The 2003 comedy School of Rock might not have seemed like anything special on paper, but it boasted some pretty impressive talent on both sides of the camera. Not only was the cast led by rising star Jack Black, but Joan Cusack and Sarah Silverman also brought reliably great performances even though neither were typically known for being in “kid movies.” Most surprising were the movie’s writer and director– Mike White and Richard Linklater, respectively– who weren’t really known for child-friendly fare.
But the real stars of the show was School of Rock‘s cast of kids, a list of mostly first-time actors who were picked primarily for their singing and/or instrumental abilities in order to lend authenticity to their roles as young musical prodigies.
All of these elements came together to create a critically- and commercially-successful movie that has remained a beloved all-ages comedy in the 14 years since its release. School of Rock also went on to inspire a TV series and Broadway musical of the same name, as well as occasional rumblings of a sequel.
What is the cast up to these days? What do the kids of School of Rock look like as adults? Would you even recognize them if you passed them on the street?
Here is What The Cast Of School Of Rock Looks Like Now.
19. Miranda Cosgrove – Summer
It almost feels like an elaborate joke– the member of the child cast of School of Rock who would go on to have the biggest career, and one that has included both acting roles and musical albums, doesn’t get to actually perform in the movie’s fictional band.
Moreover, Miranda Cosgrove’s Summer is specifically forbidden from being in the band because she supposedly can’t sing, and is instead forced to be the band manager. Cosgrove would later say how difficult it was having to intentionally sing badly for her audition scene in the movie, and had to keep doing it again because she wasn’t singing badly enough.
Whatever the reason for casting a good singer in a musical movie and then not letting her sing, Cosgrove would soon get to show off her pipes by singing on the soundtrack for her hit show iCarly— also her first starring vehicle — as well as songs for other Nickelodeon shows. She’s since gone back and forth between being a musician and being an actor, most recently focusing on the latter in her lead role on the 2016 NBC sitcom Crowded.
18. Kevin Alexander Clark – Freddy
The biggest rebel in Dewey’s class was Freddy, who was much more willing to give up traditional schoolwork in favor of “goofing off” than most of his overachieving bookworm classmates. Supposedly stuck manning the cymbals for his regular music class because he couldn’t play anything else, Dewey discovered that Freddy was a natural at the drums, and he soon became a key component of the band’s rhythm section.
While actor Kevin Alexander Clark gave one of the film’s better performances, his heart was ultimately in music, not acting. He never appeared in another role on screen, and largely retreated from the public eye, content to be a low key, under-the-radar musician.
The closest thing to a high-profile gig that Clark has had apart from the School of Rock reunion concert was a stint playing drums for locally-famous singer Robbie Gold, who hails from the same Chicago suburb as Clark.
17. Joey Gaydos, Jr. – Zack
While School of Rock is primarily an ensemble piece, the closest to a “main character” among the students is probably lead guitarist Zack, played by Joey Gaydos Jr. Struggling with wanting to be a free spirit while butting heads with his “rock is a waste of time!” father, Zack ends up penning the song of rebellion that becomes the band’s anthem.
Gaydos Jr. is another School of Rocker that completely abandoned acting in favor of a real-life music career. In addition to releasing a self-titled album at only 13, Gaydos Jr. has spent the ensuing years since the film’s release making music both for himself and with various bands, most notably with the rock group Stereo Jane.
16. Brian Falduto – Billy
One of the few kids who got to actually pick the role he wanted to play, Billy wasn’t taking no for an answer when he asked to be the band’s stylist. He ended up being one of the the most charismatic and memorable of the non-musical members of the class.
In addition to being something of a comedic foil for Jack Black, Billy also gets to deliver one of the film’s funniest lines, hilariously telling Dewey in his sassy deadpan, “You’re tacky and I hate you.”
The actor who flawlessly delivered that scene-stealing line was Brian Falduto, who eventually studied theater and also earned a degree in arts administration. In addition to performing in local stage productions in New York City, Falduto also records music and works in radio. School of Rock remains his only screen role.
15. Maryam Hassan – Tomika
Arguably the strongest singer in the film in the traditional sense, Tomika delivered a dynamite rendition of the Aretha Franklin classic “Chain of Fools” to earn her well-deserved spot as a back-up singer. And as actress Maryam Hassan proved during the 2013 School of Rock reunion concert, her pipes have only gotten more impressive as they’ve aged.
That said, Hassan is one of the School of Rock cast members who has chosen a life of privacy following her breakout performance, being completely out of the public eye in the decade between her performance as Tomika and her appearance at the reunion concert.
14. Robert Tsai – Lawrence
Not unlike Katie’s transition from cello to bass, Dewey got classical piano player Lawrence to make the switch to electric keyboard, having him nail the iconic keyboard build-up from the Doors song “Touch Me” within moments of stepping in front of a keyboard for the first time.
