After Playing The Love Interest In Iconic Films, These Actresses Went On To Pursue Other Ventures

From Rachel McAdams’ character Allie to Robin Wright’s Princess Buttercup, film has brought us some terrific on-screen love interests. Whether they’re quirky, popular, beautiful, or nerdy, movies have shown that character chemistry wins out over everything. While the actresses who have played these love interests owned their roles, it begs the question — where are they now?

While some of these leading ladies have opted to stay out of the spotlight and raise families, others have gone on to star in critically acclaimed films and television series. Keep dancing on down this list; you’ll be surprised where some of your favorite love interests are today.

Jennifer Grey As Baby In Dirty Dancing

Jennifer Grey As Baby In Dirty Dancing
Vestron Pictures
Vestron Pictures

One of the most classic love stories shown on-screen is that between Johnny and Baby. Now, Frances “Baby” Houseman is hard not to fall in love with. As an innocent young woman wanting nothing more than to have one last fun summer before joining the Peace Corps, she dances her way right into everyone’s hearts (and not just Johnny’s!).

Now, Jennifer Grey has hung up Baby’s dancing shoes for other ventures. And when we say other ventures, we don’t mean outside of the entertainment industry. Grey has been busy, appearing in multiple films, television series, and even doing some voice acting. Her most recent project was the 2020 series The Conners.

Julia Roberts As Vivian In Pretty Woman

Julia Roberts As Vivian In Pretty Woman
Touchstone Pictures
Touchstone Pictures

Julia Roberts played the quirky, lovable, and endearing Vivian Ward in the rom-com classic Pretty Woman. People couldn’t help but fall in love with Vivian’s personality, style, and ability to be 100 percent herself all of the time. Honestly, we’re not surprised Edward wound up falling in love with the escort.

One thing most can agree on that is Julia Roberts nailed the part, giving us a true Cinderella story. Since the release of the 1990s film, Roberts has been quite busy in the industry. She has starred in many hit movies, including Erin Brockovich and Runaway Bride. But her most recent appearance was in the 2018 television series Homecoming.

Kate Winslet As Rose In Titanic

Kate Winslet As Rose In Titanic
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

Did anyone else love watching Jack fall in love with Rose, the high-class gal way out of his league? Or so he thought. Rose showed viewers that it doesn’t matter where you come from or how much money you have when you find the right person who just clicks with you.

Kate Winslet played the part of Rose in Titanic perfectly, but she’s been dabbling in many period dramas since the film was released. Her most recent project, The French Dispatch, has not been released but is highly anticipated by both fans and critics.

Nia Long As Nina In Love Jones

Nia Long As Nina In Love Jones
New Line Cinema
New Line Cinema

Watching Nina and Darius fall in love over poetry, photography, and the arts was a treat. So when love interest Nina decides to go back to New York to mend an old relationship, viewers are left just as heartbroken as Darius. Thankfully, she makes the right decision in the end.

Nia Long, the actress who plays Nina, has since been quite active in Hollywood, starring in multiple television shows, such as NCIS: Los Angeles. The most recent series she has worked on is the Netflix original series #BlackAF. If you haven’t seen it, we highly recommend taking the time to at least watch the pilot.

Kate Hudson As Andie In How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days

Kate Hudson As Andie In How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

It’s not hard to see why Ben, played by Matthew McConaughey, fell in love with quirky Andie in the 2003 rom-com How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. She’s smart, lovable, and very much a weird woman whom you can’t help but want to get to know a little bit more — kind of like the actress who portrayed the character, Kate Hudson.

While Hudson and McConaughey starred opposite each other in more than one rom-com after this one, the actress didn’t stop there. Recently she starred in the drama Music, a story about a newly-sober woman who becomes the sole guardian of her autistic half-sister.

Rachel McAdams As Allie In The Notebook

Rachel McAdams As Allie In The Notebook
New Line Cinema
New Line Cinema

Nothing says ‘teary love story’ quite like The Notebook. Boy meets girl, girl’s parents don’t approve, and they’re both left to figure life out for themselves. Of course, the love interest, Allie, eventually makes her way back to the love of her life, Noah. It just takes a few years, him building a mansion, and her finding hidden letters.

Actress Rachel McAdams kept her momentum going after the film wrapped up, starring in many more dramas, rom-coms, and comedies. Her most recent film is actually a parody of a European songwriting competition called Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.

