Judd Apatow used to be in a tough place. After the cancellation of the critically beloved Freaks and Geeks, he tried his luck with another smart television comedy, called Undeclared. Personally, I was a huge fan. Like, an “I’m cancelling any plans that I might have, since Undeclared is on” fan. (Honestly, I didn’t even have plans to cancel, but that was my backup excuse.) I was a senior in high school when the show aired, and it made me really look forward to college.
Undeclared centered on a group of college freshmen at the fictional University of Northeastern California. While smartly written, the show only lasted for a season, just like its predecessor. Some blame the network, for airing episodes out of order – others felt like the show might have been poorly promoted. Regardless, both of Apatow’s shows have gained massive success since, with Undeclared being #16 in Entertainment Weekly’s “25 Best Cult TV Shows from the Past 25 Years”, and both of them enjoying a chance to find a brand new audience with syndication over at IFC.
Where’s the cast today?
Jay Baruchel as Steven Karp
We all knew someone like Steven – and it turns out, the character of Steven was based a bit off of Baruchel himself. While Baruchel seemed to get a lot of headlines over his breakup with actress Alison Pill this year, the actor – whose first roles include a stint on Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark? – was also in a massive amount of movies recently. He’s also known for voicing Hiccup, in the How To Train Your Dragon franchise.
While Jay is in a few blink-and-you’ll-miss-it roles, as well as “I’m one guy in a large ensemble” roles, he did take the lead in 2006’s I’m Reed Fish and 2010’s She’s Out Of My League. Recently, he played himself in the film This Is The End. A few of the cast members from Undeclared were featured in the film, so expect to hear that sentence again. Maybe to make it easier, I should just put a cluster of stars.
When you see “* * * *”, that’ll serve as the abbreviation of “yeah, they were in this too.”
Carla Gallo as Lizzie Exley
Lizzie pretty much set up our hero Steven for heartbreak in the very first episode – but we couldn’t help but like her, Garfield hair and all.
Carla picked up a few solid television roles after Undeclared was cancelled, notably playing Daisy for a season of Californication, Annie on Men Of A Certain Age, and Tamara P. on the insanely funny Bachelor-esque comedy series Burning Love. Since 2008, she’s been on the set of Bones playing the role of Daisy Wick.
Not only is she talented, but she’s smart as well – Carla is a graduate of Cornell University, holding a degree in theater arts.
Charlie Hunnam as Lloyd Haythe
Not even frequent guest star Amy Poehler could resist the absolutely adorable Lloyd Haythe. As the show’s theater major, Lloyd never went home alone – and even offered to give his “run-off” of ladies to roommates Ron and Marshall.
Charlie’s been making the news a lot recently, as he was cast as (and just dropped) the elusive role of Christian Grey in the movie adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey. Maybe it was because the world hollered after their top choice wasn’t picked – because movies totally work that way, right? (Charlie did the polite thing, and said he had to back out of the project based on his television schedule.)
Since 2008, Charlie’s been working on a tiny little show called Sons of Anarchy, playing Jax Teller. He was also in Pacific Rim this year, and has a few other movies in the works.
Seth Rogen as Ron Garner
I have a feeling you already know where Seth Rogen is.
But, I’ll continue anyway. Seth, who also wrote some of the best episodes of the show, was a Freaks and Geeks alum that maintained a close friendship with Apatow. He gained a ton of exposure playing the lead in 2007’s Knocked Up, and kept the spotlight alive with films like 2008’s Pineapple Express and Zack and Miri Make a Porno. He also did some vocal work, in the movie Kung Fu Panda and as himself in a few episodes of Family Guy.
In 2011, he costarred with Joseph Gordon Levitt in the heartbreaking movie 50/50 and took on his first superhero lead, playing The Green Hornet. You might have caught him playing a young George Bluth this year in the resurrected Arrested Development, and – well – “* * * *”
(see above if you skipped around, and have no clue what those stars mean.)
Seth started his career as a 13-year-old stand up comic, and married his longterm girlfriend, actress Lauren Miller, in 2011.
