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What The Cast Of Spiderwick Chronicles Is Doing Today

In 2008, Paramount Pictures released "The Spiderwick Chronicles," a children's fantasy film about a group of siblings who encounter dangerous magical creatures after they discover a mysterious book in their new home. The film was based on the fantasy book franchise of the same name, which consists of two series of novels and several companion books. "The Spiderwick Chronicles" movie was directed by Mark Waters, known for such films as "Mean Girls" and "Freaky Friday," and was produced by Nickelodeon Movies. 

Though the film did receive solid reviews and made a decent amount of money at the box office, a sequel was never made, and the film was quickly forgotten. That's a shame, since the film does feature an incredibly strong cast, both in live-action roles and behind the voices of various magical creatures. Here's what some of the main cast members of "The Spiderwick Chronicles" have been up to since the film's release.

Freddy Highmore (Jared and Simon Grace)

The star of "The Spiderwick Chronicles" was Freddie Highmore, playing the dual role of twin brothers Jared and Simon Grace. The English actor has been in front of the camera since the early 2000s. He landed roles in several critically and commercially successful films like "Finding Neverland," "August Rush," and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."

As the actor has grown older and moved past roles in children's fare like "The Spiderwick Chronicles," he has become more known for his work on television. For five seasons, Highmore starred as Norman Bates in the "Psycho" prequel series "Bates Motel" on A&E alongside Vera Farmiga. Once that series ended, he quickly moved on to playing Dr. Shaun Murphy in ABC's "The Good Doctor."

Highmore continues to get work in small indie films as well, like "Almost Friends" and "The Art of Getting By." He has also lent his voice to several video games, though just about all of them are adaptations of movies he also starred in — including "The Spiderwick Chronicles."

Sarah Bolger (Mallory Grace)

Jared and Simon's older sister Mallory was played by Sarah Bolger, whose career has followed a fairly similar path to that of Highmore's, as both began acting in the early 2000s before joining "Spiderwick." 

Following that project, Bolger has become more well-known for her work in several big television series, though she continues to also work in film as well. Bolger played Mary Tudor on the Showtime series "The Tudors" and guest-starred as Princess Aurora on ABC's "Once Upon A Time." She also had a starring role as Jade on AMC's "Into The Badlands," and is currently starring as Emily Thomas on FX's "Mayans M.C."

Bolger's film credits span disparate genres, including horror films like "The Moth Diaries" and "The Lazarus Effect" as well as romantic comedies like "We Broke Up." She also provided the voice of Eleanor Lamb in the video game "Bioshock 2," as well as voicing her own character in "The Spiderwick Chronicles" video game adaptation alongside other former cast members.

Mary-Louise Parker (Helen Grace)

The new home that the Grace family moves into at the beginning of the film, the Spiderwick Estate, was inherited by their mother Helen, played by Mary-Louise Parker. Parker has done it all, from movies to television and even some runs on Broadway, and has been nominated for several awards in the process. Before the children's film, Parker gained recognition for her guest roles in "The West Wing" and "Angels In America."

When "The Spiderwick Chronicles" was released, Parker was already starring as Nancy Botwin in the hit Showtime series "Weeds." After the film's release, she continued to star in "Weeds" until the show ended in 2012, while appearing in films like "RED" and "Solitary Man" in between. She continued to work in television later on with guest spots on "Mr. Mercedes," "Billions," and "The Blacklist," as well as a handful of films. Parker is set to appear in the miniseries "Colin In Black & White," currently in post-production, and will reprise her role as Nancy in the upcoming "Weeds" reboot for Starz.

Andrew McCarthy (Richard Grace)

Helen's former husband and the father of Mallory and the twins is Richard, played by Andrew McCarthy, a big star in the '80s and '90s when he appeared in films like "Weekend at Bernie's," "The Joy Luck Club," "Pretty In Pink," and "St. Elmo's Fire." The 2000s brought several guest appearances on television shows like "Monk" and "Law & Order." "Spiderwick" was one of the few films he starred in during the late 2000s, amidst a slew of small-screen performances.

After the film, McCarthy continued to stick to television and made more appearances in dramas such as "White Collar" and "13 Reasons Why." Nowadays, he spends a lot of time in the director's chair for several different TV shows. Some of his directing credits include popular series like "Good Girls," "The Sinner," "Gossip Girl," and "Orange is the New Black." Outside of acting and directing, the '80s icon has written travel articles for several different publications. He has been married twice and has three children.

David Strathairn (Arthur Spiderwick)

The book that Jared, Simon, and Mallory stumble upon — the one that teaches them about the magical creatures they eventually encounter — was written by Arthur Spiderwick, played by David Strathairn. Strathairn is an accomplished film actor who has appeared in several critically-acclaimed movies like "LA Confidential," "The Firm," and "A League of Their Own." He was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as Edward R. Murrow in the George Clooney-directed film "Good Night, and Good Luck."

After his brief role in "The Spiderwick Chronicles," Strathairn made guest appearances in various television dramas such as "House" and "The Expanse," and has had starring roles in Academy Award-winning films like "Lincoln" and big-budget action vehicles like "Godzilla: King of the Monsters." Straithairn most recently had a supporting role in the 2021 winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, "Nomadland," in which he played another nomad who has feelings for Frances McDormand's main character. He's next set to appear in Guillermo del Toro's upcoming horror film "Nightmare Alley."

