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Whatever Happened To The Sky High Cast?

Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe gave people an endless supply of mainstream superheroes, audiences fell in love with one-off superhero masterpieces like "Sky High." In 2005, Disney released a quirky film about superpowered teenagers going to a floating high school in order to train to become either heroes or sidekicks. "Sky High" was not just a great superhero film, but also a fantastic coming-of-age story about finding one's own sense of self-worth. The film made its mark on an entire generation of superhero fans, and it remains one of the best examples of the genre.

The film owes its success in large part to its cast. The adults in the film were mostly played by established names like Kurt Russell, Kelly Preston, and Bruce Campbell, but the real talent on display came from the young actors playing the students. After the film, some left acting for other pursuits, some continued working for years, and others stepped right into the cultural zeitgeist. Here's what happened to the cast of "Sky High."

Michael Angarano (Will Stronghold)

Michael Angarano starred in "Sky High" as Will Stronghold, son of The Commander and Jetstream, whose late-blooming powers land him on the sidekick track at his new school. Angarano was only 18 when "Sky High" first debuted, but by that point he'd already made over half a dozen TV appearances and had won several film roles, including a spot in Cameron Crowe's music-themed classic "Almost Famous."

"Sky High" was really just the beginning of Angarano's film career. Over the next decade, he appeared in more than a dozen films including "The Forbidden Kingdom" and "The Stanford Prison Experiment." He also kept up an impressive television career with recurring roles in "24," "The Knick," "Will & Grace," and "I'm Dying Up Here." These days the 33 year old is still acting and can currently be seen as a recurring cast member in NBC's hit drama "This Is Us."

Danielle Panabaker (Layla)

Danielle Panabaker landed her role in "Sky High," which was her first feature film, just a few years into her acting career. After the movie, she spent the rest of the 2000s making a variety of film appearances, from "Yours, Mine, and Ours" to the 2009 reboot of "Friday the 13th." The early 2010s saw Panabaker in a number of short-lived TV series, most notably "Necessary Roughness" and FX's western-themed "Justified."

Of course, these days the 34-year-old Panabaker is best known for her work in the CW's Arrowverse shows as Caitlin Snow, or her supervillain alter-ego Killer Frost. She first appeared in the role as a guest star in the second season of "Arrow." When CW created the spinoff show "The Flash," Panabaker joined as a main cast member. Since then she's appeared in multiple episodes of "Arrow," "DC's Legends of Tomorrow," and "Supergirl."

Panabaker has been vocal about her willingness to come back to the world of "Sky High" for a sequel film. In 2019 she told International Business Times that she would be "a thousand percent" interested in making a sequel. "I'd like to think that maybe they're teachers at 'Sky High' because it's been long enough that they could go back and teach," she said. So far there aren't any solid plans for a sequel, but the door remains open.

Kevin Heffernan (Ron Wilson)

Kevin Heffernan had already starred in "Super Troopers" by the time he got a part in "Sky High," and he put his comedic experience to excellent use bringing school bus driver Ron Wilson's unabashed excitement to life. Just like the audience watching "Sky High," Ron is an enthusiastic fan of all things superhero. Getting to "drive" the next generation of heroes to Sky High every morning is a dream come true for Ron, and by the end of the film, he gets his own opportunity to be a hero. 

In the years since "Sky High," Kevin Heffernan has continued putting his talents to work in comedies. He's made guest appearances in some of the biggest sitcoms of the past two decades like "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "How I Met Your Mother," and "Veep." His film roles, which include "Strange Wilderness" and "The Babymakers," have had a similarly comedic bend.

Currently, fans can catch up with Heffernan on "Tacoma FD." He created the series with the help of Steve Lemme, and the two of them lead the show as Chief Terry McConky and Captain Eddie Penisi. The series is currently airing its third season on truTV.

Dee Jay Daniels (Ethan)

Dee Jay Daniels had a prolific career as a child actor. He got his start in NBC's "In the House" with LL Cool J. From there, he went on to appear in several different shows over the next decade. Most notably, Daniels had a starring role on "The Hughleys" from 1998 to 2002. 

"Sky High" was Daniels's first and last film role. His character Ethan was part of the group of sidekicks at the core of the film, and despite his impressive and hilarious performance, Daniels struggled to find more work as he got older.

