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Where The Cast Of O Brother, Where Art Thou? Is Now

Since breaking into Hollywood with 1984's immaculate neo-noir drama "Blood Simple," Joel and Ethan Coen (aka the Coen Brothers) have gone on to craft one of the most adventurous filmographies in the history of cinema. They've also delivered one of the more singularly independent oeuvres, with wildly off-kilter offerings like 1987's "Raising Arizona," 1990's "Miller's Crossing," 1998's "The Big Lebowski," and 2013's "Inside Llewyn Davis" positing the brothers ever on the fringes of the mainstream.

The Coens have, however, on occasion stumbled up mainstream success, most notably with 1996's iconic crime drama "Fargo," 2007's nihilistic masterpiece "No Country For Old Men," and 2010's retro-Western remake "True Grit," all of which scored big both at the box office and on the awards season circuit. And then there's 2000's depression-era comedy "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," which found the brothers borrowing from Homer's epic poem "The Odyssey" in service of telling the tale of three dimwitted escaped convicts supposedly on the hunt for a lost treasure. 

When "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" hit theaters in the Summer of '98, it quickly found favor with audiences who adored the film's charmingly off-beat, old-timey tale of redemption as much as its down-home, era-specific soundtrack. They clearly adored the brilliant cast of "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" just as much, which was chock full of fresh Coen Bros. stars, and collaborators well-versed in their unique cinematic stylings. Here's where the cast of "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" is today. 

George Clooney has conquered Hollywood on all fronts since O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Of all the new faces to the Coen-verse that turned up in "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," George Clooney was arguably among the most surprising. The actor had, of course, spent the bulk of the '90s transforming himself from a fringe Hollywood player to a full-blown leading man behind his star-making turn on NBC's medical drama "ER," and memorable big-screen appearances in 1998's "Out of Sight" and 1999's "Three Kings." He'd hardly proven himself as a comedic talent, however, leaving many Coen diehards wondering if he could carry the sort of quirk the brothers have become renowned for.

Any worries about Clooney's comedic chops were laid quickly to rest early in the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" action – round about the time the actor's frazzled, hilariously contorted facade first poked into the frame as the Dapper Dan-loving Everett McGill. From there, Clooney delivered one of the funniest and strongest performances of his career. In the years since, he's gone on to work with Joel and Ethan Coen on three more movies: 2003's "Intolerable Cruelty," 2008's "Burn After Reading," and 2016's "Hail Caesar!" He's obviously become one of the biggest movie stars on the planet too, fronting blockbusters aplenty and even winning an Academy Award for 2005's "Syriana." He's earned just as many raves behind the camera too, directing lauded films like 2002's "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," 2005's "Good Night, and Good Luck," and Netflix's 2020 hit "The Midnight Sky."

John Turturro has remained one of the most fiercely independent filmmakers around

By the time Clooney's esteemed co-star John Turturro signed on to "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," he'd already established himself as a fiercely independent actor as comfortable working in high drama as broad comedy. He'd also become a Coen regular, having appeared in the brother's 1990 mob drama "Miller's Crossing," their 1991 Cannes winner "Barton Fink," and their 1998 cult comedy "The Big Lebowski." And his work as the crotchety Pete Hogwallop in "O Brother" only cemented Turturro's rep as an actor uniquely tuned to the Coen's singular cinematic sensibilities.

Oddly enough, John Turturro hasn't worked with Joel and Ethan Coen since, though one can only imagine it's more a matter of when, and not if the brothers call him back to duty. Even still, Turturro recently reprised one of his most beloved Coen characters on the big screen, again portraying the trash-talking "The Big Lebowski" bowler Jesus Quintana in 2019's crime comedy "The Jesus Rolls," which he also directed. He's also remained true to his indie roots, working often with his frequent director Spike Lee, and featuring prominently in low-budget confections of all genres.

Turturro has been no particular stranger to big-budget films either, making appearances in the "Transformers" franchise, and working frequently with blockbuster funnyman Adam Sandler. Just FYI, he's also set to appear as Carmine Falcone in Matt Reeves' "The Batman," and will voice a character in Guillermo del Toro's upcoming stop-motion movie "Pinnochio." 

Tim Blake Nelson has become a low-key star since his O Borther, Where Art Thou? breakout

While most moviegoers were familiar with George Clooney and John Turturro before "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" was released, it's safe to assume just the opposite of the third member of the film's hilariously inept escape party. And more than any other actor in the film, Tim Blake Nelson can call "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" a legitimate breakout moment, with the then relatively unknown performer stealing scenes, and earning some of the film's biggest laughs as the lovably dimwitted doofus Delmar O'Donnell.

