- Warner Bros
- “Elf” (2003) continues to be one of the most beloved Christmas movies of all time.
- The movie starred Will Ferrell, who went on to star in many other films.
- Zooey Deschanel starred on the series “New Girl” shortly after “Elf” debuted.
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Since its release in 2003, “Elf” has remained one of the most popular and beloved Christmas movies of all time,
With big-name actors like Will Ferrell and James Caan lending their talents to the movie and then-newbies like Peter Dinklage and Zooey Deschanel making waves in the film’s debut, it’s fun to look back.
Here’s what the cast of “Elf” has been up to in the 16 years since the film debuted.
Will Ferrell starred in “Elf” the same year “Old School” premiered.
- Warner Home Video
In 2003, Ferrell had ended his “Saturday Night Live” career a year prior and was preparing to make a name for himself as a big-name movie actor.
Ferrell’s career has seen lots of success post-“Elf.”
- Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty
Recently, he’s also gone behind-the-scenes as an executive producer, working on hit shows like Netflix’s “Dead to Me” and top-rated films like “Booksmart.”
Zooey Deschanel wasn’t the first choice to play Jovie.
- New Line Cinema
“Elf” was the ninth feature-length film that Zooey Deschanel had appeared in since launching her acting career in 1998.
At the time “Elf” debuted, Deschanel was a relatively new actress in Hollywood, having only made waves in the film “All the Real Girls” earlier that same year.
In an interview with Variety, Deschanel revealed that she was the second choice for the role and ultimately starred in the film as Jovie when the film’s first choice dropped out.She also told About.com, that she believed she mostly got the role because she could sing.
Deschanel became the star of her own TV show a few years later.
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The show ended in 2018 after seven seasons. Currently, there are no upcoming projects listed on Deschanel’s IMDb page.
James Caan was a seasoned actor before joining “Elf.”
- New Line Cinema
Caan remembers “Elf” as one of his favorite comedies that he’s worked on.
- Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Years after “Elf” was released, Caan remembered it as one of his favorite comedy productions.
He’s also gone on to voice a character in “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” and several “Godfather” video-game characters.
Bob Newhart was a well-known actor when “Elf” was released.
- Warner Brothers
Having voiced Bernard in Disney’s “The Rescuers” and “The Rescuers: Down Under” and appeared in popular films like “In and Out” and “Legally Blonde 2,” Newhart was a well-known actor in the world of Hollywood before joining “Elf.”
He even had his own TV series in the 1970s titled “The Bob Newhart Show,” which saw six years of success.
Starring as Papa Elf in the 2003 film, Newhart had to appear much shorter than his adoptive son, Buddy, which meant standing several feet away from Ferrell while acting.
Newhart has continued to act.
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Although he has continued his work on TV, Newhart has only appeared on one feature-length movie since the release of “Elf.” That movie was the 2011 film “Horrible Bosses” starring Jason Sudeikis and Jason Bateman, among many other famed celebrities.
In 2017, he reprised his role as Papa Elf for a local TV commercial.
Mary Steenburgen was an Academy Award winner prior to “Elf.”
- New Line Cinema
Steenburgen had made her mark on Hollywood long before the release of “Elf,” with roles in flicks like “Back to the Future III” and “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.”
In fact, she won an Academy Award for best actress in a supporting role in 1981 for her performance as Lynda Dummar in “Melvin and Howard.”
The Oscar-winning actress took her talents to the big screen once again when she appeared as Buddy’s step-mom Emily in the film “Elf.”
Steenburgen would star alongside Will Ferrell again in 2008.
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“Elf” wouldn’t be the last time Steenburgen would appear in a film with Ferrell. In 2008, the duo would reunite in the comedy “Step Brothers” with Steenburgen playing Ferrell’s mom once again.
Steenburgen has also appeared on TV series like “Joan of Arcadia” and “Orange Is the New Black.” She also appeared in the films “Four Christmases,” “The Proposal,” “The Help,” and “A Walk in the Woods” among many others.
“Elf” was Daniel Tay’s second movie.
- New Line Cinemas
Starring as Michael, Buddy’s half-brother in the film, Daniel Tay‘s first major role was in “Elf.”
The only acting credit he had prior was the 2003 film “American Splendor” in which Tay played a young Harvey.
Tay hasn’t appeared in any films since 2007.
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His last project was providing the voice of Bill Blue in “Grand Theft Auto IV.”
In the years since “Ef” premiered, Tay graduated from Yale University and he now tutors students preparing to take entrance exams, according to Mirror.
Peter Dinklage wasn’t too well-known before “Elf.”
- New Line Cinemas
In the film, Dinklage appears as Miles Finch, the seemingly grumpy best-selling author who doesn’t take kindly to Buddy. Dinklage’s performance in the film is brief but memorable.
Dinklage went on to star on the hit HBO show “Game of Thrones.”
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Most notably, Dinklage recently wrapped up his coveted role as Tyrion Lannister on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”
He also recently appeared in 2018’s “Avengers: Infinity War” and has multiple projects in the works.
Ed Asner had an impressive career before “Elf.”
- New Lines Cinemas
Asner’s acting career stretches back to 1957 when he appeared in the TV series “Studio One in Hollywood.” He starred in upwards of 50 projects before joining the “Elf” cast in 2003.
Even years later, Asner isn’t slowing down.
- Getty Images
Asner has kept his Hollywood career thriving. Since “Elf”‘s release, Asner has been credited with over 60 roles, including the TV movie “Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas.”
Recently, he appeared on Netflix’s series “Dead to Me” and on the show “Forgive Me.” He has multiple projects currently in the works, several of which are set to premiere in 2019.