It’s been 25 years since Tom Hanks made his feature film directorial debut with “That Thing You Do!” in 1996. The musical dramedy — which has become a bit of a cult classic since performing only modestly at the box office when it first debuted — centers around a fictitious pop-rock band, The Wonders, and their meteoric rise to fame in the mid-’60s. In honor of its big anniversary on Oct. 4, 2021, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at the cast and what they’ve been up to over the years.
Keep reading to catch up with “Shades” actor Tom Everett Scott, Jimmy actor Johnathon Schaech and more…
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Tom Everett Scott starred as drummer Guy “Shades” Patterson, who joins The Wonders when their original drummer breaks his arm.
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Tom Everett Scott made his feature film debut in “That Thing You Do!” He went on to star in “An American Werewolf in Paris,” “Dead Man on Campus,” “Boiler Room,” “Because I Said So” and “La La Land.” He’s also appeared on a wide range of TV shows including “ER,” “Law & Order,” “Sons of Anarchy,” “Southland” and “13 Reasons Why.” More recently, he popped up on the short-lived NBC series “Council of Dads” and had a small role in the 2021 romantic drama “Finding You.” Tom married college pal Jenni Gallagher the year after “That Thing You Do!” debuted. They welcomed daughter Arly in 2000 and son Finn in 2004.
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Johnathon Schaech starred as The Wonders frontman, bossy singer James “Jimmy” Mattingly II.
Johnathon Schaech went on to star in a wide range of films — from “Hush” and “Finding Graceland” to “Quarantine” and “Takers.” He’s also had stints on the shows “Time of Your Life,” “The Client List,” “Ray Donovan” and “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” on which he had a three-episode arc as Jonah Hex. Jonathan has been married three times: to “The Giving Tree” co-star Christina Applegate from 2001 to 2007, to “Prom Night” co-star Jana Kramer for just a month in 2010 and to his current missus, publicist Julie Solomon, since 2013. Jonathan and Julie welcomed son Camden in September 2013 and daughter Lillian in July 2020.
Liv Tyler starred as Jimmy’s long-term girlfriend, Faye Dolan, who develops a close bond with Guy as The Wonders shoot up the charts.
Liv Tyler went on to star in a wide range of films — from “Armageddon” and “The Incredible Hulk” to the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and the Kevin Smith romantic dramedy “Jersey Girl.” After two decades in the spotlight, she finally made her television debut with the HBO series “The Leftovers.” She then starred on the second and third seasons of “Harlots” before headlining the first season of “9-1-1: Lone Star” in 2020. In 1998, Liv’s three-year relationship with “Inventing the Abbotts” co-star Joaquin Phoenix came to an end. She moved on with Spacehog rocker Royston Langdon, whom she married in 2003. They welcomed son Milo the following year but split in 2008. In 2014, she started seeing British sports agent Dave Gardner — they reportedly got engaged after less than a year of dating in late 2014 but apparently have no plans to tie the knot. They welcomed son Sailor in February 2015 and daughter Lula Rose in 2016.
Steve Zahn starred as The Wonders guitarist Leonard “Lenny” Haise.
Steve Zahn has appeared in countless films over the years. His biggest hits include “You’ve Got Mail,” “Happy, Texas,” for which he won an Independent Spirit Award in 2000, “Rescue Dawn,” for which he earned his second Independent Spirit Award nomination in 2008, the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” franchise, “Dallas Buyers Club” and “War for the Planet of the Apes.” He also starred on “Treme” and “The White Lotus,” which made waves on HBO Max in 2021. He married novelist Robyn Peterman in 1994. They welcomed son Henry in 2000 and daughter Audrey in 2002.
Ethan Embry starred as The Wonders’ nameless bassist.
