Stunning Transformations Of Beautiful Stars From The '90s
By | May 27, 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.
When Clueless was released in theaters its success was a blessing and a curse for its stars, especially Silverstone. She says that the sudden thrust into the spotlight was isolating, it made her shy away from her friends and the press. Thankfully, Silverstone didn't hide forever.
Alicia Silverstone at the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar party
While speaking with The Guardian about how she's changed since her time as a teen star she explained:
I think I probably missed some emotional steps that needed to happen in a normal situation of development. But I also jumped light years ahead in other ways. It’s sort of a combo platter. You gain some and you lose some.
Arnold Schwarzenegger spent hundreds of hours in the makeup chair for 'Terminator 2'
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. He said:
The audiences are more sophisticated than they were in 1984. They're more educated and have seen the way special effects are done so now they're looking for little extras that make them go, 'Wow, how do they do that?' I can't imagine anybody walking out of the theatre after seeing Terminator 2 saying, 'Well, I didn't see enough, I didn't get enough action or suspense or effects.'
Arnold remains pumped up
Schwarzenegger explained that his routine starts first thing in the morning and lasts until he goes to bed:
Part of my routine is to wake up in the morning at 5 o'clock, then I make my coffee, I feed the animals, I go and read the paper, go through my iPad... If it's a part of the routine I don't even think about that. I have my bike already mounted on the back of my car, drive down, take it off, and ride the bike... then I go to the gym for 45 minutes to an hour, that's also routine... What's also routine is at night, I do some extra cardiovascular work before I have dinner... The idea is to burn enough calories so that when I eat dinner, which is very minimal, that I don't have to really worry about calories or gaining weight, because the older you get, the faster you gain weight, the more the body picks up, because your metabolism slows, you have to be very careful.
Blue but not sad, Gwen Stefani on the red carpet at the MTV Music Video Awards, 1998
This shot was taken on the red carpet at the 1998 VMAs. For just over a decade this party wasn't just a way for stars to get another award, it was the place where the over the top style of the '90s was dictated to middle America. Thanks to Stefani wild hair colors, bindis, and black bracelets became the norm.
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:
I feel like I’m learning indie music through my son. He already went through 'I’m into Green Day,' and I was like 'I toured with all those bands.'It was weird to see him discover music, and they discover it in such a different way now. You start to feel like that old 'back in my day' person. We didn’t have access to people we liked. We didn’t have conversations with Prince. I mean, I did. But the people we loved were untouchable. Now you can write to these bands and have this different access.
Danny DeVito gets a touch up for a scene in 'Batman Returns,' 1992
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:
It was four-and-a-half hours of makeup and getting into the costume. We got it down to three hours by the end of the shoot. I had pounds and pounds of face prosthetics and body padding, and the prosthetic hands, which were hard to use. I kept them on about half the time.
Danny DeVito flashes the peace sign on the red carpet
While speaking with the Independent, DeVito explained his thoughts on dealing with the chaos of the entertainment industry:
It’s like going through the jungle. You hear all the sounds. Somebody’s being eaten on the other side of a plant. But you got to just stay on your path.
Danny Trejo and Antonio Banderas on the set of 'Desperado' 1994
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. Banderas said:
What I remember is having a pal, a friend that I understood what [Rodriguez] wanted to do. He broke a little bit the structure of what action movies were at the time and I was very together with people who were actually creating new styles, like Quentin – Quentin actually was in the movie and we killed him!
The thinking man's hunk
While speaking about acting as he gets older Banderas told NPR:
I had a heart attack three years ago. We are all conscious that we are going to die since we, you know, can use our reason in our brain. But when you see it very close, when you see the face of death very close to you, it change completely the meaning of your life. The priorities order change completely. And you put attentions to things that are essential and very simple. That heart attack, in a way, helped me to find myself. It's one of the best things that ever happened in my life, I have to say that.
Even though they were easily the greatest team that the NBA has ever seen, that doesn't mean that the Bulls were best buddies. According to Dennis Rodman he and the rest of the Bulls played together like a well-oiled machine but they never hung out. He explained that the only time he, Jordan, and the rest of the star players had zero interaction off the court.
Rodman remains on his own wavelength
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. Director Jason Hehir explained to People just what he had to go through to get a legit interview out of the former player:
So he sits down... and he says, ‘I need a tuna sub from Subway and some chamomile tea.' It was like [Dave] Chappelle sending the guys for a sugar cookie in Queens. Unless you pass this test, you cannot do this interview. So we got him the tuna sub, we got him the chamomile tea, and he sat down for three hours. But that is a difficult guy to interview.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Mankind relax with some Nintendo 64
These two were the number one reason to tune in every Monday night, but it's clear that they need a little break sometimes. Is there anything that's more '90s than two professional wrestlers playing Nintendo 64? Maybe if they were drinking Crystal Pepsi...