The actor who played Lawrence, Robert Tsai, wouldn’t stick with his School of Rock instrument the way Rebecca Brown did. Instead, Tsai went on to study classical music– on the piano– at Dartmouth College and spent a few years as a concert pianist.
While he doesn’t seem to have stuck with live piano playing as a career, his triumphant return to the keyboard as “Mr. Cool” at the reunion concert proved that he hadn’t lost his rock-n-roll keyboarding chops.
13. Aleisha Allen – Alicia
Among the band’s trio of back-up singers was Alicia, who melted Dewey’s rock-n-roll heart with her rendition of “Amazing Grace.” She was another character who wasn’t afraid to push back against Dewey, pointedly challenging him on his role in what was supposedly a student band.
It’s fitting that a character called “Brace Face” who was clearly at an awkward transitional point in her life grew up to be a beautiful young woman, as actress Aleisha Allen proved when she showed up to the School of Rock reunion in an eye-catching green dress. Prior to that, Allen starred in two installments of the Ice Cube-led Are We There Yet? franchise for which she was nominated for a Young Artist Award.
12. Rebecca Brown – Katie
In School of Rock, Dewey was able to instantly turn cello player Katie into an expert bass player. While that transition happened in a matter of moments on screen, the actress who played Katie had to learn how to play the bass specifically for the film– though, she was already a classically-trained guitarist though, to be fair.
As it turns out, Rebecca Brown really took to her new instrument, and continues to prefer the bass in the various bands she plays with and musical performances she puts on.
In addition to also being– according to her Twitter account– a comedian, bartender, and feminist, Brown has an active YouTube channel where she frequently uploads videos of her performing original and cover songs. She can also be seen around her native Chicago putting on live musical/comedy shows.
11. Angelo Massagli – Frankie
A rock band typically only needs three to six, so Jack Black’s Dewey/Mr. S had to get a bit creative in including the rest of the class in the secret project. One of the jobs he came up with for the kids who weren’t in the core band was “security,” which basically meant being a lookout for the principle and helping the class to sneak out for gigs.
One of the members of the security detail in School of Rock was Frankie, played by Angelo Massagli. In addition to his role in the musical comedy, Massagli also had a fairly lengthy stint on The Sopranos around that same time.
10. Jordan-Claire Green – Michelle
Preying on the naiveté of children, Mr. S gave three of the girls in the class the job of “groupie” knowing that they wouldn’t understand the negative connotations of that title. While Summer quickly got wise after an internet search, Michelle was all too happy to play the role of groupie as it was described to her– name the band, make hats, and other types of random busywork. She even got to be the character to reveal the band’s final name to Mr. S, much to his delight.
School of Rock wasn’t the first acting gig for the Portuguese-born Jordan-Claire Green, and it wouldn’t be her last. She has gone on to appear in a variety of movies and television shows, included an acclaimed role in the 2005 film Come Away Home for which she was top-billed.
9. Zachary Infante – Gordon
Perhaps it was foreshadowing that Gordon– played by actor Zachary Infante– always had his Apple laptop opened in front of him in class, as he was eventually assigned to be part of the band’s stage crew. After all, someone was going to have to help realize Dewey’s vision of a rock show full of smoke effects and laser lights, and Gordon was one of the kids put in charge of that very important job.
After playing an A/V prodigy in School of Rock, Infante also went on to supplement his acting with real-life behind-the-scenes work, directing and producing a number of live stage productions.
His highest-profile acting gigs following School of Rock were his appearances on the Fox TV series Gotham and Amazon’s Alpha House.
Infante is also passionate about not-for-profit work, and supports such charities as The Valerie Fund and The Sunshine Kids Foundation, organizations that both focus on providing assistance for children who are battling cancer.
8. Veronica Afflerbach – Eleni
The other “groupie” that didn’t bother researching what real groupies do and was happy to keep that job was Eleni, played by actress Veronica Afflerbach. As it turns out, the actress was just as happy to remain in the background as the character she played.
After only one additional acting role– in the 2005 Naked Brothers Band movie– Afflerbach mostly retreated from fame and chose to lead a private life. When she showed up for the ten-year School of Rock reunion in 2013, she was hardly recognizable with her dark hair– she was blonde in the movie– and fully-tatted arms.
Choosing largely to reminisce about her time making the film at said reunion rather than go into much detail on what she’s been up to, it’s clear that Afflerbach is content staying mostly out of the public eye.
7. Caitlin Hale – Marta
In addition to being the first of the back-up singers drafted for the band, Marta also got a few of School of Rock‘s funniest moments. The first came when Dewey is demonstrating his music-based teaching method for Principal Mullins, and gets into a mini sing-off with Marta over the answer to a basic arithmetic question. Marta also gets a fun fourth wall-breaking segment of the song that plays over the end credits of the movie.
The actress who played Marta, Caitlin Hale, has showed up in only one movie since School of Rock— 2017 thriller Grimmerson Manor, where she starred alongside fellow grown-up child actress Taylor Dooley (The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl).
