From “La la Land” director Damien Chazelle comes another film that pulls back the curtain on the film industry. Set in the 1920s, “Babylon” follows Jack Conrad, played by Brad Pitt, a leading man with much of his career in the rearview mirror, and Nellie LaRoy (Margot Robbie), a rising Hollywood star. In the trailer for the film, Jack talks about his experience in Tinseltown. “When I first moved to Los Angeles, signs on every door said, ‘No actors or dogs allowed’. I changed that,” he says.
As silent films were replaced by “talkies”, a whole new world of opportunities and threats emerged. “I wanted to capture how big, bold, brash and unapologetic this world was,” the Oscar-winning director told Vanity Fair. “It was really a time of the Wild West for these people, this cast of characters, as they went up and down, up, down, up again, down. »
And what a gallery of characters, indeed. “Babylon” features an ensemble cast of a Marvel superhero, TV legend, horror movie favorite, and Grammy-winning musician. The stars are so bright you’ll wish you had a clapperboard handy to shield your eyes.
Margot Robbie is Hollywood’s it girl
Margot Robbie shot to fame acting alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in the 2014 Best Picture winner “The Wolf of Wall Street.” In 2017, she starred as disgraced Olympic skating phenom Tonya Harding in “I, Tonya.” Robbie, who received an Oscar nomination for the role, told Time Out: “I wanted to meet her just to let her know that we would treat her story with respect, but at the same time, it’s a movie. I wasn’t going to hold back with this character, and I hoped she understood that. »
You might remember Robbie as Harley Quinn from “The Suicide Squad” and the “Birds of Prey” spin-off. “One of the first things I said to [director James Gunn] was, I think Harley is a catalyst for chaos,” Robbie told Total Film (via GamesRadar+) in 2021. The Aussie actor won a second Oscar nod for her role in “Bombshell,” playing Kayla, a Fox News staffer, in the 2019 film about sexual harassment allegations at the media giant. That same year, Robbie appeared as actor Sharon Tate in “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood.”
And she continues to care. In 2022, Robbie appeared in David O. Russell’s star-studded film “Amsterdam.” And as for playing rising star Nellie LaRoy in “Babylon”? “He was the most physically and emotionally draining character I’ve ever played, a mile from the country,” Robbie said in Vanity Fair. “She demands so much of you that she left me in pieces. »
Brad Pitt is Hollywood royalty
Brad Pitt first came to Tinseltown’s attention as a hunky con man in 1991’s ‘Thelma and Louise’. isn’t a surprise, but you’d be surprised how many hitchhiker roles there are,” he told The New York Times. “A River Runs Through It” and his turn in “Interview with a Vampire” proved he was destined for stardom. In the spy thriller “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” from 2005, Pitt came face to face with his now estranged wife Angelina Jolie.
The Hollywood star also starred alongside Edward Norton in “Fight Club” in 1999. In “Moneyball,” he played Oakland A manager Billy Beane. “I’m a sucker for stories of injustice and I want to right injustice,” Pitt told The Hollywood Reporter in 2011 of the sports drama. in “Babylon,” won his first Oscar in 2020 for his performance in another Tinseltown drama, playing movie stuntman Cliff Booth in “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood.”
“He’s one of the last movie stars on the big screen,” Quentin Tarantino, who directed the film, told GQ of Pitt. “And frankly, I don’t think you can describe exactly what it is because it’s like describing the brilliance of the stars,” Tarantino added. In 2022, Pitt unleashed his killer instincts by playing an assassin named Ladybug in the action-packed thriller “Bullet Train,” taking on Bad Bunny and Brian Tyree Henry.
Toby Maguire is the first Spider-Man
“Babylon” actor Toby Maguire started out in a short-lived 1992 television series called “Great Scott.” He quickly transitioned into big-screen roles, landing in Ang Lee’s acclaimed 1997 drama “The Ice Storm.” Decades later, he still praises her performance. “Perfectly molded, perfectly formed, sad and funny. Tobey Maguire is from another world,” New York Mag’s Matt Zoller Seitz tweeted in 2022. Maguire also played Charlize Theron’s love interest in Lasse Hallstrom’s 1999 film, “The Cider House Rules.”
