What The Cast Of Burlesque Looks Like Today

"Burlesque," the 2010 musical starring Christina Aguilera and Cher, was not particularly successful when it was released. The film currently sits at a 37% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and many critics weren't impressed with the overlong runtime, the campy direction, or some of the, ahem, less strong performances.

However, for certain audiences, those elements are exactly what make the film so much fun. Fans gilded its reputation with glitter over the years. When the movie was added to Netflix in March 2023, more than a decade after its release, it hit the streaming service's Top 10 charts. The movie even has such a following that Cher — who has bad-mouthed "Burlesque" in the past — still sings her original numbers from the film when she tours. "I loved performing 'Welcome to Burlesque' so much that I decided to recreate a version of it for my live show," she told Entertainment Weekly in 2020. "The audience loves it." Of course, she knows why. "It's not a surprise to me that it has been deeply embraced by the gay community," she said. 

While Cher still returns to her "Burlesque" songs from time to time, most of the other actors have since moved on to other projects. It's been nearly a decade and a half since "Burlesque" hit theaters, so read on to see what the cast of "Burlesque" looks like (and is up to) today.

Christina Aguilera, an ally, was Ali

Christina Aguilera made her film debut in "Burlesque" as Ali, a small-town girl who moves to Los Angeles with dreams of making it big, only to find herself working in a burlesque joint. "Burlesque" is a musical, which meant that in addition to showing off her acting chops, Aguilera got to demonstrate her musical talent, too. Not only did she perform a number of original songs, she also co-wrote them. Aguilera bristled at a suggestion from Collider that her original numbers might have taken a lot of revision. "I'm not going to exhaust myself, on that level," she said. "When you have a specific vision for something, you just go in and attack it."

Aguilera hasn't acted much since "Burlesque," but her music career is still going strong. She released her second Spanish-language album in 2022, titled "Aguilera." She told Billboard that she'd always wanted to follow up "Mi Reflejo," but said it was almost better she waited. "Having been a mother, having experienced the career I have, I bring a different view and set of passions," she said. "Now it's coming from a deeper perspective and wanting to explore." 

The "Beautiful" hitmaker is also still focused on being an LGBTQIA+ ally. In Summer 2023, Aguilera performed at Pride in NYC, having played LA the year before. As she said on "Nightline," "Grammys are nice, but things like this brings it back to other people, and the greater purpose that we're kind of all here for, is to connect."

Cher didn't like Burlesque

"Burlesque" brought Cher back to the big screen for the first time since her cameo in 2003's "Stuck On You;" before that, she hadn't starred in a movie since the 1999 film "Tea with Mussolini." Explaining her break, the "Believe" singer had an easy answer for Cinemablend. "I forgot," she said. "I forgot that I really enjoyed this. I forgot that I liked acting so much." In "Burlesque," she played Tess, the Burlesque Lounge's owner who takes Ali under her wing. Despite her excitement to act again, Cher was none too happy with how the film turned out. In 2013, she told The Guardian, "It could have been a much better film. ... Terrible director! Really terrible director. And really terrible script." 

Cher didn't let the film's critical failure slow her down. In fact, she's had quite a busy 2023. In July, the multi-hyphenate announced that her gelato company, Cher-lato, was heading to Los Angeles. "I've searched for the perfect ice cream all over the [world emoji]," she wrote on Twitter. "I finally found My Dream Ice cream In New Zealand,& Im More Than Thrilled To Bring It Home to you CHER~lato."

The Oscar winner also announced that she will release a Christmas album in 2023. "Are you spending Christmas with me?" she asked on Twitter in September 2023, attaching an album cover depicting the icon in a snowy landscape surrounded by Christmas ornaments. Another tweet pledged, "THIS IS NOT UR MOTHERS [Santa emoji] [Christmas tree emoji] ALBUM."

Kristen Bell played mean girl Nikki

Kristen Bell played Nikki, one of the main burlesque dancers. At first, she can't stand Ali, viewing her as a usurper who doesn't deserve to be on stage. Bell told Parade that being in the film made her see sensuality in a new way. "I always felt as though being too sexual meant that you were demeaning yourself," she said. "I learned quite the opposite lesson on this movie. I was working with so many confident women that were not at all exploiting themselves."

Bell has had a fruitful career since "Burlesque," including voicing Princess Anna in the "Frozen" films and leading the cast of "The Good Place" from 2016 to 2020. In 2022, she starred in "The People We Hate At The Wedding." She told UPI that she was judgmental of her character's actions, noting, "It's never, ever a good idea to sleep with your boss. Although I have worked for my husband before at times when we were sexually intimate, but that is a little different."