Elisabeth Shue As Chris Parker In Adventures In Babysitting

shue
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

Adventures in Babysitting is one of those movies that people just love to rewatch. That’s in part because of the adorable Elisabeth Shue’s role as Chris Parker, a high-school senior who gets stuck babysitting one night. Her friend’s younger brother Brad Anderson is smitten with her and changes his plans to accompany Chris, and together they embark on a night full of misadventures. She was the babysitter of many young men’s dreams!

Actress Elisabeth Shue went on to appear in a few different hit ’80s and ’90s films, including all three Back to the Future movies, Leaving Las Vegas and Hollow Man. Most recently, you might recognize Shue from her regular appearance in the series The Boys. She also appears in the 2020 Tom Hanks-led film Greyhound.

Drew Barrymore As Lucy In 50 First Dates

Drew Barrymore As Lucy In 50 First Dates
Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures

There’s nothing more interesting than watching a love interest on-screen who has short-term memory issues. Thankfully, Lucy finds Henry to help her along. And it’s not hard to see why he sticks with someone who has such a harsh reality. Lucy is quirky, fun, and goes along with just about anything Henry wants to do.

So, we thank Ms. Drew Barrymore for giving us the love interest of Lucy, a woman whose personality we should all aspire to. Recently, Barrymore has been putting a majority of her energy into parenting her two daughters as well as managing her Flower beauty line.

Julia Stiles As Kat Stratford In 10 Things I Hate About You

Julia Stiles As Kat Stratford In 10 Things I Hate About You
Touchstone Pictures
Touchstone Pictures

In the loose modernization of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew comes 10 Things I Hate About You. And with it, Heath Ledger’s character Patrick’s love interest, the chronic pessimist and “I really could care less about you and your bad-boy look” feminist Kat Stratford. Pretty much, what’s not to like?

Julia Stiles was the lucky actress to play the character of Kat opposite Ledger, but this wasn’t her last huge film in Hollywood. Recently, Stiles appeared opposite J-Lo, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Constance Wu, Cardi B, and Lizzo in the 2019 film Hustlers.

Andie MacDowell As Carrie In Four Weddings And A Funeral

Andie MacDowell As Carrie in Four Weddings And A Funeral
Rank Film Distributors
Rank Film Distributors

With a 1994 film titled Four Weddings and a Funeral, you know there is going to be an amazing love interest. And there most certainly is, in the form of Carrie, the cute American woman Hugh Grant’s character Charles falls for after their first meeting.

But when Andie MacDowell isn’t playing characters dreamy Englishmen drool over, she’s been playing the field in Hollywood. And when we say that, we mean, she’s been in an array of different projects, including Magic Mike XXL, 30 Rock, and her most recent television movie, Lovestruck.

Patricia Arquette As Alabama In True Romance

Patricia Arquette As Alabama In True Romance
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

Their story might be a bit unorthodox, but that doesn’t make the lady of the night, Alabama, any less a love interest to Elvis fanatic and comic-book nerd Clarence. She is adventurous, loving, and will do pretty much anything for Clarence, so she’s okay in our book!

Actress Patricia Arquette had quite the career, before and after her time as Alabama, but has always stayed under the “fame radar,” even though she’s considered one of the most talented actresses of her generation. Her most recent role was as Dee Dee Blanchard in the critically acclaimed base-on-a-true-story miniseries The Act.

Sandra Bullock As Kate Forster In The Lake House

Sandra Bullock As Kate Forster In The Lake House
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

When it comes to on-screen love interests, nothing is more confusing than the relationship between Sandra Bullock’s Kate Forster and Keanu Reeves’ Alex Wyler. We mean, they communicate and fall in love via snail mail because they technically live in different times. Talk about a complicated relationship! The good news is they work it out and eventually meet.

The Lake House was released back in 2006, and since then, actress Sandra Bullock has appeared and starred in an array of films, including animated pictures. But, recently, she has stayed out of the spotlight and Hollywood in favor of being a stay-at-home mom.

Carrie Fisher As Princess Leia in Star Wars

Carrie Fisher As Princess Leia in Star Wars
Twentieth Century Fox
Twentieth Century Fox

Feisty, passionate, and fiery Princess Leia was not only Han and, weirdly, there for a little while, Luke’s love interest in the Star War franchise, but also the entire audience. She was everything people wanted to see in a future general — smart and a go-getter. And even though we weren’t part of the rebellion, she made us want to be.

Carrie Fisher was the princess for an entire generation of Star Wars fans, bringing them into the galaxy to fight off the Empire and then the First Order. And while Fisher passed away in 2016, she was able to finish off her final project, The Rise of Skywalker.

