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What Angela From American Beauty Looks Like Today

In 1999, "American Beauty" resonated with moviegoers who desired to escape their banal existences, defy societal expectations, and live freely as their authentic selves. Kevin Spacey portrays the unfulfilled, middle-aged Lester Burnham, and Annette Bening plays his motivated and frustrated wife, Carolyn. The film also features captivating performances by young Thora Birch, Wes Bentley, and Mena Suvari, who plays teen cheerleader Angela Hayes.

While "American Beauty" may have wowed audiences in the Y2K era with its thought-provoking themes and imagery, some parts of it are problematic, especially when viewed through a modern lens. Lester is attracted to Angela despite their age difference and fantasizes about her in elaborate and creative ways. These inappropriate scenes between a much older man and an underage girl were uncomfortable to watch in the late '90s and are certainly not acceptable by today's standards.

Four years before she played Angela Hayes, Mena Suvari made her screen debut on the TGIF sitcom "Boy Meets World." Along with "American Beauty," she starred in the similarly named but vastly different coming-of-age comedy "American Pie" in 1999. After appearing in two of the most recognizable movies with "American" in the title, what has Mena Suvari been doing these past few decades?

Mena Suvari still acts and recently released her memoir

In the early 2000s, Mena Suvari entertained teenage and twentysomething millennials in the college rom-com "Loser" and the cheerleader heist comedy "Sugar & Spice." She also reprised her role as Heather in "American Pie 2." In 2004, she took on one of her most notable TV parts when she played Edie in seven episodes of HBO's acclaimed "Six Feet Under."

Suvari appeared in popular television shows throughout the 2010s. She portrayed Peter Mills' temporary romantic partner Isabella in the second season of "Chicago Fire." In 2011, Suvari guest-starred as Elizabeth Short in two episodes of "American Horror Story: Murder House." She returned to the show for the third time in 2018 in the "American Horror Story: Apocalypse" episode "Return to Murder House."

2021 has been a big year for Suvari. She has acted in four feature films, from the suspenseful "Paradise Cove" to the heartwarming romance "Grace and Grit." Her memoir "The Great Peace" was released in July. The actress revealed to the Los Angeles Times that she opened up about her past and the sexual abuse she experienced to help people in similar situations "know they don't have to stay." While growing from her past, it looks like Suvari is thriving in her career. At the time of writing, she has five projects in post-production, per IMDb, including the biopic "Reagan."

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).