The cast of “Holes”: Where are they now?

Here's what the actors have been up to since leaving Camp Green Lake in the dust.

<p>Everett Collection</p> From left: Shia LaBeouf, Byron Cotton, Max Kasch, Miguel Castro, Jake M. Smith, Khleo Thomas, and Brenden Jefferson in

Everett Collection

From left: Shia LaBeouf, Byron Cotton, Max Kasch, Miguel Castro, Jake M. Smith, Khleo Thomas, and Brenden Jefferson in 'Holes'

Holes never say die! While this oddball epic about a rag-tag group of pre-teens came out almost 20 years after The Goonies (1985), the films share similar, scrappy vibes — tall tales of old-school style adventure, shot in a naturalistic style that lets the kids' personalities shine. Another thing the two have in common? Both are bonafide classics, remaining fan favorites long past their release dates.

Based on the beloved, Newbery award-winning YA novel by Louis Sachar, the 2003 movie Holes (with a screenplay by Sachar) sticks faithfully to the book, bringing the dusty, quirky adventure to the big screen in a manner worthy of our underdog hero, Stanley Yelnats (Shia LaBeouf). Flipping between current times at a harsh Texas youth camp and a wild west legend of yesteryear, the film — like its source material — keeps things down to earth and ridiculously fun. And while highly respected and famous actors played the adults, most of the kids were unknown at the time.

So, grab a shovel (and an onion) and dig into the whereabouts of our favorite D-Tent dudes (and the grown-ups, too) in the years since the Holes cast first came together.

Shia LaBeouf (Stanley Yelnats)

<p>Everett Collection; Getty Images</p> Stanley Yelnats; Shia LaBeouf

Everett Collection; Getty Images

Stanley Yelnats; Shia LaBeouf

Shia LaBeouf has been through…a lot since his lead part in Holes, back when he was just 15 and fresh off his starring part on the Disney Channel show Even Stevens. His endearing awkwardness made his portrayal of the underdog Stanley quite believable — someone audiences could truly root for.

Sitting down at the Slauson Recreation Center — where he cofounded the Slauson Rec. theater group in Los Angeles — LaBeouf reflected on the enduring friendships he made on Holes. "[The cast] all come into this class. I'm still friends with these people," he told MTV News in 2019. "Byron [Cotton] from this neighborhood, he's from the Pueblos. He comes in here [on] Saturdays. So I know a lot of them still. I still see all these people."

Since Holes, he's starred in a ton of films, from acclaimed indies (2016's American Honey, 2019's semi-autobiographical Honey Boy, and 2019's The Peanut Butter Falcon) to big-budget epics (2007's Transformers, 2008's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and 2014’s Fury). He's also set to be in Francis Ford Coppola's highly anticipated ensemble drama, Megalopolis.

His personal life has followed a dramatic arc, too, from the bad — former girlfriend FKA Twigs suing him for abuse, and his own struggles with PTSD and addiction — to the good. As revealed in a 2022 letter, LaBeouf has embraced sobriety and family life with actress Mia Goth and their daughter.

For the 20th anniversary of Holes in 2023, LaBeouf reunited with some of his former castmates, including Cotton, Miguel Castro, and Jon Voight, as well as author Sachar and director Andrew Davis.

Jake M. Smith (Squid)

<p>Disney</p> Jake M. Smith as Squid in 'Holes'


Jake M. Smith as Squid in 'Holes'

As a born and bred New York City kid, the then-18-year-old Jake M. Smith was the perfect choice to play resident tough guy and toothpick-chewer, Squid. His mom was an actress, and Smith cut his teeth in the theater scene, appearing on stage at age 13 in a Shakespeare in the Park production of Cymbeline.

After Holes, he guest-starred on a few episodes of Law & Order and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Smith also appeared in the 2003 movie Ash Tuesday and the 2007 Sarah Jessica Parker film, Spinning Into Butter. Since his last credit in the 2009 Uma Thurman dramedy Motherhood, Smith has kept himself out of the public eye.

Byron Cotton (Armpit)

<p>Disney; Getty Images</p> Armpit; Byron Cotton

Disney; Getty Images

Armpit; Byron Cotton

As part of the core group at Camp Green Lake, Armpit is a true fan fave. Assigned as Stanley's "mentor," he's a classic tough-outside/squishy-inside kinda guy. His real name is Theodore, but if anyone dares to call him this, they get a beat down. So why Armpit? Maybe you already guessed — the kid's got a bit of a BO problem.

