Stars Of The Early 2000's: Where Are They Now?
By | June 4, 2021
Paris Hilton showing some skin at the 2003 MTV Movie Awards
The 2000s were an era that was all about more more more. Things were big, they were bright, and the stars were in your face and proud of it. You may think that you know everything about the celebrities of the 2000s, but do you know what they're up to now? Look closer and you'll find out.
You won't find these stories from the 2000s to today in the history books. These are one of a kind rare photos that all tell a story of how much the world has changed since the dawn of the millennium.
Many of these stars and stories are too hot for TV, so handle with care. You won't want to miss one second of these fascinating tales of the 2000s.
Paris Hilton was everywhere you looked in the 2000s. As the era's newest reality star Hilton did everything she could to put her face out there: from starring on her own show on Fox to appearing in a series of commercials for Carl's Jr. and Hardy's. What seemed like oversaturation at the time now feels like the way things are done.
Looking back on Hilton's place in the 2000s, it was the perfect place for her. Not only was that decade all about trying new things and being as overblown as possible, but it was bright and exciting. Or as Hilton described the aughts, "Hot, sexy and huge."
Today, Paris Hilton remains an icon of the new millennium
2000s icon Paris Hilton is still living life to the fullest today even if she's not as exposed as she was at the beginning of the millennium. Since her time on The Simple Life, Hilton has undergone a radical reexamination under the microscope of popular culture. She's no longer seen as a court jester, but rather someone who created a specific style.
Since 2004, Hilton has been the face of a perfume line that's estimated to be a $2 billion busines - something she balances with a lucrative career as a DJ. On top of that she keeps a keen eye on the fashion world and how it's all bending back to the looks of her peak. She told W Magazine:
To now see things on the runway, and to see girls wearing things that I used to wear is really cool because nobody really dressed like me back in the day... Young people now see what people wore before and want to bring it back.
Brtiney and Justin do denim like no one else can
In the 2000s there were famous people, and then there was Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. These two former Mousekateers were pretty much everywhere for a solid decade. You couldn't escape them whether you wanted to our not.
This photo shows just how confident Britney and Justin were in their success in the aughts - you don't wear matching denim outfits without knowing you're the most famous person in the room. Taken at the American Music Awards in 2001, costume designer Steven Gerstein says that this outfit came together days after Spears suggested it:
It was such a no-brainer. Justin and Britney were dating at the time. We were in New Orleans when Britney and Justin were like, 'We're doing matching denim.' And I was like, 'How are you doing that? Who is doing that?' We wound up taking the Costume National suit that Justin wore for the Celebrity album cover. We remade it in denim. Conversations with Levi's were happening at the same time and Britney was working with Kurt and Bart. We had some crossover contacts at Levi's, so it went from being an idea to it being made within days.
Britney Spears has had a myriad of ups and downs since her heyday in the 2000s. She remains incredibly popular, no one can take that away from her. However, a series of legal battles amid the postponement of her Las Vegas residency led many of her fans to worry about the former pop queen.
In spite of the fact that she's one of the most well known faces on the planet Spears remains mum on pretty much everything when it comes to her private life. After a documentary on her life was released in early 2021 she released a statement through Instagram letting her fans know that she's okay. It read:
I’ll always love being on stage but I am taking the time to learn and be a normal person ..... I love simply enjoying the basics of every day life !!!! Each person has their story and their take on other people’s stories !!!! We all have so many different bright beautiful lives !!! Remember, no matter what we think we know about a person's life it is nothing compared to the actual person living behind the lens !!!!
With The Princess Diaries Anne Hathaway became a household name and an icon to young women everywhere. The success that came with this massive hit only served to leave the young actress unmoored. She could have continued down that path, taking the safe option but that's not how the 2000s played out for Hathaway.
Speaking with Harper's Bazaar, Hathaway says that it was her role in Brokeback Mountain that helped get out of her comfort zone:
I think people assumed that I was a girl searching for a happily-ever-after, when for me that's the least interesting part of the story. With Brokeback, I got to go beyond that. I could have traveled the world with a backpack and would have gotten nothing from it. I was just this lost, timid person.
Anne Hathaway is all smiles in this video chat
Throughout the 2010s, Hathaway flexed her inner theater kid muscles in a big way with starring roles in Le Mis and an adaptation of The Witches. However, her biggest role was set in place when she became a mother. Juggling a successful acting career and a family can't be easy but she somehow manages.
While chatting on Live with Kelly and Ryan, Hathaway admitted that even though she's in the percentage of folks who can afford a private chef, in 2020 her family prefered to snack on food from the frozen food aisle in their local grocery store:
We found this brand of frozen pizza that we loved, and that was our saving grace this year. [I would tell you which brand], but then I can’t buy it anymore. Right now, it’s our little secret in the freezer aisle. If I say it, then I won’t be able to get it anymore.
