The Cast of 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall,' Then and Now

8:00 AM 4/18/2018

by Kalia Kornegay

The movie celebrates its 10th anniversary April 18.

Turning 10 years old this year is early '00s hit comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Directed by Nicholas Stoller, the film grossed $105 million worldwide on a budget of $30 million.

The romantic comedy follows Peter Bretter’s (Jason Segel) struggle with getting over his breakup with actress Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell) by vacationing in Hawaii. While on his break, he immediately runs into his ex and her new boyfriend, rock star Aldous Snow (Russell Brand). Despite the unexpected setback, Peter tries to make the most of the trip while finding love along the way with hotel concierge Rachel Jansen (Mila Kunis).

Two years later, Stoller released a spinoff sequel to the film titled Get Him to the Greek, which follows Aaron Green’s (Jonah Hill) attempt at getting Aldous Snow, now a failed musician, to perform at the Greek Theatre for a special performance. Besides Hill and Brand’s reappearances, Bell briefly reprises her role as Marshall during a promo for a fictional NBC sitcom.

In honor of Forgetting Sarah Marshall’s 10th anniversary (the movie first hit theaters April 18, 2008), The Hollywood Reporter breaks down what its stars have been up to since the film debuted.


  • Jason Segel

    Jason Segel stars as recently dumped boyfriend Peter Bretter. After the end of his five-year relationship with actress Sarah Marshall, Bretter travels to Hawaii to clear his head, only to run into his ex with new boyfriend and rock star Aldous Snow. Even with the stress of his past girlfriend, Bretter meets hotel concierge Rachel Jansen, sparking a sudden romance. Before his role in the film, Segel was also starring in hit sitcom How I Met Your Mother as Marshall Eriksen in 2005 and continued to act on the show until its finale in 2014. He later lent his voice acting talents to Despicable Me as Vector and The Muppets as Gary, and also acted in films I Love You Man, Gulliver’s Travels and Bad Teacher. He most recently appeared in a sci-fi drama called The Discovery, released on Netflix in March 2017, and is set to star in upcoming drama Come Sunday.

  • Kristen Bell

    Bell stars as Sarah Marshall, a successful actress on the show Crime Scene: Scene of the Crime, who recently broke off her long-term relationship with Peter Bretter. During her own vacation to Hawaii with rock-star boyfriend Aldous, she runs into Bretter and finds herself regretting her decision to break it off, especially after seeing how happy Bretter appears with new flame Rachel Jansen. After having played Veronica Mars in the 2004-07 series of the same name, Forgetting Sarah Marshall launched her into the comedy film world. Bell went on to act in Couples Retreat, When in Rome, The Boss and Bad Moms. Recently, she became well known as the voice of Disney princess Anna from Frozen and will be reprising the role in Frozen 2, set to come out in 2019. In addition to her work in the film world, she is currently starring in NBC’s The Good Place and was the first-ever host for the SAG Awards earlier this year.

  • Mila Kunis

    Starring as a hotel concierge and Bretter’s new love interest, Kunis plays the role of Rachel Jansen. Sarah Marshall was far from Kunis’ first onscreen appearance as she had played the role of Jackie Burkhart in the sitcom That '70s Show from 1998-2006 (she is now married to co-star Ashton Kutcher and they have two children together), along with other minor roles on various television dramas like 7th Heaven, Days of Our Lives and Baywatch. Following her transition to film, she also appeared in dystopian thriller The Book of Eli as Eli’s companion Solara and psychological horror film Black Swan as Lily, Natalie Portman’s ballet rival. She is currently still voicing Meg Griffin in Family Guy and is set to appear in The Spy Who Dumped Me later this year.

  • Russell Brand

    The comedian-turned-actor got his start performing stand-up across England, where he joked about everything from his addiction to heroin to how the media covered him. Forgetting Sarah Marshall marked his second film appearance and led him to also appear in Get Him to the Greek two years later with Jonah Hill. He reunited with Segel in 2010 for Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2 as the voice of Dr. Nefario, and later voiced the character Creek in Trolls. Along with his animated voice roles, he also starred at the titular character in British comedy Arthur and as Lonny in Rock of Ages. In September 2017, Brand published Recovery: Freedom From our Addictions, a self-help book that discusses his struggles with addiction.

  • Bill Hader

    Following his role as Peter’s supportive stepbrother, Hader has made steady progress in both his work in television and film. Best known for his nearly decade-long stint on Saturday Night Live, he has also worked on South Park and his mockumentary television series Documentary Now!. He is currently working on the HBO series Barry, which stars him in the titular role as a hitman who wants to become an actor.

  • Jonah Hill

    Prior to his role as waiter and Aldous’ obsessive fanboy, Hill had acted in minor roles in Accepted, Click and The 40-Year-Old Virgin. His first leading part came the year before with Superbad, where he starred alongside Michael Cera, with many considering the film to be the two actors’ breakthrough roles. After Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Hill went on to join castmate Russell Brand in Get Him to the Greek in 2010, and later starred in his first dramatic role with 2012's Moneyball, a sports film, which earned him his first supporting actor Oscar nom (his second nom came two years later, for The Wolf of Wall Street). Since then he has also acted in 21 Jump Street, Sausage Party, The Lego Movie, War Dogs and others.

  • Liz Cackowski

    After acting alongside Bill Hader as his character’s excitable wife, Liz Bretter, Cackowski became known mainly for her writing. She has written for shows Saturday Night Live and Community. She most recently wrote for and co-produced The Last Man on Earth on Fox.

  • Maria Thayer

    Thayer paired up with Jack McBrayer to play a newlywed couple also vacationing in Hawaii. While they appeared only in a few scenes, the two make a memorable pair, especially when they run into Peter the day after a failed attempt at sleeping together. Before the film, Thayer was active as a supporting actress on films Hitch and Accepted. Following Sarah Marshall’s success, she went on to act in various television shows, such as The Mindy Project, Eagleheart and, most recently, TruTV’s sitcom Those Who Can’t.

  • Jack McBrayer

    McBrayer is best known for his role as Kenneth Parcell on NBC’s acclaimed comedy 30 Rock, on which he had been for two years prior to his work on Sarah Marshall. In 2012, the actor also landed a role in the animated film Wreck-It Ralph as the voice of Felix and is set to reprise his role at the end of 2018 in Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2.