The Rock n Sock Connection rides again
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:
We don’t talk on the phone, but we stay in touch through social media and an occasional text message. It was nice when my daughter and The Rock’s daughter still kept in touch. So I’ll hear a heads-up about The Rock appearing on Raw and I’ll ask my daughter how she knew, and she said she just heard it from Simone. It’s great to get together, I think we both appreciate how unique that opportunity was. Neither one of us guessed that what we were doing was something that would touch people or stand the test of time.
Fresh face Courteney Cox before her days on 'Friends'
Initially, Cox was offered the role of Rachel Green, which eventually went to Jennifer Aniston. Cox was confident enough in herself that she told producers that she should actually play Monica. The gamble worked and she spent the next decade making bank on NBC.
Can you look at Courteney Cox without hearing the 'Friends' theme
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. In the talk she showed off her immaculate kitchen as well as a collection uniformly laid out spices, kitchen utensils, and snacks. Gosh, she's such a Monica.
Gal Gadot visits the U.S. for the first time as a teenager in New York, 1999
When she was 18-years-old Gadot rolled the dice on the Miss Israel contest, something that proved to be fortuitous. She thought that the competition would be a fun thing to do, but she never thought that she would win. Luckily for the rest of the world she was wrong.
It looks like she hasn't aged a day
Today, Gadot is less worried about how she appears to the outside world and more concerned about stay grounded. She told Instyle that the one thing she's doing to keep her wits is limit her screentime:
I make rules to try to limit my screen usage. I don't touch the phone as soon as I wake up or when we're having dinner — phones are not at the table — but I can't tell you that I'm great about it during the day.
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. That's not so out of the ordinary, but it takes a lot of charisma and dedication to go from singing in your bedroom to doing it in front of thousands of people. It's astonishing that a kid from Cheshire, England was able to make it happen.
Once a ham, always a ham
While speaking with NPR, Styles noted that he just tries to be himself but admits that who he is is always changing:
In the early years, I spent a lot of time worrying about what would happen and getting things wrong and saying the wrong thing and doing the wrong thing. I'm trying to let go of the worrying thing, and that's what I've loved the most about this album, rather than the first one. I think I had a lot of fear — whether it was conscious or subconsciously — just about getting it wrong. When I listen back to the first album now, although I still love it so much, I feel like I was almost bowling with the bumpers up a little bit. I can hear places where I was playing it safe.
Jennifer Lopez 1997. A year later she told an interviewer, "I feel I can do anything–any kind of role. I’m fearless."
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. For the rest of the '90s Lopez careened back and forth between starring roles in genre films and singing straight up hit pop songs. That's a rare thing.
Jennifer Lopez says 2020 taught her what 'matters most'
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. She said:
I feel like I'm in my second, third, or fourth act. I feel like I've lived several lifetimes already and I’ve had to figure myself out along the way, work out why I felt a certain way; or got into relationships that didn't serve me. And I finally realized, 'It’s me. It's all me. I got to fix some stuff. I need to understand my own worth and value.'
Joaquin Phoenix grew uncomfortable with his photoshoot so he started doing dishes, 1996
Even with his Roman features and camera ready looks, Phoenix was uncomfortable in his own skin. He 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. We've all been there, right?
Phoenix has grown into his larger than life persona, even if it makes him uncomfortable
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. Some people just aren't made to rub elbows and glad hand. Some stars need their space, and Phoenix has definitely earned his.
Keanu Reeves kicks up his feet in Paris, "I try not to do anything I don’t want to do."
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. Reeves was able to take the sly goofball schtick of that film and carry into films like Speed and Point Break. In the '90s he showed that even though he's not an everyman he's someone that everyone can enjoy - and that's because he follows his bliss.
Keanu is still doing whatever he wants to and audiences love him for it
Every few years there's an appraisal of Reeve's work. It's almost as if stuffy critics are giving themselves permission to enjoy his work. But the truth of the matter is that his 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)
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. He explained:
I think that the way we’ve done it, it almost relaxed me a lot more. I think I would have been a lot more nervous if I knew I had to do it traditionally. The manner in which we speak, not having to have some affected English accent, made everything a lot more close to home. Even though it’s a fantasy world, it has a lot of modern references in it, especially with the violence and gang warfare, so it made me feel a lot closer to home. I think Shakespeare probably would have wanted his work to live on through the years, become a timeless piece that could adapt to the future.
All grown up...
Today, DiCaprio pretty much does whatever he wants. He still stars in huge moves like Once Upon A Time in Hollywood and The Revanent, but he seems to have taken a step back to enjoy the fruits of his labor. That's something that should be applauded because not many people are able to do that for themselves.
