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My So-Called Life: Then and Now (and Forever)

When the first and only season of My So-Called Life ended much too soon back in 1994, we were devastated. (How could we live without knowing whether Angela and Jordan would get back together?!) We also could never have predicted that Claire Danes would go on to win an Emmy for her performance as a paranoid CIA agent and Jared Leto would will all of the awards for his role as an HIV-positive trans woman—or start a national conversation about his long, ombré locks. The former star-crossed lovers have come such a long way in two decades, we're revisiting their paths to see what they've accomplished—and obviously how they've changed their hairstyles.

claire danes

Claire Danes, circa 1996

On the heels of MSCL, Claire Danes scored the role that every teenage girl would’ve died for, playing Juliet to Leonardo DiCaprio’s Romeo in Baz Luhrmann’s modern take on the Shakespeare tale. The on-screen couple gained a slew of MTV Movie Award noms, including Best Kiss. Sigh.

jared leto

Jared Leto, circa 2000

Leto spent the years post-MSCL working on music and carving out eccentric roles—and looks—for himself, most notably his performance as a struggling addict in the nightmarish Requiem for a Dream. He also gave us a glimpse into his future as a hair trend setter with these cornrows.

claire danes

Claire Danes, circa 2002

After taking time off from acting to attend Yale, Danes returned to Hollywood with a sleek blonde bob in Igby Goes Down, where she showed audiences that Angela Chase had, in fact, grown up.

jared leto

Jared Leto, circa 2004

For Leto, the mid-aughts were all about his band, 30 Seconds to Mars. In 2005, they released their now-platinum second album A Beautiful Lie and Leto began touring the world, growing out his now trademark long, ombre ‘do.

claire danes

Claire Danes, circa 2010

Danes cemented her status as an A-lister by winning an Emmy for her transformative role in HBO’s biopic Temple Grandin—and looking totally glam doing it, with a knockout platinum hairstyle.

jared leto

Jared Leto, circa 2011

After playing 300 shows in a row, 30 Seconds to Mars entered the Guinness Book of World Records for most performances by a band during a single album cycle. Leto also almost set a record for sky high hair.

claire danes

Claire Danes, circa 2013

In her biggest TV role since My So-Called Life, Danes wowed audiences with her thrilling turn in Showtime’s Homeland—and has both Golden Globes and Emmys to prove it. Also worthy of an award? Her sultry smoky eye and voluminous blow-out.

jared leto

Jared Leto, circa 2014

While accepting an Oscar for his role as Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club, Leto popularized the “man bun". These days, he’s still experimenting with his hair, sporting a long, loose waves with a burly beard, to boot.

Photos: MSCL: ABC Productions; Homeland: Showtime; Dallas Buyers Club: Anne Marie Fox—Focus Features; all others: Getty Images

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