The other day, I was wondering whatever happened to the cast of Party of Five… you know, because I like to think about important issues a lot. Cos this was a TV show that I used to watch a lot when I was a kid, and TV shows from my childhood constitutes really really important and pressing issues.
You guys remember Party of Five, right? It was this 90s TV show about a bunch of kids and young adults whose parents die in some accident, leaving them to fend for themselves. I can’t even remember what happens in the show, to be honest… I just remember Claudia whining a lot, and Bailey was an asshole who didn’t deserve Jennifer Love Hewitt. Hmm… I think I just summed up the first two seasons of the show.
Anyway, the show did launch the careers of a bunch of young actors, so let’s see what’s happened to their careers almost 2 decades later.
Scott Wolf – Bailey Salinger
Scott Wolf was supposed to be the pretty boy and big heartthrob of the show, getting first billing and all. Like Luke Perry in 90210, he played a 16 year old teenager even though he was 10 years older than that when he first started playing the role. Bailey as a character was just irritating. I didn’t like his jock vibe much, and quite frankly all he ever did was get in trouble a lot, and try to sleep with a lot of girls.
Around the same time Party of Five came out, Scott had starred in Double Dragon – one of the worst movie adaptations of a videogame of all time. After Party of Five, he did a couple of movies too, but the only one I remember was Go, this indie drug-deal movie from 1999. After that, he went on to appear as a doctor on shows like Everwood and The Nine. Most recently he was in some show called V. Needless to say, I have not watched any of these three TV shows nor do I really intend to. Guess the big star of the show didn’t really become that big a star… kinda like Grant Show from Melrose Place.
Matthew Fox – Charlie Salinger
Something that bugged me even when I first watched this show was that both male leads have last names that are animals. Did the producers choose them for this reason?
Anyway, Charlie was the big brother of the family, though he was also far from being the mature one (then again, none of them were particularly mature… guess it wouldn’t make for interesting TV if they were). He was a slacker, had sex with his youngest brother’s nanny, and erm… well I thought he was cool. Probably because he had cool hair and a permanent scruffy five o’clock shadow. In fact, I remember reading somewhere that if he ever wanted to go out in public without being hounded by fans, all he had to do was shave first.
Matthew didn’t seem to do much for a while after Party of Five was cancelled. But then in 2004 he became a born-again star on JJ Abrams’ Lost (another TV show that I didn’t watch). I’m not sure what he did there, but it must’ve kick-started his career a bit because he started appearing in movies like We Are Marshall, Vantage Point and Speed Racer. I remember watching Vantage Point and totally fanning over him because at the point, I hadn’t seen him onscreen for like a decade.
Coming up next for him is a starring role in World War Z, a zombie movie that I will DEFINITELY watch!
Neve Campbell – Julia Salinger
Neve Campbell, aside from having a confusing name to pronounce (it’s similar to “Bev”, for the record), also holds in a place in my heart as one of my early childhood crushes, alongside Jennifer Connelly in The Labyrinth. That kinda gives away her role as being the primary reason I watched Party of Five. Everyone I knew thought Jennifer Love Hewitt was the hotter star of the show, but I honestly thought Neve is da bomb. But yeah, she could get kind of irritating and emotional on the show, but her cuteness (coupled with my shallowness) more than makes up for that.
Neve’s big role though, has got to be Sidney Prescott in Scream. Say what you will about the sequels and all, but the first Scream is a phenomenal movie and is just so amazing for being a mix of comedy, self-parody and genuine terror. It is so amazing well-written, and I used to just randomly watch my VHS copy of this movie over meals… just absorbing a couple of scenes at a time while I munch on food. Aside from Scream, she also starred in memorable films like goth-favorite The Craft and the sex-thriller Wild Things (where, like in Scream, she also didn’t go topless). In Wild Things, she co-starred with Denise Richards, and once again my friends would all say that Denise was the hotter star. But honestly, she’s just too plastic-looking for my tastes, so I’ll still insist that Neve was the hotter one.
In the meantime, she also managed to fit in some smaller but critically acclaimed movies and stage roles. Good for her! Apparently, her next role will be in a TV show called Titanic: Blood and Steel. Sounds… erm… yeah, interesting. I’ll erm… wait for the DVD release of that.
Lacey Chabert – Claudia Salinger
Claudia was the second-most annoying character on the show (just under Bailey), as she was a squeaky whiny 11 year-old violin prodigy. My most distinctive memory of her character was this episode where she went around asking everyone about sex.
Who could have guessed that little Claudia would grow up to become a hottie though! After Party of Five, she grew up and starred as one of the titular Mean Girls, and also parodied Party of Five co-star Jennifer Love Hewitt’s character in Not Another Teen Movie (which was a pretty funny movie, and should not be lumped together with terrible parodies like Epic Movie and the latter Scary Movies). She also did a whole bunch of voice acting, including Meg Griffin in the first season of Family Guy. And of course, she did what any former child star does and appeared in Maxim.
Coming up for Lacey are starring roles in a couple of movies, Slightly Single in LA and Anything’s Possible. All in all, she hasn’t done too badly for herself.
Jennifer Love Hewitt – Sarah Reeves Merrin
Sarah appeared in the second season as Bailey’s girlfriend, and would last through the rest of the series. I don’t really remember too much about her, except that my friends all thought she was extremely hot, but in my opinion Neve is just much cuter. The character of Sarah was kind of too “blah” for me, so that and the whole connection with Bailey thing just didn’t make her all that appealing.
Of all the stars of Party of Five, Jennifer Love Hewitt has found the most success after the show. During the show, she pushed out a second music album (she released her first album when she was only 12), starred in another big horror franchise, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and even had her own spin-off show called The Time of Your Life (which follows the Sarah character doing… I dunno, stuff). She practically burst into flames with her hotness as a career flirt in the movie Heartbreakers, alongside an equally hot Sigourney Weaver, and then nabbed a coveted role as Audrey Hepburn in the imaginatively-titled TV movie The Audrey Hepburn Story. A few other crappy movies followed, like Garfield and The Tuxedo, and she was also Nokia’s spokeperson in 2000. She was twice named Maxim’s #1 Readers Choice, and graced Maxim’s covers in 1999 and 2009.
At one point, she started getting ripped into by the tabloids for gaining a crap-load of weight. The fact that she was dating John Mayer and inspired his hit song “Your Body is a Wonderland” gave the tabloids a ton of puns to use. But of course, she bounced back by getting back in shape and starring in The Ghost Whisperer… a surprisingly boring TV show where she talks to dead people. Nevertheless, the TV series was a hit and lasted 5 seasons before it was cancelled.
In 2012, she’s gonna head back into movies with a rom-com called Jewtopia.
Various – Owen Salinger
Since the character of Owen was played by a bunch of different kids at different times of the show, I’m totally just going to skip him.