Zac Efron in 'High School Musical'
It's crazy to think that in the 2000s Zac Efron was just a cute kid with a mop top starring in a trio of Disney films about high school. When he first came onto the scene audiences had no way of knowing that he was going to become one of the most well known stars of the next decade. Shouldn't it have been obvious?
Efron really wasa squeaky clean young celebrity in the early half of his career, something that he tried to upend in 2014 when he starred in Neighbors as a saucy frat boy. Since then, Efron has showed that he's able to play with expectations about his performancess. It's rare that a celebrity is so eager to turn everything that made them popular upside down.
Who knew that this fresh-faced Disney star would become one of the most talked about celebrities of the modern era? We definitely didn't have Miley Cyrus pegged as a soon to be ambassador of rock n roll influenced pop music. Back in the 2000s she was just a child star who was most well known for being the daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus.
As the star of Hannah Montana, Cyrus was a child star playing a pop star who was masquerading as a regular kid. It's not easy to keep straight in our head so it must have been exhausting to live it. At the time, this role may have felt like Cyrus topping out, but there were career highs waiting for her after she left the Disney channel.
Miley Cyrus went through major changes in the 2010s
Miley Cyrus has been through serious ups and downs since her early days as a star on the Disney Channel, but she's come out of it all the better. She may have stirred up controversy at the MTV Music Video Awards, but she's the controversy worried her less than the strain on her voice that she was putting herself through. After performing for more than a decade, Cyrus finally had to have vocal cord surgery in 2019.
The Jimmy Olsen to Paris Hilton's Superman, Nicole Richie was a reality TV sidekick like no other. Raised in Beverly Hills among jet-setters and multi-platinum millionaires, she fit right in with the more more more celeb culture of the 2000s. However, her partying made the audience and the media take notice.
When asked about her hard partying ways in the early 2000s, Richie addressed it as if she was trading war stories. She said:
I was definitely too young to be going out that much, but, you know, I was just young and wanted to go out and have fun, hanging out with my friends. I live my life and I do what I do, and sometimes you forget that people are watching you.
Nicole Richie went from starring on 'The Simple Life' to leading a simple life (sort of)
Richie has done a lot of growing up since the hedonistic days of the 2000s. No longer the star of a reality show, she's gone on to design her own fashion line while taking on scripted acting gigs - something that she never saw for herself in her early days. But it's not her work that she's most excited about, it's her newfound ability to lead a sustainable life.
While speaking with Marie Claire in 2020 she explained that she finds much more joy out of life now that she knows how to grow her own food:
I love having the skill to know how to grow my own food. I think it’s such a privilege that we can possibly do that, and I love having that skill. I’ve actually thought about if there was ever an end-of-the-world moment and people were picking people who would be useful. My first thought was, Ugh, no one’s going to pick me. I’m not really going to bust through any bushes or anything like that. That’s not who I am. But they will save me because I know how to grow food.
Brad Pitt lays down the first rule of 'Fight Club'
It seems strange that there was a time and place where audiences weren't hyped on Fight Club. Today, the film is considered to be a cult classic. However, when it was released in 1999 the consensus was still out on this very funny, very twisted film.
Pitt reminisced on seeing Fight Club for the first time at the Cannes Film Festival, and explained that the screening didn't go well:
First joke comes up and it’s just crickets. It’s dead silence. And another joke and it’s just dead silence. This thing is not translating. Subtitles, it is NOT translating at all. The more that happened, the funnier it got to Edward [Norton] and I and we just start laughing. So, we’re the [guys] in the back laughing at our own jokes. The only ones.
Brad Pitt fills in for Sean Penn during the 'Fast Times' reunion
Brad Pitt's role as Tyler Durden now feels like a lifetime away, and in many ways it is. He's gone on to perfom in so many iconic roles that's hard to fathom how he could be both Tyler Durden and Cliff Booth. According to Pitt, it all comes down to how a director chooses to use him.
While speaking with the New York Times in 2019, Pitt explained that some directors know how to use him and some don't, but either way he doesn't really keep tabs on what the audience thinks:
I’m aware of when a director is using my persona really well. Fincher in Fight Club was twisting it. In Jesse James, it was pretty blatant. But no, I’m not really aware, and I’m not sure I should be. I stopped reading all press about 2004. Not just reviews. I mean any magazine in the doctor’s office. Because some of it would bounce around like a rat in the skull. It would stay there, and it would inform some of my decisions and choices in work, in life, and I didn’t find any of it helpful.
