The cast of 'Jackie Brown': Where are they now? (2024)

Based on the Elmore Leonard book Rum Punch, Quentin Tarantino's 1997 film Jackie Brown was his third movie as director following the runaway success of Reservoir Dogs (1992) and Pulp Fiction (1994). Needless to say, after those groundbreaking films, anticipation was high for the auteur's next outing.

Tarantino, always a hard man to pin down, subverted audience expectations with Jackie Brown, crafting an homage to the Blaxploitation flicks of the 1970s that didn't feature some of the flashier stylistic tricks of his previous work. While the film grossed around $40 million in the U.S. upon release, it's become something of a cult classic in the ensuing decades.

Like all Tarantino films, Jackie Brown has an amazing cast, one you can tell was carefully curated by the director. Read on to find out more about the cast and their careers post-Jackie Brown.

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Pam Grier (Jackie Brown)

The cast of 'Jackie Brown': Where are they now? (1)

An icon in the Blaxploitation genre, Pam Grier's career had dimmed by the 1990s. But Tarantino recognized the actress' ability to shine and changed the race and last name of the money-smuggling flight attendant from Elmore's book to write the screenplay specifically for Grier. There are also nods to Grier's career throughout the movie, with dialogue and music snippets from both Coffy (1973) and Foxy Brown (1974).

Grier enjoyed a small burst of work after the success of Jackie Brown, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe, appearing in supporting roles in the dark teen comedy Jawbreaker (1999), John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars (2001) — following their collaboration on 1996's Escape From L.A. — and on the Showtime series Linc's, among other projects. Later, she would be a regular on the groundbreaking drama The L Word before joining the ensemble casts of Bad Grandmas (2017) and Poms (2019). She also appeared in two seasons of the TV series Bless This Mess alongside Dax Shepard.

EW interviewed Grier in February 2023 about her incredible career. See what she had to say about Jackie Brown, Coffy, and more!

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Robert Forster (Max Cherry)

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As the grizzled bail bondsman tasked with tracking down the titular character, Robert Forster also experienced a career resurgence under the caring hand of Tarantino. Forster had been a steady presence in B-flicks like the sci-fi Disney film The Black Hole (1979), the delightfully ludicrous horror feature Alligator (1980), and Chuck Norris action movie The Delta Force (1986). The meaty roles had dried up for the veteran actor, but his soulful and weary portrayal in Jackie Brown earned Forster an Oscar nomination — and a new lease on his career.

Forster appeared in (2000), Mulholland Drive (2001), and Like Mike (2002) in the aftermath of his Jackie Brown success. But it was on TV where Forster really made an impact, returning to Leonard territory in the gone-way-too-soon Karen Sisco, along with roles on Breaking Bad and the Twin Peaks: The Return revival.

Forster died in October 2019 at the age of 78, the same day one of his final gigs, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, premiered in theaters and on Netflix.

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Samuel L. Jackson (Ordell Robbie)

The cast of 'Jackie Brown': Where are they now? (3)

Before Jackie Brown, Samuel L. Jackson and Tarantino had already struck gold three years earlier in Pulp Fiction, with Jackson's bible-quoting hitman Jules becoming an instant icon. So, it was no surprise that Jackson showed up here as gun runner Ordell Robbie. Jackson's role became controversial because of Tarantino's screenplay's repeated use of the N-word, which was decried by Spike Lee and other Black leaders.

Of course, the discourse had no impact on Jackson's career, which you probably know has not stopped rolling in subsequent decades. Jackson has appeared in the Star Wars prequels, multiple Marvel projects, The Incredibles (2004), countless commercials, that odd Saw-adjacent movie with Chris Rock... He's pretty much been an omnipresent pop culture titan, receiving an honorary Oscar in 2021. And he doesn't appear to be slowing down anytime soon, with Marvel's Secret Invasion TV show airing on Disney+ in June 2023.

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Robert De Niro (Louis Gara)

The cast of 'Jackie Brown': Where are they now? (4)

It's always a treat when Robert De Niro — star of The Godfather Part II (1974), Raging Bull (1980), This Boy's Life (1993), and more — takes a break from seriousness and brings a little levity to the screen. Oh, but in Jackie Brown, De Niro's Louis Gara isn't a good guy — he's an ex-con who delivers a shocking moment of violence in the film — but it was funny seeing America's Greatest Actor take a giant bong rip. After all, the Oscar winner was certainly picky about the roles he chose circa 1997.

In the years to come, well, not so much. De Niro is still amazing, but at some point, he decided that paying the bills was just as important as the work. So, for every Ronin (1998) or The Irishman (2019), he gives us a Freelancers (2012) or The Bag Man (2014) or Dirty Grandpa (2016) on the ledger. However, he has a can't-miss reunion with Martin Scorsese in 2023's Killers of the Flower Moon.