As for Byron Cotton — the actor who so memorably played him at 18 years old — he only appeared in a few roles post-Holes, including Extreme Movie (2008) alongside Michael Cera, and on episodes of NYPD Blue and The Shield. However, his most recent industry credits include work behind the camera as a production coordinator for the 2009 TV reality series The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty and a 2012 episode of Barter Kings.

Brenden Jefferson (X-Ray)

<p>Disney; Getty Images</p> X-Ray; Brenden Jefferson

Disney; Getty Images

X-Ray; Brenden Jefferson

Before playing Rex (a.k.a. X-Ray, the leader of the Camp Green Lake squad) in Holes, Brenden Jefferson was all over the small screen, starring on the short-lived TV series Thea and appearing on shows like Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Smart Guy, Even Stevens (alongside his future Holes costar, Shia LaBeouf), and The Hughleys. Additionally, Jefferson played Luke in 1995's Crimson Tide alongside serious heavyweights like Gene Hackman, James Gandolfini, Denzel Washington, and Viggo Mortensen.

After playing Rex at 16, Jefferson appeared on the series Boston Public, The Practice, and Grounded for Life — as well as in Jamie Foxx's Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story (2004) — before retiring from Hollywood and staying out of the public eye.

Khleo Thomas (Hector "Zero" Zeroni)

<p>Everett Collection; Getty Images</p> Hector "Zero" Zeroni; Khleo Thomas

Everett Collection; Getty Images

Hector "Zero" Zeroni; Khleo Thomas

After clinching acting credits for Family Law, City Guys, and Ice Cube's Friday After Next (2002), Khleo Thomas took on the role of camper Hector "Zero" Zeroni at just 14 years old. Zero's relationship with protagonist Stanley is one of the cornerstones of the film — and the word "touching" doesn't even begin to cover it.

"Zero is not the most Disney-friendly character. Like he was grabbing eight balls ready to fight, he hit a guy with a shovel, he choked somebody else out," Thomas told Business Insider in an April 2023 oral history of Holes. "I kept thinking how this character I'm playing might be the biggest gangster in Disney history — it was crazy."

Post-Holes, Thomas went on to rack up film credits for Walking Tall (2004), Going to the Mat (2004), Roll Bounce (2005), Remember the Daze (2007), Paint It Red (2019), and Scrap (2022). The actor also appeared in two episodes of Shameless in 2016. And he's branched out from acting — besides releasing hip-hop mixtapes and being heavily into gamer culture, Thomas has his own lifestyle/fashion brand called Slick Living.

One of the coolest things about Thomas now is how he serves as an unofficial sort of Holes ambassador/historian, keeping TikTok users up to date on the film by being accessible to fans and very active on social media (like providing this very sweet watch-along of Holes he posted on his YouTube channel).

Zane Holtz (Barf Bag)

Zane Holtz — perhaps the only ex-model in the world who is also known for playing a character named Barf Bag — had quite an interesting career after leaving the D-Tent.

"I did some stuff when I was a kid. I die in the beginning of Holes. That was one of my first jobs, I was about 13 years old," he told BUILD Series in 2018. "I went to regular high school and lived a regular kid life, and then I got back [into acting] at about 20. I decided to go back to theater school...and I kind of have been steadily working ever since."

From 2014 until 2016, Holtz took on the starring role of Richie Gecko in Robert Rodriguez's spin-off series of his sexy vampire film, From Dusk Till Dawn (1996). In both Riverdale and Katy Keene, he played K.O. Kelly. He also appeared on the big screen, acting alongside Emma Watson in The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012); ​​Gerard Butler and Gary Oldman in Hunter Killer (2018); and Ben Affleck in Hypnotic (2023).

He's also been busy off screen, living with his wife, Chelsea Pagnini, and four kids in Austin, Texas.

Dulé Hill (Sam)

<p>Everett Collection; Getty Images</p> Sam; Dulé Hill

Everett Collection; Getty Images

Sam; Dulé Hill

Before taking on the iconic role of Sam the Onion Man (seen alongside Kissin' Kate Barlow in the parallel old West story) Dulé Hill was already well known for his film work (1999's She's All That, 2000's Men of Honor) and memorable television roles.

"Once I knew who was in the cast, I was that much more honored to be a part of [Holes]," Hill told Business Insider in 2023. "People still come up to me today saying how they're such big fans of the movie. They always quote my character saying, 'I can fix that.' It really just amazes me."

