Not many from the UK have made an established foothold in Hollywood as quickly as Claire Forlani has. The British actress made a low-key debut in the early nineties before working her way up through both indie comedy hits like Mallrats and big-time romantic dramas like Meet Joe Black alongside All-American Stepdad Brad Pitt.
She hit hard and hit fast at the end of the nineties, but where has she gone since?
Born in London to an English mother and Italian father, Claire was brought up well-off as a kid with parents that encouraged her to follow ballet first before she eventually settled on an acting career.
Her parents would follow in the footsteps of their ancestors, moving to the American West to start a new life in Hollywood where their daughter would have more opportunities in the bright lights.
Making her Hollywood debut in the television film Scruples alongside always groomsman never the Groom, Chad Michael Murray. Nobody remembers it, but it made some sort of impact and lead Claire to more roles opposite future stars like Patrick Dempsey as JFK (with intact head!) in JFK: Reckless Youth before landing a big break in… Police Academy: Mission to Moscow.
It’s as bad as it sounds, and somehow managed to throw OJ Simpson out while bringing Sir Christopher Lee in. Yeah, I don’t get it either.
Still, it would make moves for Claire Forlani, moving her into the newest indie comedy from up-and-coming writer/director breakout Kevin Smith.
Claire would star as Brandi, just one of the mall’s oddball inhabitants in Smith’s followup to Clerks, Mallrats in 1995.
She would have a good chance to flex comedic muscles as opposed to dramatic but would get a chance to show a different side in Basquiat the following year as just one of the back-to-back powerhouse films.
She would complement the quieter drama of Basquiat by taking a role as Sean “Open Hand Abuse” Connery’s daughter alongside another legend Nicolas Cage in The Rock in 1996 as well, bringing in even more of that sweet, big studio money.
The last half of the decade would see Claire taking on more demanding drama roles, including in the aforementioned Meet Joe Black and The Last Time I Committed Suicide as well as the oddly delightful Ben Stiller superhero spoof, Mystery Men to finish everything out.
This film has the line “Leaving so spoon?” said with complete seriousness by Hank Azaria and that’s just the tip of how great it is.
Drama to Dramaaaa
Claire Forlani just kept moving forward, making herself into a powerhouse of drama in the 2000s, with a very strange proclivity to movies about horses being some of her more recurring roles taken.
She would occasionally break up the serious stuff with a fun comedy though, taking the opportunity in 2003 to star alongside action hero Jackie Chan in action/comedy The Medallion.
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She would have other small, but well-done roles in more indie dramas as well, starring in Greene Street Hooligans alongside future Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam before going on to the most questionable role of her career, as well as the greatest outlier.
Seriously, Claire, an Uwe Boll film? I could understand if this was like an early career movie but honey, you mean to tell me you saw “From the Director that brought you House of the Dead and Bloodrayne” and just signed right up? Oh, you poor, poor thing. I hope In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale at least paid you half of what they paid Statham, Pearlman, and Liotta. Jesus Christ, Burt Reynolds and Matthew Lillard got sucked into it too!
Claire wouldn’t let it stop her though. Following a marriage to almost-Wolverine actor Dougray Scott, she hit Hollywood with a renewed vigor and found the enchanting world of syndicated procedurals and primetime drama.
Starting her journey with recurring roles in CSI and NCIS, she would also make an appearance in a main role on the short-lived Camelot to ring in the new decade.
She would continue picking up roles, though on a much slower schedule, throughout the 2010s including Hawaii Five-O among others starring in indie films.
Where is Claire Forlani Today?
The slowdown hit a steady pace in 2014, with Forlani and her husband Dougray Scott welcoming their first child into the world.
While she would take a step back after to focus more on family than acting, she would notably speak out in 2017 to give her previous experiences with producer Harvey Weinstein. Spoiler, he’s a piece of shit and tried to make disgusting advances on her multiple times. It’s not hard to not be a scumbag to everyone you meet, Harvey.
These days Claire is content living the relaxed mom life, acting in whatever she chooses, taking care of her child, and spending time with her son between roles in Disney+’s Black Beauty and Epix series Domina.
She’s on track to return for Kevin Smith’s long-awaited follow-up Twilight of the Mallrats and has other projects set up in the future to keep her going with no sign of slowing down any time soon.