One of the 1980s most celebrated movies, Weird Science successfully mashes the screwball teen sex comedy genre with B-grade science fiction to tell the story of two computer nerds who create the perfect woman and, by consequence, the perfect storm of chaos. Written and directed by teen-movie mogul John Hughes, the film — which also inspired a TV adaptation in the ’90s — has become a cult classic that has maintained its presence in the ether for 30 years.
The cast of the movie — including Robert Downey, Jr., Kelly LeBrock, and Anthony Michael Hall — has mostly remained busy, too. From sitcoms to horror movies and everything in-between, here’s what they’ve been up to.
Anthony Michael Hall — Gary Wallace
After Sixteen Candles in 1984 and The Breakfast Club a year later, Hall’s hot streak as the go-to nerd in the Brat Pack more or less came to a close with Weird Science. He followed it up with a one-season stint on Saturday Night Live. He’d later show up in movies like Edward Scissorhands and Six Degrees of Separation. By the late 1990s, he was turning up in several TV shows based on movies, such as Poltergeist: The Legacy and The Crow: Stairway to Heaven. He also landed the lead role in 2002’s TV adaptation of The Dead Zone, which ran on the USA Network for five seasons.
More recently, he’s appeared on the big screen in The Dark Knight, as well as last year’s Oscar-nominated Foxcatcher. He’s also been busy on the small screen, as a recurring character on Psych, and on Community as campus bully Mike Chilada.
Ilan Mitchell-Smith — Wyatt Donnelly
Best known as the other guy from Weird Science, Mitchell went on to a lengthy arc in TV’s Superboy, as well as the adventure movie Journey to the Center of the Earth. His last on-screen credit was an episode of USA’s Silk Stalkings in 1991. Since then, he received his doctorate at Texas A&M in 2005 and works as an associate professor at California State University-Long Beach.
He’s also a staff writer for Talk Wargaming, publishes a column in Forces of Geek, and works actively in the tabletop gaming industry. He hasn’t kicked the acting bug entirely, though: Smith has done some voice work In two episodes of Fox ADHD’s Axe Cop.
Kelly LeBrock — Lisa
Born in New York, then raised in London, LeBrock has only worked sporadically on-screen since Weird Science. Her follow-up role was five years later in Hard to Kill with her then-husband, reggae musician/action star Steven Seagal. Since then, she’s worked occasionally on low-profile productions, with a notable part as Lauren Goodhue alongside Leslie Nielsen in the action parody Wrongfully Accused. She also co-stars in the Nellie Bly biopic 10 Days in a Madhouse, which wrapped production earlier this year.
Bill Paxton — Chet Donnelly
Paxton went from Weird Science straight to big-budget blockbusters like Commando, Aliens (stealing the movie with his now famous ad-lib), and Titanic, just to name a few. He also gained high praise as Bill Henrickson in HBO’s Big Love and completed a lengthy arc as the bad guy in Marvel’s Agents of Shield’s first season.
Paxton has maintained his high-profile movie presence by appearing in Edge of Tomorrow and Nightcrawler, as well as the History Channel’s Texas Rising earlier this year.
Robert Downey, Jr. — Ian
Downey also followed up Weird Science as a Saturday Night Live cast member, along with co-star Anthony Michael Hall. In 1993, he was nominated for an Oscar for playing the title role in Chaplin. After a well-publicized slide into addiction, his career rebounded beyond expectation with roles in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Zodiac, Tropic Thunder, and, of course, 2008’s Iron Man, which snowballed into the multi-billion dollar Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Robert Rusler — Max
After popping up in A Nightmare on Elm Street: Part 2 the same year as Weird Science, Rusler had recurring roles in The Outsiders TV adaptation, Babylon 5, Medium, and Bones. Lately, he’s done some work on the soap opera General Hospital as Blake, possibly the most soap opera of names.
Suzanne Snyder — Deb
A staple of early ’80s TV in shows like CHiPs and T.J. Hooker, Snyder went on to book guest spots on shows like Family Ties, Silver Spoons, and Seinfeld along with schlock horror classics like Killer Klowns from Outer Space. Her most recent role was a bit part in Dancing on a Dry Salt Lake in 2013.
Judie Aronson — Hilly
Like her on-screen best friend, Aronson continued to pop up in a string of bit parts after Weird Science, including Full House, Charles in Charge, and a lengthy stretch on Beverly Hills 90210. She was last seen on the big screen in 2005’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang beside Robert Downey, Jr.
Vernon Wells — Lord General
Another actor with no shortage of credits, Wells is currently king of the mockbusters, appearing in movies like Jurassic City, Cowboys vs. Dinosaurs, and 100,000 Zombie Heads, all of which I really want to see now. He also has a staggering amount of work, either filming or in post-production right now, ranging from TV to movies to voice work for video games. Though he’ll always be Bennett from Commando to us (or, if you prefer, Wez from The Road Warrior).
Michael Berryman — Mutant Biker
One of the most recognizable faces in cinema, Berryman has popped up in TV and film incarnations of the Star Trek franchise, The X-Files, and Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects. He remains a mainstay in the horror genre who, like his mutant bike gang leader Vernon Wells, has continued to work prolifically throughout his career.