Beyonce is crazy in love
When Beyonce first hit the scene with her group Destiny's Child in the late '90s it was a revelation for pop music fans everywhere. Not only was the group one of the first R&B groups to cross over to the TRL sector in a big way, but Beyonce was impossible not to watch. When she struck out on her own it was only a matter of time before she became one of the biggest stars in the world.
Throughout the 2000s, Beyonce dropped hits like they were going out of style. She worked both as a solo star and in tandem with her equally famous husband, Jay Z. All of that is to say that she ran the decade.
Beyonce gives the 2020 virtual graduation speech
Today, Beyonce isn't just a pop star, she's an entire industry unto herself. While speaking to the graduating class of 2020 at the behest of the Obamas she explained that even though she has a stranglehold on the industry it's still an uphill struggle. It's fascinating that someone as famous as Beyonce would be so open.
The entertainment business is still very sexist. It’s still very male-dominated and as a woman, I did not see enough female role models given the opportunity to what I knew I had to do. To run my label and management company, to direct my films and produce my tours, that meant ownership—owning my masters, owning my art, owning my future and writing my own story.
Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen show off their style
Even though Mary Kate and Ashley Olson became major, big time stars in the '90s with their dual role as a cute baby on Full House, they really came into their own in the 2000s. They started their own entertainent company before branding themselves as teen straight to DVD stars. But their eyes weren't set on just acting.
The sisters took their starpower and used it to get into the fashion world, something that took them from being teenage millionaires to teenage billionaires. The sisters threw themselves completely into the world of fashion and became legit icons. So much so that they more or less left the entertainment world forever.
The Olsen twins have kept their heads down and continued working their fashion magic throughout the 2010s and into the modern era. They're no longer thought of as the girls who used to act, and now they're full fledged members of the international fashion community. They do what they want and they're good at it.
While speaking about their 2019 fashion line the twins gave a rare interview where they spoke about how they only have themselves to count on in the industry:
There’s a lot of pressure we put on ourselves. I feel like we’re really lucky that we have a great partnership and that we can rely on each other for support, because I can imagine it can be so lonely.
Avril Lavigne, the punk rock princess of the 2000s
When Avril Lavigne came onto the scene in the early 2000s she thrust a jolt of pop punk energy onto MTV (emphasis on pop). Hailing from Canada, much of Lavigne's crew is made up of bands like Sum 41 and Closet Monster. Both of those groups are huge parts of the Toronto punk scene which shows that if nothing else Lavigne has good taste.
Even though a lot of music fans were turned off by Lavigne's music, she actually did a lot of hard work for her fans. Lavigne's early 2000s work provided the first taste of punk for a lot of young women. And that's something to be proud of.
Avril is all grown up
Today, Lavigne has moved far beyond her early days of singing "Complicated" to a stadium full of Hot Topic wearing fans. She didn't abandon her style, she just grew up. However, growing up hasn't come without its difficulties.
While speaking with Entertaint Weekly, Lavigne said that lyme disease nearly took her down, but surviving that gave her inspiration to keep playing music. She said:
I think I was about to die because I had this weird feeling of, 'Whoa. I feel like I’m on a cliff and I’m about to fall, and it’s dark.' Coming out of it I felt like I was underwater drowning, coming up for air. That’s when I literally said, “God, help me keep my head above water.” I wasn’t even thinking about music — it just happened.
Cameron Diaz in 'Charlie's Angels'
Even though Cameron Diaz became a Hollywood sensation in the '90s thanks to The Mask, it wasn't until the 2000s that she really showed audiences what she could do. With films like Charlie's Angels and The Sweetest Thing Diaz was able to transition beyond the normal "hot girl" roles into more of a leading lady. More so, she showed that she had a sense of humor.
More often than not actresses have to tick which box they belong in. Do you want to be the funny girl, the good looking one, or the sporty one? Diaz's roles in the 2000s showed that she could do all of the above without breaking a sweat.
Cameron Diaz is all smiles today
For all intents and purposes Cameron Diaz has left the big screen behind and started to focus on her family and projects outside of Hollywood. That doesn't mean that she's no longer creating. Her work is just coming out in a different way.
Retired from acting, Diaz now focuses on environmental activism while working as an author and operator of her own wine brand. It's really cool to see that even the most successful actors are excited to make big changes in their lives. After all, isn't the point of life to try new things? Diaz definitely has that figured out.
Chris Pratt poses on the red carpet
Some careers take forever to get off the ground. Chris Pratt is living proof that the most important part of life isn't talent, it's perserverance and the desire to stick to something until you make success happen. Sometimes all you have to do is wait out the people are ready to abandon ship.
