It has been 15 years since Amanda Bynes starred in What A Girl Wants as Daphne Reynolds, a young girl dying to meet and get to know her father, Lord Henry Dashwood played by Colin Firth. Unfortunately, this is not an easy feat and she must trek all the way to England and battle some real royal pains in order to meet him and navigate their complex relationship, especially since he never even knew that she existed. This crushing blow leads to even more complexities as Dashwood is deeply involved in his own life in London and currently has a fiancé, soon-to-be new step-daughter and the potential to run for Prime Minister. Regardless, he is very open to meeting his daughter and having her be a part of his life.
Fifteen years is a lot of time and the cast members have been living their lives, honing their talents and changing tremendously. Age can do a number on many of us. Sometimes we mature well and flawlessly and other times, well–the older we get, the more scandal and chaos tend to follow. Then we all too easily demonstrate it all over our physical appearance. Here are 15 cast members from What A Girl Wants who are living their lives today in an assortment of ways. Wait until you see them 15 years later!
15 Amanda Bynes Is Practically Someone Else
Amanda Bynes, has changed so much, in many ways, since she was in What A Girl Wants. In 2003, when she played the role of Daphne Reynolds, she was only 17 years old with mousy brown long straight hair and a youthful flair to her. Now in her 30s, has made some changes in her life.
Although she is still young, Bynes has been in the news for her misfortune of some mental health issues, among other things. HuffingtonPost conducted an interview with Bynes recently as she opened up about her struggles she's recently gone through, “I was serious, but I was also on some things. That was my way of saying, like, ‘Let’s do it, man,’ but I was using and trying to be hilarious.”
Now with blonde hair and bangs, this fashion lover has learned how to sew and hopes to start her own fashion line in the future. There’s also the rumor of her gracing the world with her presence again as an actress. Nothing has been set in stone, but this is something she expressed interest in.
14 Colin Firth Still Makes Us Swoon
This well-versed, English-born British actor has played in a number of films and made numerous big screen Hollywood appearances throughout his career. In 2003, when he performed as Lord Henry Dashwood, he was a much younger guy. Firth had the air of a royal with a presence that was not only distinguished with a sense of propriety, but also with his stunningly handsome looks.
Even after 15 years, age has been really good to Firth. He may have some grays mixed in with his locks of dark brown hair, but he still maintains that poised gentleman look and persona, especially with his dark-rimmed glasses that help pull together the finishing touch. This actor continues to work hard and earn awards for his looks and talent.
13 Kelly Preston Keeps It Classy These Days
This ageless stunning beauty only gets more beautiful with age and we love her “a million Swedish Fish!” Preston played Libby Reynolds, the single mom of Daphne who had been working her tail off to take care of her one and only daughter. This Hawaiian native wore her beautiful blonde hair down, falling way below her shoulders in 2003. She was 41 years old and looked many years younger than that.
There was a little less wave compared to today’s Preston who wears her hair not only wavier but a bit more reddish. In fact, Kelly’s hair has varied dramatically in color throughout her career. She still has maintained star status and amazed fans throughout her most recent tragedy a few years ago with the loss of her son Jett, with actor John Travolta.
12 Oliver James Retained His Boyish Good Looks
This still relatively young English actor starred in What A Girl Wants in his early 20s making a debut in his acting career as Ian Wallace, Daphne’s love interest, and eventual boyfriend. When he starred in his film debut, he was fresh-looking with barely a hint of facial hair as he rocked his role of the teenage heartthrob. His dark features gave him a mysterious look.
As he has aged, he has become a little more scruffy–testing out the long hair look (man bun anyone?!) as well as the basic cut. His features are still handsome and dark eyes mysteriously piercing yet beautiful even now as he’s pushing toward the 40 mark. This handsome young-at-heart British actor continues to work with a shared passion for acting and music.
11 Eileen Atkins Is Still Fit For The Throne
Eileen Atkins has mastered dozens upon dozens of television and movie roles and continues to do so even at the ripe age of 83. When she starred in What a Girl Wants as Jocelyn Dashwood, she was already graying, but as young at heart as any could possibly imagine. She played Daphne’s long-lost grandmother.
Despite some unrelenting and unavoidable aging, Atkins is literally the epitome of the new 80! She plans on continuing to act despite the wrinkles and grays and her smile is just as big as it was back when she had her red hair and more youthful figure. Amazingly, although she has successfully played many roles including the role of the mother in many films, she has never been a mom. Maybe that’s why she’s aging so gracefully...the lack of maternal stress!
10 Jonathan Pryce Rises Again
Now sporting a head of receding fully white hair, this actor has astonishingly racked up over 100 acting jobs and has more under his belt even as he continues to age. He played Alistair Payne, the campaign manager of Henry. At the age of 55, he starred in What A Girl Wants in this powerful role–complete with pointy eyebrows, a reddish-brown goatee, and a smirk.
Today, he stands tall with his humble smile sans the goatee as he solidifies his acting, television and movie career with HBO hit Game of Thrones as High Sparrow. At awards shows, he can be seen looking rather pulled together, but can also dress down and stop shaving for his current acting needs complete with a 5 o’clock shadow.
9 Anna Chancellor—A Feminist's Dream
This beautiful and sassy British-born actress swept us off our feet with her high maintenance attitude as Glynnis Paine, fiancé of Henry Dashwood and mother of entitled Clarissa in the 2003 hit movie. Her skin and hair both glowed in 2003 and as she has moved on with her life over the last 15 or so years, Chancellor has picked up a variety of other high-profile roles.