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Chris Tucker (Beaumont Livingston)

Like most Tarantino films, Jackie Brown was filled with cameos from famous faces eager to work with the hot young director, even if it was — like in Chris Tucker's case as the doomed Beaumont — short-lived. Tucker — whose breakout role was in 1995's Friday — had two more films come out in 1997 in addition to Jackie Brown: The Fifth Element and Money Talks.

Tucker's star continued to rise with the Rush Hour series, but those three flicks were the only movies he made from 1998 to 2007, as Tucker's religious beliefs caused him to step away from Hollywood and stand-up comedy. Since then, he's had supporting roles in Silver Linings Playbook (2012), Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (2016), and Air (2023).

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Quentin Tarantino

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When Tarantino decided to make Jackie Brown, he could have made pretty much any movie he wanted — that's how much Hollywood was in love with its latest wunderkind director. Known for his original screenplays, it was an interesting move for him to adapt a novel for his third film. Tarantino told The Guardian, "I have wanted for a long time to adapt Elmore Leonard. He was the first novelist I read as a kid that really spoke to me."

Since Jackie Brown hit theaters in 1997, Tarantino has released films at an erratic pace, often announcing potential movies that never come to fruition while cranking out seven other films, including the Kill Bill double feature (with another potentially on the way), Inglourious Basterds (2009), and 2019's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Tarantino has also branched out into other mediums, writing a companion fiction novel to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood along with Cinema Speculation, a non-fiction tome about some of his favorite 1970s flicks. His 10th (and potentially final) film will be called The Movie Critic.

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Michael Keaton (Ray Nicolette)

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Michael Keaton's character, ATF agent Ray Nicolette, is an interesting case study in Hollywood cooperation. At the same time Tarantino was producing Jackie Brown, Steven Soderbergh was putting together another Leonard adaptation, Out of Sight (1998). Nicolette appears in both books, and Tarantino made sure Soderbergh could use Keaton in a brief cameo role, free of charge.

Keaton is another Jackie Brown actor who went through a relative lull before returning to prominence, thanks to his Oscar-nominated turn in 2014's Birdman. Since then, Keaton has been a welcome presence both on TV and in film, returning to the superhero genre in 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming and winning an Emmy in 2022 for the Hulu miniseries Dopesick. Keaton is reprising his biggest role in 2023, appearing as OG Batman in The Flash.

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Bridget Fonda (Melanie)

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Bridget Fonda costarred in Jackie Brown as Melanie, one of Ordell's many girlfriends. She attempts to double-cross him to get some easy money and winds up spending her time with Louis (De Niro). Fonda's pot-smoking, bikini-wearing moll also provides some hearty ammunition for those who claim that Tarantino has a foot fetish, as there are several loving shots of the actress' toes.

Fonda was one of the It Girls of the 1990s, thanks to her famous family and strong performances in roles like Single White Female (1992) and Point of No Return (1993), following up her stint in Jackie Brown with the Oscar-nominated thriller A Simple Plan (1998). In 2002, Fonda starred in the TV movie The Snow Queen, which has been her final role to date following a serious car accident in 2003. She is married to composer Danny Elfman, with whom she has a son.

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Michael Bowen (Mark Dargus)

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Michael Bowen is a classic "that guy...from that thing" actor whom Tarantino loves to use in his movies. The veteran actor was no stranger to the screen when he was cast as the LAPD detective trying to use Jackie to bust Ordell, having appeared in various small-time flicks, The Godfather Part III (1990) and Beverly Hills Cop III (1994), and later following Jackie Brown's success with Paul Thomas Anderson's epic ensemble film Magnolia (1999). Tarantino would go on to cast Bowen in both Kill Bill movies and Django Unchained (2012).

Bowen also parlayed his part into some nice TV roles, with arcs on Lost as one of the "Others," Breaking Bad as neo-Nazi gang leader Jack Welker, and Animal Kingdom as Vin.

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LisaGay Hamilton (Sheronda)

The cast of 'Jackie Brown': Where are they now? (10)

LisaGay Hamilton had a small but memorable role as the country bumpkin Sheronda in Jackie Brown, one of the early parts for the Juilliard graduate in a long career that spans TV, film, and stage. Shortly after the film's release, Hamilton landed a role on The Practice, where she starred for seven seasons.

She's worked steadily since then, appearing in prestige films like Beautiful Boy (2018), Vice (2018), and Ad Astra (2019), as well as on hit TV shows like House of Cards, the Lakers series Winning Time, and The Dropout — not to mention her role as Calpurnia in the Broadway adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird.