In the 2000s, Pratt was fresh off a stint of bumming around the United States when he was hired onto a WB show. As great as that job must have felt, Pratt clearly had his eyes on the prize. After all, if he could get hired onto a long-running TV show, what else was possible?
Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
Is there anyone in Hollywood who's had the same glow up as Chris Pratt? After moving to the primetime sitcom Parks and Recreation Pratt established himself as the goofy party guy, but he had ambitions beyond cult success. He wanted to take over the Marvel Universe.
Pratt got his chance to be one of the Guardians of the Galaxy after proving that he could get into the insane shape needed to be a comic book hero, something that's not as easy as it looks. After a single appearance as Star Lord in the outerspace superhero franchise Pratt became the go to guy in Hollywood for sincere goofyness. It's amazing to see just how far he's come since his early days as a curly haired side player for the WB.
Christina Aguielera, from her 'XTina' phase
The 2000s was a time when pop music had a capital P. Stars like Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, Mandy Moore, and Christina Aguilera had to differentiate themselves in an overly saturated market and that wasn't easy. That's why Aguilera briefly took on the persona of "Xtina."
Half David Bowie-esque alter ego and half desire to seperate herself from a growing pack of blonde pop stars, Xtina allowed Aguilera to be as bad as she wanted to be. This character was far more overtly sexual than anything the singer had ever done, and it gave her agency to step outside of the contraints of the genre. The character only lasted for a couple of years, but it remains memorable.
Christina as a coach on 'The Voice'
By the 2010s Aguilera was no longer the new pop star on the block. She'd transitioned from eager upstart to old school icon, a title that she absolutely deserves. Aguilera became such an icon in the industry that she became a literal coach on the singing competiton The Voice.
While the series gave Aguilera a way to stay in the spotlight during her lean years, she says that starring on a TV show was never something that interested her. After leaving the show she said:
It wasn't a comfortable place for me to be, where I'm just part of a money-making machine. When I stop believing in something, then it's like, What am I doing here? I think I did choose to, no pun intended, take a chair for so long and do something very commercial for my little ones. But at a certain point I felt like I'm not even doing them a service by cheating myself and what I'm here to do. They should be seeing Mommy live her best life.
Do you smell what Dwayne Johnson is cooking?
When this photo was taken for the release of the Doom movie in 2005, Johnson was still transitioning from wrestling superstar to perfunctory action hero. At the time Johnson was starring in small action films that only showed a glimmer of the charisma that he'd be known for. Still, he didn't let this slow start get him down.
Rather than give up on his acting dreams, Johnson took every role that came to him. Aside from starring in Doom and making multiple appearances as the Scorpion King, Johnson took small dramatic and comedy roles. He "rocked" in each of them, and showed audiences that he could be trusted to handle bigger roles.
Somehow Dwayne Johnson got more jacked than he was in his 20s
Today, Johnson has proved that he's not just adept at heading the charge for a franchise. He's a legit leading man who audience and studio execs alike love and want to see more of. Whether he's taking on the Torreto family in the Fast and the Furious franchise or heading into the jungles of Jumanji people just want to watch him work.
While speaking about his success with Esquire, Johnson explained how he made it happen:
I've been fortunate to have had the life I had prior to Hollywood. I wasn't starving, I was going to eat the next day. I came to Hollywood wanting a career that had longevity, and I wasn't afraid to take risks because I had a dollar in the bank. I wasn't driven by money as much as I was driven by making a successful transition. And I was smart enough to know that I certainly didn't have all the answers and I needed to surround myself with smart people and be willing to take risks and be willing to fail.
Gwyneth Paltrow is all smiles after her Academy Award win
When Paltrow first appeared onscreen in the '90s, she did so in small parts reserved for character actors. By the time the 2000s rolled around she had award show wins under her belt and a respectable filmography. However, she was far from just getting any old job that she wanted.
While speaking with Harper's Bazaar, Paltrow explained that in the early days of her career she was in and out of favor with Hollywood:
You never know if you're going to be in or out of favor. Or if you're going to get a good part. I've been through everything from being at the top of the A list and then 'No, they don't really see you for this part.'
Gwyneth Paltrow in 'Avengers: Infinity War'
Today, Paltrow lives by her own rules. Not only is she an important piece of the MCU and Iron Man franchise, but she's built her own wellness company from the ground up. When someone creates something like that out of thin air they can pretty much do whatever they want.
