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Famous Movie Cheerleaders Then and Now

Eliza Dushku / Megan Fox / Mena Suvari
Beacon Communications / Fox Atomic / DreamWorks SKG

Despite the fact that we weren’t the biggest fans of cheerleaders in real life, there is something about cheerleaders in movies that earns much less of our ire. Perhaps it’s that bad things happen to them. Perhaps it’s that they are so mean it goes beyond cruel and straight to funny.

Whatever the reason, let’s take a look at ten of our favorite movie cheerleaders then and now!

Sarah Roemer, ‘Fired Up!’

Sarah Roemer
Screen Gems / Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images

Then: Beginning her career as a model, Sarah Roemer turned to acting with an onscreen debut in ‘The Grudge 2.’ She followed that up with ‘Wristcutters: A Love Story,’ ‘Disturbia’ and ‘Asylum’ before appearing in ‘Fired Up.’

Now: After ‘Fired Up,’ she went on to appear in ‘Hachi: A Dog’s Tale’ alongside Richard Gere, ‘Falling up’ and ‘The Con Artist.’ She was also cast in the now-defunct NBC series ‘The Event’ and appeared on three episodes of ‘Daybreak’ in 2012.

Betsy Russell, ‘Cheerleader Camp’

Betsy Russell
Daiei Studios / Jason Merritt, Getty Images

Then: Actress Betsy Russell began her career just out of high school. She quickly landed roles in ‘T.J. Hooker,’ ‘Family Ties,’ ‘Murder, She Wrote’ and the teen-sex comedy ‘Private School’ before hitting the set of 1988’s ‘Cheerleader Camp.’ She played Alison Wentworth, an insecure cheerleader whose haunting nightmares become reality.

Now: After her ‘Cheerleader Camp’ role, Russell’s appearances in film and television throughout the ’90s ebbed a bit. However, things slowly resurged, especially once she became part of the ‘Saw’ franchise in its third installment, playing Jill Chuck, ex-wife of the Jigsaw Killer.

Eliza Dushku, ‘Bring It On’

Eliza Dushku
Beacon Communications / Jason Merritt, Getty Images

Then: Before appearing in ‘Bring It On,’ Dushku made a career as a child actor, working alongside stars such as Robert DeNiro and Leonardo DiCaprio in ‘This Boy’s Life’ and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis in ‘True Lies.’ She also played Faith on ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘ before taking the part in ‘Bring It On.’

Now: Since ‘Bring It On,’ Dushku has appeared in films like ‘Wrong Turn,’ ‘Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back’ and ‘City by the Sea,’ to name just a few. She starred on the FOX series ‘Dollhouse’ and now plays June Pepper on the Hulu series ‘Leap Year.’

Marley Shelton, ‘Sugar and Spice’

Marley Shelton
New Line Cinema / Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

Then: Before Shelton appeared in ‘Sugar and Spice,’ she was Wendy Peffercorn in ‘The Sandlot!’ She also had slightly less magical parts in ‘Nixon,’ ‘Pleasantville’ and ‘Never Been Kissed.’

Now: Since her ‘Sugar and Spice’ role, Shelton was in ‘Uptown Girls,’ ‘Sin City’ and the double-feature ‘Grindhouse.’ She eventually landed a lead role in the CBS drama ‘Eleventh Hour.’

Ali Larter, ‘Varsity Blues’

Ali Larter
MTV Films / Jason Kempin, Getty Images

Then: Before appearing in ‘Varsity Blues,’ Ali Larter worked primarily in television, on shows like ‘Suddenly Susan,’ ‘Just Shoot Me!’ and ‘Dawson’s Creek.’ ‘Varsity Blues’ was her first film.

Now: Larter’s career skyrocketed after the film, and she played parts in ‘Final Destination 1 and 2,’ ‘Legally Blonde’ and ‘House on Haunted Hill.’ Her biggest part to date was the character Niki Sanders on ‘Heroes.’ ORRRRRR when she played the evil lady in that Beyonce movie ‘Obsessed.’ Definitely one of those two.