The cast of 'Jackie Brown': Where are they now? (2024)


Who is the blonde girl in Jackie Brown? ›

Jackie Brown (1997) - Bridget Fonda as Melanie - IMDb.

How much money did Jackie Brown get? ›

Jackie Ends Up With $450k at the End of 'Jackie Brown'

Ordell has Max tell Jackie that he will kill both of them if she does not return the money. On top of that, he says that he will name her as an accomplice if she turns him into the police.

What was the bar scene in Jackie Brown? ›

co*ckatoo Inn bar scenes in Jackie Brown

This iconic scene from the film is set against the backdrop of a run-down dive bar, decorated with vintage signs and neon lights. Later, Louis picks up Ordell from the bar, and Ordell realizes that there is only $40,000 in the bag instead of $50,000.

What is Jackie Brown's real name? ›

Pam Grier (Jackie Brown)

Who is Amy in Jackie Brown? ›

Aimee Graham: Amy, Billingsley Sales Girl.

Who is the villain in Jackie Brown? ›

Ordell Robbie is the main antagonist of the 1992 novel Rum Punch and its 1997 film adaptation Jackie Brown. He is a notorious and ruthless black-market runner.

What happened to Max at the end of JACKIE BROWN? ›

Nicolette, Dargus, and Cherry's business partner Winston, who provided Max with Ordell's location, hiding in the back, ambush him and shoot him dead. The charges against Jackie are dropped, and she plans a trip to Madrid. Max declines her invitation to join her. They kiss goodbye and he watches her drive away.

Why was Beaumont killed in JACKIE BROWN? ›

However, fearing that Beaumont may become an informant in order to avoid jail time and to bail him out, Ordell lures him out of hiding and murders him. The murder is later investigated by ATF agent Ray Nicolette and LAPD detective Mark Dargus to whom Beaumont was informant.

Why does Max not go with Jackie? ›

When Max meets Jackie, his mind is blown; he loves her and wants to stop being in the bail bonds business all-together after meeting her. However, because this movie is a Quentin Tarantino movie and not a sappy love story, Jackie and Max do not drive off into the sunset together with all of Ordell's money.

What mall was Jackie Brown filmed in? ›

Interiors were filmed at a small apartment building at 6403 Ocean Front Walk, and exteriors at a larger apartment complex across the street at 6309 Ocean Front Walk. The filming location that most people remember from “Jackie Brown” is Torrance's Del Amo Fashion Center.

What airport was Jackie Brown filmed at? ›

Jackie Brown was shot in Torrance, Los Angeles, Hawthorne, Compton, and Carson, California, USA. Filming locations included Los Angeles International Airport, Venice Beach, and Del Amo Fashion Center. Venice Beach, Los Angeles, CA, USA. Photo by Stephen Leonardi on Unsplash.

Why is Jackie Brown called Jackie Brown? ›

Contrary to popular belief, Tarantino's actual reason for changing the main character's name to Jackie Brown from Jackie Burke was due to his fandom of the Peter Yates film, The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973), which featured a flamboyant and co*cky arms dealer named "Jackie Brown", whose characteristics and behavior were ...

What race is Jackie Brown? ›

Tarantino made some significant changes to Leonard's material—most notably changing the title from Rum Punch, making Jackie's last name Brown instead of Burke (an obvious homage to Pam Grier's Foxy Brown character), and changing Jackie's race from white to black.

Why is Jackie Brown rated R? ›

Moral Americans who couldn't stomach PULP FICTION will be spared some of the most heinous acts of that film, but JACKIE BROWN still has plenty of offensive material. Ordell frequently uses obscenities and racial slurs. Melanie reclines, smokes a lot of marijuana and quickly invites Louis to fornicate with her.

How much did it cost to make Jackie Brown? ›

Who is Simone in Jackie Brown? ›

Jackie Brown (1997) - Hattie Winston as Simone - IMDb.

What happened to Bridget Fonda? ›

Fonda Quit Acting To Focus On Family Life

In the same year as her distressing car accident, Bridget Fonda's life took a pivotal turn towards personal fulfillment as she married film composer Danny Elfman, known for his distinctive scores in Tim Burton's films and the iconic theme for The Simpsons.

Was Jackie Brown based on a true story? ›

Jackie Brown Was Based On Elmore Leonard's Rum Punch

According to the making-of documentary Jackie Brown: How It Went Down, after the success of Pulp Fiction, Tarantino bought the film rights to three Leonard novels with the intention of turning one of them into a movie.

Is Jackie Brown based on Foxy Brown? ›

Jackie Brown pays homage to 1970s blaxploitation films, particularly Coffy and Foxy Brown, both of which also starred Grier. It is the only feature-length film directed by Tarantino that was based on another work. Jackie Brown was released in the United States on December 25, 1997 by Miramax Films.

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