The winning cast of Disney’s Remember the Titans was the core of what elevated this cherished football drama to becoming one of the greatest sports films of all-time. Let’s take a look at where many of these familiar faces are now…
Kip Pardue — Ronnie ‘Sunshine’ Bass
Pardue’s Ronnie Bass earned his nickname upon his arrival from the golden coast of California. A late addition to the team, his long hair and overly relaxed exterior betrays a killer arm as quarterback. Never allowing himself to become subject to the tensions of the era, Bass easily bonds and blends in with the rest of the team with his California swagger. When resident QB Jerry is injured at a critical moment, Ronnie rises to the occasion and the team continues its shining streak to success.
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In addition to being an actor, Pardue also worked as a model for lines such as Abercrombie and Fitch, Polo, and Armani — the last line even naming him a “Top 10 Upcoming Actor” in 2001. The former “Sunshine” has attached his name to acclaimed series such as House, ER, Mad Men, and Law and Order: SVU. The last title sadly seems to have been a sign of art imitating life — in July of 2019, Pardue was found guilty in a SAG-AFTRA investigation regarding his sexual assault of a costar.
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Earl C. Poitier — Darryl “Blue” Stanton
Darryl “Blue” Stanton quite literally makes himself the soul of the Titans team. With a big personality and even bigger voice, Stanton is a frequent source of comic relief and musical interludes to bring the struggling team some much needed joy. As the team’s strength begins to come from friendship rather than just physical prowess, “Blue” fills the locker room with plenty of tunes to bring the Titans together as one.
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Earl C. Poitier
After roles IMDb lists only in titles — Security Guard, Player, etc. — Poitier may have been ready for his comeback when cast in 2002’s Drumline alongside rising star Nick Cannon. However, Poitier found himself working sporadically on short-lived television series, leading him to take a break from 2005 to 2011. 2017’s Baywatch (starring Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron) lists him as an uncredited “Kitchen Worker.” We can only hope Big Blue was listening to his favorite soul music in that kitchen, undoubtedly serving up protein for its musclebound leads.
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Craig Kirkwood — Jerry “Rev” Harris
Kind and capable, Kirkwood’s Harris is in many ways the perfect quarterback. Focused while on the field and compassionate while off of it, his arm seemed poised to be the Titans guiding light to their championship victory. But, when a disgruntled team member refuses to block for him, “Rev’s” injury puts him out seemingly for the rest of the season. When the shadow of losing the championship looms over them, Jerry is able to provide more than sideline council and insight — he reenters the game and finds the win the team has sacrificed so much for.
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With a steep résumé of television parts behind him, Kirkwood seemed primed to take the next step in his career after his work in Titans. The following years saw him taking smaller and smaller parts in films until his retirement from acting in 2003. Yet, while many see Hollywood as the end-all of success, it is perhaps Kirkwood that got the last laugh. A graduate of Loyola Law School, Kirkwood now works as a criminal defense attorney for the state of California.
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Burgess Jenkins — Ray Budds
As Ray Budds, Jenkins was tasked with playing a representative of society as a whole at that time. Unable to quell his prejudice for the sake of the team’s goals, he intentionally allowed his African-American teammate Jerry to be injured during a game. While formerly head honcho Gerry Bertier’s best friend, the latter is quick to dismiss Ray from the team. Ray’s unfounded hate no longer hampers the Titans from winning the championship the way they do best — together.
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Jenkins remains an active thespian to this day. He appeared in 2007’s psychological horror The Reaping as the husband of Oscar winner Hilary Swank’s lead character. He has found even more consistent supporting roles on the CW’s One Tree Hill and had a two-year stint on CBS’s iconic soap opera The Young and the Restless. The actor had guest spots on CMT’s Nashville, which put him alongside his Titans costar Hayden Panettiere.
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Wood Harris — Julius Campbell
Though undisputed in his talent, Julius reigns in both his aggression and gifts — believing this venture into integration will only lead to disaster. At training camp, Julius begins to quell his internal conflict as he reflects on his own selfishness. Taking the words of Coach Boone to heart, Julius learns to channel his anger into one goal — victory on the football field. Armed with new friendships (in particular an unbreakable bond with former rival Gerry Bertier), Julius helps lead the Titans on their championship march.
