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

Where The Cast Of Armageddon Is Now

Back in 1998, the Michael Bay backlash hadn't happened yet, and audiences were still flocking to and almost universally loving his films. It was with "Pearl Harbor" three years later that the tide would turn — but not before Bay released "Armageddon," the movie that remains the highest-grossing of his career that doesn't involve giant robots. It might not have won over too many critics, but "Armageddon" does have the distinction of being included in the venerated Criterion Collection, one of only two Michael Bay films — "The Rock" being the other — to receive that honor thus far.

While Bruce Willis rightfully got top billing in the movie, it was also seen as the arrival of Ben Affleck as a big-budget leading man. Affleck had previously only done indie movies and smaller character-driven dramas, but he was a certified movie star after "Armageddon." The rest of the cast was similarly mixed between already established stars and those who were still on the rise, plus a couple of the best character actors of the last 30 years. It definitely takes a talented and charismatic cast to help sell the bombast and over-the-top style of a Michael Bay movie, and "Armageddon" had that in spades. 

It's now been 24 years since the release of "Armageddon," and its cast have all gone in different directions in terms of their professional and personal lives. Here is what the core group has been up to since their careers were given that Michael Bay bump.

Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck had been around as an actor for much of the '90s, and had even already won an Oscar for co-writing "Good Will Hunting" alongside pal Matt Damon. But it wasn't until "Armageddon" that the actor proved his chops at being able to help lead a $100 million+ movie. In the film, Affleck plays A.J. Frost, a member of a drilling team who is also dating his boss's daughter despite the boss's complete lack of approval toward their relationship.

After the visibility that "Armageddon'" earned him, Affleck would become a mainstay in major studio releases going forward, eventually playing both a Marvel (Daredevil) and DC (Batman) superhero on the big screen. He also continued to do smaller films as well, and eventually added filmmaking to his bag of tricks — with his directorial efforts typically receiving critical acclaim. Affleck and Damon have become co-writers again for the first time since "Good Will Hunting" on their upcoming biopic about the man who put Nike on the map, with both starring in the film and Affleck set to direct. 

He will also reprise his role as Batman one final time in the upcoming "The Flash" movie, with Affleck claiming it contains his best work as the character.

Owen Wilson

While big, expensive action movies aren't what immediately come to mind when one thinks of Owen Wilson, he did indeed play a role in "Armageddon." Oscar is one of the geologists brought along on the mission to drill a hole into a giant asteroid and insert a nuclear bomb into it before it can collide with the Earth, in a premise that it's best not to think too deeply about. Needless to say, Wilson provides much of the movie's comic relief, and "Armageddon" actually predates his big breakthrough comedies like "Zoolander" and "Shanghai Noon" by several years.

Wilson hasn't done much in the way of massive summer blockbusters since "Armageddon," but he did eventually join another nine-figure film when he voiced the lead role in Pixar's "Cars" and its subsequent sequels and shorts. He definitely wasn't completely done with effects-driven romps though, as he would also appear in the highly successful "Night at the Museum" trilogy and recently showed up in Marvel's Disney+ series "Loki." Beyond just his onscreen work, Wilson co-wrote "The Royal Tenenbaums" with Wes Anderson, while starring in most of Anderson's films up through 2021's "The French Dispatch." 

Wilson can next be seen in Disney's upcoming "Haunted Mansion" reboot, set for release in 2023. 

Keith David

When you need someone to play a commanding role like a military general, you get someone like Keith David. David's imposing frame and powerful voice have made him a standout presence in any film he appears in, whether he's playing a top-ranking military official as he does in "Armageddon" or performing the smallest and briefest of roles. 

David has nearly 350 acting credits to his name, stretching all the way back to the 1970s. The actor also never seems to take a break, as he has had at least one credit every single year from the release of "Armageddon" through 2022. Among his bigger and more notable films of the last two decades are "Requiem for a Dream," "The Princess and the Frog," "There's Something About Mary," and "Mr. and Mrs. Smith." David has also lent his distinctive voice to a number of video games, including recurring roles in multiple installments of such major franchises as "Halo," "Mass Effect," and "Saints Row." 

Among the many projects David currently has in the works is a role in the upcoming Jordan Peele horror film "Nope." He also voices the recurring character Mister Bones in the currently-airing CW series "Stargirl."

Will Patton

Charles "Chick" Chappie is the right hand man of the drill team boss, played by Will Patton. He's part of one of the movie's sweetest moments, when he reunites with his estranged son at the end of the film after safely returning back home from the mission. Patton has been a reliable character actor for much of his career, but around the turn of the millennium his star power really ramped up with roles in "Armageddon," "Gone in 60 Seconds," and "Remember the Titans."