Monica Keena as Rachel Lindquist
As the dorm’s “hot girl”, many people recognized Monica from playing the problem child Abby Morgan in Dawson’s Creek. And since Abby was last seen in a body bag after a drunken fall, it was kind of a relief to know Monica was alive and well. Fun fact: She actually requested that her character was written off, in order to spend more time with her boyfriend.
Monica’s first role after Undeclared was in the highly anticipated Freddy vs. Jason movie, which was released in 2003. Afterward, she had a minor role as Kristen in a few episodes of Entourage, and appeared in two episodes of Grey’s Anatomy as Bonnie Crasnoff.
You can see her next in the film Manson Girls, which is currently filming. Monica will be playing the famous ‘Squeaky’ Fromme, and the film is expected to be released in 2014.
Also, there’s no shortage of pictures of her in underwear on the internet. I’m glad I compiled this article from the safety of my own home, and not in a Starbucks where people would assume I was gross.
Timm Sharp as Marshall Nesbitt
Listen, you guys. Marshall was, by far, my favorite character on the show. Playing a “secret” music major that was too ashamed to tell his parents about it, he arguably had some of the best storylines on the show’s short run. Let’s all reflect on the episode where Marshall got sick, and proclaimed to Rachel that she was pretty and smart, like a dolphin.
Timm got his start at Trollwood Performing Arts School in Moorhead, Minnesota. He’s also dabbled in a few musical projects here and there, notably as the (now-ex) vocalist and guitar player in the LA band Killola.
Two of Timm’s big hits after the show ended required him to play characters named Doug – Doug Von Stuessen in the TV series ‘Til Death from 2007 to 2010, and Dougie Daniels in the current TV series Enlightened. He also played Billy the Kid in a recent episode of Drunk History.
Christina Payano as Tina Ellroy
One of the big curses of the TV-episode-switcheroo was that Christina’s character Tina just so happened to be a new roommate of Lizzie and Rachel. The episode which explains how the heck that came to be was called “God Visits”, and was un-aired – but can be found on the DVD.
That being said, I can’t find any news on Christina Payano. She appeared at the PaleyFest reunion for Freaks & Geeks and Undeclared cast and crew back in 2011, but besides that? I got nothin’.
Jason Segel as Eric
Oh Jason Segel. You did such a great job with making Lizzie’s obsessive copy-store boyfriend so annoyingly likable. It’s rare that the audience doesn’t know whether to root for or against someone, but that confusion was brought to light with this character. Jason, who was also on Freaks and Geeks, actually auditioned to play the lead role of Steven – but sadly, the powers that be just didn’t like him for the part.
And I’m guessing he sang a song similar to this one, when the news came forth. (Warning – don’t blast at work. F-bombs occur.)
Just like Seth, I probably don’t need to really explain where Jason has been. He had a bunch of success in 2011 and 2012, with the films Jeff, Who Lives At Home, The Muppets, and The Five Year Engagement. He was also in the Knocked Up sequel This Is 40, and well as “* * * *”
And of course, he’s been playing the lovable goofball Marshall Eriksen on How I Met Your Mother since 2005.
Loudon Wainwright III as Hal Karp (Steven’s Dad)
Wainwright’s music career began in the late 1960s, but is known for recorded over twenty albums on eleven different labels throughout his career. Cast as Steven’s eccentric Dad that is freshly going through a divorce, Hal hangs out on campus a lot. And thankfully, Steven’s friends like him.
While this role was one of his longest consecutive acting roles, he’s popped up in a few sitcoms since – including two early episodes of Parks & Recreation, and a 2012 episode of Person of Interest. Keeping with the Apatow tradition, he also played a small role as a doctor in Knocked Up.
Winner: Judd Apatow. Wait, that’s not how this works.
It’s a toss up between Rogen and Segel, but I’m going to go with Segel. Not only do I have a soft side for those who choose to be involved with Muppets, but his time on How I Met Your Mother has been impressive – also, years later, and I’m still laughing over the stunt he pulled at a Swell Season concert, where he was hoping to fish around for young single ladies to date.