Michael Jordan on the set of 'Space Jam' in the Jordan Dome, an inflatable dome on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, 1996
Jordan's personal physician says that initially Warner Bros. 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. Space Jam Director Joe Pytka recalled:
It was a full-sized basketball court with an inflatable dome. And Michael would go up there and everybody in town would come to play basketball there and challenge him. He’d play basketball every night, and he had great players come in. All the LA players could run up there to play.
No longer in the dome...
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. He explained:
I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for my brother Larry. Larry pushed me and we used to fight after every game, but through that fight, you know, emerged someone like me.
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. Behind him stoody Diddy, a producer and artist in his own right. However, after a fateful shooting on March 9, 1997, the Notorious B.I.G.'s voice was snuffed out forever.
Diddy has grown into an elder statesman of hip hop
At the time, all of Diddy's different focuses served to turn him into an incredibly wealthy entrepaneur. Even though it may have seemed like he was throwing things at the wall at the time it's now clear that there was a vision. He absolutely deserves his spot on the top of the hip hop royalty hierarchy.
Pamela Anderson in 1996. She's appeared on Playboy 14 times
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. If it feels like Pam Anderson was everywhere in the '90s that's because she was. She had two hit shows in syndication, and she starred in her own gonzo version of Casablanca. Ah, the '90s.
Today, Anderson is an open book
Removed from the stigma of Baywatch, Anderson is an excellent reminder that someone isn't always what we think. She's an extremely well studied woman who works for a variety of causes, and on top of that she's incredibly successful. It's hard not to be a fan of her.
Reese Withershpoon backstage at a Counting Crows concert in 1996
As popular as Witherspoon was, she says that her early roles nearly typecast her out of Hollywood. She explained:
[Executives] thought I was a shrew. My manager finally called and said, ‘You’ve got to go meet with the studio head because he will not approve you. He thinks you really are your character from Election and that you’re repellent.’ And then I was told to dress sexy.
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:
I was in this position where I was making studios a lot of money, and I had for years and years, and they didn’t take me seriously as a filmmaker. Somehow, they didn’t think that 25 years of experience could add up to some inherent knowledge of what movies work and how to keep them on budget.
This behind the scenes shot from Jawbreaker shows exactly how charismatic McGowan was during her heyday. With the purple on purple outfit and the lock attached to her necklace she's practically jumping off the screen in vivid color in this Polaroid and all she's doing is posing for the wardrobe department. Some people just know how to be cool.
This blonde has more fun
Even though she's no longer working in Hollywood, it's best that she's happy and healthy and living her best life. So many entertainers burn themselves out without knowing when to take a step back and reevaluate. McGowan seems to be doing just fine.
Sarah Jessica Parker is stunning post work out
At the time, audiences didn't expect much out of a series from HBO but that all changed when Parker brought Sex and the City to life. Not only did she 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. She paved the way for more women to tell their own stories in the way they see fit.
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. That's the kind of power that comes with making such an impact for decades. The only person that you're beholden to is yourself.
Sheryl Lee... the iconic actor who played Laura Palmer in Twin Peaks ⛰️⛰️
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:
I trust David enough to know that he has a plan. I may not know what that is. I may not understand it, but it doesn’t matter. He has a plan, and my job is to stay present and honest in each moment, moment by moment. And to trust him, as I do.
She returned... 25 years later
When Lee did the interview circuit for Twin Peaks: The Return she was fully committed to the ambigious nature of the series. Even when asked how things had changed on set she spoke in a pseudo riddle:
In one way it seems no time has passed, and in another way it seems as if lifetimes have passed.
The cast of Friends on a trip to Las Vegas in 1994 before the show premiered
In an interview with Ellen, Aniston explained that the series director, Jim Burrows, told the group on the way to Vegas:
‘This world can be pretty dark, and you guys gotta really stick together and take care of each other.' And we took that to heart for sure, obviously. And then he handed us each a couple hundred bucks and said, ‘Now go into the casino and go gamble because this is the last time you’ll be able to walk into a casino anonymously.’ And we had no clue what he was talking about… and sure enough, that was the last time we were able [to do that].
They'll be there for you
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. Whatever the case, they look happy to be there for one another all over again.
The face that launched a thousand ships... Julia Roberts, early 90s
Roberts spoke with The Guardian and noted that there was no way that anyone would touch the Pretty Woman script today:
A lot has changed in the industry…I don’t really think you could make that movie now, right? So many things you could poke a hole in, but I don’t think it takes away from people being able to enjoy it. It really is not a measure of talent, particularly in the beginning. It’s a measure of good fortune – and being able to have your wits about you enough to make something out of that good fortune.
Is Julia Roberts the last epic star of her era?