In an extended 2021 interview with Vlad TV, Daniels opened up about his struggles with acting. Fans were shocked to see that over the years, Daniels covered his face in tattoos, and he explained that the decision was made partly in response to his lagging acting career. Daniels also talked about a dramatic incident in his life when he was arrested on suspicion of murder in 2012. It didn't take long for Daniels to be acquitted, but the experience left a massive impression on him. Nowadays Daniels is starting to pursue a rap career, and he says that he's always open to returning to acting.

Kelly Vitz (Magenta)

Who could forget Magenta, the shapeshifter that can only become a guinea pig? Kelly Vitz's character in "Sky High" had one of the most memorable powers and definitely the most memorable hair style. Magenta was put on the sidekick track with the film's other protagonists, and she helped to prove that anyone, no matter their powers, has the opportunity to be a hero. 

Vitz had a short-lived acting career that began in 2002 when she made an appearance on the show "Lizzie McGuire." Her next role came in "Sky High," and after that she landed roles in "Eye of the Dolphin," the horror film "Simon Says," "Nancy Drew," and "Teenius." Her final film role was as Ailes Gilmour in the 2010 film "Leonie." According to her IMDB bio, that was the same year Vitz graduated from the University of California Berkeley with a degree in Public Health. At that point she left acting behind to pursue other career goals.

Nicholas Braun (Zach)

Few actors from "Sky High" have kept as busy as Nicholas Braun, who was just 17 when the film was first released. Braun told BuzzFeed that he was with two of his friends when he got the call that he'd landed his role in "Sky High," and he couldn't contain his excitement. "I screamed and yelled," Braun said, adding, "I still feel that way, though, when I get a part." If that's the case, Braun has spent a good amount of time yelling and screaming in excitement.

After "Sky High," Braun spent a handful of years bouncing between television shows before landing a recurring role on "10 Things I Hate About You." From there, he went on to star in "Friend Me" before turning his attention to the big screen in films like "The Stanford Prison Experiment" with fellow "Sky High" alum Michael Angarano, "How to Be Single," and "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot." 

Braun has kept just as busy in recent years. In 2020, he starred in two feature films: "Zola" and "The Big Ugly." Since 2018, he's been a main cast member on "Succession," which is currently airing its third season on HBO.

Malika Haqq (Penny)

Malika Haqq started acting in commercials and TV shows at a young age. By the early 2000s, she was used to the grind of auditions and faceless casting directors — so much so that when she and her twin sister Khadijah auditioned for "Sky High," they didn't even realize it was a feature film. "​​We actually thought the movie was going to go straight to the Disney Channel," Haqq told E! Online. "And out of all of those options, we felt so blessed and overwhelmed to learn that ... 'Sky High' was going to be our first film."

Haqq has starred in a few more feature films in the years since "Sky High." Most recently, she appeared in the 2016 film "Definitely Divorcing." However, Haqq is best known for her recurring role in the reality TV series "Keeping Up with the Kardashians." She's been part of the show since Season 2, and she was a main cast member on the spinoff series "Dash Dolls."

Khadijah Haqq McCray (Penny)

Just like her sister, Khadijah Haqq McCray's big break came when she was cast in "Sky High." The two of them tried out for the film together, and McCray told E! Online that she felt they "had an up" in the audition process because of how close the two of them were. Haqq also said that while working on the film she and her sister shared a glam trailer with Kurt Russell who was "so amazing" and acted as an inspiration and mentor to the young actresses. 

McCray went on to star in the films "ATL" in 2006 and "20 Years After" in 2008. Her last acting role was in an episode of Kevin Hart's "Real Husbands of Hollywood" in 2013, but like her sister, McCray has appeared on "Keeping with the Kardashians" and co-starred on "Dash Dolls." In 2010 she married NFL defensive end Bobby McCray. In a January 2021 Instagram post, she and her husband announced the birth of their third child.

Jake Sandvig (Lash)

Jake Sandvig was only 19 when "Sky High" arrived in theaters, and it marked his second feature film. His first, "The Story of Us," starred Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer, and it came out when Sandvig was just 13 years old. Between the two films, Sandvig showed up in a few episodes of various television shows, but after "Sky High" his acting career really started to heat up.