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Much to the delight of audiences that love this classic sports drama, Wood Harris still remains present in Hollywood, and has appeared in several critically acclaimed television series and films. Known as one of the greatest television programs of all-time, Harris joined the cast of HBO’s The Wire as the primary antagonist of the first and third seasons. He returned to the sports genre in 2015’s Creed and its sequel as part of the training team to get Michael B. Jordan’s titular character into ring-ready shape. Eagle-eyed viewers may have also spotted Harris alongside Titans costar Ryan Gosling in 2017’s Blade Runner 2049.
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Nicole Ari Parker — Carol Boone
As Coach Boone’s devoted wife, Carol provides a much-needed release of steam from the testosterone fueled conflict on the football field. At the start of the film, even the goal-oriented Coach Boone seems daunted by the task of bringing this team together. Despite the threats their family must endure, Carol reminds Herman that a leader is needed most desperately in difficult times — and he’s the best man for the job.
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Nicole Ari Parker
Parker may not be a household name, but that doesn’t mean she has allowed her career to slow down at all. The Showtimes series Soul Food earned her a whopping five NAACP Image awards for her performance. 2014 saw her as a series regular alongside Taye Diggs on TNT’s procedural crime drama Murder in the First. Parker has continued her television hot streak by joining the cast of FOX’s mega-hit music drama Empire, which saw her promoted to a series regular two years ago during Season 5.
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Will Patton — Assistant Coach Bill Yoast
Patton’s Coach Yoast never expected to have the word “assistant” as part of his title. Eyeing a spot in the Virginia High School Coaches Hall of Fame, the veteran team leader is given a lesson in kindness and humility when he hands the role of head coach over to Herman Boone. Realizing Boone’s tactics are working, Yoast continues to work tirelessly to help the Titans turn their championship dreams into reality, famously telling the team to “leave no doubt” that his boys — no matter their skin color — were a force to be reckoned with.
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Will Patton certainly ranks high among a list of “that guy” actors. You see their face and your mind immediately whispers, “oh, that guy is in this!” While Bill Yoast may be his most iconic role of his career, titles such as Armageddon and even 2018’s Halloween have had his name amongst their credits. Patton is certainly not averse to budget of any size, and the veteran character actor is always a pleasant surprise to see come on screen.
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Ethan Suplee — Louie Lastik
Ronnie Bass may have been nicknamed “Sunshine,” but it was Louie Lastik that had the true heart of gold. Not a shred of malice lies within him as he becomes fast friends with both African-American and Caucasian players. A formidable opponent on the line, the good-natured Titan reminds us of the value of positivity and belief in one’s self. In his most moving scene, he embraces the stoic Coach Boone, thrilled to announce that his average grades have proved he’s worth the path of going to college.
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The NBC comedy My Name is Earl helped launch Suplee into a larger national consciousness. As the years have gone on, his various supporting roles in film and television almost typecast him as the caricature of an aimless oaf. The Leonardo DiCaprio-led The Wolf of Wall Street let Suplee begin to flex other performative muscles as part of the notoriously rotten financial boys club. Continuing his path into darker territory, Suplee has been seen more recently amongst the cast of the disaster film Deepwater Horizon and the revival of the mystery drama Twin Peaks.
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Ryan Hurst — Gerry Bertier
Many could argue that Bertier was the true heart of the 2000 sports drama. Learning to overcome prejudice to achieve not just wins on the field, but also forge bonds of brotherhood with all his teammates regardless of skin color lent this film — and Gerry’s character — its true strength. Gerry needs all the strength he can muster when he is involved in a car accident that costs him the use of his legs. Undeterred from supporting his team, Gerry cheers the Titans onto their championship victory from the hospital.
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As of late, Ryan Hurst’s name may not ring as many bells as they do when one thinks of Gerry Bertier. But you’ve most likely seen him, unable to perceive past his deluge of scruff and beard. Hurst came across our television stations on FX’s Sons of Anarchy as Opie, loyal companion to lead Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam). Continuing to expand his repertoire of excellent television programming, audiences will be able to see Hurst as Beta, one of the Walker-flesh-mask wearing villains on AMC’s global smash-hit The Walking Dead.
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Kate Bosworth — Emma Hoyt
As the girlfriend of team captain Gerry, Kate Bosworth’s Emma provided a look into the world away from the football field. Away from the bonding at training camp, Emma is at first unable to understand Gerry’s friendship with his African-American teammates, particularly Julius. Societal pressure gets to her and she ends her relationship with Gerry. After the latter’s tragic accident, Emma seeks and finds forgiveness, and even works to create the beginning of a friendship with Julius.