In the 2009 remake of “Brothers,” Maguire’s character is in war-torn Afghanistan, wrapped up in the middle of a messy love triangle with his true childhood friends, played by Natalie Portman and Jake Gyllenhaal. Maguire’s work in the feature film earned him a Golden Globe nomination. And let’s not forget his take on web hero Peter Parker in the first three “Spider-Man” films. “He’s someone the kids can relate to, and he’s not dying, so a new generation can come along and appreciate him,” Maguire told CNN in 2002.
“He’s an everyday kid you can relate to. He is neither an alien nor a multi-millionaire,” the actor added. In 2013, Maguire played Nick Carraway in Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby,” alongside Carey Mulligan and his longtime friend Leonardo DiCaprio. The following year, Maguire took on the role of Devon Morehouse, the son of a wealthy oil tycoon in “The Spoils of Babylon.” In a review for The Wrap, critic Tim Molloy wrote of the parody of the 1980s miniseries, “It’s gloriously, throw up your hands ridiculous.” »
Jovan Adepo enjoyed early success in prestige television
In “Babylon”, Jovan Adepo plays a jazz trumpeter named Sidney Palmer. Having made his professional acting debut in 2015, Adepo has already amassed an impressive list of credits. He played Hooded Justice in HBO’s “Watchmen” limited series, was one of the main characters in the 2020 adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Stand,” and starred alongside Viola Davis and Denzel Washington in the critically acclaimed adaptation of August Wilson’s play “Fences”. . »
While many up-and-coming actors cut their teeth in the world of indie film or low-budget TV shows, Adepo’s career officially began with a high-profile series. As he shared in The New York Times Style Magazine, “My first work was ‘The Leftovers’ [from 2015-17]. It was without a resume, but the show’s creator, Damon Lindelof, saw my audition and said, “This guy.” He got me out of Inglewood to work at Sunglass Hut. »
Becoming an actor wasn’t always Adepo’s plan. As he told Interview, he moved to Los Angeles in 2011 to try and pursue a writing career, but one thing led to another and he changed gears. “I had taken a few acting workshops – business workshops – here and there, and each time I had taken one, the teachers told me that I had to take it seriously,” he recalls. Safe to say, this pivot worked.
Lukas Haas was a movie star at the age of nine
“Babylon” cast member Lukas Haas made his mark as a child actor, starring alongside Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis in “Witness” in 1985. By age 16, he already had 25 film credits and television, including the lead role in “The Ryan White Story,” a film about an Indiana teenager who was kicked out of school after contracting HIV. “Being a working actor is the best education I can get,” Haas told UPI in 1992. “I visit cathedrals, museums, battlefields and ruins. I learn geography and history through experience, not just from books. That’s wonderful. »
The actor appeared in Christopher Nolan’s 2010 sci-fi action film, “Inception.” The following year, he played Father Augustus in “Red Riding Hood,” which stars “The Dropout” star Amanda Seyfried. In 2018’s “Widows,” Haas played David, Elizabeth Debicki’s sugar daddy. Of his character, Haas told The Hollywood Reporter, “He’s presented as if he’s some kind of villain, but the reality is he’s just himself. »
Haas portrayed astronaut Michael Collins in Damien Chazelle’s 2018 film “First Man,” the story of Neil Armstrong and his historic first steps on the moon. “It was like one of the coolest movie experiences I’ve ever had, hands down,” he said. You may have also spotted the actor in his recurring television roles. He guest stars on HBO’s “Criminal Minds”, “24” and “Entourage”.
