This year marks the 20th anniversary of Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element. The sci-fi blockbuster has been polarizing to say the least, and it’s been called both the best and worst summer blockbuster movie of all time. Personally, it’s one of my all time favorite movies. It’s funny, it’s weird, and it gives us a believably grimy future world that actually looks like it’d be fun to live in.
Considering I saw it in theaters when it came out, the fact that it’s been 20 years since its release makes me die a little on the inside. This does, however, seem like the perfect time to catch up with the cast and see where they’ve ended up after the past two decades.
1) Billy – Luke Perry
It was his role as bad boy Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills 90210 that made him famous, but he left the show in 1995 – though he’d eventually return for the last two seasons. His role as Billy in The Fifth Element was a small one but he went on to have a recurring role in HBO’s Oz, as well as starring in the post-apocalyptic drama Jeremiah.
Aside from numerous guest-starring roles on shows like Will and Grace and Criminal Minds, he’s also done plenty of voice acting for shows like Family Guy. Recently, he appeared on the cover of AARP for his 50th birthday (because we didn’t already feel ancient) and he currently stars as Archie’s dad Fred Andrews on the show Riverdale.
2) Diva Plavalaguna – Maïwenn
One of the best parts of the whole movie has to be the performance of Diva Plavalaguna, played French actress and director Maïwenn. She was actually married to Luc Besson for nine years, but they split while making The Fifth Element (the reason for that will come up shortly). After the divorce she went back to France to continue her career, starring in the French horror film High Tension (Haute tension) in 2003. She’s found success more recently as a director, her 2011 film Polisse won the Jury Prize at Cannes, and in 2015 her movie Mon roi was selected to compete for Cannes’ Palme d’Or.
3) General Munro – Brion James
His role as the goofy General Munro in The Fifth Element was a bit of a departure from Brion James’s usual roles. Throughout the 80s, the character actor was mostly cast as villains, starting with his role as Leon the murderous replicant in Blade Runner. He racked up plenty of credits in both film and television, as well as for voice work for a number of animated shows. Sadly, he died of a heart attack in 1999 at the age of 54.
4) President Lindberg – Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister
Tommy “Tiny” Lister is another character actor mostly known for playing bad guys, which makes his role as The Fifth Element‘s Galactic President stand out. In the 20 years since he’s appeared in an impressive number of movies, tv shows, and even video games. In 2000 he reprised his role as Deebo in the sequel to Friday. He appeared as a prisoner in 2008’s The Dark Knight, and more recently he voiced Finnick (aka Little Toot Toot) in the Disney film Zootopia.
5) Korben Dallas – Bruce Willis
There’s absolutely no way any other actor could have played Korben Dallas. Bruce Willis has built his career on being the everyman, sick-of-this-shit style action star. He definitely hasn’t let getting older slow him down, seeing as he’s got both another Die Hard movie in the works, along with an Eli Roth-helmed reboot of Death Wish, where he’ll be taking on Charles Bronson’s iconic role. Not too shabby for a meat popsicle.
6) Leeloo Minaï Lekatariba-Laminaï-Tchaï Ekbat de Sebat – Milla Jovovich
So remember how Luc Besson’s marriage ended around the same time as The Fifth Element? Well that’s because he fell in love with Milla Jovovich while they were working together on the film. By 1999 they’d split up, but not before Jovovich starred in Besson’s The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc. Her acting career has always been very diverse, but her role as Alice in the Resident Evil franchise helped cement her as an action star. Her most recent roles were both reprisals for her; first as Katinka in Zoolander 2, and as Alice in the sixth and final Resident Evil installment.
7) Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg – Gary Oldman
There probably isn’t a single actor on Earth who has a career more diverse than Gary Oldman. While his early career was largely made up of villainous roles, since The Fifth Element he has played everyone from Sirius Black in the Harry Potter series, to Commissioner Gordon in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, to most recently Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. And that’s only a small fraction of the roles he’s played since rising to fame for playing Sid Vicious in 1986’s Sid and Nancy.
8) Father Vito Cornelius – Ian Holm
Ian Holm has continued to have a successful career in the 20 years since playing Father Vito Cornelius, with roles in From Hell, Garden State, and Ratatouille, but without a doubt his biggest role has been that of Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, a role he returned to for two of the three Hobbit movies.
9) Ruby Rhod – Chris Tucker
While he first gained recognition alongside Ice Cube in Friday, his role as radio host Ruby Rhod quickly became iconic. He officially became a household name thanks to the Rush Hour series where he starred alongside Jackie Chan. He’s most recently appeared in Silver Linings Playbook, and Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. While there have been plenty of rumors about a potential Rush Hour 4 there have been no official announcements on way or another.
Hard to believe this movie is 20 years old!