He spent six seasons on The West Wing as Charlie Young, before leaving to take on the most well-known role of his career: Gus on Psych. The USA Network show ran for eight seasons and was followed by three movies. After Holes, Hill went on to have appearances in films like The Guardian (2006) and Hypnotic (2021), as well as on the series Ballers and Suits. From 2021 to 2023, he starred as family patriarch Bill Williams on The Wonder Years reboot.

From 2004 to 2012, Hill was married to actress Nicole Lyn, who also appeared on The West Wing and Psych. In 2018, he tied the knot with actress Jazmyn Simon, whom he met on the set of Ballers. The couple has appeared together in all three Psych movies and on The Wonder Years. Hill adopted Simon’s daughter from a previous relationship, and they welcomed a son in 2019.

Max Kasch (Zig Zag)

<p>Everett Collection; Getty Images</p> Zig Zag; Max Kasch

Everett Collection; Getty Images

Zig Zag; Max Kasch

Zig Zag landed at Camp Green Lake after a fireworks mishap, and, like then-18-year-old Max Kasch, possessed a wild mop of hair and a mischievous gleam in his eye.

After Holes, Kasch again worked with LaBeouf in the 2005 golf movie, The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005); appeared in Red Eye (2005); acted in the restaurant comedy Waiting… (2005); and played rugby in Forever Strong (2008). Kasch also had a brief appearance in the Oscar-winning drama Whiplash (2014).

When he isn’t acting, he is pursuing a solo music career, which shouldn't surprise anyone who's heard the iconic Camp Green Lake song, "Dig It." A 2023 GQ article breaking down the track's origins emphasizes Kasch's fantastic, deep baritone vocal intro, which "blew everyone away" and "gave the song an unexpected gravitas."

In a 2018 interview with The Tiara Talk Show, Kash explained his process of writing the iconic tune. "At that particular time, I was really heavily into a lot of blues music...and part of the history that blues music from that area was what were called 'field hollers' and 'work songs,'" he explained. "I had the idea of, you know, since we're obviously working out there in the hot sun, sort of in an oppressive way. That was my attempt at writing or recreating what I imagined a work song to be."

As of April 2016, Kasch has been married to Sophie Sawyer.

Henry Winkler (Stanley Yelnats III)

<p>Everett Collection; Getty Images</p> Stanley Yelnats III; Henry Winkler

Everett Collection; Getty Images

Stanley Yelnats III; Henry Winkler

Already adored for his portrayal of Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli (a.k.a. the Fonz) across 10 seasons of Happy Days and memorable performances in films like Night Shift (1982) and The Waterboy (1998), Henry Winkler took on a different kind of role in Holes: Stanley Yelnats III, a rumpled inventor who spent most of the movie boiling shoes and avoiding ancient curses.

Post Holes, Winkler continued to work steadily, from Adam Sandler's Click (2006) to comedic TV roles on Parks and Recreation, Childrens Hospital, and Arrested Development. He earned four consecutive Emmy nominations and won various critics awards for playing Gene Cousineau on Barry, the titular character’s egotistical acting teacher/father figure.

Since 1978, Winkler has been married to Stacey Weitzman — with whom he shares two children, Max and Zoe — and is stepfather to Stacey's son from a previous marriage, Jed Weitzman.

Sigourney Weaver (The Warden)

<p>Everett Collection; Getty Images</p> The Warden; Sigourney Weaver

Everett Collection; Getty Images

The Warden; Sigourney Weaver

Even with so many legendary starring roles under her belt — Alien (1979), Ghostbusters (1984), Working Girl (1988), Gorillas in the Mist (1988) — Sigourney Weaver took on a slightly smaller yet hilarious role as the evil Warden in Holes.

"It was one of the first books my [child] read that [they] really fell in love with — I remember [they] described the warden to me and said, 'Mommy, you should play this part,'" Weaver told EW in 2003. "I don't know why [they] thought that. Maybe because my hair is a little reddish. Maybe because I'm a beast."

After the Disney film, Weaver continued to show off her acting chops, from comedies (2008's Baby Mama) to dramas (Amazon Prime Video's The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart) to big-budget blockbusters like Avatar (2009) and its 2022 sequel, Avatar: The Way of the Water. (She is set to reprise her role as Dr. Grace Augustine for three more Avatar films.)