Eric Roberts is one of Hollywood’s busiest actors
“Babylon” actor Eric Roberts is one of the most prolific character actors in the business, with over 700 credits on his IMDb profile. “The way I look at it is that I’m one of the luckiest guys in Hollywood,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in 2022. 1978’s “King of the Gypsies” was his first film, alongside relative newcomer Susan Sarandon. “I was a 21-year-old kid who was scared to death,” Roberts told Vanity Fair in 2018.
His extensive list of credits includes a small-time hitman in Bob Fosse’s “Star 80” and an aspiring mobster named Paulie in “The Pope of Greenwich Village.” In the 1996 film “It’s My Party,” Roberts portrayed Nick, a man dying of AIDS as he plans a final hurrah. The actor, who also appeared in 2010’s “The Expendables,” told Uproxx he tries to find the brighter side of the darker stories. “You have to find a way to relieve the public. They need to be relieved of the constant bang, bang, bang. It is serious. It makes sense. »
In recurring roles, Roberts played Robert Avery (Jesse Williams’ onscreen father) on “Grey’s Anatomy,” as well as Junior on HBO’s “The Righteous Gemstones.” “I saw the whole planet. I’ve seen it all,” the “Suits” alum told Uproxx. “All of the Arctic. I have seen everything. I saw everyone. We have the best jobs on the planet. »
Max Minghella has participated in large-scale projects
Max Minghella, who plays Irving Thalberg in “Babylon,” first made waves in “The Social Network,” the 2010 film based on the story of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg. When he learned George Clooney was directing ‘The Ides of March,’ the English actor quickly rushed to an audition tape for the ‘Ticket to Paradise’ star. “I did it psychotically, 50 different ways, then I picked the one I liked the most and sent it. It was the most arduous audition I have ever done in terms of process,” Max told the Guardian in 2011.
Director Anthony Minghella’s son (“The English Patient”) also appeared in Vince Vaughan and Owen Wilson’s comedy “The Internship.” That’s when his big breakthrough came – the role of Detective William Schenk in Hulu’s hit series “The Handmaid’s Tale”. “None of us take it for granted,” Max told Variety of the animated show. “We are all acutely aware of the uniqueness of this experience. »
You may remember the actor when he was Chris Messina’s younger brother on “The Mindy Project.” In 2021’s “Spiral,” the ninth installment in the “Saw” horror movie franchise, Max plays a detective partnering with Chris Rock to track down a copycat killer. “It’s probably the closest to my taste of anything I’ve worked on, oddly enough. I’m completely obsessed with ‘Beverly Hills Cop,’” he told Harper’s Bazaar of the horror flick. “I would say if there’s a piece of pop culture in my bones, this is it. »
Jean Smart is a legendary television star
In “Babylon,” TV icon Jean Smart plays a fictional celebrity gossip columnist. Smart first became a household name in the 1980s playing comedian Charlene Frazier on the beloved sitcom “Designing Women.” She won back-to-back Emmys for her guest turn in “Frasier,” playing Lana, an old flame with a rather short fuse. “The character was so fun, just her, the way she got excited with her anger issues,” Smart told Parade. She won another Emmy as Christina Applegate’s self-centered mother in the ABC comedy series “Samantha Who?” »
Smart is known for playing more than just comedic roles. She took on the role of Floyd Gerhardt, the head of a North Dakota crime family, in Season 2 of “Fargo.” Speaking to Fox News in 2016, the actor said of the role, “She’s not an easily intimidated person, but she’s a mother, so that’s her weak point. In 2021, Smart played Kate Winslet’s sarcastic mother in HBO’s critically acclaimed crime drama “Mare of Easttown.”
In 2022, Smart won another trophy for her role in HBO’s hit series “Hacks,” playing Deborah Vance, a sharp-tongued comic trying to revive her flagging career. In an interview with The Guardian, Smart admitted that she and her character have a few things in common. “We both love leopard print and sequins,” she said. But there’s more to the connection than a penchant for flashy fashion choices. “I’m a smarta** like her – sarcasm is in my arsenal,” she added.