Perhaps Patton's most noteworthy role since that time was as a main cast member on the sci-fi television series "Falling Skies," which ran for five seasons on TNT between 2010 and 2015. He is also a frequent collaborator of Kevin Costner, not only appearing with him in both "No Way Out" and "The Postman" but also for two seasons on the currently-airing Paramount Network series "Yellowstone." Patton has also had a very prolific career as an audiobook narrator, lending his voice to over 60 audiobooks.

Patton can currently be seen as one of the main cast members on the series "Outer Range," which recently completed its first season on Amazon Prime, and will be reprising his role as Officer Hawkins in "Halloween Ends" in October 2022.

Billy Bob Thornton

It is NASA's own Dan Truman (Billy Bob Thornton) who first comes up with the plan in "Armageddon" to have a team fly to the asteroid and blow it up. But in his defense, he intends for a team of astronauts to be trained to drill, rather than a team of drillers being trained to be astronauts. 1998 was a big year for Thornton, with the actor starring not only in "Armageddon" but also "A Simple Plan" and "Primary Colors." 

Three years later he'd appear opposite Halle Berry and Heath Ledger in the acclaimed "Monster's Ball," the movie that won Berry the Oscar for Best Actress. Also in 2001, Thornton would team with Bruce Willis again for the action comedy "Bandits" and make his first appearance in a Coen brothers production with his starring role in "The Man Who Wasn't There." His connection to the Coens would come around again in 2014, when he starred in the first season of FX's "Fargo" anthology series in a performance that would earn him a Golden Globe

In 2021, Thornton wrapped up his acclaimed Amazon series "Goliath" and had a guest role on "1883." This summer will see him appear in the Russo brothers movie "The Gray Man," which will have a short theatrical run before coming to Netflix in July.

Peter Stormare

Like he does in so many of the movies and TV show he's been in, Peter Stormare steals every scene that features him in "Armageddon" as quirky, stir-crazy cosmonaut Lev Andropov. Not everyone knows Stormare's name, but everyone has seen him before — and he is probably featured in one of your favorite movie scenes or television episodes without you even realizing what a big part he played in it.

The same year he was in "Armageddon," Stormare was also cracking up audiences as one of the nihilists in "The Big Lebowski." He'd work under Michael Bay again in "Bad Boys II" and "Pain and Gain," while other filmmakers that have called on Stormare's unparalleled character acting talents on multiple occasions are the Coen brothers, Steven Spielberg, and Terry Gilliam. Stormare has also been prolific both in television and video games over the course of his nearly 45-year career. 

Stormare has played Jorunn the Skald King in "The Elder Scrolls Online" and its multiple expansion packs, most recently 2021's "Blackwood." He's currently one of the hosts of the Swedish game show "Fångarna på fortet," and is filming the upcoming thriller "Multi" starring Morgan Freeman (per Deadline).

William Fichtner

You can't exactly send a team composed entirely of first-timers into space to prevent the end of the world without at least one trained astronaut there to guide them. That's where William Fichtner's Colonel Willie Sharp comes in. Sharp is skeptical of the entire operation that "Armageddon" is built around and is all but rooting against the crew at every turn, though he does step up and becomes a team player when it matters most. He is also the one holding the straws in the movie's pivotal short straw scene, which ends up determining who will give their life to literally save the world.

Another reliable veteran character actor, Fichtner has remained busy in both movies and television since "Armageddon." He played main or recurring roles on "Prison Break," "Invasion," "Crossing Lines," and "Mom," the last of which earned him a Critics' Choice Award nomination. He has also played the character of Ken Rosenberg in multiple installments of the "Grand Theft Auto" video game series. On the big screen, he reteamed with Michael Bay for 2014's "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" — which Bay produced — and also appeared in such movies as "The Perfect Storm," "The Dark Knight," "Independence Day: Resurgence," and "Black Hawk Down."

More recently, Fichtner played Rick Kirkham in Peacock's 2022 limited series "Joe vs. Carole," about the exploits of "Tiger King" zoo owner Joe Exotic.

Ken Hudson Campbell

Another member of the drilling team, Max sadly doesn't get to come home after helping save the world in "Armageddon." Max is played by Ken Hudson Campbell, an actor whose first-ever acting credit was playing the advice-giving mall Santa in "Home Alone." But his breakthrough role would come the following year, when he'd get to play "Animal" — aka Lust — on the three-season Fox sitcom "Herman's Head."

After "Armageddon," arguably his highest-profile film role up to that point, Campbell would continue to balance film and TV work. He had recurring roles on "The Practice" and "God, the Devil and Bob," and appeared in movies such as "The Ladies Man," "Bewitched," and "Boat Trip." Campbell also voiced the character Boomer in the 2019 Nickelodeon animated movie "Wonder Park," a role he is set to reprise in the television spin-off series "Adventures in Wonder Park," due to premiere in 2023. 