Sandvig had recurring roles on "Cracking Up" and "Twenty Good Years." His next major film role came in 2010's "Easy A," and a year later he wrote and starred in the film "A Bag of Hammers." After that, Sandvig returned to television, moving from "Weeds" to "CSI" to USA's "Rush." In 2014 he starred in the TV movie "Living the Dream." Three years later, he appeared in "Bridal Boot Camp" and "Hometown Hero" which aired on the Hallmark Channel. 

Will Harris (Speed)

Will Harris entered the acting world in 2005 with two feature films: "Sky High" and the John Travolta crime comedy "Be Cool." Harris followed up his exciting debut with "On Broadway" and "Awaken the Dead" in 2007. After that, he spent much of his time acting in various television series. He made guest appearances on some of the most popular shows of the decade like "CSI," "Community," and "Friday Night Lights."

Harris's pace has never slowed down. While continuing to make guest appearances on a variety of shows throughout the 2010s, Harris also lent his talent to the films "In Time" and "Sharon 1.2.3." In January 2021, he made a guest appearance on ABC's crime drama "The Rookie," which stars Nathan Fillion. He'll also once again be appearing in two movies in one year: the crime drama "No Man of God" with Elijah Wood and the horror film "Shot in the Dark."

Steven Strait (Warren Peace)

Steven Strait was fresh out of high school and just 18 years old when he joined the cast of "Sky High." It was his first feature film and only his second professional acting credit after a guest appearance on the "Third Watch" episode "Requiem for a Bantamweight" in 2001. Strait followed up the role with a run of feature films over the next five years that included "Undiscovered," "The Covenant," "10,000 B.C.," "Stop-Loss," and "City Island."

Since 2015, Strait has starred in the SyFy/Amazon Prime series "The Expanse," based on the hit series of novels by James S.A. Corey. In a December 2020 interview with Geeks of Color, Strait was asked if he'd ever consider reprising his role as Warren Peace if Disney revived "Sky High" in some way. Strait said that he's absolutely open to the idea, adding, "I loved that experience, and they're awesome people!"

Jim Rash (Mr. Grayson)

As one of the few adults cast in "Sky High," Jim Rash already had over a decade of acting experience when he joined the film. Most notably, from 2002 through 2006 he had a recurring role as Fenton on "That '70s Show." Though he'd maintained a steady stream of roles up to that point, Rash's career was in many ways just getting started.

Four years after "Sky High," Rash joined the cast of "Community" as Dean Pelton, a role that he would continue playing through the show's entire run. He's made non-stop appearances in TV shows and movies for the past decade. Most recently he's been the voice of Flix in "Star Wars Resistance" and the Riddler in the HBO Max "Harley Quinn" series. According to IMDB, Rash will be featured in the Billy Eichner and Nicholas Stoller film "BROS," which is set to release sometime in 2022.

Dave Foley (Mr. Boy)

Dave Foley is probably best known for the work he did before "Sky High." Foley and Kevin McDonald formed sketch comedy troupe "The Kids in the Hall" in 1984, and in 1988 they were given a show which ran until 1995 (via IMDB). "The Kids in the Hall" is set for a revival in 2022, but Foley has kept himself plenty busy in the years since it went off the air.

In addition to starring in the occasional feature film, Foley has spent a majority of his time making guest appearances on everyone's favorite TV shows. He's taken on live-action series like "How I Met Your Mother" and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," as well as animated shows like "Robot Chicken" and "Dan Vs." In 2021 alone, Foley has made guest appearances in "Call Your Mother," "Young Sheldon," "Superstore," and "The Morning Show." There isn't a style of comedy that Foley can't seem to handle perfectly.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Gwen)

Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who played Gwen in the film, is probably the most recognizable cast member from "Sky High." Though she began her acting career in 1997, "Sky High" was only Winstead's third feature film. Her role in the film gave Winstead the opportunity to show her acting range, as Gwen's kind-hearted façade fades.

Winstead followed up "Sky High" with "Final Destination 3," and horror has been part of her wheelhouse ever since. Some of her most beloved performances have come in horror, or horror-adjacent, films like "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" and "10 Cloverfield Lane." She's also been a part of iconic pop culture films like "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" and "Birds of Prey."

Most recently, Winstead played the lead role in the action film "Kate." While speaking with Collider about that film, Winstead reflected on her beloved performance in "Sky High" and speculated about where her character would be in a sequel film. She said Gwen is "still operating as a supervillain, for sure."