Initially no one knew what to think about Paltrow pet project, Goop, but she says that people finally go on board with her lifestyle brand. She explained:
There was a brouhaha in the beginning there, which I thought was very interesting, because people don't like you to step outside of your box. Also, journalists are terrified of celebrities having a journalistic voice. You can spend your life worrying about it or you can just do what you're doing. Especially if you're doing something just to be nice, just to share and have fun.
Gwen Stefani from the 'Hey Baby' video
In the early 2000s, Gwen Stefani and her group No Doubt were at a crossroads. They found themselves with a series of hits on their hands after stepping outside the box and working with a group of pop and reggae producers, something that they'd never tried before. The result led to breakthrough success that also stretched the band to a breaking point.
While the group never officially disbanded, Stefani struck out on her own in the mid-2000s. She found success as a genre hopping solo artis and fashion icon for the new millenium. Every time it seemed like she was no longer relevant, Stefani returned with bigger and better singles.
Gwen Stefani after taking over for Christina Aguilera on 'The Voice'
Stefani continues to reinvent herself even in the 2020s. Whenever she releases a single it's a hit, but for the most part she's focused on her role as a coach on The Voice. However, when Stefani first took the role she didn't realize the amount of work that would go into it.
While speaking with Stereogum, Stefani said that she was ill prepared when she first took the job but now it's incredibly important to her:
To do [The Voice], I just never thought I could, but I was going to go for it. You ask me how it helped me? I learned so much on that show. I think it was the perfect time for me to play the role as mentor or coach. It helped me with my confidence, and also took away some of my confidence. It was so intimidating to watch these unbelievably gifted, regular people that just one after another were coming through and going through unbelievable pressure, just to get onstage and do a blind audition. Then everything that comes after that — I could’ve never done it.
Halle Berry rocks the 2000 MTV Movie Awards
After spending the '90s working in small roles in big films, Berry finally took on major status in the 2000s. She started the decade out by taking on the coveted role of Storm in the X-Men franchise before branching out on her own with leading roles in Catwoman and Gothika. Neither role was built for the Academy, but they made her into a genre icon.
Berry's work in the 2000s shows just how adept she is at maneuvering between different types of roles. She can be a superhero one day, and a regular person stuck in the middle of a mysterious crime the next. No matter what she's doing she manages to entertain.
Halle Berry shows off her locks on 'The Tonight Show'
Berry has continued to work hard throughout the decades, taking on action roles and refusing to stop even when her chops are down. She's gone from working in front of the camera to working behind the scenes as a director. Although she says that the transition wasn't easy.
I definitely feel like there’s a turning point. I’m more encouraged that as women, we are feeling confident enough to tell our stories. And there is a place for us to tell our stories. For so long, our experiences have been told narratively through the guise of men.
Jennifer Lopez shows off her moonman at the 2000 Video Music Awards
In the 2000s, Jennifer Lopez (or JLO if you prefer) was on top of the world. She'd already transitioned from dancer to actor to singer and as one of the preeminent polyglots of the decade she was unescapable. Whether you were sitting down in the theater or turning on MTV she was there waiting for you.
Lopez had a hard climb to A-lister status in the 2000s. Not only were audiences skeptical of her abilities for some reason (she really is a charismatic performer), but she rarely had the chance to take on starring roles outside of genre pictures. It's clear now that none of that mattered to Lopez because she had her eyes on the prize.
Jennifer Lopez in 'The Boy Next Door'
Lopez returned to the screen in a big way at the end of the 2010s in Hustlers, a film where she was able to show just how good she can be in a dramatic role. Her performance was so beloved that audiences thought she was going to get an Oscar nod at the very least. When that didn't happen it definitely must of hurt.
Lopez managed to work through her pain, but while speaking with Oprah she admitted that she was understandably sad about what happened:
I was sad…I was a little sad. Because there was a lot of build up to it. I got so many good notices, like more than ever in my career, and there was a lot of like, 'She’s gonna get nominated for an Oscar.' I’m reading all the articles and I’m like oh my God, could this happen? And then it didn’t, and I was like, ouch! It was a little bit of a letdown.
Kanye West and John Legend long before they were international superstars
When Kanye first hit the MTV scene in the early 2000s with his solo debut "College Dropout" he was mostly known as a beatmaker for Jay-Z. However, with a series of hits like "Through the Wire" and "Slow Jamz" he proved that he was more than just a producer. West literally changed hip hop and pop music forever when he started releasing tracks.
At the time, hip hop was severely obsessed with stret cred, Kanye didn't care about that. He wrote songs about his mom, his life, and his love of polos with popped collars. That's not exactly street, but it didn't need to be to be a hit.
