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What The Cast Of Encino Man Is Doing Today

Allow us a moment to get prehistoric and envision the destruction a caveman would unleash on a gas station burrito; our imagination runs wild but fails to match the majesty of the 1992 cult classic "Encino Man." Not only does the movie give us a glimpse into the paleolithic eating habits of our ancestors, but also displays why Brendan Fraser gets a pass for life in the eyes of latchkey kids everywhere. "Encino Man" tells the story of a caveman who gets frozen in ice and is unthawed thousands of years later by two high school kids attempting to dig their own backyard pool. The wily cave dweller gets a crash course in modern day humanity while unintentionally imparting his descendants with wisdom on how to better enjoy what life has to offer.

Watching the film today releases a wave of 90s nostalgia — complete with a young Samwise Gamgee before he was charged with carrying Frodo to glory — all while reminding us of the questionable public favor of Pauly Shore. It has been decades since one of our favorite VHS tapes was subjected to an endurance test and "Encino Man" remains a lighthearted giggle fest. The cult film hit the sweet spot for a young demographic and catapulted the careers of several prominent actors who are still keeping busy in Hollywood. We couldn't resist our curiosity and perused the interwebs to find out what the cast of "Encino Man" is up to nowadays.

Sean Astin as Dave

Dave (Sean Astin) is a high school student with the face of a 21-year-old who desperately wants a taste of popularity. Enduring his formative years as best he can, mostly by pining over his love interest and childhood friend, Robyn (Megan Ward), Dave sets to digging a pool in his backyard with the thought he can throw a raging party for prom. Dave discovers a sub-zero sarcophagus while digging and when the giant ice cube thaws away to reveal a caveman who is alive and kicking, Dave and his buddy Stoney (Pauly Shore) give him a bath and enroll him at Encino High. The ensuing hijinks are annoying and unamusing to Dave but he winds up learning a thing or two about friendship.

Sean Astin was the actor charged with embodying all Dave's teenage angst. After "Encino Man" he would be immortalized in everyone's eyes as our favorite underdog in 1993's "Rudy" and as the leader of "The Goonies." But most audiences recognize Astin as the fiercely loyal Sam, who accompanies Elijah Wood's Frodo Baggins in "The Lord of The Rings" trilogy. He also had a hilarious role in "50 First Dates" as Doug Whitmore and more recently appeared as the charming Bob Newby in Season 2 of "Stranger Things." Up next for the Hollywood veteran is another addition to his prolific voice acting resume with a role in the animated "Man and Witch," as well as a prominent live-action role in "iMordecai."

Brendan Fraser as Link

There was a period of time when you couldn't look at a movie poster without seeing Brendan Fraser's face on it and that all started with "Encino Man." It is the sort of fish-out-of-water tale that became a staple of his acting career. As the caveman that Dave and Stoney thaw out and name Link (a nod to "the missing link"), Fraser speaks sparsely and relies heavily on physical comedy: mostly guzzling hot salsa and fighting inanimate objects. Turns out having zero inhibitions is a pretty cool trait to have in high school and Link winds up being the hippest kid around. 

Somewhere in the 2000s, Fraser's stardom faded a bit. The story behind his waning glory is tragic — mostly stemming from a litany of health issues due to his relentless filming schedule, according to a 2018 interview with GQ. A resurgence in recent years revealed a different Brendan Fraser who has grown into a talented character actor. In 2019, he starred in HBO's "Doom Squad" as a jaded race car driver who has his brain transplanted into a steampunk-esque cyborg. Fraser also appeared as a fixer, of sorts, in the acclaimed series "Trust." Up next is a major role in "Brothers," alongside Josh Brolin and Glenn Close. Fraser is also slated for roles in "Killers of the Flower Moon," "Behind the Curtain of Night," and "The Whale." In between his busy schedule, he spends time on his ranch in Bedford, New York where he cares for a horse he rescued from a set in Mexico.

Pauly Shore as Stoney

There were few stars as quirky and enigmatic as Pauly Shore in the '90s, and "Encino Man" launched a successful movie career for the comedian. Shore plays Stoney, a strange maverick comes across as a free spirit yanked out of the 1960s. His signature persona is one he refers to as The Weasel: a bizarro alter ego with a tragic misunderstanding of the basic food groups. Stoney is a loyal friend who cares more about treating Link as a companion in the journey of life — unlike Dave, who seeks to use Link as a way to achieve popularity. Regardless of how you feel about Shore's later films, it is hard not to enjoy the comedy antics he unleashes in "Encino Man."

