Recently, I had the chance to sit down with legendary director Roland Emmerich on the set of Independence Day 2 and I got to pick his brain about the project as well as other classic films he's directed. One of those classics is The Day After Tomorrow, which kind of kicked off a lot of imitator films about one of the most popular cataclysmic events you could think of - the apocalypse.
In The Day After Tomorrow, we saw a story that was obviously a little bit intense, but with climate change and numerous other variables in play, something that may actually have some validity to it. There may not be something like this that happens in our lifetimes, per se, but at some point humans will probably have to deal with something along these lines. It's really only a matter of time. It may be 300 generations away... or it may be two or three. It's hard to predict or say.
The cast was star-studded, and 11 years later, I'd like to take a look at where these folks are now and how their careers have progressed since the 2004 film's debut.
So, here we go... The Day After Tomorrow cast, then and now. Man, time is weird.
Dennis Quaid as Jack Hall
Dennis Quaid looks incredibly scared in the picture to the left, from the film. Which is completely fair, since the world is coming to an end. Dennis Quaid to the right is still alive and well 11 years later, so he's clearly much happier. He's obviously been busy and has done a lot of great work since '04. Next up for Quaid is Truth and TV series The Art of War.
Jake Gyllenhaal as Sam Hall
Jake Gyllenhaal looks equally as exasperated as his movie-dad Dennis Quaid in the scene to the left. He too survived, and currently has Southpaw out in theaters. Yeah, like, right now! He's got some other stuff on the horizon, too. Keep an eye out for Jake, who will be appearing in The Man Who Made It Snow, Everest, Demolition, and Nocturnal Animals.
Emmy Rossum as Laura Chapman
Emmy Rossum as Laura Chapman has a pensive look in her left picture that goes perfectly with the theme we've established here of impending doom and the potential for the end of the world... which, of course, is the entire theme of this film. Emmy still looks great, and has been killing it on hit show Shameless as Fiona Gallagher on Showtime. She's also recently appeared in You're Not You, Comet, and Before I Disappear.
Dash Mihok as Jason Evans
Mihok as Jason Evans doesn't look as fearful as the others, but he definitely looks pretty nervous. Dash plays Bunchy on hit show Ray Donavan and has some projects on the way as well. He's keeping busy with So B. It, Quest, Car Dogs, Too Late, and Before I Wake on the way.
Jay O. Sanders as Frank Harris
Jay O. Sanders has been up to a lot lately, besides just growing out sick sideburns and a badass mustache. He's also playing Alex on TV series American Odyssey. Next up, he's got Vice, A Loss of Shadows, The Iron Warehouse, and A Scientist's Guide to Living & Dying.
Sela Ward as Dr. Lucy Hall
First of all, let me just say I met Ms. Ward at the Independence Day 2 junket and she was such a pleasant person. She's actually going to play the president in the film, and she will collaborate with Roland Emmerich on that one again, which is very cool. She also recently had a role in Gone Girl.
Austin Nichols as J.D.
Definitely the least scared-looking dude that we've discussed in this article, J.D. went on to do big things. Or should I say Austin Nichols? He is Spencer on The Walking Dead and he too was on Ray Donavan.
Arjay Smith as Brian Parks
There is certainly a little bit of fear in the eyes of Brian parks, but Arjay Smith in 2015 looks handsome, confident, and ready to continue a pretty legit acting career that he has developed since The Day After Tomorrow. He had a role on Sons of Anarchy as Grant McQueen, he is currently on Perception as Max Lewicki, and was in To Hell and Back, a TV movie that was actually pretty good.
I hope this blast from the past gives you hope, knowing that after 11 years, all of these actors' careers survived the apocalypse.