If The Breakfast Club had been filmed like The Real World, it might look something like My Generation, a docu-style drama chronicling nine fictional Austin high-school students over the last 10 years. Every actor plays both 18-year-old and 28-year-old versions of their characters.
Jaime King (Gary Unmarried), 31, plays Jackie Vachs, "the Beauty Queen," who went to Hollywood but came back to Austin with her dreams unfulfilled. "When she's young, she's open and vibrant and fun," King says. "And now she has a life she never would have chosen."
Keir O'Donnell, 31, plays Kenneth Finley, "the Nerd," who got bullied and ended up single, teaching elementary school. "All it takes is to get pushed into a locker once and you immediately go back to that place," O'Donnell says.
Mehcad Brooks (True Blood), 29, plays Rolly Marks, "the Jock", who joined the Army after 9/11 and ended up in Afghanistan. "When I play 18, I get as much sleep as possible," says Brooks. "But on days when I'm in Afghanistan, I try to get three or four hours' sleep the night before. 'Cause I'm playing someone who's hot and tired and sick of what he's going through."
Sebastian Sozzi, 28, plays Falcon, "the Rock Star," who became a semi-successful New York music producer. "Young Falcon has his head in the clouds," says Sozzi. "Older Falcon, he's gone through the trials and tribulations that adult life starts to bring. There's no way anyone is the same person they were 10 years ago. If you didn't change in some capacity, then you're obviously not paying attention."
Michael Stahl-David (Cloverfield), 27, plays Steven Foster, "the Overachiever," the class president who ended up surfing his life away. "At 18, I play him more dogmatic," he says, "and 10 years later, he's watching footage of his younger self and going, 'Really? I said that?'"
Anne Son, 31, plays Caroline Chung, "the Wallflower," who barely said a word in high school but got pregnant on prom night and is now a single mom. "At 18, she was very childlike," says Son, "but she probably grew up the fastest. She had to — she's a mother."
Kelli Garner, 26, plays Dawn Barbuso, "the Punk," who ended up married and pregnant, with her husband overseas. "I'm trying to play a woman who doesn't have the pieces put together," says Garner. "I want to represent a pregnant woman who doesn't have a picket fence or a huge diamond ring on her finger."
Julian Morris, 27, plays Anders Holt, "the Rich Kid," the prom king with the perfect girlfriend. "When he was 18, he was desperately in love," says Morris, a classically trained English actor, "and when he's 28, he's married. But not to her. He's got a great life, but it's not what he wants."
Daniella Alonso, 31, plays Brenda Serrano, "the Brain," who becomes politicized by the 2000 election and ends up in Washington, D.C., a congressional aide, single and unhappy. "In 2000 everything is as good as it can possibly be," Alonso says, "and when you see her in 2010, she's seen the world and what happened to it. And the idealism is kind of gone."
My Generation premieres tonight at 8/7c on ABC