See the Cast of ‘Speed’ Then and Now
In ‘Speed,’ we watched Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock save a speeding bus and its passengers from certain doom at the hands of a terrorist, played by the late Dennis Hopper. Almost 20 years later, we take a look back at the cast of this high-octane thriller and see what they’re up to now.
Keanu Reeves, Officer Jack Traven
Then: The role of Jack Traven went out to many actors before Keanu Reeves, including Jeff Bridges, George Clooney, Johnny Depp, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Keaton, Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks — so pretty much every A-list male name. Reeves, the star of the ‘Bill and Ted’ movies and ‘Point Break,’ almost didn’t take the part, either, because he didn’t like the script. It was only when director Jan de Bont brought in Joss Whedon for uncredited rewrites that Reeves agreed to sign on.
Now: You know Reeves best as Neo, the Chosen One from ‘The Matrix’ films, and as John Constantine in ‘Constantine.’ You can see him next in ‘47 Ronin‘ and ‘Man of Tai Chi,’ the latter of which marks his directorial debut.
Sandra Bullock, Annie Porter
Then: Initially, when Jeff Bridges was targeted as the star of the film, the studio wanted Ellen DeGeneres to offset his seriousness with her comedic sensibilities. When that fell through and Reeves was cast, executives at Fox were not convinced their new leading man had enough star power to front ‘Speed,’ so they insisted on an A-list actress to help boost the film’s profile. Director Jan de Bont refused, and Fox eventually relented and allowed him to go with Sandra Bullock, star of ‘Demolition Man.’
Now: Bullock has starred in everything from rom-coms (‘While You Were Sleeping’) to action-comedies (‘Miss Congeniality’) and thrillers (‘Murder by Numbers’). She won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy in ‘The Blind Side,’ and you can catch her next in ‘The Heat,’ alongside Melissa McCarthy. When she’s not busy acting, Bullock spends time in her hometown of Austin, TX, where she owns two restaurants.
Joe Morton, Captain McMahon
Then: The star of ‘Forever Young’ and ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day,’ Joe Morton played the role of Captain McMahon, Reeves’ superior in ‘Speed.’
Now: Morton has starred in several films, including ‘American Gangster’ and ‘Stealth.’ More recently he’s spent a lot of time on TV with roles in ‘The Good Wife,’ ‘Eureka’ and ‘Scandal.’
Jeff Daniels, Detective Harry Temple
Then: An actor known for his range and ability to play roles both comedic and dramatic, Jeff Daniels had starred in ‘Gettysburg’ and ‘Dumb and Dumber,’ the latter of which was released the same year as ‘Speed.’
Now: Daniels is a face you know really well, of course, and in the last year you’ve seen him in the sci-fi actioner ‘Looper’ and as Will McAvoy on the HBO series ‘The Newsroom.’ He’s currently attached to reunite with Jim Carrey for ‘Dumb and Dumber To.’
Alan Ruck, Stephens
Then: Prior to playing jerky passenger Stephens in ‘Speed,’ we knew Alan Ruck best for his role as Cameron, Ferris Bueller’s put-upon and neurotic friend in the ’80s classic ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.’
Now: Ruck has popped up on a variety of TV shows, including ‘Fringe,’ ‘Cougartown’ and ‘Bunheads.’ He’s married to Mireille Enos, star of AMC’s drama series ‘The Killing.’
Glenn Plummer, Jaguar Owner
Then: Glenn Plummer, an actor known for roles in films like ‘Menace II Society,’ played the role of the unnamed Jaguar owner who helps Reeves’ character save the bus from crashing at a crucial moment.
Now: Plummer went on to star in the notoriously trashy film ‘Showgirls,’ and the TV miniseries ‘The Corner,’ which was the pre-cursor to HBO’s acclaimed drama ‘The Wire.’ Recently, you might have seen him on shows like ‘Southland’ and ‘Sons of Anarchy.’
Beth Grant, Helen
Then: Veteran actress Beth Grant was known for roles on ‘Coach’ and ‘Golden Girls’ before taking the part of Helen, one of the bus passengers in ‘Speed.’
Now: Grant tends to play a very particular kind of role — usually a quirky or sometimes unpleasant or inappropriate older woman. You’ve seen her in ‘Donnie Darko,’ where she uttered the famous line, “Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion!” Recently, she landed a recurring role on the Fox sitcom ‘The Mindy Project.’