Ah, they just don’t make geeky science films like they used to. Nowadays, it’s all about coding and going viral. What happened to the cheesy lasers? Where are the tongue-in-cheek sound effects, lightning sequences, and computer-generated sex symbols?
While we can’t steer Hollywood back toward churning out original geeky science classics, we can take some time to check in on the cast of the 1985 film Real Genius.
Val Kilmer (Chris Knight)
After Real Genius, Kilmer landed a big role in this movie called Top Gun and his career took off from there. (See what I did, there?) He went on to play Batman and star in Heat, only to re-emerge from the brink of obscurity in Shane Black’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang a decade later. Most recently, Kilmer wrapped his role in the forthcoming Terrence Malick ensemble featuring the likes of Natalie Portman, Michael Fassbender, Christian Bale, Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett, Haley Bennett and Benicio Del Toro.
Gabriel Jarret (Mitch Taylor)
Though you might not know it, Jarret’s still acting. He appeared in 21 Jump Street (the TV show) and was in an episode of The West Wing back in ’03. Jarret had a role in Ron Howard’s Frost/Nixon in 2008 and, more recently, can be seen in a string of shorts and TV movies.
Michelle Meyrink (Jordan)
Though she retired from acting to focus on raising her family, Meyrink returned to her craft when she founded an acting school in Vancouver in 2013. Her first class was comprised of five students, but Actorium has grown to include “hundreds of actors training on an ongoing basis with like-minded instructors.”
Jon Gries (Lazlo Hollyfield)
You definitely recognize Gries as Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite, but he also had roles in The X-Files, Seinfeld, 24, Lost and Taken (all three of them). Back in 2013, Gries did an AMA to plug a western he was directing called Another Man’s Gun. In that AMA, he alluded to the fact that he’d rather have a row of erections down his back like a stegosaurus than have female genitalia attached to his forehead. The more you know …
William Atherton (Prof. Jerry Hathaway)
Despite the fondness for which we remember Real Genius, Atherton will always be known as Richard Thornburg in the original Die Hard trilogy… or maybe as Walter Peck in Ghostbusters. As of 2014, Atherton was still practicing his trade as Viceroy Berto Mercado on SyFy’s Defiance.
Robert Prescott (Kent)
Though he left the industry for a while, Prescott has appeared in a flurry of films and TV shows you’d recognize: The Bourne Legacy, Michael Clayton, Burn After Reading, The Sopranos, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: SVU, all the Law & Orders, really. Most recently he played Detective McKenney in the Bryan Cranston vehicle Cold Comes the Night.