Lori Singer As Ariel Moore In Footloose

Lori Singer As Ariel Moore In Footloose
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

In Ariel’s defense, it’s hard not to fall for someone who is trying to defy the will of your over-bearing father. So, as the love interest of dance enthusiast Ren, she totally makes sense! She’s fun, popular, brave, and wants nothing more than to have a senior prom and to go with a boy she truly likes.

After the 1984 film wrapped up, actress Lori Singer hung up her dancing shoes for other Hollywood ventures. She had a solid career through the ’80s and ’90s, but people started seeing Singer dwindle from the spotlight in the late 2010s. Her last appearance was in the 2017 film The Institute.

Demi Moore As Molly In Ghost

Demi Moore As Molly In Ghost
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

Demi Moore plays the role of Molly in the 1990 romantic fantasy drama Ghost. Honestly, as a cool, artistic potter who wants nothing more than to love her man and re-vamp their Manhattan apartment, it’s no wonder Sam falls for her. And with the weird ghost pottery-wheel and slow dancing scene, it’s clear they’re meant to be together forever.

While Moore had a few different stints away from Hollywood to raise her kids, she has come back each time with a vengeance. Recently she has been working on the television series Brave New World, in which she will play the role of Linda.

Nicole Kidman As Satine in Moulin Rouge!

Nicole Kidman As Satine in Moulin Rouge!
20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox

Nothing says romance like someone with Ewan McGregor’s voice singing about how he will love you for all eternity. And if we were Nicole Kidman’s character Satine, we would have done the same exact impromptu duet to lock that relationship down real fast!

While Kidman is no longer singing about diamonds being a girl’s best friend, she certainly became that famous actress Satine always dreamed of becoming. The Oscar Award-winning actress has been in a slew of critically acclaimed television shows and films since the 2001 movie. Her most recently released movie was Bombshell, a film about a group of women taking down Fox News head Roger Ailes.

Reese Witherspoon As Annette Hargrove In Cruel Intentions

Reese Witherspoon As Annette Hargrove In Cruel Intentions
Sony Pictures
Sony Pictures

It was hard not to like Reese Witherspoon’s naive Annette Hargrove in the drama Cruel Intentions. Watching her innocence catch the eye of bad-boy Sebastian Valmont was one of the better things to come out of 1990s film. Of course, it took a long time and a lot of trust issues to get to the end of their love story, but at least they got there.

Today, Witherspoon is still considered to be one of the sweethearts of Hollywood, having taking up iconic roles such as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde. Most recently, she has starred in the mini Hulu series Little Fires Everywhere.

Robin Wright As Buttercup In The Princess Bride

Robin Wright As Buttercup In The Princess Bride
20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox

The love story of Buttercup and Westley was one of the better romantic tales to come out of the ’80s. We mean, who wouldn’t fall in love with a farm girl who pushed them around all day? We call it a love-hate relationship that fell more into love the older they became.

Actress Robin Wright has since hung up her crown for other costumes and props, such as the guitar she sported as Jenny in Forest Gump and the Amazonian warrior attire in Wonder Woman. But don’t worry, that’s not the last we’ll be seeing Wright in warrior gear, She’s reprising her role as Antiope in two films.

Mia Sara As Sloane Peterson In Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Mia Sara As Sloane Peterson In Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

Sloane Peterson was the love interest in the critically acclaimed 1986 film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. And while she was technically already the girlfriend of main protagonist Ferris, it still wasn’t hard to see what he saw in her. Honestly, who wouldn’t love someone who went along with all of your hooky hijinx plans?

While actress Mia Sara did a lot after Ferris Bueller, including acting opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme in Timecop, she left her career in Hollywood back in the late ’90s. Today, she has thrown herself into writing poetry and raising her children, leaving acting behind her for the foreseeable future.

Julie Delpy As Celine In Before Sunset

Julie Delpy As Celine In Before Sunset
Warner Independent Pictures
Warner Independent Pictures

In the sequel to Before Sunset, Before Sunrise takes us back into the love lives of Celine and Jesse. Of course, it’s nine years into the future and they’ve been living different lives, but that doesn’t mean love interest Celine is any less the love of Jesse’s life, as they later find out.

But after actress Julie Delpy was done acting alongside Ethan Hawke in this film and Before Midnight, she began dabbling in a few different projects. Her most recent appearance was in the 2019 drama My Zoe, where she plays a single mother trying to protect her daughter, Zoe, after a horrible and unexpected accident.