Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How The Cast Away Cast Looks Now

Shortly before he went off the technological deep end and tackled a trilogy of motion capture fantasy films to varying degrees of success, Robert Zemeckis directed "Cast Away," which is frequently cited as one of the best survival films ever made. Released in 2000, the film stars Tom Hanks as Chuck Noland, a FedEx executive whose plane crashes and leaves him stranded on a deserted island. After it becomes clear that he won't be rescued any time soon, he endeavors to keep himself physically and mentally alive, befriending a volleyball he nicknames "Wilson" along the way.

The film was nominated for two Academy Awards, for best sound and best actor in a leading role. Yet despite Hanks being the only performer on-screen for the vast majority of the film's runtime, there is a notable supporting cast that helps flesh out Chuck's life both before and after the crash. Since the film was released over 20 years ago, those actors have obviously grown and gone through a number of changes in the time since they made the movie. Here is what the main cast of "Cast Away" looks like now.

Tom Hanks

Despite a career that's featured some of the most acclaimed performances of all time, an argument can easily be made that Tom Hanks gave one of his most demanding and captivating performances in "Cast Away." Hanks was a producer on the film, as well as being the one to originate the core idea, and his commitment to the part is evident in every scene. In order to make his dramatic weight loss during the years spent on the island that much more vivid, Hanks actually gained 50 pounds for the scenes set before the plane crash, only to lose it all again during a year-long filming break, in addition to growing out his beard and hair to accentuate his wild appearance.

Even the most casual filmgoer will probably be up to date on what Tom Hanks looks like now since he's one of the most beloved and consistently working actors in Hollywood. In the years since "Cast Away," he's reteamed with Robert Zemeckis twice (in "The Polar Express" and "Pinocchio"). He worked with Steven Spielberg on a pair of period thrillers ("Bridge of Spies" and "The Post") and earned another Oscar nomination for portraying Fred Rogers in "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood." He's also worked with Baz Luhrmann in "Elvis," which sees him portraying the legendary rock star's manager, Colonel Tom Parker.

Helen Hunt

As the girlfriend Chuck inadvertently left behind, one who was able to move on and start a new life only for him to suddenly reappear, Helen Hunt was able to navigate complex emotional waters in a relatively brief amount of screen time. Her talents should come as no surprise, however, as the acclaimed actress has been delivering memorable performances for almost 50 years at this point, and she's known for films ranging from "Twister" to her Oscar-winning turn in "As Good As It Gets."

Since "Cast Away," Helen Hunt has kept herself busy with a variety of projects, including "Bobby," "Soul Surfer," "I See You," and most recently, the TV adaptation of the hit indie drama "Blindspotting." In 2012, she received her second Oscar nomination for her performance as a professional sex surrogate in "The Sessions." In 2019, she returned for a single season revival of the popular '90s sitcom "Mad About You." Perhaps most significantly, she's also emerged as a force behind the camera, as she wrote and directed (as well as starred in) a pair of dramatic comedies, with "Then She Found Me" in 2007 and "Ride" in 2014.

Nick Searcy

Nick Searcy is a veteran TV actor who has a brief but memorable role as a friend of Chuck's who helps him to adjust after his ordeal on the island. If Searcy looks familiar, you may recognize him as the villainous Frank Bennett from "Fried Green Tomatoes" or from his roles in "The Fugitive," "Nell," or "American Gothic." He also has experience behind the camera, as he both directed and starred in the 1997 drama "Carolina Low" and helmed 2018's "Gosnell: The Trial of American's Biggest Serial Killer."

Following the release of "Cast Away," Searcy featured in a number of popular films — such as "Runaway Jury," "The Ugly Truth," and "Moneyball" — and in 2017, he had a prominent supporting role as General Hoyt in Guillermo del Toro's "The Shape of Water," which went on to win a number of Academy Awards, including best picture. For all his film work, the actor is still most visible in a variety of TV series, including recurring roles on "Rodney," "Easy Money," and as Art Mullen in "Justified."

