For never was there a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo. Yet, Baz Luhrmann gave both literature lovers and cinema fans a new interpretation of what might very well be William Shakespeare’s most famous and studied text with 1996’s stylish, modernized retelling, Romeo + Juliet, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes at the onset of their fame. Featuring supporting turns from John Leguizamo, Paul Rudd, and Jesse Bradford, this ‘90s time capsule gave audiences a new appreciation for the Bard’s famous words. Following its 25th anniversary, let’s take a moment to see what the star-studded cast is doing now.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, we should note that Pete Postlethwaite, who played Father Laurence, has since passed away. We will also take a moment to remember Brian Dennehy, who left us last year, near the bottom of this article.
Leonardo DiCaprio (Romeo Montague)
As Romeo Montague, a handsome and sensitive young man caught between the dividing factions of his family and love, Leonardo DiCaprio certainly stole a lot of hearts in Baz Luhrmann’s retelling of Romeo + Juliet. Best known for his starring and supporting turns in Titanic, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Catch Me If You Can, The Departed, Gangs of New York, The Aviator, Inception, The Wolf of Wall Street, and The Revenant, for which he won an Oscar, the A-list actor-producer is easily one of our biggest working movie stars. He also reunited with Luhrmann for The Great Gatsby. DiCaprio’s other notable film credits include Django Unchained, Blood Diamond, Shutter Island, J. Edgar, and Revolutionary Road.
Most recently, Leonardo DiCaprio gave a great performance in Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood and made an uncredited appearance in Grant, where he served as an executive producer. He was also seen in this year’s short film, Welcome Back Future. Next, DiCaprio will star in Adam McKay’s star-studded Don’t Look Up. The actor-producer also reunited with Martin Scorsese for Killers of the Flower Moon. Outside of acting, DiCaprio is producing the biopic, Atari.
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Claire Danes (Juliet Capulet)
In the role of Juliet Capulet, a quiet, observant young woman who is swept up in a steamy love affair with the romantic Romeo, despite her family’s wishes, Claire Danes plays a bleeding heart in 1996’s Romeo + Juliet. Most notably, the actress won an Emmy for her lead performance in HBO’s Temple Grandin, along with two more trophies for her long-standing part in Showtime’s Homeland, which she also produced. Moreover, Danes is known for her Emmy-nominated starring role in ABC’s My So-Called Life. She also appeared in Master of None, Portlandia, and Law & Order. Next, Danes is slated to star in Apple TV+’s The Essex Serpent.
Additionally, outside of TV, Claire Danes starred in Shopgirl, Stardust, The Mod Squad, and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Moreover, the actress’ other notable film credits include Little Women (1994), Home for the Holidays, The Family Stone, The Rainmaker, Igby Goes Down, The Hours, and Les Miserables (1998). Furthermore, Danes is heard in the English dub of Princess Mononoke.
John Leguizamo (Tybalt Capulet)
Playing the part of Tybalt Capulet, Juliet’s fiery cousin, John Leguizamo has a prominent supporting part in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. Most notably, the actor was Golden Globe-nominated for his supporting turn in To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar. Also, Leguizamo starred in Super Mario Bros., Summer of Sam, Carlito’s Way, The Pest, and Spawn. Leguizamo’s other notable film credits include Chef, The Happening, Land of the Dead, The Lincoln Lawyer, and the first two John Wick movies. Additionally, Leguizamo reunited with Luhrmann for Moulin Rouge. As a voice actor, furthermore, he was heard as Sid the Sloth in the Ice Age movies. Most recently, Leguizamo was seen in Waiting for Godot, Dark Blood, and The Survivor and heard in Batman: The Audio Adventures. He also recently directed and starred in Critical Thinking. Next, Leguizamo will be heard in Encanto. Currently, he’s filming The Menu.
Moreover, on TV, John Leguizamo was Emmy-nominated for Waco and When They See Us. He also won an Emmy for HBO’s John Leguizamo: Freak. Next, Leguizamo will be seen in The Green Veil and The Power and heard in Fairfax.