Pauly Shore comes from comedy royalty: his family founded the renowned Comedy Store in Los Angeles. This helped lead him down a road to movie stardom. Following the success of "Encino Man," Shore was elevated to leading man in subsequent films such as "Bio-Dome," "Son in Law," "Jury Duty," while he also had a hilarious voice role in "Goofy Movie." His fame dropped off drastically after a few bombs but a rabid fan base has kept his career alive and well, allowing him to stay busy working in comedy clubs across the country. Most recently you can spot Shore playing an aging party animal in "Guest House," as well as a small part in the star-studded film "How It Ends."

Megan Ward as Robyn

The girl next door in "Encino Man" comes in the form of the adorable Robyn, played by Megan Ward. She is the source of Dave's romantic obsession and at first seems like a typical high school teenage girl, attempting to save face by detaching from her childhood spent as friends with Dave. But when her boyfriend, Matt (Michael DeLuise), beats up Link and Dave at the ice rink, she decides she wants nothing more to do with the bully. Unfortunately for Dave though, she still wants to hang with the coolest of the cool at Encino High and that title now belongs to Link. We're not sure where the emotional shift occurs, but by the closing credits she decides that Dave should be the one who deserves a kiss.

Megan Ward, like her co-stars, saw a successful run following "Encino Man." She appeared in a hearty number of episodes in some prominent shows in the '90s, including "Party of Five," "Melrose Place," and "West Wing." Her biggest claim to fame in recent years has been as a series regular on "General Hospital" for over 300 episodes. She isn't as active in the industry as she once was but up next is a starring role in the feature film "Teller's Camp."

Robin Tunney as Ella

Almost more memorable than Robyn, the primary love interest, is Robyn's close friend, Ella. She is the source of some light foreshadowing when Mr. Brush discusses the primal mannerisms of Cro-Magnon Man and the girl's only response is "That's hot." The moment Link steps into the high school arena he sets his sights on Ella, operating purely on instinct and physical attraction, but most of her advances remain unrequited. Link is much too distracted by painting cave drawings with ketchup and mustard to continue the romantic tango.

"Encino Man" marked the first feature film for Robin Tunney. Her success only grew from there with a role in "Empire Records," followed by a starring role in the massively successful cult film "The Craft." She appeared alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in "End of Days" and starred in the blockbuster hit "Vertical Limit." In recent years, Tunney has kept busy working as a series regular on "The Mentalist" and with a role in the Netflix film "Horse Girl." While she doesn't currently have anything on her acting schedule, it is highly likely we will be seeing more from Tunney. A recent New York Times article and her healthy social media presence (where she sports over 400,000 followers) shows that most of her time nowadays is spent enjoying being a new mother.

Michael DeLuise as Matt

The testosterone-loaded bully named Matt is the driving force behind most of the drama in "Encino Man." In response to his alpha male status at school being threatened, Matt staples Dave to the wall, embarrasses him at the ice rink, and punches Link in the face. The outbursts result in his girlfriend, Robyn, leaving him, so he breaks into Dave's house and steals proof of Link's origins. When he reveals the truth about who Link actually is at prom, the only response he receives is a resounding cheer from the other students and a quick role reversal that sends him sailing face first into a pile of cake.

Matt was played by Michael DeLuise. The actor fully embodied the role of an early '90s bully, complete with spiked hair and tight shirt tucked into his dorky jeans. DeLuise had a small role in the massively successful "Wayne's World" that same year, but nothing that led him to the superstardom of many of his co-stars. There were appearances in shows such as "NYPD Blue," "Stargate SG-1," and "Gilmore Girls." His acting resume hasn't had any additions since he appeared in an episode of "Bunheads" in 2013, but nowadays he spends his time traveling the world and has found some success as a talented painter.

Rick Ducommun as Mr. Brush

One of the unsung heroes of "Encino Man" is that of Dave and Stoney's teacher, Mr. Brush. His lesson on Cro-Magnon Man is the knowledge we need to move forward through the film properly informed. The narration that leads to the dramatic moment in the museum (where Link discovers his truth) is practically dictated by Mr. Brush as he leads his class on a field trip through prehistoric history. He steps into the plot long enough to present us with the proper exposition and then fades back into the background. This is a goofy movie about high school angst after all; we can't have these stuffy grownups cramping our style too much.