Chris Noth

Though his small but pivotal part as the new husband of Chuck's former girlfriend may not have received much notice, Chris Noth had already enjoyed enormous success thanks to prominent roles in two of the biggest TV shows of all time: "Law & Order" (which he spent five seasons on during its initial run) and as the infamous Mr. Big in "Sex and the City" (which had premiered two years before "Cast Away" hit theaters).

His role in the latter carried through until the series ended in 2004, after which he returned in both films (released in 2008 and 2010, respectively), as well as returning for two episodes of 2021's revival, "And Just Like That...," in which his character was rather controversially killed off. In between those projects, he also reprised his other famous character for "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" and had a very successful run as the husband of "The Good Wife." Unfortunately, a number of sexual assault allegations have been leveled at Noth, leading to his character being written out of the CBS series "The Equalizer."

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).

Lari White

A running plot point in "Cast Away" is the presence of a FedEx package adorned with a pair of painted, golden angel wings. Chuck goes through most of the other packages he can salvage from the plane wreck in order to find various tools, but he's compelled to leave this one unopened. At the end of the film, he attempts to return this package to its sender. Along the way, he encounters a woman who offers some advice about the various roads he could now take, and it's implied that this is the same woman who sent the package — the one that gave him hope while he was stranded.

This woman was played by Lari White, an actress and musician who sadly passed away in 2018 at the age of 52. Though she only has seven acting credits listed on IMDb (with 2010's "Country Strong" being the last of them), she found far greater success as a country music singer-songwriter. Over the course of her career, she released nine albums and charted several times on the Billboard country music charts. She was also an original cast member of Broadway's "Ring of Fire" and produced Toby Keith's album "White Trash with Money."

Vince Martin

Prior to his appearance in "Cast Away," Vince Martin was a regular on Australian TV and soap operas, appearing in everything from "Home and Away" to "The Restless Years," and he even played two unrelated characters in "Class of '74." His role in "Cast Away" is a small but memorable one — he plays one of the pilots on the doomed flight, and it's his body that Chuck ultimately needs to bury.

Though acting credits following his stint as a corpse are limited to a pair of 2012 releases (he played a supporting role in the New Zealand family film "Derby Dogs" and appeared in an episode of the mini-series "Tricky Business"), Martin has kept more than busy in the world of music. His career as a jazz singer has seen him performing everywhere from New York City to Sydney, Australia, and according to his Facebook page (which identifies him as "The Jazz Crooner"), he "is known around the globe for his sonorous singing style."

Jay Acovone

Perhaps the most prolific of the actors who played pilots in the film, Jay Acovone boasts over 100 credits to his name across film, television, and video games. Though a number of the supporting cast still have "Cast Away" as their most well-known project, Acovone has been putting in notable work since his big break when he acted opposite Al Pacino in 1980's "Cruising." Many opportunities followed, including the modern-day TV adaptation of "Beauty and the Beast," where he served as a series regular alongside Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton.

Following his brief turn in "Cast Away," Acovone found small roles in blockbusters such as "S.W.A.T." and "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" (he's the police office who pulls over the T-X at the beginning of the film). In recent years, he's guest-starred in a number of hit series, ranging from "Monk" and "How I Met Your Mother" to "NCIS" and "Lethal Weapon." In 2016, he even gave a motion capture performance as mobster Sal Marcano in the video game "Mafia III."


In order to keep himself sane on the island, Chuck finds himself talking to a stray volleyball he finds in the wreckage, which he appropriately names after the Wilson Sporting Goods company. Though at first he merely narrates his situation to Wilson, as his stay is extended, Chuck finds himself forming a deep, if one-sided, bond with the ball. This culminates in a heart-wrenching scene where, while making his escape, Chuck inadvertently loses Wilson in a storm and is forced to go on without the only company he's had for four years.

For their part, the Wilson Sporting Goods company was very supportive of their product's unique role in the film, going so far as to manufacture a replica Cast Away Volleyball that they still sell on their site to this day. In November of 2021, it was reported that the original prop was sold at auction for a whopping $308,000, despite the fact that it was heavily water-damaged. As for the company itself, in addition to their volleyballs, it produces equipment for a wide variety of sports, including but not limited to football, basketball, tennis, golf, soccer, and even badminton. In 2020, they became the official supplier of balls to the NBA and WNBA, as well as the French Open tennis championships.