Paul Sorvino (Fulgencio Capulet)
As Fulgencio Capulet, Juliet’s father, Paul Sorvino plays a proud patriarch in 1996’s Romeo + Juliet. Most notably, the actor is best known for his portrayal of Paulie Cicero in Goodfellas. Sorvino’s other notable film credits include A Touch of Class, The Rocketeer, Nixon, Reds, The Panic in Needle Park, The Gambler, Dick Tracy, The Firm, and Bulworth. Most recently, he appeared in The Birthday Cake. Sorvino’s other recent film credits include Bad Impulse, Welcome to Acapulco, Beneath the Leaves, and Acts of Desperation. Next, he’ll be seen in Pursued and Most Guys Are Losers. Also, Sorvino is filming My Jurassic Place.
Additionally, on television, Paul Sorvino played Sergeant Phil Cerreta in NBC’s Law & Order and Frank DeLucca in CBS’s That’s Life. Moreover, the TV actor’s other notable credits include Still Standing, Chiefs, The Streets of San Francisco, and We’ll Get By. Currently, Sorvino can be seen in Epix’s Godfather of Harlem.
Diane Venora (Gloria Capulet)
In the role of Gloria Capulet, Juliet’s mother, Diane Venora plays a matriarch in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. Most notably, the actress was praised for her portrayal of Chan Parker in Clint Eastwood’s Bird. Additionally, Venora’s other film credits include Heat, The Cotton Club, The Jackal, The Insider, Hamlet (2000), Wolfen, Ironweed, The 13th Warrior, True Crime, Self Medicated, Surviving Picasso, The Substitute, Three Wishes, F/X, and All Good Things. Most recently, she was seen in Star-Crossed: The Film. Next, Venora will appear in First Love.
Furthermore, on television, Diane Venora had recurring roles in Chicago Hope, Thunder Alley, and Threshold. Her other TV credits include Grey’s Anatomy, Law & Order: SVU, and Medium. Most recently, Venora was seen in Cherish the Day.
Paul Rudd (Dave Paris)
Playing the part of Dave Paris, Juliet’s fiance, Paul Rudd had a pre-fame role in Romeo + Juliet. Prior to this part, the actor stole hearts as Josh in Clueless. Later, Rudd starred in Role Models (which he co-wrote), I Love You, Man, This Is 40, Dinner for Schmucks, How Do You Know, Our Idiot Brother, Wanderlust, Prince Avalanche, They Came Together, The Catcher Was a Spy, and Ideal Home.
Additionally, Paul Rudd plays Scott Lang, i.e. Ant-Man, in several MCU movies, including Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp, both of which he co-wrote. The famous actor’s other notable film credits include the Anchorman films, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Meyers, and The Cider House Rules. Most recently, Rudd was heard in Disney+’s What If …? Next, he’ll star in Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Apple TV+’s The Shrink Next Door. Currently, Rudd reprises his titular role in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Outside of acting, the A-lister was a producer on 2021’s documentary, My Beautiful Stutter.
Jesse Bradford (Balthasar Montague)
As Balthasar Montague, Romeo’s cousin, Jesse Bradford plays a supporting role in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. Most notably, the actor is known for Bring It On, Flag of Our Fathers, Swimfan, Presumed Innocence, Clockstoppers, and King of the Hill. Additionally, Bradford was seen in My Blue Heaven, Hackers, and W.
Furthermore, on television, Jesse Bradford had a recurring role as Ryan Pierce in NBC’s The West Wing. He also had main roles in short-lived series like Outlaw, Guys with Kids, and Sequestered, which he also produced. Moreover, Bradford starred in, produced, edited, and directed 2018’s short film, The Day of Matthew Montgomery. Most recently, the TV actor was a guest star on CBS’s Magnum P.I.
Harold Perrineau (Mercutio)
In the role of Mercutio, Romeo’s best friend, Harold Perrineau plays a loyal pal in 1996’s Romeo + Juliet. Prior to this film, he was acclaimed for his supporting turn in Smoke. Additionally, Perrineau played Link in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. The actor’s other notable film credits include Zero Dark Thirty, 28 Weeks Later, The Edge, King of New York, Snitch, Dumplin’, The Best Man, and The Best Man Holiday. Next, Perrineau will be seen in Without Ward.
