What People Who Have Worked With 1990s Heartthrobs Said About Them

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Vote up the most revealing stories about 1990s hunks.

With their spiked tips and tight muscles, the cinematic heartthrobs of the 1990s still hold a special place in our hearts decades later. Some of these actors continue to grace Hollywood's screens, while others peaked and peaced-out in the '90s. Either way, they were pinned up in teenage bedrooms across the nation, and the characters they played helped to personify one of the most distinctive decades - one that is now history.

The brightly colored era that popularized cellphones and Clueless, Beanie Babies, and combat boots is also remembered for introducing some of the most memorable, lovable, and swoon-worthy hunks. They had fanatical fans trying out their last names and seemed to be on every magazine cover, but their co-stars and production crews had their own experiences working alongside these superstars of the '90s.

  • Julia Stiles Said Heath Ledger Was A Giving And Gracious Actor 
    Photo: 10 Things I Hate About You / Buena Vista Pictures

    Heath Ledger was a talented actor the world lost far too soon. We first fell in love with him as Patrick Verona, the bad boy with a hidden heart of gold in 10 Things I Hate About You. Off-screen, Ledger was known as a giving, graceful, and generous human. In interviews with the movie's castpublished by the New York Times, Julia Stiles, Gabrielle Union, and David Krumholtz reminisced about working alongside Ledger.


    Heath had the ability to look at you, and [make] you feel like Princess Diana. In a very crowded Hollywood landscape, he could make you feel special and seen. That’s a pretty special gift, and I don’t think it’s talked about enough.


    To fans, he’s a movie star that died. To me, he was flesh and bone, soulful, sweet, and I know for a fact he was in recovery prior to his death. He was trying to get healthy.

    Stiles, discussing her emotional poem-reading scene: 

    I remember Heath, when they turned around to do his reaction shot, he said something like, “I don’t need to do anything because this isn’t about me.” A lot of times you get one actor crying in a scene and the other actor feels like they have to cry, and he knew to be sort of restrained. I thought that was really cool.

    Speaking with US Weekly, Stiles also recalled: 

    He was so nice. He was such a force; he was - even at that age - a very, very powerful, lovely human being. 

    373 votes
  • Christopher Kenneally Described Keanu Reeves As A Well-Rounded Artist 
    Photo: The Matrix / Warner Bros.

    Keanu Reeves has never really been a typical actor or celebrity. He has set himself apart with his low-maintenance lifestyle, and most impressively, his integrity and humility. However, he was and still is a Hollywood hunk who has evolved both on and off the screen. From a surfer to a time-traveling teenager and on to a futuristic freedom fighter - Reeves's career has continued to mature. He's also branched into film production, making him an extremely well-rounded artist. 

    Director Christopher Kenneally, who worked with Reeves in Side by Side, found him skilled in far more than acting. In fact, the documentary, which explores the evolution of filmmaking technology, was inspired in part by Reeves's curiosity. Kenneally elaborated in an interview with Tribeca Studios: 

    He [Reeves] was really curious and wanted to know how post-production worked and how the technology was changing. One day we were sitting in Technicolor, and we were watching the two colorists at work - side by side - to make sure that the chemical print matched the digital work that we had done. The two guys were kind of characters, and there was just this way they talked to each other that was funny.

    As Keanu and I started talking naturally about a lot of the topics and questions we would eventually explore in Side by Side he said, “You know what? We should make a movie about this.” 

    129 votes
  • David Krumholtz Said Joseph Gordon-Levitt Is A Good Friend
    Photo: 10 Things I Hate About You / Buena Vista Pictures

    Joesph Gordon-Levitt matured from a scrawny teenager to a hunky leading actor under the public eye. Winning the hearts of audiences and co-stars alike, Gordon-Levitt is admired for his positive vibe, but also for his deep commitment to his roles and craft.

    He first appeared in TV shows like 3rd Rock From the Sun and films like Disney's Angels in the Outfield. In 1999, he was cast as Cameron - a lovesick teen in 10 Things I Hate About You. The on-set culture and filming experience was enjoyable for the entire cast. 