The "Veronica Mars" star also regularly finds herself in social media furors resulting from oversharing online. In 2023, she and husband Dax Shepard posted about spending the night in an airport because they couldn't find a hotel. Fans weren't impressed, and they discussed it on Shepard's "Armchair Expert" podcast. Shepard expressed his confusion at the backlash, and Bell replied, "You're treating everyone as though they have the emotional and intellectual capacity that you have."

Alan Cumming camped it up as Alexis

Alan Cumming played Alexis, the Burlesque Lounge's doorman. In a behind-the-scenes interview, Cumming reflected on the movie's musical numbers. "I love dancers," he said. "I wish I'd been a dancer. ... If you want to be an artist of any kind, then you want to tell a story. ... And so, how better to tell it than with your whole body?" Unfortunately, Cumming's own song-and-dance number was left on the cutting room floor, though it was released as a DVD extra. Director Steven Antin told Movieweb that he fought for the performance to be included. "It's spectacular as a number, and Alan Cumming is spectacular in the movie," he said.

Cumming can be seen singing and dancing on "Schmigadoon!", an Apple TV+ show that parodies Broadway musicals. Season 2 aired in 2023. He told Broadway World that the cast has a great time both on and off set. "We all talk on a WhatsApp, on a texting group. ... It's called 'Schmiga-dudes,'" he said. "... I like having our little gossipy, jokey, fun group of friends."

As of 2023, Cumming hosts "The Traitors," a Peacock reality competition where contestants scheme to "murder" one another. As host, Cumming wears a series of fabulous, tartan-heavy outfits, and films at a castle in his native Scotland. "It's the most camp show," he told GoldDerby. "It's the campest thing I've ever done." That's saying something; after all, he was in "Burlesque."

Cam Gigandet wishes Burlesque had gone differently

Former "Twilight" star Cam Gigandet played Jack, a guy who works at the Burlesque Lounge and befriends Ali. Gigandet told Collider that he had fun with his nude scene in the film, explaining that he gets confused when other actors say they don't like doing scenes like that. "It's a perk of your job, really," he said. "I got to kiss Christina Aguilera, which is not a bad thing." (No, that remark doesn't age particularly well.) In 2023, Gigandet took a look back at the film for TooFab and said that the hype around Aguilera's involvement was "a little distracting." He elaborated, "I had a good time with it, but, y'know, in hindsight of course I wish we would have done things differently. I wish I would've spoke up for our storyline."

Gigandet is a prolific actor. In 2023 alone, he's starred in "Til Death Do Us Part," "Shrapnel," "Two Sinners and a Mule," and "Righteous Thieves." They follow another four projects released in 2022. He made waves for speaking out against the WAG and SAG-AFTRA strike that shut down Hollywood in the summer of 2023. Noting that he doesn't care if an artificial intelligence is trained on footage of him acting, Gigandet wrote a lengthy statement on Instagram. "I haven't heard anything to justify sacrificing the work that I need in order to continue 'living the dream,'" he said.

Stanley Tucci became great friends with Cher on set

Stanley Tucci played Sean, Tess's assistant. He and Cher seem to have gotten along great, doing the press rounds together and cracking jokes the entire time. "It's awful; they're paying me for these interviews," Tucci quipped to Logo, laughing. "It was great. I was very nervous to meet Cher, there's no doubt about it. Once we started working, we got along very well and we had a great time. They had to wrangle us in to stop us from laughing the whole time."

The "Devil Wears Prada" star is still a busy man, more than a decade after "Burlesque." Beginning in 2021, he hosted two seasons of "Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy" on CNN. The show combined travel with food as Tucci toured Italy. It was canceled, but he told Variety that he was "pretty confident" the show would land somewhere else. "We're talking to different companies," he said.

In 2023, he starred on "Citadel," a spy thriller for Amazon Prime. Tucci told Collider that he was happy to sit out some of the show's more expansive action sequences. "Richard [Madden]'s 20, almost 30 years younger than I am. So, it's a little easier for him to do it than for me," he said. "I do like to do the physical stuff, but maybe not on that scale."

David Walton's career took off after Burlesque

David Walton played Mark the DJ, love interest to Stanley Tucci's character Sean. Walton, who is straight in real life, told The Advocate that after "Burlesque," he got attention from gay men — but it wasn't anything new. "I'll sometimes get that look from guys, but I don't necessarily know if they're fans. To be perfectly honest, I've gotten attention from gay men for a long time," he said. "I love being around cool, fun guys, so I've always enjoyed talking to gay men."

