The beloved holiday movie "Elf" was released in 2003.
The film starred Will Ferrell, who has been in other projects like "Anchorman" and "Step Brothers."
Zooey Deschanel starred on the series "New Girl" shortly after "Elf" debuted.
Ferrell starred in "Elf" the same year "Old School" premiered.
In 2002, Ferrell ended his run on "Saturday Night Live" to prepare to make a name for himself in film.
Ferrell told Entertainment Weekly in 2007 that before taking on the role of Buddy the Elf, he requested that the movie remain lighthearted and took cues from the Tom Hanks film "Big" in creating his character's childlike persona.
Ferrell's career has seen lots of success post-"Elf."
He's also gone behind-the-scenes as an executive producer, working on hit shows like Netflix's "Dead to Me" and HBO's "Succession," as well as top-rated films like "Booksmart."
Recently, he also starred in "Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga" and has continued down his producing path, with several films lined up in preproduction and postproduction.
Deschanel wasn't the first choice to play Jovie.
"Elf" was the ninth feature-length film that Deschanel had appeared in since launching her acting career in 1998.
At the time "Elf" debuted, Deschanel was a relatively new actress in Hollywood with a few films under her belt, including "All the Real Girls" and "Almost Famous."
And in 2003, she told liveabout.com that she believed she mostly got the part because she could sing.
Deschanel became the star of a popular TV show a few years later.
In 2006, she formed a two-person indie band with M. Ward called She and Him. The pair has released multiple studio albums together.
In 2020, she lent her voice to the character Bridget in "Trolls World Tour" and appeared in the short "Katy Perry: Not the End of the World" as a lookalike of the pop star.
Caan was a seasoned actor before joining the cast of "Elf."
Caan wasn't a Hollywood newbie when he joined the "Elf" cast as Buddy's father, Walter.
Caan remembers "Elf" as one of his favorite comedies that he's worked on.
In 2013, Caan told the AV Club that he remembers "Elf" 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.
In 2021, Caan was in the film "Queen Beas." He's also slated to appear in several announced movies.
Bob Newhart was also a well-known actor when "Elf" was released.
Having voiced Bernard in Disney's "The Rescuers" and "The Rescuers: Down Under" and appearing in popular films like "In and Out" and "Legally Blonde 2," Newhart was a well-known actor before joining the cast of "Elf."
He even had his own CBS TV series in the 1970s titled "The Bob Newhart Show," which ran for six years.
Starring as Papa Elf in the 2003 film, Newhart had to appear much shorter than his adoptive son, Buddy, which entailed standing several feet away from Ferrell while acting, according to Variety.
Newhart has continued to act in comedies.
In 2017, he reprised his role as Papa Elf for a local TV commercial.
Since 2017, he's played professor Proton on the CBS "Big Bang" spin-off "Young Sheldon."
Mary Steenburgen was an Academy Award winner prior to "Elf."
Steenburgen had made her mark on Hollywood long before the release of "Elf," with roles in films like "Back to the Future III" and "What's Eating Gilbert Grape."
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 stepmom Emily in the film "Elf."
Steenburgen would star alongside Ferrell again in 2008.
"Elf" wouldn't be the last time Steenburgen would appear in a film with Ferrell. In 2008, the duo reunited in the comedy "Step Brothers," with Steenburgen playing Ferrell's mom once again.
In 2020, she appeared in the much-anticipated holiday movie "Happiest Season," and has since been on recent seasons of several series, like "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist."
"Elf" was Daniel Tay's second movie.
Starring as Michael, Buddy's half brother, in the film, Tay's first major role was in "Elf."
The only acting credit he had prior was in the 2003 film "American Splendor" as young Harvey.
Tay hasn't appeared in any films since 2007.
His last project was providing the voice of Bill Blue in "Grand Theft Auto IV," which was released in 2009.
Dinklage wasn't too well-known before "Elf."
In the film, Dinklage appears as Miles Finch, the seemingly grumpy best-selling author who doesn't take kindly to Buddy.
Dinklage went on to star on the hit HBO show "Game of Thrones."
Most notably, Dinklage played the complex and well-loved character Tyrion Lannister on "Game of Thrones."
He has several other projects in the works.
Ed Asner had an impressive career before "Elf."
Asner's acting career stretches back to 1957 when he appeared on the CBS TV series "Studio One in Hollywood."
He starred in upwards of 50 projects before joining the "Elf" cast in 2003.
Even years later, Asner didn't slow down.
He appeared on Netflix's "Dead to Me" and Super Channel's "Forgive Me."
In August 2021, Asner died of natural causes at the age of 91.
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