Kanye West performing on 'Saturday Night Live'
Kanye remains one of the most enthralling and exciting stars, not just of the music landscape but on the planet. Even though he's been through some peaks and valleys at the end of the 2010s he continues to release stunning tracks that show that he's never lost his ability to move an audience with music. No matter how things go, he's always going to be able to do that.
Kanye has definitely gotten himself in trouble when he speaks to the press, but while chatting with the New York Times he insisted that artists should be able to say what they want even if it shines a bad light on them. He explained:
We need to be able to be in situations where you can be irresponsible. That’s one of the great privileges of an artist. An artist should be irresponsible in a way — a 3-year-old.
Keira knightley rocking a set of shades in 'Domino'
Keira Knightley will be the first person to tell you that her success was quite literally a whirlwind. Even though she'd been on stage and in films before, she had yet to experience the spotlight in the same way that she did after starring in the first Pirates of the Carribbean film. After the film's massive box office take on the first weekend she was a household name.
Knightly told the Guardian that no one working on the film thought that they would have that level of success:
I mean, it was really embarrassing and we all thought it was going to be total sh*t anyway. But then suddenly I was kissing Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom and bang, there you go, instant bloody stardom. I'd always wanted to be an actress, always dreamt of it, but I don't think you're ever quite prepared for being a movie star.
Keira Knightly in 'Misbehaviour'
After the massive success of the Pirates of the Carribbean films Knightly specifically remvoed herself from the fame game. She got married and started a family, and then she returned to the world of independent cinema. She still works regularly but she makes a point not to take on a role that's going to take away her private life.
Knightly says that she avoided huge roles both because of her home life, and for the sake of her mental health. While speaking with Indiewire she explained:
[I] knew I didn’t want to do big-budget films any more, because the fame that came with them I just couldn’t handle.
Kim Kardashian stuns in this early interview
In the 2000s Kim Kardashian was mostly known as Paris Hilton's friend and assistant. She may have been the daughter of a famous lawyer and the step daughter of an Olympic gold medalist, but she was just a normal person when the new milennium began. That all changed when the Kardashians were contracted for a reality show by the end of the decade.
It's an understatement to say that Kim Kardashian's life changed forever when her family appeared on television for the first time, but she says that she would have been working regardless of whether or not she had a TV show:
My dad made us sign a contract when we were 16 that if we crashed our car or did anything to our car, we were responsible for it. I got a job at the clothing store to pay to get my car fixed after a wreck. After that, I worked for my dad at his music company.
In just a couple of decades Kim Kardashian became a stately woman of pop culture
Looking at Kim Kardashian of the 2000s and the Kim Kardashian of the 2020s is like looking to two different people. She and her family remain reality television stars, but Kim has also focused on the worlds of art, fashion, and activism. Even though she's a well rounded personality, Kim says that she still has to deal with a lot of drama coming her way.
While speaking with David Letterman, Kardashian explained that she often has to depend on her family when things get out of control:
When we had our first big, public scandal, that is how we always got through things, is with each other. I have my family, that's all that matters.
Hi, his name is Slim Shady
He's the Slim Shady, the real Slim Shady, all the other Slim Shadies are just imitating. In the early 2000s, Eminem (Marshall Mathers if you will) was easily the biggest firebrand in America - and especially on MTV. It felt like he couldn't do anything without courting controversy.
What gets lost in the conversation about Eminem is that he has some of the most intriguing rap skills of the decade. His jittery, booksmart and filthy rhymes were exactly what people wanted at the time. It's really no surprise that he took the world by storm for the better part of the decade.
Eminem made a surprise appearance at the Academy Awards in 2020
Eminem's star never really faded even when he went away. There's something about him that just impossible to ignore. His charisma is most obvious in the film 8-Mile that's loosely based on his life.
While speaking about the film with Variety, Eminem noted that it was fun to film but definitely a struggle:
I did … and I didn’t. There was a lot of stuff that was not, um… It was a lot of work, and it being my first film I was not really expecting that. And it’s tough when you’ve got to be on someone else’s schedule, with the way that I work. But yeah, I’m certainly glad that I did it, and there were parts that were definitely fun, it was just a lot.
Was anyone more suited to being a star in the 2000s than Megan Fox? As the star of the Transofrmers and the cult classic Jennifer's Body. At the time the film was essentially dumped in theaters, something that Fox has never been able to get over.
While speaking with writer Diablo Cody about the way Jennifer's Body was received, Fox opened up about struggling with the existential pain of the films negative reaction:
I was struggling so much at that time, just in general, that this didn't stand out as a particularly painful moment. It just was a part of the mix. But it's overwhelming, and you must've been taken aback at how sexualized I was. Objectified is not the right word. It doesn't capture what was happening to me at the time. But it wasn't just that movie, it was every day of my life, all the time, with every project I worked on, with every producer I worked with, so it preceded a breaking point for me, where... I think I had a genuine psychological breakdown.
