What The Cast Of John Tucker Must Die Is Doing Today

The '90s and '00s are a treasure trove of fun romantic comedies and coming-of-age films that defined an entire generation. Among many of the iconic titles of the time is "John Tucker Must Die," a story of female friendship, learning how to take accountability, and finding your place in the world. With a host of familiar faces — back then and now — and an entertaining premise, the movie is still a great rewatch despite some unfortunate comments that are a reflection of its time. 

But despite its shortcomings (namely, some problematic views that are neither sex nor body-positive), it still provides 90 minutes of shenanigans, nostalgia, and Sophia Bush's many face journeys throughout. 16 years after its release, many of its stars have successful careers. 

You might recognize some of them from your favorite teen shows, reality television, and even soap operas. Whether you have been going down memory lane recently or just found this movie for the very first time and are curious to know what its actors are up to today, we've got you covered.

Jesse Metcalfe wants a change of pace

For a lot of people, playing the titular character in "John Tucker Must Die" is Jesse Metcalfe's best-known part. But if you watched a lot of TV in the early '00s, you may have caught a glimpse of him in "Smallville," or perhaps his recurring role as John Rowland in "Desperate Housewives." Metcalfe, who went to school for directing, originally started modeling so he could afford his classes, and the hustle eventually led to his breakout role in "Passions." Since then, the actor has had a steady stream of jobs, starring in "Dallas," guest-appearing in "2 Broke Girls," and plenty of movies. 

In 2020, he went on Dancing With The Stars but was eliminated fairly early on. His partner on the show, Shauna Burgess, spoke about the experience in a podcast. "I wasn't able to be in the room alone with him after the first couple of weeks because of things that happened," she said. "And so that was rocky, and we were eliminated very quickly." Though the dancer didn't name Metcalfe directly, his representatives responded, saying "they didn't get along," adding that "vague insinuations are not only reckless but also irrelevant" (via Page Six). 

In 2021, he was one of the stars of the Hallmark Channel's series, "Chesapeake Shores," in the lead role of romantic interest Trace Riley. When discussing his exit from the show, the actor shared that he wanted to leave on a high note.

Brittany Snow has had a tough year

Brittany Snow's career took off when she was only a teenager, landing a role opposite Vin Diesel in "The Pacifier" and starring as Kate in "John Tucker Must Die" a year later. Then, she was in the on-screen adaptation of the musical "Hairspray" and even had a guest spot in "Gossip Girl." But Snow is probably best known now for her role as Chloe in "Pitch Perfect" and its sequels. 

The actor has been open about her experience with anorexia and has credited therapy and her former co-star Sophia Bush for helping her overcome it. This isn't the only time Snow has shared her mental health struggles — in an Instagram post for her birthday in 2023, she spoke about having a hard year after filing for divorce from her husband, "Selling the OC" star Tyler Stanaland. 

In an interview with Bustle, the actor spoke about how the separation "blindsided her," as well as her grandmother's death only a few days after. Snow added that it was her friends that helped her navigate the difficult time. "I don't know if I would have made it without them," she said. "They reminded me who I was and the things I stood for."

Sophia Bush went back to Tree Hill for one night

Though she's best known for her role as Brooke Davis in the beloved TV show "One Tree Hill" — which she starred in for nine seasons and where she met her ex-husband Chad Michael Murray — Sophia Bush has still had a diverse and prolific career. Since appearing as Beth in "John Tucker Must Die," she has starred in many television shows, including all of the One Chicago franchise, in which she played the part of detective Erin Lindsay. Bush reportedly left "Chicago P.D." due to experiencing abusive behavior on set.

The actor has appeared in multiple films and TV shows since, most recently with a recurring role in "Love, Victor," and as the star of CBS' "Good Sam," which was not picked up for a second season. In November 2023, she reunited with her "One Tree Hill" castmates for a charity event and reenacted one of the series' iconic scenes with co-star Hilarie Burton.

In her personal life, Bush filed for divorce from her second husband Grant Hughes earlier in 2023. Rumors of cheating as the reason behind their separation surfaced after the actor announced her new relationship with retired soccer player Ashlyn Harris, but Hughes' does not appear to be holding a grudge. His representatives told Page Six that he wants what's best for her, and "is supportive of all that makes her happy and fulfilled."

Ashanti has come full circle

Most people would consider Ashanti a musician before an actor — she starred in "John Tucker Must Die" four years after the release of her self-titled debut album, after all. This opportunity came after her guest appearances in other popular media at the time, including "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," and "The Muppets' Wizard of Oz."

Following her appearance in "John Tucker," she has continued to act in films such as "Resident Evil: Extinction" and "Honey Girls," as well as TV shows, including a recurring role in "Army Wives" and appearing as herself in "Dynasty." Beyond her onscreen career, Ashanti has also dropped multiple studio albums and even starred on Broadway, making her stage debut as Dorothy in "The Wiz."

But the star's true full circle moment was reigniting her relationship with Nelly, who was also her boyfriend when "John Tucker Must Die" was released. The "Foolish" singer surprised him for his 49th birthday, telling People, "We are in a great space" and "having a lot of fun."

