Pompoms became 2000's hottest accessory after a teen flick dedicated to the politics of competitive cheerleading, "Bring It On," delivered the summer's biggest box office surprise. Stars Kirsten Dunst and Gabrielle Union both solidified their A-list status as team captains for rival California squads hoping to crush the other midriff-baring athletes at Nationals in Florida. The comedy became a massive success that grossed more than $90 million, spawned five sequels (featuring stars like Solange, Christina Milian and Ashley Benson), inspired a Broadway musical (co-written by Lin-Manuel Miranda) and helped put competitive cheerleading on the map as a real sport (it also made an entire generation terrified of ever dropping a spirit stick). To celebrate the film's 20th anniversary on Aug. 25, 2020, join Wonderwall.com as we take a look at what its stars are up to now…
Kirsten Dunst starred as Torrance Shipman, the new team captain of the defending national cheerleading champions, the Rancho Carne High School Toros. Torrance is determined to lead her mostly white, affluent team to their sixth consecutive national title, but unlike her predecessor, she wants to do it without cheating. She's also in the midst of a love triangle with her cheating college boyfriend and a rebellious new heartthrob at high school, Cliff.
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Kirsten Dunst was one of film's most successful child actors before taking on "Bring It On," which served as a breakthrough for the New Jersey native, who was 18 when it came out and newly positioned as one of Hollywood's most in-demand teen stars. Previously known for hits such as "Interview with the Vampire" and "Little Women" in 1994, "Jumanji" in 1995 and "Drop Dead Gorgeous" in 1999, Kirsten has worked steadily since the cheerleading comedy. Her films in the following years include teen fare like "Crazy/Beautiful" and "Get Over It" in 2001, acclaimed dramas "The Virgin Suicides" in 2000 and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" in 2004 and the massively successful "Spider-Man" franchise. Since playing Mary Jane Watson in the superhero trilogy, Kirsten has moved into more adult-oriented work like 2006's "Marie Antoinette," 2008's "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People," 2010's "All Good Things," 2011's "Melancholia" and 2012's "Bachelorette." More recently, Kirsten — who sought treatment for depression in 2008 — has focused on TV roles on shows like "Fargo" in 2015 and "On Becoming a God in Central Florida" in 2019, both of which earned her Golden Globe nominations. She was also seen in films like 2016's "Hidden Figures" and 2017's "The Beguiled." Next up for the actress is the Netflix drama "The Power of the Dog" alongside fiancé Jesse Plemons. The pair met on the set of "Fargo" and became engaged in 2017. They have one son.
Gabrielle Union headed up the Toros' rival squad, the East Compton High Clovers, as new captain Isis. Isis is driven to lead her less privileged, predominantly Black/Latino team to their first national victory, and unlike their competitors, wants to prove they can do it without any assistance.
"Bring It On" delivered a breakthrough role for Gabrielle Union, who was 27 when it came out and up to that point was best known for small TV parts on "Sister, Sister," "7th Heaven" and "Saved by the Bell: The New Class" as well as supporting parts in teen films like "She's All That" and "10 Things I Hate About You." The hit cheerleading comedy set the Nebraska-born actress up with major parts in films like 2001's "The Brothers," 2003's "Deliver Us From Eva" and "Bad Boys II," 2004's "Breakin' All the Rules," 2005's "The Honeymooners," 2007's "Daddy's Little Girls" and 2008's "Cadillac Records" and "Meet Dave." Gabrielle also took small-screen roles on short-lived shows like "Night Stalker," "Life" and "FlashForward" plus guest parts on "Ugly Betty" and "Army Wives." The star hit new highs with parts in the hit "Think Like a Man" films, "Top Five" in 2015 and "Almost Christmas" and "The Birth of a Nation" in 2016. She received acclaim for her lead performance on the BET drama series "Being Mary Jane" for five seasons and also wrote a 2017 memoir, "We're Going to Need More Wine." More recently, Gabrielle was seen in the 2018 thriller "Breaking In," opposite Jessica Alba on the cop drama "L.A.'s Finest" (which airs season 2 in 2020) and as a judge on "America's Got Talent." Her time on the talent show was cut short, however, and the actress filed a discrimination suit citing racism and discrimination. She was married to NFL player Chris Howard from 2001 to 2006 and wed NBA player Dwyane Wade in 2014. Aside from being a stepmother to two of Dwyane's children from previous relationships and the nephew he's raising, she's also a mom to the daughter they welcomed via surrogate in 2018.
Eliza Dushku took on the role of Missy Pantone, Rancho Carne's newest transfer student who begrudgingly joins the Toros as a last resort upon discovering the high school has no gymnastics team. Missy's tough disposition rubs many of the cheerleaders the wrong way, but Torrance builds trust with her after Missy reveals to her that their previous captain had been ripping off cheers from another squad.
