Whatever Happened To The Boys From The Mary-Kate And Ashley Movies?
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have had a long list of on-screen lovers of the years, and all of these cuties were casted by someone special, too. “We got to pick the guys that would be in the film,” Mary-Kate divulged to Rolling Stone.
For many of these men, starring in a Mary-Kate and Ashley movie was a way to break through into show business. When you’re hand-selected by the sisters themselves, it seems like the best way to make it big. “It’s an interesting thought knowing they’re involved in the casting process,” actor Lukas Behnken, who played Mary-Kate’s love interest Adam in The Challenge, admitted to Uproxx. “It’s a different feeling of, oh, she picked me to be her boyfriend.”
It was a major compliment to anyone in the late ’90s to be Mary-Kate or Ashley’s on-screen lover boy — and there have been many of them ever since the sisters stepped foot on screen. From starring in their very first film where boys were just an afterthought to retiring their fast-paced career in New York Minute, what exactly happened to the sisters’ love interests? Read on to find out.
Trevor Blumas went from an onscreen interest in Mary-Kate to an interest in music
One of the very first movies we saw Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen falling for someone was in the soccer movie Switching Goals. After switching places with her sister, Mary-Kate’s character scores a date with Greg — pun intended. But when the movie ended, we never got to see him in another Mary-Kate and Ashley movie again, so whatever happened to him?
Actor Trevor Blumas went on to star in a few different television series, like Little Men and Seasons of Love. He even starred alongside actress Michelle Trachtenberg in Ice Princess before giving up acting in 2011, according to IMDb.
A few years after he fell for Mary-Kate’s character on screen, Blumas seemed to fall for the music industry. He joined an experimental band called Doomsquad with a completely different set of sisters — his own (via CBC). As his Switching Goals character once said, “I thought I’d surprise you,” and his career change sure surprised all of us at home.
Brocker Way made his way to a different kind of role in movies
Perhaps the most romantic Mary-Kate and Ashley movie takes place in the most romantic city in the world — Passport to Paris. The girls fall for two French boys while exploring the city, and actor Brocker Way’s life has never been the same since.
After appearing as Jean, Way had a guest-starring role on another ’90s favorite — The Amanda Show. However, he gave up acting altogether after that, but he didn’t stray too far from the film business. He began composing music for documentaries, where viewers were pulled in by his tunes instead of his adorable French accent. Fun fact: according to Final Draft, Way was born in California, so he’s not actually European at all!
Even so, the young actor seemed to leave an impression on the Olsen twins. Four years after falling for Ashley in Paris, he appeared as a fictionalized version of himself at the end of their movie The Challenge. While the girls were running off with their new love interests, his Challenge character was clearly jealous of the sisters’ new male castmates. “Does we’ll always have Passport to Paris mean anything to you?” he asks them.
After Mary-Kate and Ashley's Holiday in the Sun, Ryan Clark continued being adventurous
From jet skiing to surfing the Pacific Ocean, the adorable Aussie Pete had all our tween hearts skipping a beat in Our Lips Are Sealed. As a series regular in the Australian television show Home and Away at the time, actor Ryan Clark was hired to show his on-screen love interest Mary-Kate, playing Maddie, around his local hometown in Australia. “We filmed for about a month all around Sydney and got to do some pretty cool stuff,” he told The Beast. “They hired out the whole of the Harbour Bridge and we climbed that, and we drove jet skis all around the harbour.”
However, he fell in love with more than just a sheila in the Mary-Kate and Ashley movie Our Lips Are Sealed. Clark gave up acting altogether in 2013 to live a life full of adventure as a local lifeguard in Australia. However, he never waved goodbye completely to the entertainment industry. As a Bondi lifeguard, Clark has appeared in a Australian reality series all about them, Bondi Rescue. “Just the job itself is a great lifestyle,” he said.
Ethan Peck's on-screen kiss with Mary-Kate Olsen was more than just a peck
Actor Ethan Peck holds a special place in Mary-Kate Olsen’s movie career. He was her very first on-screen kiss while starring in Passport to Paris (via Rolling Stone). She was reportedly extremely nervous, and Peck was extremely interested. “We totally hit it off with the girls,” the actor, who played Michel, admitted to Uproxx. However, kissing Mary-Kate wasn’t exactly what Peck was interested in. “Mary-Kate played my love interest in the movie and I remember [Ashley’s love interest Brocker] and I were each attracted to the opposite and it was equally reciprocated.”
