Natural Born Killers cast: where are they now?
Few films drummed up more controversy in the 1990s than Natural Born Killers. The twisted minds of director Oliver Stone and writer Quentin Tarantino provided a scathing depiction of law enforcement and media sensationalism, particularly as it applied to celebrities.
Natural Born Killers was met with mixed critical reception and likewise box office when it was released in 1994, but the film has developed a cult status over the years, with particular praise being aimed at Stone’s frenetic direction and the performances of the ensemble cast.
With the latter in mind, let’s play catch up and see what the cast of the film is up to today!
Woody Harrelson may have seemed like an odd choice for a Manson-esque killer back then, given that he was best known for playing the likable Woody Boyd on Cheers (1985-93). Stone was taking a chance by casting him, but the actor rose to the occasion and proved that he was more than a one-trick pony.
Harrelson has gone on to have a stellar career, earning Oscar nominations for his roles in The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996), The Messenger (2009), and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017). He also added to his TV credentials with an Emmy nomination for his work in the first season of True Detective (2014).
In between these critical darlings, he’s racked up a dizzying number of commercial hits, including No Country for Old Men (2007), Zombieland (2009), and The Hunger Games franchise (2012-15).
Juliette Lewis had an underrated run of films in the 1990s. She scored an Oscar nomination for her memorable turn in Cape Fear (1991), before rattling off a string of cult hits including What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? (1993), Strange Days (1995), and From Dusk Till Dawn (1996). Natural Born Killers was probably her apex in terms of mainstream exposure, but the idiosyncratic actress has continued to distinguish her career with challenging roles.
Lewis has since appeared in comedies like Old School (2003), Starsky and Hutch (2004), and The Switch (2010). She’s also branched out with memorable supporting roles in the Oscar-nominated drama August: Osage County (2013) and the horror flick Ma (2019). She currently stars in the acclaimed TV series Yellowjackets.
Robert Downey, Jr.
Robert Downey, Jr. was one of the most polarizing actors of the 90s. He was already Oscar-nominated by the time he did Natural Born Killers, but a string of arrests and drug-related controversies made him persona non grata in Hollywood. By the mid-2000s, it seemed as though Downey was washed, but a little film called Iron Man (2008) sparked arguably the greatest comeback in history.
Downey would go on to become the face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the 2010s, scoring massive hit after massive hit. That’s not even mentioning the Sherlock Holmes franchise, which was also huge, and Tropic Thunder (2008), which earned him a second Oscar nomination. Downey is set to appear in Christopher Nolan’s anticipated biopic Oppenheimer in 2023, which suggests the hits will keep on coming.
Tom Sizemore has had the toughest road post-Natural Born Killers. He was one of the most reliable character actors of the 90s, appearing in classics like True Romance (1993), Heat (1995), and Saving Private Ryan (1998). He managed to keep the party going into the 21st century, with memorable parts in blockbusters like Pearl Harbor and Black Hawk Down (both 2001).
Unfortunately, the wheels came off soon after. Sizemore’s drug problems got the best of him, and a string of legal problems and controversies have effectively reduced his career to shambles. He has an occasionally fun gig, like his cameo on a 2010 episode of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, but the rest of his resume is filled with direct-to-video filler.
Tommy Lee Jones
Tommy Lee Jones rounds out the main cast of Natural Born Killers, and we don’t think we’re spoiling anything by saying that he’s done mighty well for himself. He had already won an Oscar for his performance in The Fugitive (1993), and the rest of the decade was filled with blockbuster releases like The Client (1994), Batman Forever (1995), and Men In Black (1997).
The classic titles haven’t slowed down, either. In addition to starring in two Men In Black sequels, Jones has appeared in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), Jason Bourne (2016), and Ad Astra (2019). He also reunited with his Natural Born Killers co-star Woody Harrelson in No Country for Old Men, which took home Best Picture in 2008. Not bad.