Released in 1999, the film ‘Detroit Rock City’ followed four young Kiss fans as they endured an ever-escalating series of comedic challenges in order to see their heroes live in concert.
The large, diverse cast of this raucous road comedy has gone on to appear in some of the biggest television shows and movies of the past decade. Join us as we take a look back at the stars of ‘Detroit Rock City’ and see what they’re doing now.
James DeBello, Trip
Then: DeBello (going by the name De Bello) appeared as one of four teenage friends scheming to drive from Cleveland to Detroit — and somehow track down tickets for a sold-out show by Kiss on the way.
Now: Debello, who also had a bit part in the original ‘American Pie,’ went on to appear in the acclaimed 2002 horror movie ‘Cabin Fever,’ and more recently has worked in a series of National Lampoon films.
Sam Huntington, Jam
Then: Huntington played Jam, the son of an ultra-religious mother who burns the foursome’s treasured Kiss tickets — unknowingly setting them off the film’s wild adventures. He also loses his virginity … in a church.
Now: The New Hampshire-born actor has gone on to greater success in both film and television, playing Jimmy Olsen in the unfairly dissed 2006 movie ‘Superman Returns.’ He currently stars as a werewolf sharing a home with a ghost and a vampire in the Syfy series ‘Being Human.’
Giuseppe Andrews, Lex
Then: Andrews’ character attempts to overcome the loss of the gang’s Kiss concert tickets by sneaking backstage. Of course, this doesn’t work, and he winds up in a confrontation with two dangerous criminals.
Now: In addition to starring alongside DeBello in ‘Cabin Fever,’ Andrews has made quite a name for himself as a highly praised director in the avant-garde film world. You can learn all about his films, books and music at his official website.
Edward Furlong, Hawk
Then: Furlong plays Hawk, the de facto leader of the group. His path to Kiss tickets involves overcoming his inhibitions at a strip club and messing around with the wife of a Demon. (More on that last part later.)
Now: Most famous for his role in 1991′s ‘Terminator 2,’ Furlong was viewed as one of Hollywood’s brightest young stars for much of the ’90s. But as the courtroom photo above shows, substance abuse and legal problems have seemingly — and sadly — stalled his career.
Natasha Lyonne, Christine
Then: Lyonne plays Christine — no word if she’s 16 or not — a young woman who starts the movie as the girlfriend of a guy who bullies the boys during their road trip. She has a change of heart and joins the boys on their journey, only to find herself kidnapped.
Now: Best recognized as they sharp-witted scene-stealer of three ‘American Pie‘ movies, Lyonne has turned up in dozens of movies and TV shows and currently stars in the Netflix series ‘Orange Is the New Black.’
Emmanuelle Chiriqui, Barbara
Then: Chiriqui was the girlfriend of the other Trans Am-driving goon mentioned in the previous entry. She also boasted the film’s most impressive hair-and-jacket combo.
Now: Come on, you don’t recognize E’s girlfriend? Chiriqui was an important part of the long-running (and soon to hit the big screen) HBO series ‘Entourage,’ and most recently appeared on your television via the CBS police procedural ‘The Mentalist.’
Melanie Lynskey, Beth
Then: Again, we have a character with a name from a Kiss song — we’re surprised there wasn’t a Shandi in ‘Detroit Rock City.’ Anyway, as to who she plays in the movie … remember that “deflowering in a church” storyline? Well, here’s the other half of that sinful duo.
Now: A nearly 20-year veteran of the television and film industries, Lynskey has had a recurring role on ‘Two and a Half Men‘ almost half that time, and has appeared in movies such as ‘Up in the Air,’ ‘The Informant!’ and ‘Sweet Home Alabama.’
Kristin Booth, Cashier
Then: The Canadian-born actress has a brief but memorable role as a convenience store clerk who finds herself on the wrong end of a shotgun at one point in the movie.
Shannon Tweed, Amanda Finch
Then: The sultry actress and former Playmate of the Year takes on the film’s “Mrs. Robinson” role, seducing young Hawk for a brief tryst — and yet another deflowering — in a strip-club parking lot.
Now: Tweed has appeared in more than 60 films over the past 30 years. Of course, classic-rock fans also know her as the longtime girlfriend (and now wife) of Kiss bassist Gene Simmons. The couple and their two children were the stars of the long-running reality show ‘Gene Simmons Family Jewels.’
Kevin Corrigan, “Beefy Jerk No. 1″
Then: Corrigan turns up near the end of the film as half of a criminal duo that has stolen the gang’s car — and worse, kidnapped young Christine! What brave young man will rescue her? You’ll just have to rent the movie to find out.
Now: You may recognize him as “Uncle Eddie” from the Fox / WB television show ‘Grounded for Life,’ but he’s probably appeared in some of your favorite movies as well — including ‘Goodfellas,’ ‘Dazed and Confused,’ ‘Superbad,’ ‘Big Fan’ and ‘The Departed.’
Steve Schirripa, “Beefy Jerk No. 2″
Then: See Corrigan’s entry above — then add a world-class Afro and a pair of welding goggles. (As their lack of character names indicate, these were rather small roles.)
Now: Slick that hair back, tidy up the clothes a bit and you’ll recognize Schirripa as Bobby Baccalieri from the influential HBO series ‘The Sopranos.’ But as his highly impressive IMDb page shows, that’s just the tip of the iceberg for this multi-talented and very busy artist.
Ron Jeremy, Strip Club MC
Then: In an acting stretch worthy of ’70s-era Robert De Niro, Jeremy played the master of ceremonies at a sleazy strip club.
Now: After appearing in more than 2,000 adult films, the most unlikely crossover star in the history of entertainment seems to be on track to make cameos in at least that many big-budget Hollywood projects. You can keep track of his entire history here.
Now, as in “Right This Very Second”: Best not to think about it.
Joe Flaherty, Father McNulty
Then: The SCTV writer and actor appeared as Father McNulty, who tries to help young Jam see the error of his “sinful” life — and gets rewarded with a hallucinogenic pizza.
Lin Shaye, Mrs. Bruce
Then: After getting blasted out of her warm, comfy chair by a Kiss record her son accidentally left on the home stereo, Jam’s overbearing, ultra-conservative mother is the one who kick-starts the boys’ adventures by burning their concert tickets.
Now: Entering the fourth decade of a very impressive film career, Shaye was most recently seen in the two ‘Insidious‘ horror films. You also know her from ‘Dumb & Dumber‘ and ‘There’s Something About Mary.‘
Then: Kiss appeared as themselves in the film — after all, the whole reason our four young heroes went through all those zany challenges was for a chance to see “the hottest band in the land” live in concert.
Now: Kiss are still among the most popular bands in the land. Original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, who reunited with Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons
in 1996, each left again in the early ’00s. But the band has carried on
with Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer taking over the Spaceman and Catman
roles. Their most recent album, ‘Monster,’ was released in 2012.