Li Jun Li received an award for his work in the film
With a resume that includes hit shows like “Damages,” “Chicago PD,” “Quantico,” and “Evil,” Li Jun Li has been a part of the small screen since 2010 — and she’s showing no signs of slowing down. In 2019, she joined the main cast of the Netflix original series “Wu Assassins”; that same year, she appeared in the first season of “Why Women Kill”.
In “Babylon,” Li plays Lady Fay Zhu, a character based on real-life silent film star Anna May Wong. When asked to play a role inspired by the Hollywood legend, Li told Deadline, “She was a trailblazer. What she has experienced in her career – the discrimination she has faced – has been arduous, infuriating and eye-opening. Still, she held her head high. and with his extraordinary talent, again made an unforgettable career. Months before “Babylon” hit theaters, Li received a major award for his work in the film. At the Asia-Pacific Film and TV Critics Choice Awards Celebration, held in September 2022, Li received the Breakthrough Actress Award for Film.
Jeff Garlin doesn’t curb his enthusiasm
“Babylon” actor Jeff Garlin is the co-star and executive producer of HBO’s long-running comedy series “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” alongside Larry David. “The fact that it’s a big hit, I’m shocked. Because it was really something organic, that we did to make each other laugh,” Garlin told the Guardian in 2011.
Garlin teamed up with Steve Zahn and Eddie Murphy in the 2003 film “Daddy Day Care,” playing three out-of-work dads who start their own daycare. The comedic actor also played Marvin in “Mad About You,” alongside Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt. You might also remember him as Mort Myers on Netflix’s “Arrested Development.” But his best-known role to date is as Murray Goldberg on ABC’s “The Goldbergs,” a popular sitcom about a Philadelphia-area Jewish family in the ’80s.
Based on series creator Adam F. Goldberg’s father, Murray is a crisp father of three who loves his family, but truly loves its peace and quiet. When Goldberg approached him about the role, Garlin told Parade that there were two things that sealed the deal: “I really liked the script, and I saw Adam’s home movies. , and I thought, “Oh, that’s something that could be really fun and something that I could do. »
Samara Weaving is no stranger to juicy roles
Samara Weaving has played an array of intriguing roles in her career. The young “Babylon” star gained attention for her role as Penelope, John Hawkes’ teenage girlfriend on “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” in 2017. Then she took a turn towards the lighter side, starring in Showtime’s comedy “SMILF” for three seasons. All the while, Weaving was shooting one horror movie after another. In 2017, she starred in “Mayhem,” alongside “Nope” stsar Steven Yeun, and she starred in “The Babysitter” and its sequel in 2021.
“People seem to like me being covered in blood all the time,” Weaving told W Magazine in 2017. “It has nothing to do with me! I’m actually terrified of horror movies. In Ryan Murphy’s “Hollywood,” she played Claire Amberg, a woman trying to figure out her true self. “Claire is like a fighter. She can hide and camouflage herself and she can listen and look… She wears a lot of red and black, kind of like a spider,” she told Elite Daily.
In 2020, the Australian actor joins Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter in “Bill and Ted Face the Music”. “It’s so crazy, the kind of stuff they get into,” Weaving told Collider. “It was great to be part of one of their crazy adventures. She also signed up for “Nine Perfect Strangers,” which features an all-star cast including Melissa McCarthy, Nicole Kidman and Bobby Cannavale. “The whole experience was like a dream. I was smitten by everyone,” Weaving told Cosmopolitan.
Katherine Waterston has impressive movie credits
Katherine Waterston’s breakout role came in Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2014 film “Inherent Vice” as Shasta Fay, Joaquin Phoenix’s hippie girlfriend. “Paul really pulled me out of obscurity,” the ‘Law & Order’ actor’s daughter Sam Waterston told Indiewire in 2021. one job to another. You might also remember her as the other half of Michael Fassbender in “Steve Jobs.”
