24. Dazed and Confused, 30 Years Later


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Dazed and Confused follows the adventures of high school and junior high students on the last day of school in May 1976.

IMDB Rating: 7.6/10

Rotten Tomatoes: Critics – 92%  Viewers – 90%

It was a big failure when it was released. People didn’t know what to make of it. It had an indy feel but it was being released by a major studio. It had a pretty small release and did well considering. People complained that there was no plot/story arc… which is kinda correct. 

It got really popular when it was released on video and has become a cult classic.

The Cast

Don Phillips, the casting director, had also cast Fast Times. At the time, Milla Jovavich was the most famous name associated with the movie. It was mostly unknown actors and no one had done anything big at that point. 

Who auditioned and didn’t get a part

  • Vince Vaughn
  • Reese Witherspoon
  • Ashley Judd
  • Claire Danes
  • Elizabeth Berkely
  • Brendan Fraser
  • David Arquette

Where are they now

Jason London (Pink) – (not to be confused with his twin brother, Jeremy… or Brendan Fraser for that matter) still acting, but honestly I didn’t recognize anything since one episode of scandal in 2012. Biggest credit since Dazed… maybe a trio of Aerosmith videos? Did one episode of a lot of shows.

Joey Lauren Adams (Simone) – went on to start in lots of Kevin James movies and Big Daddy. Still acting.

Wiley Wiggins (Mitch) – No longer acting. Did one other Richard Linklater Waking Life in 2000. He’s now a videogame designer.

Michelle Burke (Jodi) – She did Coneheads after Dazed. She married singer-songwriter Scott Thomas in 1995 and they have 3 kids. Took a big break from acting while her kids were young… back at it but not in anything big.

Anthony Rapp (Tony) – Got more into theater, and starred in Rent.  

Adam Goldberg (Mike) –  (not that Adam Goldberg) He was in Saving Private Ryan, A Beautiful Mind, and Zodiac. Still acting.

Marissa Ribisi (Cynthia) – twin sister of Giovanni Ribisi. She was in True Crime, The Brady Bunch Movie, Pleasantville.  married singer Beck in 2004. The “Loser” singer filed for divorce in 2019 and the pair’s split was finalized two years later. The duo share son Cosimo and daughter Tuesday.

Rory Chocorane (Slater) – Still acting. Works with Ben Affleck a bit. Empire Records, Argo, Public Enemies, and Black Mass. 

Cole Hauser (Benny) – Nepo baby. Dad is an actor and mom was from the Warner Bros. family. Stayed close to Ben and was in Good Will Hunting. Small roles in a lot of other big things like White Oleander, the Fast and Furious franchise (Carter), and now he plays Rip Wheeler on Yellowstone.

Sasha Jenson (Don) – Was in the Buffy movie. Left acting 

Nicky Katt (Clint) – Went on to be in A Time to Kill with McConaughey, Boston Public, and School of Rock (Another Linklater –  we’ll come back to when we talk about the soundtrack). Hasn’t really done too much in the last 10 years. 

Chrisse Harnos (Kaye) – She went on to play Dr. Mark Green’s wife, Jennifer, on ER.  left acting in 2003 to pursue a degree in child development

Christin Hinjosa (Sabrina) –  left acting. Works as a social justice and environmental activist. 

Shawn Andrews (Pickford) – Just a total jackass… He imploded. His agent was saying he’d be the next James Dean. Instead, he only ever did one other notable movie, Fix with Olivia Wilde.  Hasn’t done anything since 2012.

And then you have Parker Posey, Milla Jovovich, Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, and Renee Zellweger… do I have to get into where they are now?


