After his 1980s Breakfast Club/St. Elmo’s Fire heyday Judd Nelson saw his career momentum falter. He never stopped working, but aside from a three-year run in the forgettable Brooke Shields sitcom Suddenly Susan his work was mostly one-off appearances on shows.
Now, Nelson has a bit of a comeback on his hands. He’s not a movie star anymore, but he has thrown off the curse of being recognizable and perhaps typecast from his biggest 80s rolls. The one-time major celebrity has a number of recently-completed projects and a number in the works. These may not bring him back to Brat Pack-level fame, but Hollywood can be cruel and it’s impressive for someone to still be working 30-plus years after his biggest successes.
What is Judd Nelson doing now?
In 2016 alone Nelson has nine projects that have either aired, been completed, or are in post-production, according to Internet Movie Database. These include:
Madness in the Method, The Downside of Bliss, Kreep, Straight A’s (TV Movie), Billionaire Boys Club, Stagecoach: The Texas Jack Story , Dirty Politics, 1/1 , and The Bandit Hound. None of these are likely to be Oscar contenders, but work is work and some of these roles including Billionaire Boys Club are major releases. Nelson may not have the lead in the bigger pictures on this list, but he has managed to put together a nice list of supporting parts in bigger films. starring roles in lesser productions, and meaty parts on television.
It’s an improbable comeback likely helped by Nelson appearing in multiple episodes of the hit drama Empire in 2015. The actor may never reach the levels he once hit, but it’s fair to say that Judd Nelson is back and he’s doing meaningful work, which is more than most actors from the 80s can say.