Here’s What the Leading Men Who Ruled the Early 2000s Look Like Now
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You may have tried to copy their style (or at least the hair), then quickly decided only Channing Tatum can pull off being Channing Tatum. Here’s a look back at the most stylish men of the aughts — and how they’re holding up now.
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Then: Patrick Dempsey
In the early 2000s, Dempsey appeared in a string of hit movies including Scream 3 and Sweet Home Alabama. But it wasn’t until 2005 that Dempsey landed his breakthrough role on medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, garnering the steel blue-eyed actor the nickname “Dr. McDreamy.”
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Now: Patrick Dempsey
Since wrapping up his time on Grey’s Anatomy in 2015, the 55-year-old actor has spent much of his time bouncing between roles in various television projects, including The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair (2018) and the upcoming Devils.
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Then: Tyrese Gibson
The Los Angeles singer turned actor made his big-screen debut in the 2001 film Baby Boy, but it was his roles as Roman Pearce in 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) and Sergeant Epps in Transformers (2007) that earned Gibson worldwide recognition.
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Now: Tyrese Gibson
With six Fast and Furious films under his belt, the 42-year-old actor is next turning his attention to the Spiderman universe, appearing alongside Jared Leto in Morbius, due out later this year. Gibson isn’t turning his back on the billion-dollar fast car franchise just yet…he’s set to appear in the next Fast and Furious installment, F9, when it releases April 2021.
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Then: Josh Duhamel
In 2003, the Daytime Emmy Award-winner transitioned from soap star to primetime leading man, landing the starring role in NBC’s Las Vegas – which ran for five seasons. But it was his breakout role in 2004’s Win a Date with Todd Hamilton! that made fans around the world want to know how to win a date with Josh Duhamel.
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Now: Josh Duhamel
Now 48, the hunky movie star recently battled sharks in Capsized: Blood in the Water, and is making a return to television, starring in the upcoming superhero series Jupiter’s Legacy for Netflix.
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Then: Hugh Grant
The London native set hair trends in the 90s then continued to build on his box office appeal with leading roles in Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001), About a Boy (2002), and Love Actually (2003).
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Now: Hugh Grant
The refined English actor, now 60, continues to take on various film and television projects, having most recently starred in The Gentleman alongside Matthew McConaughey. He’s also co-starring with Nicole Kidman in HBO’s miniseries The Undoing.
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Then: Ricky Martin
The Puerto Rico native began his singing career at just 12 years old, performing in the pop boy band Menudo. Martin released his self-titled debut solo album in the early ’90s, but it was another self-titled solo effort in 1999, featuring the song “Livin’ la Vida Loca,” that thrust the Latin artist into the global spotlight.
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Now: Ricky Martin
The eight-time Grammy nominee and two-time winner is still pumping out the hits. In 2020, the 49-year-old released his 11th studio album, Movimiento.
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Then: Channing Tatum
The model-turned-actor made his big-screen debut in the 2005 basketball drama Coach Carter. However, it was his double starring roles in She’s the Man and Step Up that made him a household name the following year.
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Now: Channing Tatum
Now 41, the age-defying actor has taken some time away from the camera. His last on-screen roles, Logan Lucky and Kingsman: The Golden Circle, were both released in 2017. Luckily for his fans, the hiatus is not expected to last much longer as the actor is set to star in a slew of movies due for release in 2021 and 2022.
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Then: Ryan Phillippe
Phillippe garnered bad boy heartthrob status with big-screen roles in Cruel Intentions (1999), Crash (2004), and Stop-Loss (2008). He also carried out a high-profile marriage with Academy Award-winner Reese Witherspoon from 2003-2007, with whom he shares two children.
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Now: Ryan Phillippe
Now 46, the actor has made the transition to the small screen, starring in ABC’s Secrets and Lies and USA Network’s Shooter. While both of those series have wrapped, Phillippe is already onto his next leading TV venture, a procedural drama for ABC called The Big Sky.
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Then: Freddie Prinze Jr.
Son of beloved television comedian Freddie Prinze, the actor skyrocketed to fame with starring roles in I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), She’s All That (1999), Summer Catch (2001), and Scooby-Doo (2002).
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Now: Freddie Prinze Jr.
The 45-year-old actor has taken some time off from being in front of the camera to focus on various endeavors behind-the-scenes, lending his voice to several shows and video games. But the Star Wars Rebels actor is set to make his first on-screen comeback in the television revival of Punky Brewster, set for late 2020.
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Then: Mekhi Phifer
The talented New York City native found early success starring in both small-screen ventures, including a six-year run on ER, and big-screen hits like Shaft (2000), 8 Mile (2002) and Dawn of the Dead (2004).
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Now: Mekhi Phifer
Now 46, Phifer leads the Apple TV+ drama series Truth Be Told, which was recently picked up for a second season.
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Then: Jared Padalecki
The Texas native rose to fame appearing as Dean Forester in the popular TV series Gilmore Girls, which ran from 2000-2007. The actor then leaped to the silver screen in 2004’s New York Minute and followed that up with a role in House of Wax before landing the lead in TV series Supernatural in 2005.
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Now: Jared Padalecki
The 39-year-old actor ended his record-breaking 15 season run as monster hunter Sam Winchester on the fantasy TV series Supernatural in 2020. Padalecki then quickly picked up the starring role the series revival of Walker, Texas Ranger in 2021.
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Then: Zac Efron
At the age of 18, Efron became an overnight sensation with his starring role in the popular Disney Channel original movie High School Musical. Followed by two sequels, the actor landed starring roles in 17 Again (2009) and Neighbors (2014).
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Now: Zac Efron
After growing up in the public eye, Efron (now 33) is a full-fledged movie star. Most recently, he garnered praise for his portrayal of serial killer Ted Bundy in Netflix’s Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.
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Then: Orlando Bloom
The UK native quickly garnered the attention of millions across the globe with starring roles in two blockbuster franchises: Lord of the Rings (2001) and Pirates of the Caribbean (2003).
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Now: Orlando Bloom
Now 44, the actor currently stars in the Amazon original series Carnival Row and welcomed a new baby with fiancé Katy Perry in 2020.
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Then: Antonio Banderas
Born in Málaga, Spain, the international star rose to prominence playing the title role in 1998’s The Mask of Zorro. The early 2000s saw Banderas lend his voice to the animated Shrek series, as well as reprise his star-making role in The Legend of Zorro in 2005.
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Now: Antonio Banderas
The Academy Award nominee is showing no signs of slowing down. Following his starring role in 2019’s award season favorite Pain and Glory, the 61-year-old actor appeared next in the sequel to The Hitman’s Bodyguard, alongside Ryan Reynolds. He’ll also appear in the film adaptation of the popular video game, Uncharted, also starring Mark Wahlberg and Tom Holland, slated to be released in 2022.
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Then: Chad Michael Murray
The actor landed mainstream success starring in the TV drama One Tree Hill (2003-2009) along with Freaky Friday (2003) and A Cinderella Story (2004).
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Now: Chad Michael Murray
Now 39, Murray continues his leading man role on the small screen in a series of Hallmark Channel original rom-coms, tossing in an occasional recurring role on CW’s Riverdale.