Arielle Kebbel is totally a horse girl

Arielle Kebbel's first major television appearance was her recurring role as Lindsay Forester in "Gilmore Girls," where she played the wife of Rory's first ex-boyfriend, Dean. After that, she maintained a steady stream of acting roles in other movies of that era, like "American Pie," "Aquamarine," and "The Uninvited." CW fans in particular might remember her as Vanessa Shaw in the "90210" reboot or as Stefan Salvatore's best friend Lexi in "The Vampire Diaries."

Kebbel has appeared in more mature roles since then, including multiple episode runs in "Midnight, Texas," "Ballers," and "9-1-1." The actor has also been working with the Hallmark Channel, having recently appeared in one of their films with her "Vampire Diaries" co-star, Zach Roerig as romantic co-leads. 

Kebbel, who recently signed with Independent Artist Group, has also been in multiple installments of the "After" series as Kimberly. Kebbel is also a certified horse girl — her Instagram bio is a link to the Skydog Ranch and Sanctuary, where she serves on the board of directors. 

Penn Badgley almost passed on You

Alongside Sophia Bush, Penn Badgley might be one of the biggest names on this list. He starred in "John Tucker Must Die" as the titular character's loner, artsy brother, Scott, with long locks that are very reminiscent of another rom-com leading man: Heath Ledger's character Patrick in "10 Things I Hate About You." But that was only the beginning for Badgley, who went on to star in "Easy A" opposite Emma Stone and, later, as Dan Humphrey in "Gossip Girl."

In an interview with Variety, the actor spoke about his experience on the hit show and how it affected his personal life, including pushing him away from social media for a long time, though he's had a somewhat apprehensive return to TikTok recently. He also told the interviewer about how sex scenes make him uncomfortable, saying, "That aspect of Hollywood has always been very disturbing to me."

Badgley's star rose after his role in the critically acclaimed Netflix show "You," where he plays a stalker. Badgley almost didn't take the role, since the sex scenes could feel disrespectful to his wife. However, his wife ultimately pushed him to accept the role, he shared with Variety.

Jenny McCarthy tied the knot

After appearing in "John Tucker Must Die," Jenny McCarthy's acting career hasn't had that many highlights other than a spot in "Chuck" and a recurring guest appearance in "Two and a Half Men." But that doesn't mean she hasn't stayed busy during that time: McCarthy was a host on "The View" for 10 years, co-hosted "Entertainment Tonight," and has been a panelist on "The Masked Singer" since 2019.

She was also recently announced as the host for Netflix's upcoming reboot of "Love in the Wild." Besides being a TV personality and actor, McCarthy is also a comedian and business owner, having launched her own makeup brand in 2021. In an interview with People, she gushed about Formless Beauty, saying, "There are a lot of celebrity brands out there, but not all of them are vegan and cruelty-free, so I am very proud that mine is."

The biggest life change for her, however, might be her marriage to Donnie Wahlberg in 2014. Now Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg, the actor can't seem to run out of nice things to say about her husband. The pair even had a reality show centered around settling into married life, "Donnie Loves Jenny," that documented the early days of their marriage.

Taylor Kitsch is pickier about his roles

Before Taylor Kitsch became Tim Riggins on "Friday Night Lights," he had a slew of smaller acting jobs — his minor role in "John Tucker Must Die" as the neighborly Justin being among the first. Kitsch's career suffered a bit of a downturn after all the movies he starred in during 2012 performed poorly, despite promising to be big blockbusters. He's been part of acclaimed projects since, with appearances in HBO's "True Detective," "Waco," and "The Terminal List" opposite Chris Pratt.

However, Kitsch seems fine with having a slower career and staying out of the public eye. In his The New York Times profile, he said about acting, "I pride myself on being picky, because it is so much energy and sacrifice." His most recent project, "Painkiller," is also a particularly personal one for Kitsch. In it, he plays Glen Kryger, a hard-working family man who becomes addicted to opioids.

Kitsch took the job as a way to honor his younger sister's struggles with addiction — in fact, he spent several years juggling his career with helping her on her path to sobriety. "He literally put his life on hold to help me," Shelby Kitsch-Best told The Times. Now seven years sober, she helped coach him through some of the scenes in "Painkiller" and even had a guest appearance. 

Meghan Ory is a bad liar

Meghan Ory's appearance in "John Tucker Must Die" is one of those blink-and-you-miss-it things: She's only onscreen for a few minutes in the film's wrap-up sequence as one of the titular character's two new girlfriends, Jill. But Ory has gotten plenty of bigger roles since then, with guest appearances in popular shows like "Psych" and "Supernatural."

Not only that, but she's had a recurring role in "True Justice" and played Ruby Lucas (aka Red Riding Hood) in 46 episodes of "Once Upon a Time." Ory is perhaps best known, however, for her role as Abby O'Brien in the Hallmark Channel's "Chesapeake Shores," in which she starred opposite another "John Tucker Must Die" alum, Jesse Metcalfe.

Despite her acting career, Ory claims to be a terrible liar. "It's really weird, and ... I have to be careful when I take a job because if I don't believe in the project, I can't do it," the actor told the Freemont Tribune in an interview. She was pregnant with her third child while filming the show's sixth and final season, which aired in 2022.