Stunning Transformations Of Beautiful Stars From The '90s
By | June 4, 2021
Alicia Silverstone on the set of ‘Clueless,' 1995
Take a close look at the following celebrities from the 1990s. Do you remember their faces and films? Do you remember where you were when you first became aware of them? Seeing how much they've changed (and stayed the same) in the decades since they first became known entities will make you feel like you're catching up with a long lost friend.
These rare photos show that even when people change they become more of themselves. While there's plenty of stories about these celebrities out in the world, you won't find these untold anecdotes anywhere else.
It's thrilling to see that so many of our most beloved stars are still making things happen. Here, you'll read their true stories for the first time. Look deeper into the stories of these celebrities form the '90s and see just how much they've changed.
Alicia Silverstone was only 19 years old when she starred as Cher Horowitz in Clueless, a film that created the rubric for every teen movie that followed from the '90s and beyond. When Clueless was being filmed no one expected it to become a cultural touchstone. It was just a teen movie starring real teens.
Alicia Silverstone at the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar party
Today, Silverstone is still hanging around the house she bought in Hollywood following the success of Clueless.
While speaking with The Guardian about how she's changed since her time as a teen star she explained that she missed out on normal development while becoming a star.
Arnold Schwarzenegger spent hundreds of hours in the makeup chair for 'Terminator 2'
We're all in agreement that Terminator 2: Judgement Day is the best action movie of the '90s, right?
While speaking with Empire Magazine, make-up artist Jeff Dawn explained that the makeup process for this sequel was so arduous because he wanted audiences to get a huge bang for their buck.
Arnold remains pumped up
Long known as one of the most physically fit actors in the world, Schwarzenegger has found a way to maintain his bod well into his 70s.
Schwarzenegger explained that his routine starts first thing in the morning and lasts until he goes to bed.
Blue but not sad, Gwen Stefani on the red carpet at the MTV Music Video Awards, 1998
In the '90s Gwen Stefani was easily the coolest woman in rock on the planet.
Thanks to Stefani wild hair colors, bindis, and black bracelets became the norm.
Today, Stefani realizes that she holds an important place in pop culture history - not only is she the singer of one of the biggest ska crossover bands of all time, but she's the host of one of the most watched shows on television.
While speaking with Stereogum about how much has changed since the '90s, she noted that the relationship that her kids have with music is so much different than the one she had when she was their age.
Danny DeVito gets a touch up for a scene in 'Batman Returns,' 1992
In the 1990s Danny DeVito was a well known character actor, but he was still a surprise in the role of the Penguin in Tim Burton's Batman Returns.
DeVito told the Hollywood Reporter that when it came to his time in the makeup chair, he preferred to just stay in the pounds of special effects rather than get in and out of it throughout the day.
Danny DeVito flashes the peace sign on the red carpet
In the decades since his arch turn as the Penguin, DeVito has become a producer, director, and the star of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
While speaking with the Independent, DeVito explained that to survive in Hollywood he's just kept his head down and stayed on his path.
Danny Trejo and Antonio Banderas on the set of 'Desperado' 1994
Desperado is one of the most fun films of the '90s with its mixture of gonzo action and comedy that perfectly underline what Robert Rodriguez can do.
Banderas says that he has nothing but good memories of making Desperado. As this photo shows everyone was clearly having a good time on set.
The thinking man's hunk
Decades away from his time as the star of Desperado Antonio Banderas is still a wonderful leading man.
While speaking about acting as he gets older Banderas told NPR that even though he's still onscreen his priorities have changed greatly.
In the 1990s there was no team that was as popular or inspiring as the Chicago Bulls.
Even though they were easily the greatest team that the NBA has ever seen, that doesn't mean that the Bulls were best buddies.
Rodman remains on his own wavelength
The former Bulls wild child has continued to shock people across the world with everything from his outrageous look to his outspoken nature.
When Rodman popped up in the Last Dance documentary he shed a lot of light on the subject of the '90s Bulls run, but he initially he nearly pulled out of the project.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Mankind relax with some Nintendo 64
It's strange to see Dwayne Johnson and to have that flash of memory stating that he hasn't always been one of the biggest movie stars of era.