Today, Megan Fox has come into her own as an actress and a mother. A stint on the Fox sitcom New Girl showed viewers that she's incredibly funny, and she's so winning in every interview that it's hard to understand why people were so awful her in the 2000s. However, she's not letting that get to her.
Fox is now a mother of three who hangs out with her boyfriend Machine Gun Kelly when she's not popping up for interviews in unexpected places. She seems like she's gotten her life together and that she doesn't worry about the past. And that's how you win Hollywood.
Pink lives up to her name at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards
When Pink first hit the scene in a big way with her debut album "Can't Take Me Home" it was a smash hit. It's not that she didn't expect to be popular, but Pink always felt like the grungy alternative to pop stars like Britney and Christina. Even so, she couldn't avoid comparisons to them no matter what she did.
Those comparisons have never really gone away, but in the 2000s Pink did her best to show that she was a malleable pop star who could flit between styles. With hit singles like "God is a DJ" and "Don't Let me Get Me" she became a superstar in her own right. She even worked with writers like Linda Perry and Tim Armstrong from Rancid.
Pink takes the stage
Even though she's never been as popular as Britney or Christina, Pink is still a best seller in the pop music world. Although, she knows that she has to scrap for every bit of success that she gets. However, now she's a veteran of the genre and doesn't let it bother her.
While speaking to the New York Times, Pink explained that she's always going to be the underdog even when she's doing well:
I’ve never won the popularity contest. was never as big as Britney or Christina. If you look at any paragraph about pop music, I don’t get mentioned — my name doesn’t come up. And yet, here I go again, right under the wave, duck-diving.
When Rihanna's voice first made it to the airwaves in the 2000s it was like a breath of fresh air after years spent in a cave. Her carribbean melodies and fascinating pop sensibilities set her apart from the rest of the stars of the day. Throughout the first decade of the millennium she continued to release beloved pop tunes that were unavoidable.
Shortly after the release of her third album she spoke with Cosmo and explained that she was still figuring herself out, who she was and who she wanted to be. She said that she wasn't there yet but that she was getting there:
Some people never figure themselves out, and that's sad. I'm still learning who I am, but I'm not scared to be myself anymore.
Rihanna posts her first selfie of 2020No longer just the chantreuse who adds a specific flavor to the work of others, Rihanna has become a genuine business. She's no longer just a singer, she's the head of her own fashion division. With Fenty, she brings her interesting style to life.
Even though Rihanna has successfully branched out into the world of fashion, she says that she's never going to stop making music because it's the one way in which the whole world can communicate:
Music is, like, speaking in code to the world, where they get it. It’s the weird language that connects me to them. Me the designer, me the woman who creates makeup and lingerie—it all started with music. It was my first pen pal–ship to the world. To cut that off is to cut my communication off. All of these other things flourish on top of that foundation.
Scarlett Johanson looks over Tokyo in 'Lost in Translation'
When Scarlett Johansson first appeated onscreen in the 2000s it was clear that she was talented. However, it wasn't until she starred in Lost in Translation with Bill Murray that mainstream audiences took notice. At the time she said she realized how special the film was, but it took a while to get used to how strange it was to be in another country.
While speaking about the whirlwind that was filming Lost In Translation, Johansson explained that everything came together so quickly that wasn't like any other movie she'd been a part of:
Working with Sofia, watching her take this idea and turn it into something that we were making not that long after [she came up with the idea] was inspiring. You don't have to run the circuit for five or seven years before you get your film done. If you're passionate and with the right strings to pull… Fortunately I'm in that position where hopefully it won't be quite so hard. Whereas coming right out of college, coming out of some screenwriting program and trying to get your screenplay made is a totally different experience. So, that's very inspiring.
Scarlett Johansson basks in the love of the SNL audience
Scarlett Johansson is easily one of the most famous people on the planet today. It's hard to watch a movie or a TV show without seeing her face or hearing her voice. to hear her talk about it, she says she's still getting used to the concept.
When Johansson was in conversation with Parade, she noted that when she and the rest of the Avengers were all dressed up it was hard to believe that they were actually living out their comic book dreams:
It’s the iconic hero shot. We were all thinking, This is crazy! because these worlds were coming together. We’re still processing how much of an impact these movies have had.
American Pie introduced audiences to a lot of interesting concepts and actors. Who knew that decades later we'd not only be talking about Stifler himself, Seann Williams Scott, but that we'd look forward to seeing him on film and television. He was so good at this role that audiences thought that's who he was.