  • Obviously, Milla (Michelle) and Shawn (Pickford)
  • Joey Lauren Adams (Simone) and Rory Cochrane (slater)
    • He had a type… after filming, he dated Renee Zelwegger and stared with her in Empire Records.
  • Marisa Ribisi and Jason Lee – technically, he’s not in the movie and he was her assigned guardian… She was 17 and he was her 22-year-old boyfriend
  • Parker Posey (Darla) and Anthony Rapp (Tony)
  • Sasha Jenson (Don) and Cristin Hinjosa (Sabrina) – she was only 16 and he was 26.. But he’d lied to get the part and everyone thought he was 22… eeek
  • Jason London (Pink) and Chrisse Harnos (Kaye) – were dating before filming began
  • Deena DeLuca (Shivonne) and Peter Millius – also not in the movie but was working on sound
  • Michelle Burke Thomas (Jodi) and Cole Hauser (Benny)
  • Adam Goldberg (Mike) and Michelle Burke Thomas (Jodi) – though he was dating actress Clea Lewis (from the Ellen show)

5 Funny Behind the Scenes stories:

  1. Matthew McConaughey’s Dad died during filming and he shared how…

During the filming of Dazed and Confused, Matthew McConaughey (Wooderson) lost his father, James McConaughey—a former NFL player for the Green Bay Packers-cum-oil businessman. Filming on the movie was temporarily halted while McConaughey helped arrange and attend his father’s funeral.

They were in the act of lovemaking… his mom said at the funeral that he did get to finish. 

2. Ben Affleck broke his ankle

3. Drinking game – drink every time Wiley Wiggins touches the bridge of his nose (don’t though, you’ll die) total count – 42 times 

4. Jason London and Wiley Wiggins phone call about computers – Jason London needed help setting up his mac in the 2000-teens. He said his name and the person on the other end was Wiley Wiggins.

5. The lawsuit – Floyd, Wooderson, Slater

In October 2004, three former classmates of Linklater’s at Huntsville High School in Texas filed a defamation suit against Linklater, claiming that they were the basis of three central characters in the film, and that the filmmaker didn’t get their permission to use their likenesses/names. The men–Bobby Wooderson, Andy Slater, and Richard Floyd–but it was eventually dismissed. Really, only Slater had an issue.. The other two jumped on because they thought they might make a little money. 

The Soundtrack

The film is named after the Led Zeppelin song “Dazed and Confused.” Linklater approached the surviving members of Led Zeppelin for permission to use their tune in Dazed and Confused and, while Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones agreed, Robert Plant refused, so the idea was scrapped.

So what songs did make it on the soundtrack and into the movie?

  • Sweet Emotion by Aerosmith
  • School’s Out – Alice Cooper
  • Why Can’t We Be Friends – War
  • Stranglehold by Ted Nugent
  • No More Mr. Nice Guy – Alice Cooper
  • Free Ride – The Edgar Winter Group
  • Low Rider by War
  • Hurricane by Bob Dylan
  • Love Hurts by Nazareth
  • Slow Ride by Foghat
  • Rock & Roll Hoochie Koo by Rick Derringer
  • Show Me the Way – Peter Frampton
  • Summer Breeze – Seal and Crofts
  • Tuesday’s Gone – Lynard Skynard

When all was said and done, Approximately 1/6 of the film’s $6.9 million budget was used just to acquire the rights to many of the 70s hits used in the film.

Favorite Quotes

  • Alright, Alright, Alright
  • It’d be a whole lot cooler if ya did
  • That’s what I love about high school girls… I get older, they stay the same age (totally cringe today)
  • Just keep livin, man, L-I-V-I-N
  • Wipe that face off your head
  •  “OK, guys, one more thing: This summer, when you’re being inundated with all this American bicentennial Fourth Of July brouhaha, don’t forget what you’re celebrating, and that’s the fact that a bunch of slave-owning, aristocratic, white males didn’t want to pay their taxes.”
  • The car scene with Shovonne, Simone, and Darla: Simone “What a bitch! She called me a slut. I’m gonna kick her ass.” Darla: “You said you wouldn’t get mad.” Simone: “I’m not mad!”
  • “I only came here to do two things, man; Kick some ass and drink some beer. Looks like we’re almost outta beer.”

To listen to the full deep dive on The Watcher, check out our episode of Tell Me More: A deep dive on… on Apple or Spotify. Don’t forget to subscribe so you know exactly when each episode is released!


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