6. James Hosey – Marco
The other half of School of Rock‘s security squad was “Carrot Top,” aka Marco. Ironically, just like his fellow looker-outer, the actor who plays Marco also got the call from HBO following his appearance in the film.
In addition to a small part in Bored to Death, actor James Hosey also went on to play a delivery driver in a couple of episodes of Boardwalk Empire, looking exactly like you’d expect a grown-up Marco to look, down to the sweater. Hosey’s television credits also include Blue Bloods and Law & Order: SVU.
The only other feature-length film that the actor has appeared in besides School of Rock is the 2011 Tony Kaye drama Detachment, where he got to work with James Caan, Brian Cranston, Adrien Brody, Isiah Whitlock, and Christina Hendricks.
5. Mike White – (The Real) Ned Schneebly
Playing the mousy, easily-manipulated Ned Schneebly whose identity Dewey borrowed in order to be a substitute at Horace Green Academy, Mike White was also the writer of School of Rock. It wasn’t his first time writing youth-oriented stories, as he had also worked on Freaks & Geeks and Dawson’s Creek— as well as more adult films like the 2002 cult hit comedy The Good Girl.
White clearly liked all that School of Rock money– as well as working with Jack Black– as he would go on to write the kids movie Nacho Libre three years later, and was eventually the co-writer of this year’s The Emoji Movie. But as with his contemporaries like Steven Soderbergh and Richard Linklater– who directed School of Rock— White tends to balance his big-budget studio fare with smaller, more complex passion projects.
His other non-Emoji 2017 film was Brad’s Status, a well-received dramedy starring Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, Jenna Fischer, and himself.
4. Joan Cusack – Principal Mullins
While School of Rock is full of actors for whom the movie is their biggest and/or most well-known role, for the ridiculously prolific Joan Cusack, it might not be among her five or even ten most famous roles.
Brilliantly playing the uptight– but with a party girl lurking underneath– Principal “Roz” Mullins, Cusack teamed with longtime friend Jack Black for their second music-based comedy together following the 2000 cult classic High Fidelity.
Despite beginning her acting career in the ’80s alongside famous brother John, Cusack has had just as full of a career post-School of Rock. From high-profile roles in TV shows like Shameless and Netflix’s Lemony Snicket adaptation to her upcoming third turn as cowgirl Jessie in Toy Story 4, Cusack shows no signs of lightening her work load.
3. Sarah Silverman – Patty
While Sarah Silverman is one of the most controversial comedians of the last couple of decades, her acting roles range from equally edgy to much more family-friendly. In addition to providing the voice for Venellope in the hit Disney animated film Wreck-It Ralph, Silverman joined her pal Jack Black in School of Rock as the annoying girlfriend of his roommate.
Still mostly on the cusp of mainstream stardom when she appeared in School of Rock, Silverman would break out shortly after, from having her own Comedy Central series to the aforementioned Wreck-It Ralph role– which she’ll be reprising in next year’s Ralph Breaks the Internet. She also had a seven-episode stint on the acclaimed Showtime series Master of Sex, and won an Emmy for her 2014 comedy special We Are Miracles.
2. Adam Pascal – Theo
While Jack Black was the biggest household name in the cast of School of Rock at the time of its release, fans of musicals might have been more excited to see Adam Pascal show up on screen moments into the film.
Playing the lead singer of the band that ousts Dewey at the start of the movie and thus becomes his nemesis, Pascal first gained widespread acclaim as part of the original Broadway cast of the smash hit musical Rent beginning in 1996– a role he’d reprise for the movie version nine years later. Pascal was also part of the original cast of the Elton John/Tim Rice musical Aida in 2000.
1. Jack Black – Dewey Finn, aka “Mr. Schneebly”
Playing a version of his Tenacious D persona, Jack Black was a natural fit for the role of a down-on-his-luck musician who was unfaltingly convinced he had what it took to be the next rock god. His performance of Dewey Finn– who the students knew as Mr. Schneebly, or Mr. S– is among Black’s most beloved; one of the few roles where he displays both his manic and serious sides in equal degrees.
Not surprisingly, much of the cast of the movie recall being kids who found it difficult not to constantly crack up at Black’s antics, making for a lot of extra takes due to breaking.
School of Rock saw Black finally break into the mainstream with a big role in a legitimately good movie, following stinkers like Saving Silverman and Shallow Hal. His subsequent resume has included just about every type of role imaginable, from serious to slapsticky, indie to animated, and everything in between. He earned raves and award nominations for his turn in the 2011 black comedy Bernie.
In December, Black will star in one of his biggest movies yet, the long-awaited Jumanji sequel alongside Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, and Kevin Hart.
What’s your favorite memory or line from School of Rock? Share it in the comments!
- Ad Free Browsing
- Over 10,000 Videos!
- All in 1 Access
- Join For Free!