Then and Now: See the Cast of The Fifth Element 25 Years Later

Image credit: Legion-Media

Celebrating the continued success of the cast of one of the weirdest (yet funniest) 90s movies.

Milla Jovovich

Luc Besson had a hard time choosing the actress for the leading role. The director looked through eight thousand applicants, and when he saw Milla Jovovich, he realized she was the perfect Leeloo. Besson says he was attracted by the actress' unusual physicality: "She can be from the past or the future. She can be an Egyptian or Roman. She can be Nefertiti, and she can be from outer space."

The director and the actress married in 1997 and lived together for two years. Five years after The Fifth Element was released, Jovovich met filmmaker Paul Anderson, with whom she has three daughters. The couple is happily married, and the actress' beauty doesn't seem to fade with age.

Bruce Willis

The role of New York cab driver Korben Dallas was initially offered to Mel Gibson, but he turned it down. Then, Bruce Willis expressed his interest in playing the part and didn't change his mind even when the director warned him the production hadn't attracted any funds yet. The actor agreed to work for a small fee and eventually earned a fortune after the film rocked the box office.

Three years after the film's release, Willis divorced his first wife, Demi Moore, with whom he had three daughters. Soon, he met model Emma Heming: the couple married in 2009 and had two daughters together. The 67-year-old actor continues to star in movies to this day.

Gary Oldman

Like his co-star Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman was already a popular actor when he was offered the role in Besson's film. The director had once helped Oldman with his debut project, Nil by Mouth, so the actor thanked his friend and agreed to play the movie's bad guy, Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg. Oldman complained that his costume was extremely uncomfortable, and he couldn't move properly in it.

The same year The Fifth Element was released, the actor married photographer Donya Fiorentino, but their marriage ended in four years. Actress Alexandra Edenborough was Oldman's next wife: they lived together between 2008 and 2015. In 2017, the actor married again to writer Gisele Schmidt. Gary Oldman appears in movies and TV series but has hinted his retirement is now "on the horizon."

Chris Tucker

Luc Besson originally offered the role of extravagant radio host Ruby Rhod to Prince, but the singer believed the character's outfits were too feminine so he refused the offer. Eventually, the part went to stand-up comedian Chris Tucker, and that's where his film career took off: after The Fifth Element's release, he was offered numerous roles in comedies, co-starring with world-famous actors.

In 1997, Tucker married his longtime girlfriend Azja Pryor, and the couple had a son the following year. However, their marriage lasted only until 2003.

Maïwenn Le Besco

The French actress played the beautiful alien singer, Diva Plavalaguna.

At the time of filming, she was in a relationship with the film's director. The actress gave birth to Besson's daughter Shanna (who is now also an actress). After breaking up with Besson, Maïwenn continued her career in the movies and became a successful director.