Film Lists

90’s Teen Actors Who Deserve a Big Comeback

One of the best things about bingeing Yellowjackets was seeing a plethora of iconic 90’s stars as the older version of the ill-fated soccer team. Christina Ricci, Melanie Lynskey and Juliette Lewis all get to shine in their portrayals, and it makes you wish more beloved stars of our past got the chance to sink into meaty roles like the Yellowjackets. Here are some of the biggest stars of the 1990s who deserve a big comeback.


Sarah Michelle Gellar

Absolutely no one ruled the late 90s/early 2000s like Sarah Michelle Gellar.

From Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Cruel Intentions to Scooby-Doo, nobody was doing it like SMG.

While she’s continued to work steadily since and has a few starring primetime roles, nothing has ever matched the height of Buffy in its heyday. She’s proven time and again she can handle it all (comedy, action, drama – and that’s all just in one Buffy episode!) and she would absolutely rock another big tentpole.

Get SMG in the MCU!

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Freddie Prinze Jr.

Speaking of Sarah Michelle, her other half deserves another shot too.

Freddie Prinze Jr. was a rom-com king, with She’s All That, Down to You, Head Over Heels and Summer Catch all coming out within quick succession.

Prinze has been mostly focusing on behind-the-scenes work, writing for WWE and doing voice acting for different projects, but a comeback seems likely.

He recently returned to TV on the Punky Brewster reboot, and tweeted that he’d be interested in doing another horror movie (please not another I Know What You Did Last Summer sequel). He could certainly rock a horror role akin to Ethan Hawke in Sinister, Ethan Hawke in The Purge, or Ethan Hawke in whatever Blumhouse project he’s doing next. Freddie, give them a call!

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Rachael Leigh Cook

We came this close to a comeback for Rachael Leigh Cook, as she starred in the Netflix reboot of She’s All That in 2021.

Unfortunately, He’s All That was a flop so it’s unlikely to bring more attention to the former teen star.

Cook was at the forefront of the teen movie craze, starring in The Babysitter’s Club, She’s All That and Josie and the Pussycats (a cult favourite!), but never seemed to step out of that shell and become a bonafide star, like peers Michelle Williams or Kirsten Dunst.

Cook has been focused on voice acting and producing since her teen movie days, and has a steady slew of Hallmark movies on her CV, but she’d be more than welcome to try her hand at fame again.

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Devon Sawa

If you were a tween girl in the 90s, you had a crush on Devon Sawa.

He was the swoon-worthy human form of Casper, the boy next door crush from Now and Then, and one of three heartthrob brothers in Wild America before taking the lead in Final Destination. His poster was on many a wall!

Sawa ended up taking a break from Hollywood but has been working in smaller projects for the past few years – in between being fantastic at shutting down right-wing trolls on Twitter. He’s currently appearing on the Syfy series Chucky, which just makes me want him back into the horror-fold full time. How about an A24 feature?

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Matthew Lillard

While the others on this list may have been more of the teen heartthrob variety, Matthew Lillard wasn’t often the lead or the guy you had on posters.

He was, however, the most memorable part of every movie he was in. Scream, Scooby-Doo, 13 Ghosts, SLC Punk, She’s All That… Lillard has the range!

With Scream 5 leaning so heavily on nostalgia, many were hoping Lillard’s Stu Macher would pop back up – despite seemingly dying in the first film. Maybe Scream 6 will be Lillard triumphant return? We can only hope! Until then, he’ll continue making absolute bank voicing Shaggy in every Scooby-Doo series. Maybe he doesn’t need the big screen anymore!

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