Walton had mostly been on smaller projects before "Burlesque," but his career took off in the decade that followed. He led the cast of "About a Boy" from 2014-2015, had arcs on "New Girl" and "Masters of Sex," and appeared in both "Bad Moms" films alongside "Burlesque" co-star Kristen Bell. Walton played Lucas in the third season of Starz hit "Power Book II: Ghost," which aired in 2023.

In 2021, Walton starred in a film called "Later Days," notable because his co-star was Majandra Delfino... his real-life wife. They met when they were both cast on "Quarterlife," so Walton told ABC7 it was only natural to act again. He joked, "We met, basically, in a make-out scene and now we have children together!"

Eric Dane was impressed by Christina Aguilera

While Christina Aguilera's character Ali may struggle to find her place in the high-stakes world of burlesque, she isn't hurting for male attention. In addition to Cam Gigandet's character Jack, Ali also becomes entangled with Marcus, played by Eric Dane, aka McSteamy from "Grey's Anatomy." In a press junket interview, Dane marveled at what his scene partner was able to do. "Christina really transforms into something else on stage," he said. "She's this quiet, cute, sort of little girl, and then she gets on stage, and she turns into this, like, thing, you know? Larger than life, super super huge voice, great voice, and dances like, you know, just about as good as anybody I've ever seen ... It was weird and interesting to see that transformation."

Dane left "Grey's Anatomy" in 2012 (though he popped back in for the show's 17th season in 2021). He's since added another iconic TV role to his resume, however, in his work as Nate Jacobs' father Cal on HBO's ultra-popular series "Euphoria." Cal is a closeted local businessman who commits statutory rape. "This guy teeters on what is morally acceptable and what is legally acceptable," Dane said in Men's Health. "So it's important that I hit all the notes because otherwise he can so easily be misunderstood. There's a humanity to this character that I hope comes out."

Julianne Hough's Georgia was a pivotal role

Julianne Hough was best known for being one of the pros on "Dancing with the Stars" at the time she joined the cast of "Burlesque." Fittingly, her character Georgia is one of the main dancers at the Burlesque Lounge... at least, until she becomes pregnant, leaving an opening in the troupe for Christina Aguilera's Ali to work her way in. Hough told Collider that "Burlesque" was more of a challenge than "DWTS," reasoning, "[On 'DWTS'] were doing dances that were hard for the stars, but not that challenging for me. So, coming to do ['Burlesque'] was like getting back to the grind and really pushing myself to my limit, to do as much as I could do."

"Burlesque" was Hough's first big foray into acting. In 2011, she starred in a remake of "Footloose." She was in "Rock of Ages" the following year, and then "Safe Haven," a Nicholas Sparks adaptation, followed in 2013. A decade on, and Hough is back where she started. No longer just a pro, she re-joined "Dancing with the Stars" in 2023 as co-host. She told Variety that it was a natural transition. "When the idea of coming back to host came around, it was truly a full circle moment," she said. "I've now been a part of the show in every role — being a professional dancer to judge to now hosting."

Peter Gallagher is happy to tell stories about older people now

"The O.C." star Peter Gallagher played Vince in "Burlesque," Tess's ex-husband who turns out to be hooking up with Nikki. Though Gallagher didn't get in on all the song and dance routines in the film, he nevertheless loved going to work to see what was taking place. In a behind-the-scenes interview, Gallagher explained, "There is no greater pleasure in the world — at least, in my book — than going to work and being surrounded by extraordinarily-talented dancers and musicians ... It is such a thrill to tell a story with music and dance."

As he's gotten older, the 68-year old Gallagher has refused to slow down. He's been on a number of television shows in the years since "Burlesque," often several at once. Just since the COVID-19 pandemic, Gallagher was on "Grace and Frankie" (2017-2022), "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist" (2020-2021), and "Grey's Anatomy" (2021-2022). In 2023, he starred in the third season of Apple TV+ show "Truth Be Told."

In 2020, Gallagher spoke with The Guardian about continuing to work in this part of his career, revealing that it can be sometimes difficult to find interesting parts for someone his age. "What an extraordinarily disruptive notion: people older than 25 have life experience that deserves investigation and sharing!" he said of his role on "Grace and Frankie." "And, my God — there are people 25 and under that want to watch!"