In addition to his steady acting work, Campbell has also been pushing his services on Cameo — including offering people the chance to speak to him one-on-one as the "Home Alone Santa" (per his Twitter page).

Liv Tyler

The only major female character among the extremely male-centric cast of "Armageddon," Grace Stamper (Liv Tyler) plays the love interest of one of the male leads and the daughter of the other. This has her cover all the female archetype bases in a movie like this, with both of the main heroes — dad and boyfriend — working together to save her while also competing over who will make her the most proud. 

She's also on the receiving end of what is probably the movie's single cheesiest moment, where Ben Affleck's character answers her question about whether anyone is doing what they are doing at that moment with, "I hope so...otherwise, what the hell are we trying to save?" as Aerosmith's "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing" plays in the background.

Tyler had already had multiple lead roles in films by the time she was in "Armageddon," including "Empire Records," "That Thing You Do," and "Stealing Beauty." Remarkably, "Armageddon" wouldn't even be her biggest film project, not by a long shot — she played Lady Arwen in Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. She continued to make movies in the 2010s but shifted her focus to television during that decade, playing main characters on the series "The Leftovers," "Gunpowder," "Harlots," and "9-1-1: Lone Star." 

Steve Buscemi

It's somehow fitting that the one of the only characters in "Armageddon" to get a ridiculous nickname like "Rockhound" is Steve Buscemi. No disrespect to Buscemi, a real-life hero and former New York City firefighter who went back on duty to help out after the September 11th attacks — but he seems like the skinny, nerdy guy in a cast of mostly larger dudes. Yet Buscemi can play any part, big or small, funny or serious — up to and including an oil driller nicknamed Rockhound who helps blow up an asteroid in space.

Buscemi has worked with just about everyone in Hollywood at one point or another, be it actor or filmmaker. Among his frequent collaborators besides Michael Bay are Adam Sandler, Jim Jarmusch, the Coen brothers, and Quentin Tarantino. From 2010 to 2014, he played the lead in HBO's "Boardwalk Empire," which earned him multiple awards, including a Golden Globe, two solo Screen Actors Guild awards, and two more ensemble SAG awards. 

In 2022, Buscemi played the character of Wayne for the fourth time in as many "Hotel Transylvania" movies, as well as starring in the indie comedy "The Year Between," which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. 

Bruce Willis

Bruce Willis is among our last "movie stars" in the classic definition of the term, and being able to carry a major movie like "Armageddon" is one of the reasons why. It takes a certain kind of confidence and charisma to play a guy who has to sell both NASA and the audience on the absurd plan at the heart of the movie, but Willis pulls it off with that iconic smirk. 

Willis isn't the kind of actor who really needs a "where are they now?" type of explanation, but there are still a few post-"Armageddon" highlights worth drawing attention to. The following year, he starred in "The Sixth Sense," the first of several films he would make with writer-director M. Night Shyamalan. Working on "Pulp Fiction" also put him into the orbit of Quentin Tarantino's pal Robert Rodriguez, resulting in memorable turns in both "Sin City" and "Planet Terror." Willis also began moving into the phase of his career where he played older action heroes in movies like "Red," "The Expendables," and "Looper," while also continuing to play John McClane in two more "Die Hard" sequels.

Sadly, it was announced in March 2022 by Willis' family that he would be retiring from acting due to his struggles with a neurological disorder called aphasia. The last of his completed films are scheduled to be released throughout 2022. 

Michael Clarke Duncan

The other "Armageddon" star to get an intimidating nickname definitely deserved it. At 6 feet, 5 inches and over 300 pounds, former gas company ditch digger and nightclub bouncer Michael Clarke Duncan definitely cut a daunting figure (per the Baltimore Sun). While he did usually play roles that required his size, his characters were also very much how he was in real life — a "gentle giant," as it were.

Duncan's signature performance will always be his role in "The Green Mile," which earned him nominations for just about every major acting award there is. He would spend the next decade or so going back and forth between movies that showcased his lighter side, like "The Whole Nine Yards" and "Taladega Nights," and ones that played into his intimidating side, such as "Daredevil" and "Sin City." Apart from roles that were related to his physicality, Duncan also voiced characters in multiple movies and TV shows, including reprising his Kingpin role for "Spider-Man: The New Animated Series" and voicing Kilowog in the 2011 live-action "Green Lantern" movie.

While Clark is credited with a handful of film and TV roles in 2013 and beyond, they are all posthumous releases — the actor unfortunately passed away in September 2012 following complications from a heart attack the previous July. He was only 54 years old. The 2015 boxing movie "The Challenger" would be his final film.