Needless to say, obscurity is a thing of the past for the “Babylon” actor. After first starring opposite George Clooney and Tilda Swinton in the legal drama Michael Clayton in 2007, she moved on to roles in ‘Boardwalk Empire’, ‘The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her’, which stars Jessica Chastain, and sci-fi action film “Alien: Covenant.” In 2016, Katherine took on the role of Tina, the well-meaning but not always welcome witch in 2016’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and its sequels.
“I’ve played a lot of [dark characters],” she admitted to Refinery29 in 2020. “One of the pleasures with [HBO’s series] ‘Third Day’ was just not the person going through the hell, you know? provides the film’s narration, told Indiewire, “What really got me excited and struck me right away was how intimate, deeply interior, page-read that voiceover was.” »
Yes, it’s director Spike Jonze
When you see the name Spike Jonze, his work in front of the camera probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. The Hollywood veteran is best known for his work as a writer/director/producer. Jonze not only directed such films as “Being John Malkovich”, “Her” and “Where the Wild Things Are”, but he co-created the “Jackass” franchise. And, of course, he’s made a number of iconic music videos, working with artists like Bjork, Beastie Boys and Weezer.
That said, “Babylon” isn’t Jones’ first acting role. Throughout his film career, he appeared in films like “Three Kings” and “Moneyball.” Looking back on his first acting experience in the movie ‘Three Kings’, he said on ‘The Nine Club’ podcast, ‘There were definitely times on set where I was nervous about it… You you feel embarrassed, you feel like an asshole, that’s how you feel on camera with a bunch of people. »
Olivia Wilde broke new ground for TV characters
Before “Babylon,” Olivia Wilde launched her television career playing bisexual teenager Alex Kelly on “The OC.” On the show, Alex had relationships with Seth and Marissa, played by Adam Brody and Mischa Barton respectively. Looking back on her character’s arc on the prime-time soap opera, she told Elle in 2019, “We thought we were so woke in 2003! So many things have changed, it’s amazing. The actor’s signature TV role is Dr. Remy Hadley, aka “Thirteen,” on the medical series “House,” which starred Hugh Laurie.
“My work has improved so much being on the show and learning from Hugh and all the other actors,” Wilde shared with E! News in 2011. “My film career is due to ‘House'”. the biggest departure from myself that I have played in a long time. The actor also appeared alongside Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks in the 2012 comedy-drama “People Like Us.”
In 2018, Wilde teamed up with Oscar Isaac on “Life Itself.” Alas, the film, which was directed by Dan Fogelman (“This is Us”), was panned by critics and flopped at the box office. Wilde also starred in and directed 2022’s “Don’t Worry Darling,” which features his now ex-partner Harry Styles.
Flea is a man of many talents
Flea, whose real name is Michael Peter Balzary, is best known as the bassist of the band Red Hot Chili Peppers. The Australian-born rocker has been acting in films and on television for over three decades. The “Babylon” actor’s first feature film was a small role in Penelope Spheeris’ punk rock documentary “Suburbia” (“Wayne’s World”) in 1983. In a 2018 interview with Straight, the director recalled: “Flea said that wherever he traveled in the world, punks would come up to him and tell him that Suburbia was the ‘bible of punk rock'”.
In 1991’s “My Own Private Idaho,” Flea played gay hustler Budd, alongside teenage sex workers River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves. The actor also played Needles, Marty McFly’s rival in “Back to the Future II” and its sequel. Flea also appeared in “Low Down,” a 2014 film based on the real-life story of jazz pianist Joe Albany, who was battling addiction. About his personal connection to the project, he said in Interview Magazine: “When I was a kid, I used a lot of heroin, so I knew what it was like to be on heroin. Some of his other credits include “The Wild Thornberrys,” “Baby Driver,” and “The Big Lebowksi.”
Although Flea has been in a ton of movies, don’t think that means he’s pounced on every script that comes his way. As he told Grantland, “If it’s people I respect doing a project I believe in, then I’m in, time permitting. But I’m not here to pursue acting gigs. »