Joan Plowright (Lucinda Spiderwick)

When the Grace siblings discover the magical book, they seek out their Aunt Lucinda Spiderwick for help. Aunt Lucinda was played by actress Joan Plowright, one of the biggest English actresses of the 20th century. Plowright got her start on stage during the late '40s and quickly became a regular presence both on the stage and the screen all the way through the late 2000s.

Plowright's stage work includes performances in the London productions of "Much Ado About Nothing" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" as well as a Tony Award-winning role in "A Taste Of Honey." She has also had a multitude of roles in films and TV movies from the '80s and '90s. You can find her in such live-action films as "The Scarlet Letter" and "101 Dalmatians," hear her voice in animated films like "Dinosaur" and "Curious George," and witness her Academy Award-nominated performance in the 1991 comedy-drama "Enchanted April."

"The Spiderwick Chronicles" was one of the last films Plowright worked on before she retired. Her most recent appearance on screen was as herself in a 2018 documentary "Tea With The Dames," where she discussed her illustrious career with other British actresses like Maggie Smith and Judi Dench.

Nick Nolte (Mulgarath)

The main villain of "The Spiderwick Chronicles" is an ogre named Mulgarath, who plans on using Arthur's book for his own nefarious purposes. Mulgarath was voiced by actor Nick Nolte, an onscreen force who has been acting for a long time, lending his talents to such classics as "48 Hrs.," "Cape Fear," "The Thin Red Line," and "Hotel Rwanda." 

Some of Nolte's more notable post-"Spiderwick" film appearances include big-budget action films like "Gangster Squad" and "Angel Has Fallen," but his voice roles have taken him all the way to the other side of the spectrum, landing Nolte's tones in children's movies such as "Zookeeper" and "Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore." Nolte has also been busy on TV, landing a leading role as former president Richard Graves in the Epix series "Graves," and providing the voice of the Ugnaught Kuiil on Disney+'s "The Mandalorian." His next film, "Blackout," is currently in post-production.

Ron Perlman - Redcap

Every villain needs a second-in-command to help them carry out their plans, and in "The Spiderwick Chronicles," Mulgarath has his trusty sidekick Redcap to help him. Ron Perlman went uncredited for his voice work as Redcap, which is surprising considering that he is a very accomplished actor and vocal star.

Perlman has been the voice of several fan-favorite characters on animated series, from Vice Principal Lancer on "Danny Phantom" to the formidable Slade on "Teen Titans." As for Perlman's live-action work, he's instantly recognizable (even without the red skin) as the half-demon superhero Hellboy, playing the character in two theatrical films under the direction of Guillermo del Toro, and voicing him in several direct-to-DVD features. Perlman was also a main cast member on FX's "Sons of Anarchy," playing complicated former SOA President Clarence "Clay" Morrow. 

His most recent voice acting credits include "Tangled: The Series" and "American Dad," for which he's voiced multiple characters. Back in the real world, one of Perlman's most recent live-action film roles was 2020's "Monster Hunter." But he's nowhere near done yet, with several films and TV shows in post-production that utilize both his live-action and vocal talents. These include two more Guillermo Del Toro films, "Nightmare Alley" and "Pinocchio," and Adam McKay's next film, "Don't Look Up."

Martin Short - Thimbletack

Not all the magical creatures the Grace siblings encounter are bad. One of them, a Brownie named Thimbletack, helps them on their quest to protect the book. Thimbletack was voiced by Martin Short, a funnyman best known for classic films like "The Three Amigos" and "Innerspace," as well as comedy series like "SCTV" and Comedy Central's "Primetime Glick," which he created and starred in, albeit under heavy make-up.

Like Perlman, Short is a well-known voice actor who has appeared in several kids' movies. These include "Frankenweenie," "The Addams Family," and "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted." His live-action appearances include films like Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice" and television series like "The Morning Show" and "Schmigadoon!." 

Short's latest project once again pairs him alongside longtime friend Steve Martin. Along with Selena Gomez, the trio lead the new Hulu true crime-comedy series "Only Murders In The Building," which follows a group of podcast enthusiasts who take it upon themselves to solve the murder of one of their neighbors.

Seth Rogen - Hogsqueal

The other magical creature who helps the Grace children is a Hobgoblin named Hogsqueal, who hopes to get revenge on Mulgarath for killing his family. The role of Hogsqueal was performed by Seth Rogen, a face (and in this case, a voice) easily recognized by most anyone who has watched a Hollywood comedy film in the last decade or so. Since his early days on shows like "Freaks and Geeks" and "Undeclared," Rogen's career took off with 2007's "Knocked Up," then soared to new highs with films like "Superbad," "Pineapple Express" and "This Is the End" — all of which he not only acted in, but also co-wrote.

You can find him in R-rated comedies like "Neighbors" and "Long Shot," hear him in children's movies like 2019's "The Lion King" and the "Kung Fu Panda" films, and — as a showcase of his versatility — catch him in dramas such as "Steve Jobs" and "Funny People." Rogen's work behind the camera is also prolific. In addition to those aforementioned writing credits, Rogen has also served as the executive producer of television series including AMC's "Preacher," Hulu's "Future Man," Showtime's "Black Monday," and Amazon Prime's "The Boys" and "Invincible."