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:
Too much thinking and pondering, it’s exhausting to me. Because we’re still moving forward, aren’t we? I mean, I suppose I’ll look back when I’m 90 and living at the motion-picture home." She bursts out laughing. "That was what Garry Marshall [the director of Pretty Woman] used to say. He’d take Polaroids on set and say, 'When I’m in the motion-picture home, I’m going to have a scrapbook, and say, this is what I used to do, these are my friends!
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
Culkin's two Home Alone films made him a household name for the rest of his life. Even though he had more hits in the early '90s there was no escaping his home invasion saga that made him famous. It was only growing up that helped him escape the guilded prison of child stardom.
All grown up...
While speaking with the Guardian he noted that he's not really into the careerist thing like the rest of his famous friends. He explained:
People feel they have to be in perpetual motion, or drown. I’ve never had a problem saying I’ve got nothing lined up. Maybe I’ll take the next year off.
They could be twins... Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, 1994
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. However, it's important to remember that at one point they were just normal people. They were girls who just wanted to have fun.
The twin vibes are still off the charts
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:
You really do learn about boundaries over time. I look back at some of the episodes in the earlier seasons and think, 'I can’t believe I shared that' —dates with random people when we were single, things like that. But I also think that going through the motions of something like the aftermath of the robbery, or situations that most people might not understand, there are some people who might really have gone through that. I think about them. I feel like I came out of that a better person.
Throwback picture of Adele in front of Spice Girls posters in 1998
Pretty much everyone had a childhood obsession, whether it's the Spice Girls, Star Wars, or comic books. 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...
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:
In my personal experience of working with her through many highs and lows, she always marched to the beat of her own drum on her own terms... She never once pretended to be something that she wasn’t. What you saw was what you got. And we all LOVED it! When Adele and I started our journey together, it was never about getting super skinny. It was about getting her healthy.
Will Smith smeared with cake at the 'Fresh Prince Of Bel Air' wrap party
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:
One of my teachers used to call me Prince, because I always had a way of charming myself in and out of different situations. And I just added the Fresh to give it extra pizzazz.
Will Smith brings it all to the table
Today, Smith has settled into an elder statesman role within Hollywood, something that he's uniquely suited to. He's still a major box office draw but he almost seems to use his celebrity as a way to a shine a light on others. Still, it's always fun to see him whenever he shows up on screen.
While speaking with Harper's Bazaar, Ryder noted that as cool as '90s fashon could be not everything deserves a comeback:
There were certain things that were simply welcome - like, suddenly it was ‘cool’ to wear thrift store clothes, flannels, etc. That was great in the sense that it was something that everyone could afford. I thought that was really cool. Then designers started making $500 flannel shirts and we were like, 'huh?'
Winona Forever ♥♥♥
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:
I just had to retire an old Clash T-shirt from the first time I saw them in 1980 because it was so incredibly thin and just disintegrating. But I ended up framing it. I inherited my fathers ‘archivist’ gene, so it’s really hard for me to let go of things.
Young Ashton Kutcher lost the title of Male Model of the Year in 1998
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:
I think, more than anything, it comes from the fact that my father always had several irons in the fire. Also, I don't want to fail. If something doesn't work out—if That '70s Show got canceled or if I wasn't going to have a film career—I always wanted to have backup contingency plans. So I just started doing other things; and on a half-hour sitcom, you're really only working for 30 hours a week. It allows a lot of time for sitting around, which I always kind of filled with work.
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. He said:
Everything has moved online. There may be very few financial incentives to solve some of the biggest problems in the world. But now those problems are all tech problems. Entrepreneurs and engineers have to ask themselves what am I doing to help? If I’m not doing anything, then I’m part of the problem.
In 1999 Matthew McConaughey was arrested for playing the bongos naked while in possession of marijuana and resisting arrest
In 1999, McConaughey was arrested for possession of marijuana after his neighnors filed a noise complaint while he was playing bongos in his birthday suit. The actor got out of it without much of an issue, but he still doesn't get what the big deal was. He said:
I saw the cop’s eyes get big when he identified me, and it became, ‘Oh, look what we’ve got here.' My first call was to my mother. I was feeling guilty because I was not raised to be in jail... What’s wrong with beating on your drums in your birthday suit? I have no regrets about the way I got there. But what’s the lesson? Shut the window that has the beautiful scent of jasmine blowing in because it’s two in the morning and you might wake a neighbor.
Matthew McConaughey is doing alright, alright, alright
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. More importantly, he spoke about how he gets rid of those nerves:
To this day I do the same on set. It’s something I learned when I did the film A Time to Kill. There was a great defense attorney, last name Spence, and before every final summation, he’d get so nervous, and couldn’t quell it. You’ve gotta learn to sit there right before and go: Sheesh! I’m nervous! It kind of pops the bubble and all of a sudden, you relax.