Additionally, on TV, Harold Perrineau is best known for playing Michael Dawson in ABC’s Lost and Augustus Hill in HBO’s Oz. His other TV credits include Sons of Anarchy, Constantine, Goliath, Criminal Minds, Claws, Star, Constantine, and The Rookie. Most recently, Perrineau was heard in Bronzeville. Currently, he’s filming Epix’s From. Next, Perrineau will star in Peacock’s The Best Man: Final Chapters.
Christina Pickles (Caroline Montague)
Playing the part of Caroline Montague, Romeo’s mother, Christina Pickles is our lady matriarch in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. Most notably, the actress received five Emmy nominations for playing Nurse Helen Rosenthal in NBC’s St. Elsewhere. Additionally, Pickles was Emmy-nominated for her recurring role in Friends. In 2018, she won an Emmy for Vimeo’s Break a Hip, which she also produced. Most recently, Pickles lent her voice to Adult Swim’s Tuca & Bertie.
Away from TV, Christina Pickles’ other film credits include The Wedding Singer, Legends of the Fall, Masters of the Universe, Revenge of the Nerds IV: Nerds in Love, and It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. Next, she’ll star in Finding Hannah.
Dash Mihok (Benvolio Montague)
As Benvolio Montague, Romeo’s cousin as well, Dash Mihok has a supporting part in Romeo + Juliet. Away from this film, the actor is best known for playing Brendan “Bunchy” Donovan in Showtime’s Ray Donovan. Mihok’s other TV credits include Felicity, Chicago P.D., Blue Bloods, Grey’s Anatomy, NYPD Blue, and Hawaii Five-0. Most recently, he appeared in NBC’s Law & Order: Organized Crime. Next, Mihok reprises his role as Bunchy in Showtime’s Ray Donovan film.
Away from television, Dash Mihok was seen in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Silver Linings Playbook, The Day After Tomorrow, I Am Legend, Hollywoodland, and The Thin Red Line. Additionally, the film actor will star in Deep Water and Deception Road.
Zak Orth (Gregory Montague)
In the role of Gregory Montague, another one of Romeo’s cousins, Zak Orth had a supporting part in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. Most notably, the actor played J.J. in Wet Hot American Summer, as well as Netflix’s Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp and Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later. Orth’s other film credits include Vicky Cristina Barcelona, In and Out, Music and Lyrics, Spanking the Monkey, Loser, Down on You, The Ten, The Other Guys, and They Came Together. Also, he narrated You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.
Additionally, on television, Zak Orth played Aaron Pittman in NBC’s Revolution. He also appeared on Fringe. Most recently, Orth was seen in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.
Jamie Kennedy (Sampson Montague)
Playing the part of Sampson Montague, Romeo’s other cousin, Jamie Kennedy had a comedic role in 1996’s Romeo + Juliet. Most notably, the actor played Randy Meeks in the Scream movies. Kennedy also starred in Malibu’s Most Wanted (which he co-wrote), Son of the Mask, and Kickin’ It Old Skool. Most recently, the actor starred in Last Call. Currently, Kennedy is filming Don’t Suck.
Additionally, on TV, Jamie Kennedy is the creator, writer, and star of The WB’s The Jamie Kennedy Experiment. He also co-created Living with Fran. Furthermore, Kennedy played Professor Eli James in CBS’s Ghost Whisperer. As a voice actor, he’s heard in The Cleveland Show, King of the Hill, and Fanboy & Chum Chum.
Brian Dennehy (Ted Montague)
As Ted Montague, Romeo’s father, Brian Dennehy played a lead role in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. The actor won a Tony for his lead performance in Death of a Salesman. Additionally, he was Emmy-nominated for his work in A Killing in a Small Town, The Burden of Proof, To Catch a Killer, Murder in the Heartland, and Our Fathers. Dennehy’s other TV credits include The Blacklist, Hap and Leonard, The Good Wife, Birdland, Star of the Family, and Dynasty.
Furthermore, away from TV, Brian Dennehy’s other film credits include First Blood, Cocoon, Silverado, Tommy Boy, Gorky Park, Presumed Innocence, She Hates Me, Summer Catch, and Driveways. He was also heard in Ratatouille. On April 15th, 2020, Dennehy died of cardiac arrest at 81. The actor was last seen in Son of the South. Dennehy’s final film appearance will be in Long Day Journey.
Romeo + Juliet is available to stream on Amazon Prime.
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.