Mena Suvari, ‘American Beauty’

Mena Suvari
DreamWorks SKG / Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

Then: Although she had been working for a few years in Hollywood, 1999 was really when Mena Suvari got her big break. That year she appeared in both ‘American Pie’ and ‘American Beauty.’ She definitely got more cred for the latter of those two.

Now: Since then, Suvari has stayed busy, working on ‘Six Feet Under,’ countless indie films, ‘American Horror Story,’ and two more of the ‘American Pie’ movies.

Jaime Pressly, ‘Not Another Teen Movie’

Jaime Pressly
Columbia Pictures / David Livingston, Getty Images

Then: Jaime Pressly began her career as a model. At the age of 15 she emancipated herself from her parents so that she could take a modeling job in Japan. It wasn’t until five years later that Pressly started acting, appearing in cult favorites such as ‘Can’t Hardly Wait‘ and ‘Joe Dirt’ before joining the cast of ‘Not Another Teen Movie,’ where she played head cheerleader (or cheer-tator) Priscilla.

Now: Pressly has stayed busy since ‘Not Another Teen Movie,’ appearing in films such as ‘Torque’ and ‘I Love You, Man,’ but, of course, she is known to most as Joy Turner on ‘My Name Is Earl,’ a role which earned her two Emmy Award nominations, a Golden Globe and a SAG Award. Since the show’s wrongful cancellation, Pressly has most recently been spotted on the short-lived ‘I Hate My Teenage Daughter.’

Megan Fox, ‘Jennifer’s Body’

Megan Fox
Fox Atomic / Jason Merritt, Getty Images

Then: Megan Fox started her career playing minor roles on ‘Hope & Faith’ and in the film ‘Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen.’ But when she took to the screen as Shia LaBeouf’s love interest in ‘Transformers,’ she became instantly famous. She would reprise her role in the film’s sequel before joining the Diablo Cody project ‘Jennifer’s Body,’ in which she played a possessed (but still undeniably sexy) cheerleader.

Now: After the release of ‘Transformers 2,’ Fox had some not-so-nice things to say about director Michael Bay. And even though she was fired from the third film, the world didn’t seem to care, possibly because nobody cared about ‘Transformers 3.’ Recently Fox has been in ‘Friends with Kids’ and the newest Judd Apatow project, ‘This Is 40.’

Kate Mara, ‘We Are Marshall’

Kate Mara
Warner Bros / Kris Connor, Getty Images

Then: Mara started her career as a child actor, beginning on television in 1997 with a role in ‘Law & Order.’ Between that and her 2006 ‘We Are Marshall’ role, she was in ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ ‘Nip/Tuck’ and ‘CSI.’

Now: After ‘We Are Marshall,’ Mara’s career has been pretty TV-heavy. Other than movies ‘Iron Man 2′ and the Oscar-nominated ‘127 Hours,’ she’s appeared on ’24,’ ‘Entourage,’ ‘American Horror Story,’ and currently stars on the Netflix series, ‘House of Cards’ alongside Kevin Spacey. Her sister is Rooney Mara, star of ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ and ‘Side Effects.’

Trishelle Cannatella, ‘Ninja Cheerleaders’

Trishelle Cannatella
Hi-Fidelity Films / Jordan Strauss, Getty Images

Then: Yes, this is a movie. And what’s better is that it features the great George Takei! Also reality starlet Trishelle Cannatella, who played Courtney, the stripper/cheerleader who is on a mission with her two stripper/cheerleader/ninja friends to save their sensei from mafia boss Victor Lazzaro. Before this role, Cannatella became famous for her appearance in MTV’s ‘The Real World.’

Now: Since the 2008 comedy, Cannatella has worked as a model and has shown up in various incarnations of the ‘Real World/Road Rules Challenge.’ Reality TV aside, she is also an accomplished poker player, having walked away with $20,000 and finishing third at the 2010 WPT Invitational Tournament.

Next: Famous Movie Bullies Today

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