While he only ever admired Ashley from afar, Peck’s acting career eventually catapulted, sending him out of this world. Years after appearing as Michel in the Olsens’ European film, Peck, who is legendary actor Gregory Peck’s grandson, starred as Spock in the Star Trek series Star Trek: Discovery. He’s also appeared in That ’70s Show, Gossip Girl, and Madam Secretary, as well as the 10 Things I Hate About You TV series. However, we’ll forever remember him for showing the sisters around Paris — even though the actor is actually American (via People).
Scott Swalwell's lack of self-confidence led him to where he is today
It turns out that attractive Australian Avery from Our Lips Are Sealed quit acting. After appearing in a couple projects following the release of the Mary-Kate and Ashley movie, actor Scott Swalwell decided to start up his very own business.
For a long time, continually getting rejected for roles “really hurt my confidence,” he wrote on his website. “I thought of giving it up and not doing it.” Luckily, he had a mentor who really helped when it came to building his confidence back up, and Swalwell decided that he wanted to share this knowledge with the world. A few years later, he became a self-confidence coach, who “assists people around the world who have self-doubt, gain more self-confidence in 12 weeks or less,” as he says on his website. Swalwell even published a book all about it! “There’s nothing better than living a life, doing what you love,” he wrote on Instagram.
Winning London's Jesse Spencer has kept busy
James certainly won over our hearts in Winning London, and you’ve probably seen the actor who played him in a lot of other stories since. After playing Mary-Kate Olsen’s love interest, actor Jesse Spencer went on to star in the Brittany Murphy-led Uptown Girls and the series House and Chicago Fire. He even voiced a character in an episode of Phineas and Ferb.
While Spencer never dated either of the Olsen twins off-screen, he has always seemed to find love in the spotlight. “All of my girlfriends have been actors,” he admitted to Time Out in 2012, “and I’ve realized that maybe it’s not for me — and find something else outside of the industry.”
In June 2020, he finally did. Spencer married a research scientist named Kali Woodruff. ‘We’re very happy,” he told The Daily Telegraph (via the Daily Mail). “She is my port in every storm, and we’re already excited to be moving on to the next phase of our lives.” Though he was in Winning London, Spencer and his wife will remain stateside. Interestingly, the actor we all know for showing us around the European city is actually Australian.
Michelangelo Tommaso continued acting after his Mary-Kate and Ashley movie
Playing someone who falls for Mary-Kate Olsen’s character in When in Rome was actor Michelangelo Tommaso’s very first experience starring in a movie. He fell in love with something else right after that, too — acting. After showing the Olsen sisters around his hometown in Italy while playing Paolo, Tommaso returned to the big screen and starred in many other movies and television series like Crime Evidence, Saturn in Opposition, and Anotherworld, among others. However, many Americans have probably not seen him in any of these projects, because after When in Rome, all of his biggest hits have been in Italian.
Tommaso has kept pretty busy in his personal life, too. He fell in love — for real — with someone other than Mary-Kate and married the love of his life in 2017. In 2020, they welcomed their baby girl into the world.
You've probably seen Austin Nichols around since his Mary-Kate and Ashley movie days
“Everybody’s got a hobby, right? You’re mine.” When Griffen uttered this romantic quote in the Mary-Kate and Ashley movie Holiday in the Sun, it sent sparks flying with his on-screen love interest, played by Mary-Kate Olsen. However, actor Austin Nichols may have actually been talking about acting, because the actor who played him went on to star in some other pretty big projects.
After enjoying his holiday in the sunny Bahamas, Nichols appeared as Julian Baker in One Tree Hill for a few seasons. He was also seen in The Walking Dead, Bates Motel, and Ray Donovan. While his acting career has covered quite an array of genres, there’s still always been something missing from his career. “I’ve never really done a great movie or a series about a battle or a war,” Nichols told Austin After Hours with Taylor Ellison. “I’ve always wanted to be a soldier, so that’s something I’m still looking for.”
Derek Lee Nixon loved his time working on a Mary-Kate and Ashley movie
Landing the role of Ryan in When in Rome completely changed Derek Lee Nixon’s career. “It gave me a lot of opportunities,” he told Uproxx. “It was obviously one of the best things you could ever put on your resumé. I am eternally grateful to the Olsen twins for choosing me.”
