I love The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy on a scale that is difficult to quantify. My top ten favorite movies list is a bit unpredictable as it is ever shifting, but Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy has always found itself on that list. It is charming, magical, profound, and (most importantly) weird. Sadly the film was met with mixed reviews due to mediocre marketing, disagreements on accuracy to the book, and other issues that tugged at the box office. It did however boast a company of reputable and/or rapidly progressing movie stars. It is doubtful that you haven’t heard most of the names on this list, and I am sure many of you reading know all of them and more from the cast. We are going on a journey to see where all of these hitchhikers ended up 10 years later, a.k.a. now.
It should be noted that I will be focusing only on what I believe to be the core cast members and more predominant supporting cast. As I am deeply in love with this film it would be well within my capability to spend a tremendous amount of time on the entire cast, but I will spare you the overly thorough character studies and history lessons and instead focus on the top eight cast members. However, I do have an honorable mention category: Helen Mirren who voices the ultimate computer Deep Thought, and Stephen Fry who is the narrator. Stephen Fry went on to record an audio book of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. So without further ado…
Arthur Dent - Martin Freeman
Martin Freeman plays the lead… a common working-class Englishman who is thrust against his will into an adventure that will take him far from home to save everything and everyone he loves. Accompanied by a gaggle of peculiar companions he will meet a vast array of odd people and creatures, journey to beautiful and strange lands, overcome unimaginable odds, and eventually find courage from within. Sound familiar? I know! It is practically The Hobbit, right? And if that wasn’t enough, there is a ring that plays a very significant role in his journey. BANGARANG!!!!!
Now that your mind is blown try to put it back together and follow along. Martin Freeman didn’t just play Arthur Dent; he also went on to record audiobooks for the rest of the HHGTTG series (books 2-5). Now there’s a fan! He went on to star in Love Actually, The Office (British version), Nightwatching, and Sherlock (BBC). He has appeared in each of the Cornetto Trillogy films directed by Edgar Wright, and lastly he is the titular character in The Hobbit Trillogy. Now if he would just try a little harder he could very well make something of himself.
Zaphod Beeblebrox - Sam Rockwell
Sam Rockwell is my hero. And his portrayal of Zaphod Beeblebrox, the president of the galaxy, is uncanny. The character is a limitless riot, and Rockwell nails it from start to finish. He has since appeared in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and Frost/Nixon. He was the lead (and only actor) in Moon, he was a villain in Iron Man 2, and he will soon be on the big screen for the Poltergeist remake. The man is a zarkin frood if ever there was one.
Ford Prefect - Yasiin Bey (Mos Def)
Next up is Yasiin Bey. Now who the heck is Yasiin Bey? He’s Mos Def. Ringing any bells? He plays a character who, after determining that automobiles were the dominant life form on planet Earth, gave himself the most common name he could find so he could blend in… Ford Prefect. He hasn’t had an incredibly busy acting career since, but he has done voice acting work for the hit TV series The Boondocks as well as staring in I’m Still Here, Dexter, and The Italian Job. You won’t ever catch this man without his towel.
Trillian - Zooey Deschanel
Zooey Deschanel plays an interesting lead named Trillian. The character is pretty much the same old loveable Zooey that we get from all of her other performances, but I think she shines more in this film as a strong lead who confronts each of the male leads and sets them straight more than once. She has also starred in Elf, Failure to Launch, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, 500 Days of Summer, and the hysterical TV show New Girl. On a side note, you really need to watch 500 Days of Summer. Fantastic film.
Humma Kavula - John Malkovich
John Malkovich… need I say more. He also stared in Con Air, The Man in the Iron Mask, Being John Malkovich, Eragon, Beowulf, Jonah Hex, RED, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and Penguins of Madagascar.
Slartibartfast - Bill Nighy
Before becoming the tentacle-faced Davey Jones Bill Nighy was a Magrathean planet developer named Slartibartfast. Yup, you read that right. It is a far more mellow character he portrays in this film, but he is still memorably awkward. You have also seen him in Love Actually, the Cornetto Trillogy, Harry Potter, Underworld, Dr. Who, and Pirates of the Caribbean 2 & 3.
Marvin - Warwick Davis/Alan Rickman
Finally we come to Marvin. Marvin is a small robot with a gigantic head. He has a radical case of depression, and you can’t help but love him. He is played by two actors: Warwick Davis was actually in the suit, and Alan Rickman did the voice. Together they gave this huge plastic expressionless robot all the personality to win hearts left and right. Warwick has appeared in both the older television of the Chronicles of Narnia as Reepicheep the rat, as well as one of the recent film adaptations as a dwarf named Nikabrik. He has been in every Leprechaun franchise film, Harry Potter, Jack the Giant Slayer, Dr. Who, and you will see him in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But I think we can all agree that he was at his best in Willow. Alan Rickman is probably most well known from playing the infamous Hans Gruber in Diehard. He was also a romantic in Sense and Sensibility, an angel in Dogma, an alien in Galaxy Quest, a judge in Sweeney Todd, and a wizard named Severus Snape in Harry Potter.
I said it before, and I will say it again… I LOVE THIS MOVIE!!!! I hope you do too, and I hope you enjoyed this article. Go watch some of these movies, but only after you watch The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. And remember...
In the movie you may recall that Vogon Poetry is the third worst in the universe. Well, I went on a quest to see if the worst poetry in the universe had actually been written, and sure enough it has. The second worst was from Azgoths of Kria, but the worst of all came from a British poet named Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings. Her greatest work (or worst) is below… if you think you can handle it. You’re welcome.
The dead swans lay in the stagnant pool.
They lay. They rotted. They turned
Bits of flesh dropped off them from
Time to time.
And sank into the pool's mire.
They also smelt a great deal.