Ethan Embry’s biggest hits now include “Vegas Vacation,” “Can’t Hardly Wait,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Eagle Eye” and the 2018 Neil Armstrong biopic “First Man.” He also had stints on the short-lived 2003 “Dragnet” reboot and on “Once Upon a Time” in 2013. Since 2015, he’s starred as Coyote Bergstein, Frankie’s adopted son, on “Grace and Frankie,” which is currently in its seventh and final season and is set to conclude in 2022. Ethan, who struggled with addiction issues after shooting into the spotlight, married actress Amelinda Smith in 1998. They welcomed son Cogeian in 1999 but split in 2002. He married “Snakes on a Plane” actress Sunny Mabrey in 2005, but they divorced in 2012 only to reconcile in 2014 and remarry in 2015.
Giovanni Ribisi portrayed The Wonders’ original drummer, Chad.
Giovanni Ribisi went on to star in hit films including “Saving Private Ryan,” “The Other Sister,” “Gone in Sixty Seconds,” “Lost in Translation,” “Cold Mountain,” “Public Enemies,” “Ted,” “Selma” and “Avatar.” (He’s set to return for the long-promised sequels.) He also had memorable stints on “Friends” (he portrayed Phoebe’s brother Frank) and “My Name Is Earl,” for which he scored an Emmy nomination in 2007. Up next, he’s set to star as mob boss Joseph Colombo on the buzzy Paramount+ series “The Offer,” which centers around the making of Francis Ford Coppola’s magnum opus “The Godfather.” A year after “That Thing You Do!” debuted, Giovanni married actress Mariah O’Brien. They welcomed daughter Lucia in 1997 but parted ways in 2001. He reportedly romanced Cat Power from 2006 to 2012 and then quickly moved on with model Agyness Deyn, whom he quietly married in June 2012. But it wasn’t meant to be: They divorced in 2015. In early 2017, he started seeing interior designer Emily Ward. They welcomed twins — son Enzo and daughter Maude — in December 2018.
Tom Hanks pulled triple duty on “That Thing You Do!” He wrote and directed the film and also starred as Amos White, who serves as The Wonders’ manager during their rise to the top of the charts.
Tom Hanks is still one of Hollywood’s most in-demand actors. In the years since “That Thing You Do!” debuted, he’s appeared in countless films and earned Oscar nominations for his work in “Saving Private Ryan,” “Cast Away” and “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” He also won Emmys for producing “From the Earth to the Moon,” “Band of Brothers,” “John Adams,” “The Pacific,” “Game Change” and “Olive Kitteridge.” He’s only directed one feature film since “That Thing You Do!” — 2011’s “Larry Crowne,” which he also wrote — though the third feature film he wrote and starred in, “Greyhound,” debuted on Apple TV+ in July 2020. More recently, he starred in “News of the World,” which scored four Oscar nominations in 2021. The A-list actor has been married to second wife Rita Wilson, who briefly appeared in “That Thing You Do!” as a waitress, since 1988. They share two sons, Chet and Truman, who was born less than a year before “That Thing You Do!” debuted. (Tom has two older children, son Colin and daughter Elizabeth, from his first marriage to Samantha Lewes.)
Charlize Theron portrayed Guy’s girlfriend Tina Powers, who splits from the drummer as The Wonders gain fame.
Charlize Theron has appeared in countless hit films since “That Thing You Do!” debuted. She won an Academy Award in 2004 for her performance as serial killer Aileen Wuornos in “Monster” and earned subsequent Oscar nominations for her work in “North Country” and “Bombshell.” The former model also earned an Emmy nomination in 2005 for “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.” More recently, she starred in “F9: The Fast Saga” and voiced Morticia Addams in “The Addams Family 2.” Charlize romanced Craig Bierko from 1995 to 1997, Third Eye Blind frontman Stephan Jenkins from 1997 to 2001, actor Stuart Townsend from 2001 to 2010 and Sean Penn from late 2013 to mid-2015. (In 2020, she shot down long-standing rumors that she and the two-time Oscar winner were once engaged.) In recent years, the South African star has prioritized raising her daughters — Jackson and August, whom she adopted in 2012 and 2015 — over dating.
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