See the Stars of Alpha Dog, Then & Now

Justin Timberlake, Emile Hirsch, Amanda Seyfried and Olivia Wilde starred in the 2007 drama based on the true story of the kidnapping and murder of Nicholas Markowitz.

By Tierney Bricker Jan 13, 2022 12:07 AMTags
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No one expected the director of The Notebook to follow one of the most romantic movies of all-time with a gritty true crime drama.

But that's exactly what Nick Cassavetes did in 2007 with Alpha Dog, a film inspired by the events leading up to the 2000 murder of 15-year-old Nicholas Markowitz over a dispute between his half-brother and drug dealer Jesse James Hollywood, who's serving a life sentence for the crime. For the movie, Cassavetes assembled a cast of up-and-coming actors, including Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Olivia Wilde and Amanda Seyfried, as well as pop star Justin Timberlake. (Sadly, Anton Yelchin, who played Zack Mazursky, the character inspired by Markowitz, died in a freak accident at the age of 27 in 2016.)

While Alpha Dog made just $32 million at the box office after it was released on Jan. 12, 2007, it proved to be a launching pad for its young stars, who've gone on to earn Oscar nominations, direct hit films and even co-star again in big-budget flicks. 

Harry Styles and Olivia Wilde's Romance Rewind

See what the star-studded cast of Alpha Dog is up to now.

Emile Hirsch

Hirsch followed up his breakout role in The Girl Next Door by playing Johnny Truelove, the movie's "alpha dog" who was inspired by Jesse James Hollywood. He went on to star in Into the Wild, Speed Racer, Milk and Lone Survivor. More recently, the 36-year-old actor portrayed Jay Sebring in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Hirsh checked into rehab and spent 15 days in jail in 2015, when he was charged with misdemeanor assault after choking a woman at the Sundance Film Festival that year.

"I'm still just so sorry for what happened and still just shocked even that it happened," Hirsh said on the Happy Sad Confused podcast the following year. "Also, grateful in a way that you know it gave me an opportunity to make my life a lot better and to do some of the things that helped me in finding ways of just clarity."

Hirsch is the father of an 8-year-old son, Valor, though he has never publicly revealed the mother's identity. 

Justin Timberlake

The pop superstar and former 'N Sync member made one of his first major acting appearances as Frankie "Nuts" Ballenbacher, Johnny's right-hand man. Following Alpha Dog, Timberlake put his music career on pause to focus on movies, starring in The Social Network, Bad Teacher, Friends With Benefits and In Time. He has also lent his famous vocals to the Trolls franchise.

In 2013, Timberlake returned to music and has released three hit albums, and his book, Hindsight & All the Things I Can't See In Front of Me, was released in 2018.

Timberlake, 40, married Jessica Biel in 2012 and the couple have two sons, Silas, 6, and Phineas, who was born in 2020.

Ben Foster

The Six Feet Under star also joined the X-Men franchise as Angel the same year he starred as Jake Mazursky, the older brother of Anton Yelchin's character, Zack.

Known for his method approach to acting—he added glaucoma drops to his eyes to play a drug addict in Alpha Dog—the 41-year-old has earned praise for his performances in gritty dramas like 3:10 to Yuma, Hell or High Water and The Program, in which he portrayed Lance Armstrong. He reunited on-screen with Hirsch in 2013's Lone Survivor

After ending his engagement to actress Robin Wright in 2015, Foster married Orange Is the New Black star Laura Prepon in 2018 and the couple have two children, daughter Ella, 4, and a son born in 2020.

Olivia Wilde

Shortly after her breakout performance as Alex on The O.C., Wilde played Angela, Johnny's girlfriend. The same year, Wilde began her four-year run on Fox's hit medical drama House before going on to star in blockbuster movies such as Tron, In Time and Cowboys & Aliens.

The 37-year-old has since moved behind the camera, directing movies like Booksmart and the upcoming drama Don't Worry Darling. Wilde is also set to direct a female-fronted superhero movie for Marvel. 

She was in a nine-year relationship with Jason Sudeikis, and they welcomed two children together, Otis and Daisy. Following their breakup in 2020, Wilde made headlines when she began dating Harry Styles

Amanda Seyfried

The Mean Girl star began her acclaimed four-season stint on HBO's Big Love the same year she co-starred as Julie Beckley, Zack's girlfriend. 

After leaving critically acclaimed drama, Seyfried went on to star in Mamma Mia! (and its 2018 sequel), Jennifer's Body, Dear John and Letters to Juliet. She reunited on-screen with Timberlake in the sci-fi thriller In Time and Seyfried earned her first Oscar nomination in 2012 for her turn as Cosette in the film adaptation of the musical Les Misérables. The 36-year-old would be nominated again in 2020 for her performance in Mank. Seyfried will next portray controversial Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes in the Hulu miniseries The Dropout

After getting married in 2017, Seyfried and her The Last Word co-star Thomas Sadoski have welcomed two children, daughter Nina, 4, and 1-year-old son, Thomas.

Amber Heard

After her small role in Alpha Dog as one of Julie's friends, Heard would go on to appear in Never Back Down, Pineapple Express, The Rum Diary, Machete Kills and Magic Mike XXL. Heard joined the DC Universe in 2017 as Mera, starring as the Atlantean queen in Justice League, Aquaman and the upcoming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

The 35-year-old was married to Johnny Depp for 15 months, with their acrimonious breakup in 2017 turning into one of the biggest (and ongoing) celebrity divorce dramas in recent history

In July of last year, Heard revealed she welcomed daughter Oonagh Paigh several months earlier, writing on her Instagram, "I'm so excited to share this news with you. Four years ago, I decided I wanted to have a child. I wanted to do it on my own terms."

Bruce Willis

The action film star played Sonny Truelove, Johnny's father and marijuana supplier. He'd go on to star in The Expendables franchise, Moonrise Kingdom, Split and Glass. The 66-year-old reprised his iconic character John McClane in 2013's A Good Day to Die Hard

Willis has three daughters—Rumer, 33, Scout, 30, and Tallulah, 27—with ex-wife Demi Moore and two daughters—Mabel, 9, and Evelyn, 7—with model Emma Heming, whom he married in 2009. The co

Sharon Stone

The screen legend joined the cast as Olivia Mazursky, Zack's mother, the same year she starred in the sequel to her 1992 hit film Basic Instinct. Stone also appeared in Bobby, Lovelace and The Disaster Artist. The 63-year-old actress earned an Emmy in 2010 for her guest appearance on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and starred in Netflix's Ratched. She'll next appear in HBO Max's The Flight Attendant, joining its second season as the mother of Kaley Cuoco's lead character. She released her New York Times bestselling memoir, The Beauty of Living Twice, last year.

Stone has three sons, Roan, 20, Laird, 15, and Quinn, 12.