While Tim Blake Nelson had made a couple of notable screen appearances prior to "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" his street cred understandably sky-rocketed after, and the talented multi-hyphenate filmmaker has been working steadily on projects of all shapes and sizes in the years since. That includes a list of indie flicks too numerous to name here, and spots in a pair of Marvel movies to boot, though those spots, unfortunately, came in 2008's divisive "The Incredible Hulk," and 2015's disastrous "Fantastic Four." Most recently, Nelson re-teamed with the Coens as a singing, gun-slinging cowboy for 2018's "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs," and burned up the screen as The Looking Glass in HBO's immaculate 2019 superhero series "Watchmen."

Looking ahead, Tim Blake Nelson is set to join his "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" co-star John Turturro for Guillermo del Toro's stop-motion "Pinnochio," and will also feature prominently the director's live-action thriller "Nightmare Alley."  

John Goodman has dazzled on screens big and small over the years

As mentioned, "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" is loosely based on "The Odyssey." And one of the more clever character re-imaginings the Coens conjured in adapting the epic was their take on the story's nefarious Cyclops, portrayed in the film by a fast-talking, eye-patched John Goodman. Like John Turturro, John Goodman was a well-established player in Hollywood prior to appearing in "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," rising to prominence on the classic sitcom "Rosanne." Likewise, Goodman was also a Coen Bros. regular, having appeared in 1987's "Raising Arizona," and alongside Turturro himself in both "Barton Fink," and "The Big Lebowksi."

While Goodman's role in "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" is brief, the actor makes the most of his limited screen time, delivering a performance as intriguing in its intellectual whimsy as it is in its brute-force grit. Goodman has brought that same sort of duality to virtually every role he's claimed since, playing for laughs and for drama in such small screen delights as "The West Wing," "Community," and "The Righteous Gemstones." As for Goodman's film work since "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," he's been as busy as any actor in showbiz, with highlights including 2012's Best Picture-winning "Argo," 2016's marvelous mystery-box thriller "10 Cloverfield Lane," and 2017's blockbuster monster movie "Kong: Skull Island." And that's not even to mention his voice work in Pixar's smash hit 2001 offering "Monsters," and a Coen Brothers reunion for their critically adored "Inside Llewyn Davis."  

Holly Hunter has continued to be one of the best-respected actors in film and television

Speaking of Coen Bros. regulars, count "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" supporting player Holly Hunter among them. In the film, Hunter portrays the beleaguered wife of Clooney's Everett, who's not particularly pleased to see him when he finally tracks her and his many children down late in the action. Like John Goodman, Hunter doesn't have a ton of screen time in "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," but she makes the most of every hilarious moment she has, chewing up the scenery as the fearsome matriarch of the McGill clan (or Wharvey, if you prefer).

"O Brother, Where Art Thou?" actually served as a sort of reunion for Goodman and Hunter, who both appeared in the Coen's "Raising Arizona." In between her Coen Bros. gigs, Hunter actually became an Oscar winner, netting a Best Actress statue in 1994 for her work in Jane Campion's "The Piano." And even as "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" found Hunter playing for laughs, she's continued to largely err on the side of drama in the years since, playing worrisome mother to Evan Rachel Wood's wayward teen in 2003's "Thirteen," sharing the screen with Elisabeth Moss in Campion's searing crime series "Top of the Lake," and recently wrapping a brilliant supporting run on HBO's hit drama "Succession." And just like Goodman, Hunter indeed found favor with Pixar animation, voicing Elastigirl in both "The Incredibles" movies.   

Since O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Stephen Root has been one of the best loved supporting players in showbiz

Given the wide range of topics and time periods the films of the Coen Bros. cover, the pair understandably have an affinity for versatile performers of the "character actor" mold. "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" marked their first time working with Stephen Root, but the actor had spent the bulk of the 1990s carving out an impressive career in just such a capacity, breaking out with legendary comedic turns on the NBC sitcom "News Radio," and Mike Judge's classic workplace comedy "Office Space."

"O Brother, Where Art Thou?" found Root portraying the blind man who records The Soggy Bottom Boys' smash hit "The Man of Constant Sorrow." Though his role is little more than a cameo, Root is more than memorable as the crafty radioman. The Coens, at least, were impressed, having cast Root in several projects since, including 2004's "The Ladykillers" and "No Country for Old Men." If you've been tracking Root's career, you know he's kept exceedingly busy over the years, stealing scenes in broad comedies like 2004's "Dodgeball," and voicing characters in Pixar's "Finding Nemo" films (he's Bubbles), and Judge's long-running Fox animated series "King of the Hill," (he's Bill, Buck, and many more). 

Of late, fans no doubt recognize Root for his more dramatic turns in lauded HBO series "Boardwalk Empire," "Barry" and "Perry Mason," with the actor also once again playing blind for Jordan Peele in the director's instant horror classic "Get Out."