By the time she took part in "Bring It On," Eliza Dushku was already known to most '90s teens as resident bad girl Faith on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." The Massachusetts native had made her acting debut with the lead role in the 1992 drama "That Night" and quickly followed it with parts in the acclaimed drama "This Boy's Life" in 1993 and the hit thriller "True Lies" in 1994. Eliza was prepping to attend college when she submitted an audition tape for "Buffy." She was initially set for a short arc on the teen drama before she went on to become a fan favorite and, ultimately, a major supporting player on both "Buffy" and the spinoff series "Angel." She followed "Bring It On" with major roles in films like 2001's "Soul Survivors" and "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back," 2002's "The New Guy" and "City by the Sea" and 2003's "Wrong Turn." Also in 2003, Eliza had her first leading TV role on the supernatural drama "Tru Calling," which ran for two seasons. She made her stage debut in the 2005 play "Dog Sees God" and appeared in several indie films before the end of the decade. She made her TV return in 2008 with the lead role on the sci-fi series "Dollhouse," which ran for two seasons. Since then, Eliza has done a fair amount of voice work including for "Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H." and "Batman: Year One" and guest starred on shows like "Ugly Betty," "The Big Bang Theory," "White Collar," "Banshee" and "Bull." In 2019, the actress reached a $9.5 million settlement with CBS after she was fired from "Bull" after informing producers about star Michael Weatherly's alleged inappropriate behavior. The actress has been outspoken about her battle with ADHD as well as past alcohol and drug addiction issues. She married businessman Peter Palandjian in 2018. The couple have one son.
The film's resident hunk, Cliff Pantone, was played by Jesse Bradford. Cliff is Missy's twin brother who immediately develops a connection with Torrance despite her already having a boyfriend and his reservations about taking cheerleading seriously. The budding punk rock musician eventually woos Torrance with an original song claiming she's just what he needs.
Former child actor Jesse Bradford worked steadily in his youth with roles in 1984's "Falling in Love," 1990's "Presumed Innocent," 1993's "King of the Hill," 1995's "Far from Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog" and "Hackers," 1996's "Romeo + Juliet," 1999's "Speedway Junkie" and 2000's "Cherry Falls." The Connecticut native followed "Bring It On" with hit teen flicks "Clockstoppers" and "Swimfan" and a recurring role on the TV classic "The West Wing." During this time, he also attended Columbia University, graduating in 2002 with a degree in film. Jesse then moved into more adult fare with parts in 2005's "Happy Endings," 2006's "Flags of Our Fathers," 2008's "W." and 2009's "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell." More recently, the actor has stuck to television work with shows like "Outlaw," "Guys with Kids," "Sequestered," "Code Black," "Teachers," "Shooter" and the rebooted "Magnum P.I." Jesse was also an investor in Manhattan nightclub The Plumm, which was open from 2006 to 2009. He married Brazilian actress Andrea Leal in 2018.
Lindsay Sloane portrayed the film's villainous "Big Red," the feared former captain of the Toros. Red regrets naming Torrance as her successor after Torrance decides to drop Red's winning-by-cheating methods in an attempt to lead the team to victory using their own skills. The rest of the team is worried Torrance won't be able to live up to Red's legacy.
Lindsay Sloane launched her acting career as a teen with parts ion TV shows like "The Wonder Years," "Mr. Rhodes" and a main role on the first three seasons of "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" as Sabrina's BFF Valerie. Immediately after the release of "Bring It On," the Long Island-born actress scored a leading part on the short-lived comedy "Grosse Pointe" on The WB. Lindsay then starred in the 2003 film "The In-Laws" and had a main role on the CBS sitcom "The Stones." Since then, she's had guest parts on shows like "Entourage," "How I Met Your Mother," "The League," "Weeds" and "Psych" and major roles on the comedies "Playing House" from 2014 to 2017 and "The Odd Couple" from 2015 to 2017. Lindsay has also appeared in hit movies like 2010's "She's Out of My League" and "The Other Guys" and the two "Horrible Bosses" films. In 2020, she appeared in the romantic drama "Endings, Beginnings." She married talent agent Dar Rollins in 2004. The pair have two daughters.
Shamari DeVoe and Brandi Williams played Isis's partners-in-cheer, Lava and LaFred. The pair always have their captain's back, whether it's when confronting rivals outside the gym, challenging them to cheer-off at a football game or getting the team onto a famous talk show for financial support.
