What Happened To The Cast Of What A Girl Wants?

The iconic Y2K comedy "What a Girl Wants" was released in 2003, but it's still one of those movies you can watch anytime and love just as much as you did the first time around. It follows Daphne Reynolds, an American teen who is in pursuit of her father, whom she's never met. Once she touches down in London, Daphne finds out her dad is a British Lord whose intent is to get elected Prime Minister. Along the way, she falls for Ian Wallace, bringing in the romantic factor all teenage girls could relate to.

As the movie unfolds, the characters played by Amanda Bynes, Colin Firth, Kelly Preston, Oliver James Hutson, and Christina Cole go through emotional rollercoasters and build relationships they never knew they needed. While it is a tad bit cheesy as it was originally marketed to teens and tweens, "What a Girl Wants" remains an early aughts gem. Two decades after its release, the cast has moved on with their respective career paths and personal achievements.

Amanda Bynes retired from acting

Amanda Bynes played Daphne Reynolds, the lead girl in "What a Girl Wants." She's a Y2K icon of the Hollywood industry. She is best known for her appearances in movies like "She's the Man" and "Big Fat Liar," as well as for her Nickelodeon series, "All That." In 2010, Bynes announced her retirement from the film business on her since-deleted Twitter account, stating that she doesn't enjoy acting anymore. In a 2018 interview with Paper Magazine, they note Bynes' risky drug use, which, as she stated, altered her perception of herself and the world around her. The substance misuse led to her not being happy with her professional performance, ultimately causing her to retire from acting.

Bynes' legal troubles began after she withdrew from Hollywood. The star was arrested in 2012 for a DUI and charged with two separate hit-and-runs that same year. In 2014, she was booked for yet another DUI. A few months later, she took to Twitter once again to share her bipolar and manic-depressive disorder diagnoses. Around that same time, Bynes' mother was granted permanent conservatorship over her daughter, which was terminated in 2022.

The "What a Girl Wants" star announced her engagement to Paul Michael in 2020, but the pair have since called it off and broken up due to him being a bad influence, according to the Daily Mail. In March 2023, TMZ reported that Bynes was found roaming the streets of Los Angeles without clothes, after which she was hospitalized.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Colin Firth won an Academy Award

Colin Firth played Lord Henry Dashwood, Daphne's long-lost dad and a member of the British upper class who was planning to run for political office in London. Firth is an acclaimed theater, television, and film actor with over 80 projects under his belt. After "What a Girl Wants," he went on to star in mega-hit movies like "Kingsman: The Secret Service" and the "Mamma Mia!" franchise. The British actor won an Academy Award in 2011 for his leading role in the critically acclaimed movie "The King's Speech." When accepting the Oscar, Firth said, "I have a feeling my career's just peaked." He was nominated in the same category the previous year for the movie "A Single Man," but didn't win it.

In his personal life, Firth was married to Italian producer Livia Giuggioli for 22 years, and the pair welcomed two sons during their time together. According to Hello!, they decided to split in 2019 after it became public that Giuggioli had an affair with her childhood friend somewhere between 2015 and 2016. Firth is currently in a relationship with screenwriter Maggie Cohn. The actor fell for Cohn on the set of HBO's true-crime drama "The Staircase," per the Daily Mail, on which they both worked.

Kelly Preston sadly passed away

Daphne's mom, Libby Reynolds, was played by the late Kelly Preston. After "What a Girl Wants," Preston appeared in a number of movies, most notably "Casino Jack" and "Death Sentence." While her career was nothing short of a success, Preston was more focused on her family life. She married John Travolta in 1991, and the couple welcomed three kids during their marriage; sons Jett and Benjamin, and a daughter named Ella Bleu. 

Unfortunately, Jett passed away in 2009 at only 16 years old. According to ABC News, the family was vacationing in the Bahamas when Jett suffered a seizure and hit his head. In an interview on the talk show "The Doctors," Preston shared that Jett had autism and would occasionally suffer seizures due to his condition. She said he was also diagnosed with Kawasaki Syndrome when he was younger, which can cause inflamed arteries, mostly in children under 5. The actor continued to raise awareness for children with special needs after her son's death.

After battling breast cancer for two years, Preston passed away in 2020. Following her death, Travolta has been open about their family's mourning and has been keeping her memory alive by posting touching tributes on his Instagram account.

Oliver James Hutson now works in the mental health field

Ian Wallace, the "What a Girl Wants" heartthrob, was portrayed by British actor Oliver James Hutson. The following year, he got cast for the same type of role alongside Hilary Duff in the movie "Raise Your Voice." While he mostly disappeared from the Hollywood limelight afterward, Hutson didn't altogether leave the film industry. He later appeared in the TV series "The Innocence Project" as well as "Dark Matters: Twisted But True."

The actor went on to become a qualified psychotherapist, earning his MA degree in Mindfulness Based Core Process Psychotherapy. On his website, Hutson states that his previous occupations have made him better equipped to work in the mental health industry. "My passion for personal healing and the wellness of our shared humanity is ultimately what led me to this vocation. It brings me great joy to offer this work in service toward the benefit of all beings," he wrote. Hutson listed depression, anxiety, and grief as his fields of interest.

Christina Cole went on to have an impressive acting career

Christina Cole played the snappy character of Clarissa Payne, Henry's stepdaughter. After Daphne shows up on their London doorstep, Clarissa is far from happy to welcome her into the family, making her the stereotypical evil stepsister.

After "What a Girl Wants," Cole appeared in a number of projects. She was cast in supporting roles in the popular movies "Casino Royale" and "Jupiter Ascending." She is, however, best known for her roles in the supernatural television series "Hex" and HBO's drama "Suits." In 2016, she was cast in Matthew Perry's theater play "The End of Longing." A year later, Cole added "The Indian Detective" to her impressive career list, a crime comedy-drama series that debuted on Netflix.

According to her Loud and Clear Voices profile, the actor has dabbled in audiobook recording as well as voicing video game characters. With most of the public's focus being on her career, little is known of her personal life.