Today, a self-proclaimed and active feminist, she’s 52 years young and sports more of a shorter bob cut, less shapely eyebrows, and a few more wrinkles. This does not stop her success as she continues her career. Her eyes are still big and happy and her smile much more sincere than it was when she played manipulative Glynnis.
8 Christina Cole Kept Her Spunk
At the age of 21, Christina Cole ran with her role of Clarissa Payne and daughter of Glynnis Payne in 2003 while she was still in drama school. This evil almost-stepsister to Amanda Bynes’ character Daphne looks much nicer today than she did back then with her mean girl look.
Although still blonde-haired with longer hair, Christina has blossomed into a lovely young woman and is still acting. Her beautiful pout is one of her signatures and although she is now in her 30s, she is slowly beginning to show subtle signs of getting older. Luckily for makeup, that also aids not only in hiding wrinkles but also in her miraculous transformation for her role in The Shakespeare Code and stylists accommodating any wide variety of hairstyles, she still looks rather amazing in our eyes.
7 Roger Ashton-Griffiths Has Been Busy
Roger Ashton-Griffiths is now in his early 60s and slightly resembles the late, yet highly distinguished Benjamin Franklin, complete with receding hairline and slightly long hair resting on his shoulders. His role of Lord Orwood was one of royalty and the father of Peach and Pear Orwood.
This former ginger is now sprouting some serious grays, while still sporting his classic round spectacles. He can also be seen still acting and playing in a number of roles in England and supporting HBO’s cause. His large round eyes are slightly more droopy, but Ashton-Griffiths still performs in an award-winning fashion. Instead of the black top hat, he can be seen with a wonderfully coiffed handlebar mustache in Game of Thrones with a few ginger-colored hairs still poking through.
6 Ben Scholfield Hasn't Aged A Day
Playing Armistead Stuart and crush of Clarissa Payne in the movie, Ben Scholfield has come a long way. Playing an upper-class citizen, he is slightly sleazy and cannot seem to stop looking at and objectifying women. His looks have changed from young preppy frat boy-worthy J-Crew model type to more of a hippy look with longer reddish-brown hair.
His time is spent behind the scenes now with What a Girl Wants being his only film credit. This sports enthusiast still looks young with his piercing icy blue eyes and model lips. He enjoys managing and producing, but even though he’s behind the scenes, he still cares about his slow-to-age appearance.
5 Sylvia Syms Is As Sweet As Ever
This feisty, hard-working 84-year-old actress and producer is still at it. Sylvia Syms played old lady Princess Charlotte in the movie. Although her role was not a major one in this film, she has commanded her career and even has her own website dedicated to it. This strawberry blonde with a huge smile and charisma to boot has one daughter following in her acting footsteps.
Although she was significantly thinner in her younger years, Syms still boasts beauty and prestige as she shows up for royal events in her London hometown. She is aging nicely and time has been good to her. The biggest difference we can see besides her weight is a larger number of age spots, but what’s an older woman to do? She still remains active and successful in England pursuing her passions.
4 Tara Summers Stuns
This fabulous and stunning actress started her career playing Noelle, a small part in What A Girl Wants. She has is an English-born actress with one of her alma maters being in the United States as she had attended Brown University where she graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts shortly before taking on the role of Noelle. Over the years, she has gone through a variety of hair colors and is best known for her role on Boston Legal.
In 2003 and in her early 20s, she sported a mousy brown, basic and boring hairstyle with a part on the side of her head. Since then she has styled, highlighted and tried different parts as she has perfected her craft in the world of stardom. She is aging nicely, working hard and smiling large.
3 Cassie And Connie Powney Have Moved On Up
Cassie played Peach Orwood at the age of 20 while her twin sister Connie played the role of Pear Orwood. These two drop-dead gorgeous blonde stars appear to be the British version of the Olsen twins, complete with similar features of high cheekbones, blonde hair and perfect makeup. They have both acted since early childhood and played many twin roles such as these twin Orwood sister in What A Girl Wants.
Two of their more recent roles have each acting in British soap Hollyoaks side by side and Cassie being nominated for an award for her role in Hollyoaks. Cassie is now successfully contributing as a beauty correspondent for the UK Cosmo magazine. Connie has been flying under the radar since filming Hollyoaks.
2 James Greene Said Goodbye To Hollywood
British actor James Greene was in his early 70s in 2003 when he played Percy, the famous royal elderly—yet efficient—butler to Henry and Jocelyn Dashwood in this Warner Brothers film. Greene is a famous and quite aged British acclaimed actor and writer and has been last known for his amazing 2009 work in Sherlock Holmes.
For a guy of his age (James Greene was born in 1931), he has worked right up to this prime. This white-haired, distinguished fellow is another one who has flown a bit under the radar with his last known work being done several years ago. We can only hope that he is having a lovely retirement!
1 Peter Hugo Is The Splitting Image Of Royalty
The famous and prim British actor–known as Prince Charles of Wales look-alike–has been famous for many years for roles playing the royal Prince Charles of Wales. His uncanny and amazingly similar resemblance throughout the years is amazing. Both of them seem to match in their journey through the ages. Peter Hugo played the part of the Prince in What A Girl Wants, where he was intertwined with Colin Firth’s role as Henry, Daphne’s father.
Hugo has been fortunate to use his stunningly English prince looks to play his role in quite a few movies and parts as can be seen by his lengthy acting resumé. Hugo’s large ears are one of the signatures to his looks, along with his furrowed eyebrows. He is generally seen in a suit and tie, similar to his off-screen “twin.” Pictured here is Peter alongside the real Prince Charles, for comparison.