These two were the number one reason to tune in every Monday night, but it's clear that they need a little break sometimes.
The Rock n Sock Connection rides again
Even though their careers took on different trajectories. The Rock went on to be a Hollywood megastar and Mick Foley stuck close to wrestling while perfoming as a storyteller.
Before the 20 year anniversary of WWE's RAW Foley spoke about his relationship with Johnson and how it's their children that actually keep in touch.
Fresh face Courteney Cox before her days on 'Friends'
Even before she was on Friends, the sitcom of the '90s, Courteney Cox was making a shot at the big time.
Initially, Cox was offered the role of Rachel Green, which eventually went to Jennifer Aniston.
Can you look at Courteney Cox without hearing the 'Friends' theme
No longer tethered to her friends in, well, Friends, Cox still feels like she was always meant to play Monica.
While chatting on Instagram live in 2020, Cox explained that she feels close to her most famous character because they're kind of the same person.
Gal Gadot visits the U.S. for the first time as a teenager in New York, 1999
Long before she picked up the mantle of Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot was preparing to go to law school.
When she was 18-years-old Gadot rolled the dice on the Miss Israel contest, something that proved to be fortuitous.
It looks like she hasn't aged a day
Years after taking the crown of Miss Israel, Gadot is confident in her place in the world.
Today, Gadot is less worried about how she appears to the outside world and more concerned about stay grounded.
Harry Styles, the prince of pop, has always been a ham.
Long before he was a megastar thanks to One Direction, Styles was the kind of kid who began recording himself through his family's karaoke machine.
Once a ham, always a ham
By the end of the 2010s Harry Styles was one of the most famous people on the planet.
While speaking with NPR, Styles noted that he just tries to be himself but admits that who he is is always changing.
Jennifer Lopez 1997. A year later she told an interviewer, "I feel I can do anything–any kind of role. I’m fearless."
Little did anyone know in the 1990s, but when Jennifer Lopez was performing as a Fly Girl on In Living Color she was already on her way to being one of the biggest superstars on the planet.
With just the single role in Selena Lopez showed that she wasn't just an amazing on camera presence but that she could keep an audience in rapture.
Jennifer Lopez says 2020 taught her what 'matters most'
It's crazy that more people aren't full on Jennifer Lopez obsessives, right?
Lopez explained that in the 2010s she finally figured out that she (and all of us) are always moving through different phases in our life.
Joaquin Phoenix grew uncomfortable with his photoshoot so he started doing dishes, 1996
In the 1990s Joaquin Phoenix was already a model and an actor, but he wasn't comfortable in those early days.
Even with his Roman features and camera ready looks, Phoenix was so put off by being an "it" guy that he supposedly started doing dishes during this photoshoot just so he would have something to do.
Phoenix has grown into his larger than life persona, even if it makes him uncomfortable
Today, Phoenix is a much bigger star than he was in the '90s but he's still visibly uncomfortable when he's not performing.
It makes sense that he would be put off by all the trappings of fame that have nothing to do with getting in front of the camera and performing.
Keanu Reeves kicks up his feet in Paris, "I try not to do anything I don’t want to do."
Keanu Reeves will always be an icon.
The first Bill & Ted may have come out in the late '80s, but watching that film with hindsight you can actually see the decades blending into one another.
Keanu is still doing whatever he wants to and audiences love him for it
Looking back on Reeve's filmography it's easy to see why he's so likeable.
The truth of the matter is that Reeve's films will always be there waiting for you like a good friend and that's why everyone loves Keanu Reeves so much.
Leonardo DiCaprio on set of Baz Luhrmann's 'Romeo and Juliet' (1996)
When did you first become aware of Leonardo DiCaprio?
As odd as it may be to see actors living in the modern world speaking like they're from 16th century England, DiCaprio said that the language aspect of the role helped him stay grounded.
All grown up...
It's odd to think that there was a time in the modern era that DiCaprio wasn't one of the most famous people on Earth.