Shamari DeVoe (right) and Brandi Williams (left) made their film debut with "Bring It On," but outside of cameos in the 2003 film "Honey," neither has pursued acting since. The pair were part of the 2000s singing group Blaque when they were first cast as cheerleaders. The group was discovered in the 1990s by late TLC star Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes and scored hits with singles "808" and "Bring It All To Me" in 1999, both of which charted in the top 5 in the States. Their debut self-titled album was certified platinum and they went on to open for both *NSYNC and TLC on tour. Sadly, Blaque's two follow-up albums were shelved and the group was dropped from their label. The ladies pursued solo projects before a few failed attempts at reuniting in 2005 and 2012. With the passing of third member Natina Reed in 2012, the group discontinued efforts to record new music, although Shamari and Brandi continue performing as a duo. In 2019, they finally released their long-delayed album "Torch" without the help of a major label. Shamari is also known for her short-lived gig as a peach holder on season 11 of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" in 2018. She married New Edition and Bell Biv DeVoe singer Ronnie DeVoe in 2005. The couple have twin sons and have also worked on music together as a duo.
Natina Reed rounded out Isis's posse as the captain's right-hand woman, Jenelope. The tough-talking Clover is always willing to intimidate and threaten the Toros when Isis would rather play nice, famously asking if she can "beat these Buffys down" after a basketball game.
Natina Reed started as a child model, posing in campaigns for Macy's and Bloomingdale's, before pursuing songwriting. Upon meeting Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes of TLC, she started writing for the hit girl group before becoming part of her own group, Blaque. She served as the trio's rapper and lead songwriter. Upon the group's disbanding, Natina pursued acting and a career in gospel music. The singer was engaged to rapper Kurupt in the early 2000s and gave birth to their son in 2002. She was arrested for a DUI in 2011 shortly before attempting a reunion with Blaque as well as starting work on a solo album. On Oct. 26, 2012, Natina was struck by a car while walking into traffic on a Georgia highway and was pronounced dead later that night. An explanation for the accident was never determined. She was 31.
Clare Kramer played boy-crazy Courtney, best known on the Toros as the flyer not wearing anything under her cheer pants. Courtney, who wants the captain position for herself, doubts Torrance's ability to lead the team to a win or choose the best new members for the squad. Torrance has to go to great lengths to prove Courtney wrong.
Clare Kramer's first part was as a child spokesperson and mascot for the Wendy's fast food chain. She nabbed her first on-screen role with a tiny part in the 1997 comedy "In & Out" before landing her first major role in "Bring It On." That same year, Clare famously played lead villain Glory during season 5 of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." The Atlanta native followed that with parts in films like 2002's "The Rules of Attraction," 2003's "D.E.B.S.," 2004's "The Skulls III," 2006's "The Gravedancers" and "The Thirst," 2010's "Endure" and 2013's "Big A** Spider!" She also had guest turns on shows like "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," "Tru Calling" and "House." More recently, she appeared in the 2019 TV film "Seduced by a Killer." Clare founded the comic, movie and video game website GeekNation and hosts the podcast "Take Five with Clare Kramer." The actress married producer Brian Keathley in 2005. The couple have four kids.
Nathan West provided a shot of testosterone to the Toros as Jan, the resident heterosexual male of the cheerleading squad. Jan is on the team for the ladies as much as he is to prove he's an athlete — he's always willing to go up against the school's oft-losing football players who don't believe cheerleading is a sport for men as much as it is for women.
Nathan West made his screen debut in 1994's "D2: The Mighty Ducks" and followed it with guest parts on TV shows like "The Practice," "ER," "Smart Guy" and "Chicago Hope" before landing "Bring It On." He followed up the cheerleading film with roles in 2002's "The Skulls II" and 2004's "Miracle" as well as TV shows like "7th Heaven," "That '80s Show," "Glory Days," "Bones" and "Grey's Anatomy." Nathan met wife Chyler Leigh while on an audition and the Alaska native married the "Grey's Anatomy" actress in 2002. The pair have acted together in numerous projects and occasionally record music as a duo. They have three children.
Nicole Bilderback played Courtney's sidekick Whitney, who also holds Torrance responsible for all the difficulties the team faces. Whitney wants nothing more than for her younger sister to join the Toros and when that doesn't happen, she pressures Torrance to prove why she deserves to be calling the shots.
Nicole Bilderback first got attention for her debut role as Summer in the iconic teen comedy "Clueless" in 1995 and a recurring role on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" that same year. The South Korea-born actress has also appeared in films like 1998's "Can't Hardly Wait," 2005's "Bad Girls from Valley High," 2007's "The Box" and "Sex and Death 101," 2014's "Mercenaries" and the 2019 Netflix thriller "Stage Killer." Nicole has worked steadily on TV over the years with parts on shows such as "Dawson's Creek," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "ER," "Dark Angel," "House," "Heroes," "Cold Case," "Castle," "The Mentalist," "Bones," "Good Girls," "Andi Mack," "The Rookie" and "NCIS: New Orleans." In 2020, she made a guest appearance on the hit comedy "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."