Throwback Thursday: See Which Stars Supported Zach Braff’s Garden State Premiere 10 Years Ago

Zach Braff and Natalie Portman

David Westing/Getty

updated 07/17/2014 AT 11:00 AM ET

originally published 07/17/2014 AT 1:55 PM ET

Zach “The Director” Braff returns on Friday with his second cinematic effort, Wish I was Here. It’s the Kickstarter-funded story of a struggling actor – his last job was a dandruff commercial – caught in the confusion of dealing with grown-up responsibilities, while still wishing to be a kid. Complete with Shins songs, daydreams and waiting rooms, Wish I Was Here is littered with nostalgic nods to Braff’s directorial debut: Garden State.

It’s been ten years since Garden State first rode a sidecar into our hearts, with a near-perfect soundtrack and Natalie Portman’s adorable performance. In honor of Throwback Thursday (and Braff’s new film), we revisited Garden State’s U.S. premieres to find out which stars were the first to see that little movie that could.

Zach Braff and Donald Faison

Zach Braff and Natalie Portman

David Westing/Getty
The other half to Braff’s BFF eagle, Scrubs costar Donald Faison was there to keep things goofy.

Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard

It’s like looking at a prom photo for Indie Movie King and Queen.

Evan Rachel Wood

Long before the days she was a vampy vampire on True Blood, Wood was just a teen trying to figure out the red carpet.

Justin Theroux

Here’s further evidence that celebrities have uncovered the secrets of time travel. A pre-Aniston Theroux looks nearly identical to his Leftovers leading man today.

Rachel Bilson

Stare at this photo of the now-pregnant Bilson long enough, and The O.C. anthem, “California,” may start playing in your head.

Mark Ruffalo

Ruffalo received an Emmy nomination for A Normal Heart this year, but back in 2004 the actor was more focused on picking up new friends.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

A men’s style icon today, little Gordon-Levitt looks like he came straight from his high-school band practice to make it to Garden State’s New York City premiere.

Eva Mendes

That smile, those glittering eyes … maybe Mendes knew she was destined to bring the next generation of Goslings into this world long, long before we did.


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