'Little Miss Sunshine,' 10 Years Later
Ten years ago Tuesday, on July 26, 2006, a multigenerational crew of misfits piled into a yellow VW bus and made indie movie magic. In honor of the 10th anniversary of the Sundance classic, catch up with the cast of Little Miss Sunshine and see what they’ve been doing since pushing the little yellow bus.
Abigail Breslin was already building a substantial resume for herself before her turn as Olive in Little Miss Sunshine. The young actress progressed from playing the precocious kid in movies like No Reservations (2007) and Definitely, Maybe (2008) to more mature roles in The Call (2013) and August: Osage County (2013). In 2015, Breslin portrayed Emma Robert’s minion, Chanel No. 5, in Scream Queens, and is currently preparing to play Baby Houseman in the TV production of Dirty Dancing for ABC.
Audiences knew Greg Kinnear from movies like Sabrina (1995), As Good as It Gets (1997) and You’ve Got Mail (1998), in which he played Meg Ryan’s academic boyfriend Frank Navasky. Since his turn as failed business man Richard Hoover in Little Miss Sunshine, Kinnear continued his big-screen turn, racking up roles in Fast Food Nation (2006), Invincible (2006), Baby Mama (2008), Ghost Town (2008), Green Zone (2010), I Don’t Know How She Does It (2011), Stuck in Love (2012) and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013). Kinnear also recently tired his hand at political productions, starring in the tv miniseries The Kennedys as Jack Kennedy in 2011 and as Joe Biden in HBO’s Confirmation (2016).
Paul Dano made a name for himself in the early 2000s, popping up in L.I.E., The Emperor’s Club, The Girl Next Door, and HBO’s The Sopranos. Since his turn as Dwayne in Little Miss, he has picked up critical acclaim, earning credits for Academy Award winners There Will Be Blood and 12 Years a Slave, and landing his first Golden Globe nomination for his part in 2014’s Love & Mercy. Dano also starred with his longtime girlfriend Zoe Kazan in the indie romcom she wrote, Ruby Sparks (2012), and went dark in the kidnapping thriller Prisoners with Hugh Jackman (2013). Audiences can see Dano this summer in Swiss Army Man (2016) with Daniel Radcliffe’s farting corpse.
Alan Arkin won an Oscar for his endearing portrayal of Grandpa Edwin Hoover, but audiences knew him long before 2002’s Little Miss Sunshine. The actor’s early roles included The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming (1966), The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1968), and Inspector Clouseau (1968). He went on to hit the small screen in Sesame Street (1970-71) and St. Elsewhere (1983), and appeared in the Tim Burton classic Edward Scissorhands in 1990. After Little Miss, he reunited with his co-star Steve Carell for Get Smart (2008) before joining another Academy Award-winning cast with Argo in 2012.
Toni Collette was no stranger to the silver screen by 2006, having previously appeared in Muriel’s Wedding (1994), Emma (1996), The Sixth Sense (1999), About a Boy (2002), and In Her Shoes (2005). After playing Sheryl Hoover in Little Miss, Collette received accolades for her performance in Showtime’s The United States of Tara (2009-2011). She reunited with Steve Carell in 2013 for another indie comedy called The Way Way Back (2013) and can next be seen in Imperium with Daniel Radcliffe.
Steve Carell worked on The Daily with Jon Stewart (1995-2005) as a correspondent while taking on comedy roles like Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004), and The 40 Year-Old-Virgin (2005). Little Miss Sunshine sent Carell into darker waters. He went on to star in another hit show, the American version of The Office (2005-2013), kept up his impressive film career with more hit comedies: Get Smart (2008), Date Night (2010), and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013), and forayed into more dramatic parts like Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011) and The Way, Way Back (2013). Carell gained his first Oscar nomination for his transformative portrayal of John du Pont in 2014’s Foxcatcher and was lauded for his work in The Big Short (2015). Audiences can see him in Woody Allen’s latest Café Society (2016) and in the upcoming Battle of the Sexes in 2017.
Bryan Cranston played the vile Stan Grossman in Little Miss Sunshine and was famous for his role as Hal in the sitcom Malcolm in the Middle (2000-2006). He guest starred on several famous TV comedies including: Seinfeld (1994-1997), American Dad (2005-2010), and How I Met Your Mother (2006-2013) before joining a little show called Breaking Bad in 2008, which capitulated his career to new heights. He’s since caught a lot of praise for his portrayal of famous historical figures like Dalton Trumbo in Trumbo (2015) and President Lyndon B. Johnson in All the Way (2016).
Mary Lynn Rajskub
Audiences remember Mary Lynn Rajskub for her parts in romcom favorites Sweet Home Alabama (2002) and Punch-Drunk Love (2002). Rajskub might be the most recognized as Chloe O’Brian on 24 (2003-2010) and reprised her role in 24: Live Another Day (2014). Since her part as Pageant Assistant Pam in Little Miss, she was in the indie gem Safety Not Guaranteed (2012), and has been busy with guest roles on New Girl (2013), Arrested Development (2013), 2 Broke Girls (2013-2014), and Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2015-2016). Most recently, Rajskub played Erin Roberts in The Girlfriend Experience (2016) on Starz.