Weaver has been married to TV, film, and theater director Jim Simpson since 1984. Their child Char Simpson — who is non-binary — has also dabbled in acting, appearing as Weaver's onscreen daughter in The Guys (2002).

Jon Voight (Mr. Sir)

<p>Everett Collection; Getty Images</p> Mr. Sir; Jon Voight

Everett Collection; Getty Images

Mr. Sir; Jon Voight

With his greased-back hair and pencil-thin mustache, Jon Voight seems like he's doing a Christopher Walken tribute in this deliciously dastardly role.

"The key to [Mr. Sir's] character is that even though he is obviously a disgusting man, in his own eyes he isn't loathsome at all — in fact, quite the opposite," he told The New Zealand Herald in 2003. "So when I was sitting in makeup one day, I suddenly came up with the idea of these laughable Elvis-like, Spanish sideburns. I thought, 'Eureka! That's it, that's his character.' He's just appallingly vain."

Of course, Voight's a Hollywood legend due to his roles in films like 1969's Midnight Cowboy (1969), Deliverance (1979), Coming Home (1978) — for which he won an Oscar for Best Actor — Runaway Train (1985), and Anaconda (1997).

After his appearance in Holes, the veteran actor continued to add more acting credits to his résumé, including the National Treasure series (2004, 2007), The Manchurian Candidate (2004), and Ray Donovan and the 2022 follow-up film. He's also set to reunite with his Holes costar LaBeouf in Megalopolis.

From 1962 to 1967, Voight was married to actress Lauri Peters. In 1971, he married actress Marcheline Bertrand and they welcomed two children who would both become actors, son James Haven and daughter Angelina Jolie. Voight and Bertrand filed for divorce in 1978.

Tim Blake Nelson (Dr. Pendanski)

<p>Everett Collection; Getty Images</p> Dr. Pendanski; Tim Blake Nelson

Everett Collection; Getty Images

Dr. Pendanski; Tim Blake Nelson

As Dr. Pendanski, Tim Blake Nelson utilized his capacity to be creepy in a myriad of hilarious ways, from his feeble smile to a languid, not-all-there drawl. Before Holes, he made his mark in pop culture with his memorable portrayal of Delmar O'Donnell in the Coen brothers' 2000 masterpiece, O Brother, Where Art Thou?

"It was quite clear this was gonna be a lasting film from the moment we all saw it," Nelson told Business Insider. "My agent at the time said, ultimately, all you want to do is show up in really good films. Holes remains one of the best films I ever did."

After Holes, Nelson played Samuel Sterns in The Incredible Hulk (2008); Bolger in Leaves of Grass (2009); Dr. Allen in Fantastic Four (2015); the titular character in the Coens' The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018); and Carny Boss in Nightmare Alley (2021). (He also had an undisclosed role in 2024's Dune: Part Two, however, was "heartbroken" to learn his scene was cut.) Probably most notably, the actor was a major part of Peak TV, appearing on various acclaimed series like Watchmen, Guillermo Del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities, and Poker Face.

Nelson has been married to Lisa Benavides since 1994. Together, they have three sons.

Patricia Arquette (Katherine "Kissin' Kate" Barlow)

<p>Everett Collection; Getty Images</p> Katherine "Kissin' Kate" Barlow; Patricia Arquette

Everett Collection; Getty Images

Katherine "Kissin' Kate" Barlow; Patricia Arquette

Though long gone to that saloon in the sky, the colorfully named, heartbroken outlaw "Kissin' Kate" Barlow (Patricia Arquette) pretty much drives the entire Holes plotline.

"I got an opportunity to work on Holes and Andy Davis was our director. He was lovely. And I really love the character of Kissin Kate," Arquette said in a 2023 Vanity Fairy interview. "It was kind of magical being part of that movie because there's people of a certain age when they come up and they're like, 'You are!' I'm like, 'Oh, you saw Holes."

Known for a myriad of movies pre-Holes — including True Romance (1993), Lost Highway (1997), and Stigmata (1999) — Patricia Arquette had even more starring moments after Kissin' Kate hung up her spurs, from the NBC series Medium and Richard Linklater's 2014 film Boyhood (for which she won Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars) to the true crime saga The Act and Apple TV+'s Severance.

In her personal life, Arquette was married to actor Nicolas Cage from 1995 to 2001 and to actor Thomas Jane from 2006 to 2011. Both of her kids, Enzo (whom she shares with musician Paul Rossi) and Harlow (whom she shares with Jane) have acted in various capacities.

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