Today, DiCaprio pretty much does whatever he wants, like starring in huge moves like Once Upon A Time in Hollywood and The Revanent.
Michael Jordan on the set of 'Space Jam' in the Jordan Dome, an inflatable dome on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, 1996
'90s kids look back fondly on Space Jam, the film that posited that Michael Jordan was the one person who could help the Looney Tunes win a basketball game.
Jordan's personal physician says that initially Warner Brothers was going to set up a makeshift basketball court in a parking lot, but Jordan insisted that needed a state of the art training area where he could life weights and play basketball against any and all comers.
No longer in the dome...
Even though he's been away from the court for more than 20 years, Michael Jordan will always be one of the most important basketball players of all time.
However, while speaking with Good Morning America about his trip to the big time he said that the most important person in his life before making it to the Bulls was his brother.
In the mid '90s, east coast rap was justing beginning to make a name for itself.
With "Ready To Die," the Notorious B.I.G. ascended from a guy rapping on the street to being one of the most preeminent artists of the era.
Diddy has grown into an elder statesman of hip hop
Today, Diddy has become a guiding light in the hip hop community.
At the time, all of Diddy's different focuses served to turn him into an incredibly wealthy entrepaneur.
Pamela Anderson in 1996
After coming to Los Angeles in the late '80s, Pamela Anderson all but took over Hollywood.
Even though Anderson was never considered a prestige actress when she was working all the time, she was beloved as a cult star in dorm rooms across the world.
Today, Anderson is an open book
She may not be all over television today the same way that she was in the '90s, but Anderson still pops up from time to time.
Removed from the stigma of Baywatch, Anderson is an excellent reminder that someone isn't always what we think.
Reese Withershpoon backstage at a Counting Crows concert in 1996
Is there anything more '90s than seeing Reese Witherspoon at a Counting Crows concert?
As popular as Witherspoon was, she says that her early roles nearly typecast her out of Hollywood.
Everything changed for Witherspoon with Legally Blonde.
Today, Witherspoon runs her own company, something she says she was inspired to do when she found that no one in Hollywood had faith in her.
There really was no one cooler in the '90s than Rose McGowan.
This behind the scenes shot from Jawbreaker shows exactly how charismatic McGowan was during her heyday.
This blonde has more fun
After directing the short film Dawn in the 2010s, McGowan did her best to sever ties with Hollywood while still doing her part to change the system from the inside out.
Even though she's no longer working in Hollywood, it's best that she's happy and healthy and living her best life.
Sarah Jessica Parker is stunning post work out
Sarah Jessica Parker made one of the biggest shows of the '90s.
Not only did SJP star in this series about four single women in New York City, but she was the executive producer, a role that allowed her to actually craft the series how she saw fit.
Today, Parker is still acting but she's no longer just tied to appearing on camera or on stage.
While speaking with Harper's Bazaar, Parker explained that she's so excited about fashion because she can do it all and not just have to one thing one way forever.
Sheryl Lee... the iconic actor who played Laura Palmer in Twin Peaks ⛰️⛰️
On April 8, 1990, people across America all had one question on their minds: who is Laura Palmer?
While speaking with Entertainment Weekly about the strange nature of Twin Peaks and working with David Lynch, Lee said that she doesn't worry about not knowing where her long-running role is going.
She returned... 25 years later
It took 25 years to get back to Twin Peaks and the Red Room, but in 2017 Sheryl Lee made her return to the neo noir mind-bender of the series.
When Lee did the interview circuit for Twin Peaks: The Return she was fully committed to the ambigious nature of the series.
The cast of Friends on a trip to Las Vegas in 1994 before the show premiered
This throwback shot shows the Friends cast like we've never seen them before, all together as regular people.
In an interview with Ellen, Aniston explained that the series director, Jim Burrows, told the group on the way to Vegas that it would be the last time they would be able to go anywhere like regular people.
They'll be there for you
Back together again after decades off the air, the Friends cast looks remarkably similar to the way they did in the show's finale.
