“You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch!” The live-action version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas has become a modern holiday favorite — but many of its stars often go unnoticed.
Jim Carrey steals the show as the titular character of the classic Dr. Seuss tale, which hit theaters in November 2000. The movie grossed more than $345 million worldwide, becoming the second highest-grossing holiday movie of all-time next to 1990’s Home Alone. Though it was initially met with mixed reviews, How the Grinch Stole Christmas scored nominations for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design at the 2001 Academy Awards — and took home the win for Best Makeup.
Most viewers recall Carrey’s unforgettable performance as the grumpy, green Whoville outcast, but he’s not the only big name to appear in the festive flick. Christine Baranski, Molly Shannon, Bryce Dallas Howard and more round out the comedy’s all-star cast. During a 2016 interview at the Toronto Film Festival, Howard reflected on the early days of her career and dished on secrets from the Grinch set.
“I was getting to hang around sets when I was a kid, a lot,” the daughter of director Ron Howard said at the time. “My first job, which isn’t really a job, is that I got to squeeze orange juice for everyone [on set] in the morning.”
The Rocketman actress eventually worked her way up to helping out behind the scenes of some of her dad’s projects, and after sometimes wandering into the background of scenes, Bryce was given an official role.
“I got to be an extra, which is really a supporting artist, and I got to be paid for that,” she recalled. “You know what, it was as a Who in The Grinch.”
Taylor Momsen, who played Cindy Lou Who, wasn’t famous when she landed her first major role, but Gossip Girl fans were later shocked to realize that the young woman who played Jenny Humphrey was the little girl from The Grinch.
“I do remember having a lot of fun on that set,” the actress, who was just 6 years old when she played Cindy, told Entertainment Tonight in December 2020. “It’s certainly funny now when people don’t realize I played Cindy Lou Who and they might know me from my music or something, and they put two and two together and you get the giant reaction of, ‘I can’t believe that’s the same girl from How the Grinch Stole Christmas!’ And I get a huge kick out of that.”
While Baranski, Shannon and Momsen received ample screen time as various Whoville citizens, there’s one iconic actor who’s never seen but is heard in the adaptation of the children’s book. Anthony Hopkins, known for his haunting portrayal of Hannibal Lecter in 1991’s The Silence of the Lambs, lends his voice as Whoville’s narrator.
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