemption in the film Hero. Jenkins insisted on filming in his hometown of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He told local papers that “our city is very film-friendly,” and encouraged his young costars to follow their creative passions.
Gregory Alan Williams Then
Gregory Alan Williams exudes a warm yet tough paternal authority. The Iowan military man played Coach Paul “Doc” Hines, Boone’s offensive coordinator, in Remember the Titans. Williams’ breakout role was Officer Garner Ellerbee in Baywatch, and his screen debut was in Steven Seagal’s Above the Law.
Growing up in Iowa, Williams knew he “wasn’t one of the cool guys.” He participated regularly in church programs, was a star on his high school debate team, and thought about becoming a broadcast journalist. In 1976, he discovered theatre, and the rest is history.
Gregory Alan Williams Now
After Titans, Williams has appeared as figures of authority in many other movies, including Terminator Genisys, Brightburn, and another Disney sports movie, Million Dollar Arm. He’s also recurred on TV shows like Necessary Roughness (also playing a football coach) and written a book about the Los Angeles race riots.
Williams is based in Atlanta, preferring to raise his five children in a traditional matter, and traveling wherever he needs to for work. He still gives back to his hometown of Des Moines, playing notable military man and newspaper editor J.B. Morris in a local theatre production.
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