    David Krumholtz and Gordon-Levitt played best buds on-screen and, according to Krumholtz in an interview with AV Club:

    That was the most fun I ever had making a movie. Everyone got along really, really well from day one. It was like summer camp... I don’t know when we made it that we ever thought it would last in popularity as long as it has, but I think that speaks to the strength of the bond of the cast... I think you can tell that we adored each other and that we were real friends. To this day, Joe Gordon-Levitt is a good friend...

    145 votes
  • Rachael Leigh Cook Said Working With Freddie Prinze, Jr. Was A Dream
    Photo: She's All That / Miramax Films

    Freddie Prinze, Jr. was the '90s heartthrob we all rooted for, especially in She's All That. He was cast as Zack, a popular high school jock who turns soft for artsy outcast Laney, played by Rachael Leigh Cook.

    The movie gave us all the feels when Zack lost the cruel bet to turn Laney into prom queen, falling for her irresistible quirkiness instead. In a US Weekly interview, Cook recalled that Prinze was a pleasure to work with as she discussed the pinnacle scene when Laney finds out about the bet:

    I remember Freddie shooting that scene. I think he really struggled with knowing that he was playing a character who he knew to be good at heart but is still the same person who did something like that. And I think that made it really difficult for him and made it really beautiful to watch...

    Working with Freddie is just a dream. He’s just one of the most kind-hearted people you could ever want to meet. He’s such a giving actor.

    205 votes
  • Rachael Leigh Cook Found Paul Walker To Be Talented And Way Cool 
    Photo: She's All That / Miramax Films

    Another actor gone too soon was Paul Walker, who passed in a car accident at the age of 40 in November 2013. Walker is most recognized for playing Brian O'Conner in The Fast and the Furious franchise. Before he played a street racer, he entered the scene as a teen idol playing the hot jock in the '90s films She's All That and Varsity Blues.

    Following his death, thousands of fans and Hollywood actors shared their messages of sadness and fond memories. She's All That co-star Rachael Leigh Cook had great admiration for Walker: 

    Paul’s an excellent actor. People don’t say that enough, because they’re sort of blinded by how just absurdly attractive he was… We [all] seem like actors a little bit. It’s kind of lame. Paul was just not. He was way more. His energy would just sit under everyone else’s, and you could tell that he was thinking and engaged, but he had this vibe about him that he would rather be surfing. He was athlete-level cool. Yeah, way cooler than the rest of us.

    153 votes
  • Chris O'Donnell Says LL Cool J Is Like A Brother To Him
    Photo: NCIS: Los Angeles / CBS

    A talented actor, musician, and repeat Grammy Awards host, LL Cool J emerged as a pioneering rap artist in the '90s. His powerful voice, signature sweatsuits, gold chains, and Kangol caps helped to style hip-hop. James Todd Smith (his birth name) dropped out of high school in 1985, and just seven years later won his first Grammy for "Momma Said Knock You Out" - an instant sensation and rewarding comeback after an underwhelming third album. 

    LL Cool J has fought to stay relevant in both the music and film industries, appearing in smaller films and shows throughout his career. He co-starred as a special field agent on NCIS: Los Angeles alongside Chris O'Donnell, with whom he developed a strong friendship.

    Having starred in all 280 episodes together, O'Donnell joked about the on-set relationship and constant "I love yous" in an interview with Entertainment Tonight Canada:

    The same way you would pick on your sibling and drive each other crazy - it’s similar to the relationship that Todd and I - LL and I have - in real life. I mean, he is someone I have great respect for and there is a mutual admiration, but we also love to... just torture each other and constantly drive each other crazy.

    O'Donnell also bragged about his on-set brother:  

    LL is a pretty extraordinary individual... I think that what he’s done throughout his career, the longevity he’s had, and the ability to reinvent himself in so many different ways and to have his toe in so many different areas of the business, and other businesses.

    103 votes