That's really the genius of any good character actor. Folks like Scott have the ability to step into a role so well that they make the audience feel like they're watching a real person. It just so happens that Scott stepped into the shoes of a total scuzzball.
Decades after Stifler, Seann Williams Scott is just a buff dude
Today, Seann Williams Scott has been in so many films that it feels weird to bring up his work in the American Pie series. However, when asked about it he admits that he wouldn't be where he is today without playing a total high school jerk. He even put his own spin on the character.
While speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Scott explained that Stifler is easily the most important character he's ever played:
I just got so lucky. I was just always hoping that I could be in movies, I never thought about playing a character that people would remember. So, for me, it was like a dream come true. I never get frustrated when people bring it up to me. That was the most fun character you could ever play in a comedy, why would I ever get frustrated with that? I wouldn’t be here, I wouldn’t have a career if it wasn’t for that movie and that character, so I love it.
Frankie Muniz in 'Big Fat Liar'
Malcolm in the Middle didn't just introduce audiences to one of the most dysfunctional families on television, it showed viewers just what Frankie Muniz could do. He may have been young when he stepped into the role, but Muniz was able to project the apprehension and disappointment of being a middle child. Especially, a middle child in a family struggling to survive.
Of course, the series wasn't meant to be dour or depressing. Muniz brought a sweet charisma to a character who could have been frustrating. Even as a young actor he clearly knew how to give a nuanced performance in the confines of a sitcom.
Since starring in Malcolm in the Middle Frankie Muniz has appeared in films, he's driven racecars, and he's played drums in a band. Unfortunately, after suffering nine concussions and multiple mini-strokes he can't rememebr much of his early life. This doesn't get Muniz down.
In his appearance on Dancing with the Stars Muniz explained that he remembers very little of his early life:
It makes me a little sad. Things pop back into my mind [that] I should have remembered. I’ve gotten to do anything that I really wanted to do. But the truth is, I don’t really remember much of that.
Shaggy would like you to know that whatever happened, it wasn't him
For a few years in the 2000s everyone was answering, "It wasn't me" no matter what the question was. That was all thanks to Shaggy, a pop leaning singer-songwriter from the carribbean with a wicked sense of humor. His worl was always fun and a little saucy, which made him all the more interesting.
While speaking about the beginnings of the song Shaggy explained that he wanted to make something sultry without being explicit:
My aim was to write adult content without being explicit. You have to have enough English in the song to grab people. Now you need to bring it back to the authenticity, straight hardcore Dancehall… The concept of the song is: this guy is in problems. I am the little devil player, saying: ‘It wasn’t you.’ The record is basically saying that it’s not good to cheat; a moral conversation as Sting would say.
Shaggy remains a hit-maker in the 2020s
Shaggy, it would seem, never stops working. He continues to release crossover dancehall tracks to this day, many of which routinely turn into hits on the zillennial favored app TikTok. Something that he takes great pride in teasing his daughter about.
When Digital Journal interviewed him in 2020 he dicussed what it's like to see his daughter's friends jamming to his tracks:
I joke with my daughter and I said ‘are you going to do a TikTok on daddy’s song?’ and she was like ‘no.’ All my friends are doing this dance, and you will never have the pleasure of seeing your daughter do it. I told her ‘you are just mad because I am more popular than you are.’ I’m a TikTok star. We always keep swinging at the bat. Music is what I am good at.
Mandy Moore was the coolest pop star of the 2000s
If it feels like Mandy Moore has been around forever, that's probably because she has been. She's been living the pop life from a young age, and opening for huge bands before she was even old enough to drive. Her onstage abilities aren't just impressive, they show just how dedicated to her craft that she is.
In 2006, she spoke about how long she's been performing and noted that when she first got her start she was playing to huge crowds but she wasn't sure if anyone was paying attention:
Yeah, I went on tour with the Backstreet Boys when I was 15. Opening for, like, 30,000 people? All the little glow sticks? It was awesome. But I doubt they even knew I was on the tour. I bet if you asked them today they'd be like, 'Oh, really?'
Mandy Moore takes on the role of mom on 'This Is Us'
It's wild to think about just how Mandy Moore has gone above and beyond the life of a normal pop star. Aside from her singing career (which is great by the way), she's also an incredible actor. Her work on the hit This Is Us shows just how far she's come since the days of "Candy."
Moore continues to perform, but in an interview with Parade she said that This Is Us is easily her most important work because it brings people together:
We live in a very divided world, where we’re forced to choose one side or the other all the time, and I think the show has always existed as neutral territory. It’s this cathartic, emotional experience that can force us to have uncomfortable conversations that sometimes bring us closer.