Can’t fight the moonlight! Coyote Ugly was released in theaters on August 4, 2000, and bar life was never the same.
The film followed small-town singer Violet Sanford (Piper Perabo) who leaves her dad (John Goodman) and best friend (Melanie Lynskey) in New Jersey to try to hit the big time as a songwriter in New York City. In order to make money, she applies for a job at the famous Coyote Ugly bar where she learns to bartend alongside Cammie (Izabella Miko) and Rachel (Bridget Moynahan) after Zoe (Tyra Banks) quits. However, it doesn’t take long for her to find love and conflict in the city.
David McNally, who directed the film, opened up about the casting of the hit movie — and admitted that Jewel and Jessica Simpson were up for the leading role … until he and the producers met Perabo.
“Toward the end of the process, Piper walked in,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in 2015. “She was actually from New Jersey and seemed to get it. … Everyone loved [her screen test], that was the end of that.”
Maria Bello, who played the role of the no-nonsense boss Lil, has a feeling that the strong women in the movie are the reason people still love it.
“It was one of the first films ever that showed young women who were in charge of their own sexuality, and they weren’t being used for their sexuality, but they were deciding how to dress and how to act and what to do,” she told THR. “And they weren’t objectified — they were benefiting just from being authentic in themselves.”
Scroll through the gallery below to catch up with the cast now.