Pizza and love never looked so cheesy once the romantic comedy Mystic Pizza hit the big screen 25 years ago today. Starring Julia Roberts, Lili Taylor, and Annabeth Gish, the film was set in the small fishing town of Mystic, Connecticut, where three young working class girls busied themselves serving and guarding the best pizza in town while desperately looking for love in their own haphazardous way.
Released in 1988, Mystic Pizza received favorable reviews and strong praise from famed critics Siskel and Ebert, mostly for its young and promising cast. The critics said the film would “someday become known for the movie stars it showcased back before they became stars,” which is exactly how the future unfolded.
Roberts, Taylor, and Gish recently reunited for the cover of Entertainment Weekly, just in time for the 25th anniversary of Mystic Pizza. The three also visited the set of Good Morning America, along with the leading men of the film. But there was one prominent actor missing from this joyful gathering... Matt Damon! Although he played a bit part as kid brother to Julia Roberts’ love interest in the flick, we would’ve loved to have seen him add his Damon-esque wise cracks to the reunion!
But whatever happened to the others? Let’s wipe the pizza crust off of our memories and see what the rest of the cast has been up to this past quarter century.
Julia Roberts: Before the world came to know her as an endearing hooker in Pretty Woman, Julia Roberts played endearing Daisy Arujo, a feisty Portuguese working-class gal who scored the rich guy in town in Mystic Pizza. Roberts got her first film break with a two-word cameo in Blood Red alongside her brother Eric Roberts, but the film wasn’t released until after her 1988 rocker chick role in Satisfaction. Thanks to that million-dollar smile and curly-haired mane, Roberts then went onto a slew of blockbuster hits like Steel Magnolias, Pretty Woman, The Pelican Brief, and My Best Friend’s Wedding. In 2000 she earned her first Academy Award in her starring role as Erin Brockovich in the eponymous film. This year Roberts stars alongside heavyweight actress, Meryl Streep, in the much buzzed-about August: Osage County.
Adam Storke: Charles Gordon Windsor, Jr. was the golden boy in Mystic Pizza whose rebellious ways against daddy meant one thing: He was totally going for bad-girl Daisy (never mind she was taller than him and her perm could cover his beautifully etched face). Handsome actor Adam Storke played the entitled rich prep, but despite having his good looks, Storke didn’t catch any bigger roles after Mystic. However, the native New Yorker did appear in the 1994 miniseries Stephen King’s The Stand and has made appearances in Crossing Jordan, Law & Order, and American Dreams, among other TV projects. Just last year he was able to snag the leading role in the film Broadway’s Finest, which was well received on the film festival circuit.
Annabeth Gish: As book smart Kat Arujo, Daisy’s younger sis and polar opposite, Annabeth Gish played the naive go-getter who seemed to be the only one with the smarts to escape the small town of Mystic—if only she could get past her lust for a married man. Famed movie critic Roger Ebert praised Gish in the film, calling her a young Katharine Hepburn. Since the early ‘80s, Gish has established herself as a feature film indie actress and has balanced it with several television roles. Some of her most memorable projects include Wyatt Earp, opposite Kevin Costner, and Beautiful Girls, with Matt Dillon and Timothy Hutton. She also had regular roles on The West Wing and The X-Files, which is where she met her husband, stuntman Wade Allen. It is also rumored that Gish will be reprising her role as Trish in the sequel to the cult classic SLC Punk!
William R. Moses: Behind his L.L. Bean dress shirts, smarty pants eyeglasses, and his love of classical music, Tim was nothing more than a dirty, unhappily married older man who did the most cliché thing ever: He hooked up with Kat, the babysitter. Ugh. Thankfully by movie’s end, though, Kat got a clue and dumped Tim, who was well played by actor William R. Moses. Thankfully for his sake, Moses and his charming ways went beyond his Mystic Pizza character; you may recall his hunky gig as Cole Gioberti in the ‘80s soap opera Falcon Crest. Aside from Moses appearing on countless television roles, our favorite was watching him play Keith Grey, a married man having an affair with Courtney Thorne-Smith on Melrose Place. Talk about typecasting!
Lili Taylor: Our hearts swoon for indie goddess Lili Taylor, who played Jojo Barboza in Mystic Pizza, the nymphomaniac who desperately loved her fiance but just didn’t want to walk down the aisle. Soon after the release of Mystic Pizza, audiences saw her as John Cusack’s tomboyish, guitar-stringing best friend in Cameron Crowe’s Say Anything in 1989. She also had a regular role on Six Feet Under, but as the name of the show goes, you could probably guess what happened to her. Besides starring in various indie films throughout the years like Dogfight, I Shot Andy Warhol, and Four Rooms, Taylor has appeared in several high-budgeted movies such as Ransom, The Haunting, and this year’s horror film, The Conjuring.
Vincent D’Onofrio: Playing Bill, the loveable fisherman who just couldn’t do IT with Jojo while a statue of Jesus was staring back at him, Vincent D’Onofrio made us laugh and coo… (I mean, who else could play the very fictional idea of a man wanting to get married so young in such a convincing way?) Before his role in Mystic Pizza, D’Onofrio hit the screen with a powerful breakthrough performance in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket. For the role of Pvt. Lawrence, D’Onofrio gained an astonishing 70 lbs., and holds the record for the most weight gained by any actor. Since then he’s been in countless movies, often playing perplexed characters such as in The Cell, Happy Accidents, and The Breakup with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn. One of his more beloved and memorable roles on television is as detective Robert Goren on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Last year D’Onofrio returned to teaching at the Lee Strasberg Theater & Film Institute in Santa Monica, California. His daughter Leila George, whom he had with ex-wife, actress Greta Scacchi, is a student there.