It's not clear when this photo was snapped, but it likely had something to do with the planning stages of the Friends reunion that premiered on HBO in 2021, or maybe the Friends cast just really likes to hang out together.
The face that launched a thousand ships... Julia Roberts, early 90s
Hands down there was no one more famous than Julia Roberts.
Roberts spoke with The Guardian and noted that there was no way that anyone would touch the Pretty Woman script today.
Is Julia Roberts the last epic star of her era?
Even though Roberts has more or less slowed her output to a crawl it's not because she's not busy.
Roberts says that she doesn't like to look back on her heyday in the '90s with rose tinted glasses, mostly because she's still moving forward.
The poster and VHS box image for Home Alone of Kevin with his hands on his face and screaming is based on the famous painting "The Scream" by Edvard Munch
As much as every kid across the country envied Macauly Culkin in the '90s, it couldn't have been easy to be a super famous child.
Culkin's two Home Alone films made him a household name for the rest of his life.
All grown up...
Out of all the child stars of the '90s, Culkin seems to be the one who figured out how to have a somewhat normal life.
While speaking with the Guardian he noted that he's not really into the careerist thing like the rest of his famous friends.
They could be twins... Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, 1994
It's strange to see the Kardashians in their pre-fame high school days.
After years of watching the Kardashians on television and reading about their exploits in tabloids it's hard not to have an idea of who they are and what they're all about.
The twin vibes are still off the charts
Even though little has changed with the way that the Kardashians look in between decades, so much has changed about their lives.
In a conversation with Interview Magazine, Kim Kardashian explained that the early seasons of their show are an exercise in information overload and that they only learned to pull back as their fame grew.
Throwback picture of Adele in front of Spice Girls posters in 1998
There's a comfort to seeing that some of the biggest celebrities in the world are just like us, or at least they were when they were young.
It's incredibly cool to see such a no chill photo of one of the most composed stars of all time, it's enough to make you feel alright about your own childhood photos.
So much has changed...
In 2020, Adele posted a photo that broke the internet.
Adele's trainer Peter Geracimo explained that working with Adele wasn't about helping her lose weight, that was just a biproduct of their routine.
Will Smith smeared with cake at the 'Fresh Prince Of Bel Air' wrap partyWhether it was Will Smith's stunning charisma or just the exciting concept of drawing from the burgeoning hip hop scene of the '90s, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was one of the biggest hits of the decade.
The similarities between Will the actor and Will the character go straight back to when Smith was in school, he explained that he got the nickname "Fresh Prince" when he was still a teen.
Will Smith brings it all to the table
When The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air went off the air Smith had no desire to wait around.
Today, Smith has settled into an elder statesman role within Hollywood, something that he's uniquely suited to.
Regardless of era, Winona Ryder has always been a fashion icon.
While speaking with Harper's Bazaar, Ryder noted that as cool as '90s fashon could be not everything deserves a comeback.
Winona Forever ♥♥♥
Today, Ryder notes that her fashion is pretty much the same as it's always been.
Ryder spoke about her dwindling t-shirt collection to Harper's Bazaar and explained that she's finally getting to a stage where they have to be retired.
Young Ashton Kutcher lost the title of Male Model of the Year in 1998
Looking back at his long career, it's hard to believe that at one point Ashton Kutcher was a model for Calvin Klein.
Kutcher says that even though the modeling thing wasn't that important to him, what was important was making sure that he had multiple streams of income to keep from him being high and dry at an early age.
In the decades since Kutcher transitioned from model to actor to hearthrob he's continued to throw new irons in the fire.
Even though audiences will likely keep seeing Kutcher onscreen for years to come, at the moment he's attempting to make sure that the tech industry is able to sleep at night with his Tech for Good initiative.
A very young Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey is just one of the coolest guys in the room, full stop.
In 1999, McConaughey was able to live in Los Angeles and Texas without anyone knowing who he was, which feels crazy but that's the truth.
Matthew McConaughey is doing alright, alright, alright
Today, McConaughey fills the role of guru of cool.
In 2020, McConaughey spoke with The Cut about his life as an elder statesmen in Hollywood and how he still gets nervous before a big scene.