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The early 2000s saw Bosworth breakout of this film and become one of Hollywood’s hottest starlets for a time. The surf drama Blue Crush gave her a chance as a leading lady and 2006’s Superman Returns — which saw her cast as iconic reporter Lois Lane — allowed her to shine in big-budget spectacles. Bosworth continues to be a mainstay in Hollywood (more recently seen in Netflix’s The I-Land) but has forged a new path of success as a fashion designer and a contributor for their respective ad campaigns.
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Donald Faison — Petey Jones
Though slightly braggadocios, Petey Jones begins his journey on the Titans hoping to just have fun. Coach Boone’s strict regimen soon shakes Petey from his schoolyard mindset. Somewhat daunted by what they have accomplished and frightened on his feet, Jones is given a temporary leave from the team. But just as all seems bleak, Petey musters the courage he learned and cultivated amongst his brothers — regardless of skin color — to stand with and fight for the Titans.
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Thanks to his costarring role on the hospital comedy Scrubs, Faison has cemented himself in the halls of comedy history. As the ever-lovable Turk, Faison helped to create one of comedy’s cornerstone bromances with series lead Zach Braff. Towards the end of the show’s eight-year run, Braff left, leaving Faison and others to continue on for one final season. With undisputed television success under his belt, Faison has refocused and found even more success through animated voice acting. Acute ears can hear the voice of Petey and Turk most recently on Disney’s Star Wars: Resistance.
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Hayden Panettiere — Sheryl Yoast
Hayden Panettiere wouldn’t let her age dampen the energy of her onscreen counterpart. As Assistant Coach Bill Yoast’s young daughter, Sheryl gives Bill some key insights into how the world is changing. Her early anger towards Coach Boone comes not from race, but her belief that her father should be head coach. She loves the game of football as much as any player on the team — her intense cheering helps her father realize the racial tensions that must be confronted and dissolved if their goal of victory as a team is what truly matters.
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While Panettiere has had a film career many young actresses would be quite comfortable in, she has truly cemented herself on television. As cheerleading superhero Claire Bennett in NBC’s Heroes, she reintroduced herself to audiences as a young actress on the wildly successful drama. Even greater recognition came her way in her portrayal as wild, troubled country superstar Juliette Barnes on Nashville — which at one point reunited her with Titans co-star Burgess Jenkins. Now working alongside veteran actors, Panettiere has more than held her own — anchoring the series for the majority of its run.
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Ryan Gosling — Alan Bosley
Always ready to sing and dance to a tune, Alan at moments seems more primed for the stage rather than the football field. His showtune antics catch up to him when he doesn’t seem ready to compete at the level the Titans needs him to. Despite an overaggressive father constantly hounding Coach Yoast to play his son, Alan learns the value of where the team needs him most — he steps aside in the championship to let a superior player take his position, allowing a brotherhood he helped create to win.
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Today, Ryan Gosling is a face and name known and recognized the world over. From titles as diverse as The Notebook, Blade Runner 2049, and the Oscar winning La La Land, time has been nothing but kind to the actor. Disproportional to his amount of screen time in Remember the Titans, the filmmakers didn’t realize what a star they had on their hands. Whether it’s action, drama, or romance, Gosling can do it all, often achieving the rare feat of both critical acclaim and box office success.
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Denzel Washington — Coach Herman Boone
Already an accomplished and iconic leading man, Denzel tackled the role of Coach Herman Boone to begin the new millennium. A figurehead of achievement in the racial tensions of the late 1960s and early 1970s, Boone is hired by the pessimistic T.C. Williams High School to integrate their football program. Letting his actions speak louder than words, Boone remains unperturbed by the rising tension between players and the community at large. Through rigorous training — both physical and mental — Boone placates the unjust fears by leading the team to unimaginable victories.
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Denzel Washington remains to this day one of Hollywood’s top actors. Where is he now? Only more renowned than he already was in 2000 — which is certainly a statement few actors can make over the last 20 years. He has since won his second Oscar (for 2001’s Training Day), directed two feature films, and continues to tune his craft perfectly in nearly every performance. Most recently, Denzel continues to reinvent his career with film adaptions of the action series The Equalizer, showing audiences worldwide that age only works in this man’s favor.
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