Being on the big screen himself was a crazy experience for Nixon. Over the course of his career, he was followed by fans of the Olsen twins and even dated Hilary Duff’s sister, Haylie Duff, at one point, according to his Uproxx interview. Funny enough, he had never watched one of Mary-Kate and Ashley’s movies before working on When in Rome. But he clarified, “It wasn’t that I didn’t know who they were or anything.”
Nixon continued acting in other movies, though his career also took a different turn. Today, he works behind the camera as a producer. He works closely with his daughter, who we can all see starring in some of his stuff like the comedy The Walking Deceased.
After filming a Mary-Kate and Ashley movie, Riley Smith started a singing career
Jim did some pretty extreme stunts to woo Ashley Olsen’s character in New York Minute. Unlike many other actors who have stunt doubles, actor Riley Smith did most of them himself. It was an exciting role to play considering he had just finished working on a very serious film called Radio. “For me personally, it was a good movie to follow Radio, because it was like polar opposites,” he told Tribute.ca. “So it was a good career move for me.”
After appearing in the Olsen twins’ final film together, Smith went on to star in 90210, True Blood, The Messengers, Life Sentence, and Nancy Drew. He even sang on the series Nashville in character as Markus Keen, and the show inspired Smith to start his own singing career, too. “I was singing on every episode, so I was cutting songs each week for the show, on top of acting,” he explained to Cowboys & Indians. “It was a grind, but I grew a lot as a musician and writer during that time.” He’s since released multiple songs.
Smith has even branched out into screenwriting. In 2017, he wrote a short film about a boy band called The Life of Ricky.
The Challenge star Lukas Behnken acts and produces
In one of the twin’s final films called The Challenge, Mary-Kate and Ashley decided to cast actor Lukas Behnken as Adam. He played Mary-Kate’s love interest, and it’s a good thing he did. “I definitely personally connected much more with Mary-Kate,” he admitted to Uproxx, and he was pretty excited about being able to spend six weeks shooting a fun film in Cabo San Lucas, too.
After playing a contestant on the film’s fictional game show, Behnken became interested in working more behind the scenes on his own stuff. After appearing in Dawson’s Creek, Everwood, Grey’s Anatomy, and Mad Men, he went on to become a producer of a few other television shows and documentary films. He also became a father, and it looks like his son might be interested in the movie business one day too. “I talk to my son about story and character as we learn from moving talking pictures,” he wrote on Instagram in 2017. “He asks many questions.”
Ben Easter fell in love with photography after appearing in Holiday in the Sun
After appearing as Jordan in the Mary-Kate and Ashley movie Holiday in the Sun, actor Ben Easter became pretty close with his co-star Ashley Olsen. After wrapping up their Bahamian movie, he starred as Lennon alongside the twins in their television show So Little Time. He even appeared at the end of their film The Challenge, too. However, after 2015 rolled around, Easter seemingly decided to put his acting career on the backburner.
While he’s not working always in front of the camera anymore, we should have known that Easter would go far. He’s even shown his range to all of us at home, as Easter sang in Holiday in the Sun. He has now taken his career behind the camera as a photographer. “I’m pretty busy with photography,” he told Uproxx. “I’m really blessed and lucky to do what I love and I love storytelling and I get to travel the world and shoot photography and I’m pinching myself all the time.”
Jared Padalecki's acting career has taken off since his Mary-Kate and Ashley movie
Before he played Trey in New York Minute, you probably saw the actor who played him, Jared Padalecki, on television, as he was known for playing Dean on Gilmore Girls, a role he reprised for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.
However, despite his romantic scenes with Alexis Bledel, it seems nothing else quite compared to his character’s kiss with Mary-Kate Olsen. “I’ve done some on-screen kisses before, but … she’s huge,” he admitted to Tribute.ca. He was also the last one to ever kiss Mary-Kate on-screen in a Mary-Kate and Ashley movie, since New York Minute was the final full-length one to release. Needless to say, there was a lot of pressure on Padalecki, but he tried his best to stay professional on set the day of their kissing scene. “You try and play it cool, and you try and downplay it,” he said. However, he was still pretty excited to be kissing Mary-Kate, one of the biggest media stars of all time. “You brag about it to your friends for days and days and days,” he admitted.
He later starred as Sam Winchester in the long-running series Supernatural, and he snagged the lead role in Walker.
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