The role called for a talented thespian who we could find instantly endearing, yet remain a background character who falls to the wayside as the plot develops. Rick Ducommun was the character actor hired for the role of Mr. Brush. If you found yourself proclaiming, "Hey, isn't that the one guy from that one thing?" you are probably right. Ducommun played memorable roles in a number of popular crowdpleasers, including "Spaceballs," "Die Hard," and "Groundhog Day." He also appeared in the first "Scary Movie" and played the lovable chauffeur in the cult hit "Blank Check." Unfortunately, Ducommun's last role was in 2004, when he appeared in the lackluster "Funky Monkey." He passed away in 2015 after suffering from complications due to diabetes.

Ke Huy Quan as Kim

A glaring representation of the high school hierarchy is seen in Kim, a student desperately seeking more members for his after-school club. Kim is picked on by skaters and jocks alike in "Encino Man." When Link begins climbing the popularity ladder at school, he shows that he intends to remain true to himself by taking Kim under his wing after some light hazing from the boombox duo that is always dancing to early 90's hip-hop.

Kim was played by Ke Huy Quan, a man with a sporadic and truly enigmatic acting career. He solidified his place in pop culture with his memorable role as Data in "The Goonies," but he started his acting career as Short Round, the sidekick to the most famous fictional archaeologist of our time in "Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom." Following the success of "Encino Man," Quan stepped out of the limelight. He had one credit in 2002, appearing in the feature film "Second Time Around," but after that we wouldn't see him in front of the camera for almost 20 years. In 2021 Quan took on the role of George Phan in the film "Finding 'Ohana." Up next on his acting schedule is the film "Everything Everywhere All at Once" alongside Jamie Lee Curtis and Michelle Yeoh.

Rose McGowan as Nora

In one of those blink-and-you'll-miss-it moments, a side character at Encino High is played by Rose McGowan, where she appears as high school student Nora. We see her multiple times amidst the students marveling at the ridiculousness being unleashed by Link. She may not be a key member of the cast or narrative, but she helps set up the social dynamics at Encino High. "Encino Man" marked McGowan's first credited feature film appearance. 

McGowan went on to appear with Pauly Shore again in the sophomoric comedy "Bio-Dome." Her fame stems mainly from her role in the blockbuster hit "Scream," followed by significant parts in "The Black Dahlia" and "Grindhouse." She had a major role in the "Conan The Barbarian" remake with Jason Momoa and does a solid amount of voice work for video games like "Call of Duty."  Most notably, in recent years, McGowan has been center stage in the #MeToo movement as one of the first to speak out about the sexual misconduct of Harvey Weinstein. Up next for McGowan is a starring role in "Sleepwalk," which she is also directing.

Richard Masur as Mr. Morgan

One of the biggest questions we had while watching Dave try to dig his way to glory was what kind of parents allow their kids to dig up their entire backyard in pursuit of high school popularity? When we meet his father, Mr. Morgan (played by Richard Masur), it all makes sense. He is indifferent to the chaos brewing in his household. Rather than unleashing a lecture on why they can't have nice things, he coasts dryly through the plot. His mundane presence perfectly represents the boundless freedom kids in the early '90s possessed. 

Richard Masur has been a staple of Hollywood for decades. He started his career in the '70s and went on to appear in iconic films such as "The Thing" and "Risky Business," as well as TV series like "One Day at a Time," "Picket Fences," and "All My Children." He continues to stay busy today, with recent roles in "The Good Wife" and "Orange is The New Black." Masur currently doesn't have any new projects on his acting schedule, but recently appeared in the feature film "Before/During/After."

Erick Avari as Raji

When Stoney sets off to teach Link a thing or two about dining in the 20th century, the chosen locale is a nearby gas station. They set themselves to raiding the candy aisle and guzzling slushies, much to the dismay of one of the store's owners, Raji (Erick Avari). It is a hilarious and iconic moment when we see Raji poking his head over the counter and yelling at Stoney and Link while they pour the icy beverage down their throats, "No! No weezing the juice!" 

Erick Avari, the actor chosen to play Raji, is a familiar face we have seen in films and TV series for the past several decades. His most memorable role was as Kasuf, the town leader in the blockbuster "Stargate" — a role he reprised for several episodes of "Stargate SG-1." Avari also had prominent roles in films like "Mr. Deeds" and "Paul Blart: Mall Cop." He most recently played Nicodemus in the TV series "The Chosen."