Amsterdam Cast: Where You've Seen The Actors Before

Amsterdam cast
(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

I have heard some say that the age of the movie star is dead and that audiences no longer go to the cinema just to see their favorite actor’s latest release. However, I think that the large ensemble of stunningly talented A-listers from Amsterdam — in which three friends uncover a political conspiracy while investigating a murder in 1933 — might be the perfect way to challenge that theory. 

If you were not interested in seeing writer and director David O. Russell’s latest release — a captivatingly mysterious period piece — before, just learning who is in the Amsterdam cast might be enough to change your mind. See for yourself by reading on to see who is playing who and where you might know them from.

Christian Bale in Amsterdam

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Christian Bale (Dr. Burt Berendsen)

Following his Oscar win for 2010’s The Fighter and nomination for 2013’s American Hustle, Christian Bale re-teams with David O. Russell to play kindhearted, one-eyed war veteran-turned-surgeon Dr. Burt Berendsen in Amsterdam — his latest of many period dramas, including Empire of the Sun, Newsies, The Prestige, and Rescue Dawn, to name a few. 

The Welsh actor is better known for darker roles, such as modern horror villain Patrick Bateman in American Psycho, Trevor Reznik in The Machinist, John Connor in Terminator Salvation, or Dick Cheney in Vice. Also in 2022, the Dark Knight Trilogy’s Batman actor returned to the comic book genre to play Gorr in Thor: Love and Thunder, which his Ford v. Ferrari co-star, Matt Damon, also cameoed in.

John David Washington in Amsterdam

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John David Washington (Harold Woodman)

In his first collaboration with David O. Russell as lawyer and Burt’s Army buddy, Harold Woodman, we have John David Washington — who, like Bale, has also starred in a few period pieces (his film debut, Malcolm X, in 1992, and BlackKklansman and The Old Man and the Gun in 2018) and worked with Christopher Nolan (2020’s Tenet).

Denzel Washington's son really launched his acting career with the HBO series, Ballers, leading to roles in movies like the thought-provoking crime drama, Monsters and Men. Washington has also starred in a few Netflix original movies, such as when he played the title role of Beckett cast as and one of the titular duo from Malcolm & Marie in 2021.

Margot Robbie in Amsterdam

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Margot Robbie (Valerie Voze)

Also working with David O. Russell for the first time as Valerie Voze — who met Burt and Harold during World War I — is Margot Robbie, who also has a few things in common with Bale, having been in multiple DC movies (starring as Harley Quinn), made a cameo as herself in The Big Short, and once parodied one of his movies in the 2016 short, Australian Psycho

The Australian actor is also known for many historical/fact-based dramas, such as her breakout role in The Wolf of Wall Street, her Oscar-nominated performances in I, Tonya and Bombshell, and when she played a fictionalized version of Sharon Tate in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Audiences may also recognize Robbie as Charlotte in 2013’s About Time, as Jane in The Legend of Tarzan, or from the Australian soap opera that jump-started her career, Neighbours, which she recently appeared on again 2022. 

Rami Malek in Amsterdam

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Rami Malek (Tom Voze)

As Valerie’s brother, Tom, we have Rami Malek, who has won an Oscar for a biographical drama (as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody) and worked with John David Washington’s father in the 2021 detective thriller, The Little Things

After debuting with a small role on Gilmore Girls, he made his feature film debut as Ahkmenrah from the Night at the Museum movies and went on to star in acclaimed dramas like The Master and Short Term 12, and blockbusters like The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2 before achieving Emmy-winning success with USA series, Mr. Robot. Malek furthermore played a Bond villain in No Time to Die, and joined the cast of Christopher Nolan's upcoming Oppenheimer.

Anya Taylor-Joy in Amsterdam

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Anya Taylor-Joy (Libby Voze)

With her role as Tom’s wife, Libby, Amsterdam marks Anya Taylor-Joy’s latest effort to diversify her career outside of her enduring Scream Queen status, which she established with her (credited) feature film debut in 2016’s The Witch (her first collaboration with The Northman director Robert Eggers) and maintained with starring roles in Split, Thoroughbreds, Last Night in Soho, and The Menu, most recently. Her other, less scary period pieces include her stunning lead performance in Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit cast, recurring role on the platform’s Peaky Blinders, and title role in the Jane Austen adaptation, Emma

Andrea Riseborough in Amsterdam

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Andrea Riseborough (Beatrice)

As Burt’s estranged wife, Beatrice, we have Andrea Riseborough, who has also acquired Scream Queen status in recent years from her chilling performance in one of the best Black Mirror episodes (“Crocodile”), devastating turn in the title role of 2018’s psychedelic revenge flick, Mandy, and arguably more devastating turn in Brandon Cronenberg’s Possessor in 2020. 

Amsterdam is certainly one of the British actor’s more lighthearted credits, which also include 2008’s Happy-Go-Lucky, 2014’s Best Picture Oscar winner, Birdman, 2017’s Battle of the Sexes, and Amazon’s The Electric Life of Louis Wain, but does not include the otherwise notable Oblivion from 2013, 2016’s Nocturnal Animals, or the 2018 true crime miniseries, Waco.

Chris Rock in Amsterdam

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Chris Rock (Milton King)

Milton King — Burt and Harold’s Army buddy — seems like a major departure for comedian and former SNL star Chris Rock, until you realize he effectively steals the show in Amsterdam with his humorous social commentary. Not to mention, the actor best known for comedies on both the small screen (he created and narrated Everybody Hates Chris, for instance) and the big screen (such as Head of State, the Madagascar movies, and several collaborations with his buddy, Adam Sandler) has explored various of genres. He has done crime thrillers (New Jack City and Fargo Season 4), action (Lethal Weapon 4 and Bad Company), and even horror (Spiral: From the Book of Saw, which he also wrote the story for).

Alessandro Nivola in Amsterdam

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Alessandro Nivola (Detective Hiltz)

Playing the overly suspicious gumshoe, Detective Hiltz, is Alessandro Nivola, who last worked with David O. Russell in American Hustle, but broke out in 1997 as Nicolas Cage’s on-screen brother in Face/Off. This led to roles in other major releases like the third of the Jurassic Park movies in 2001 and Oscar darlings like A Most Violent Year and Selma from 2014. In more recent years, he reunited with his Inventing the Applewhites co-star, Joaquin Phoenix, for the Amazon original thriller, You Were Never Really Here in 2017, appeared in Disobedience the same year, and starred in The Sopranos prequel movie, The Many Saints of Newark, as Dickie Moltisanti.

Matthias Schoenaerts in Amsterdam

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Matthias Schoenaerts (Detective Lem Gitwiller)

As Hiltz’s partner and WWI veteran, Lem, we have Matthias Schoenaerts, who made his acting debut at 13 in the Oscar-nominated Belgian drama, Daens, years before working with director Paul Verhoeven on 2006’s Black Book, sharing the screen with Marion Cotillard in 2012’s Rust and Bone, and making his English-language debut the next year with the crime thriller Blood Ties. Also in 2014, Schoenaerts appeared in the American remake of his 2008 thriller, Loft, starred in a pair of acclaimed period dramas in 2015 (Far from the Madding Crowd and The Danish Girl), and starred in Netflix's The Old Guard cast as a badass immortal.

Michael Shannon in Amsterdam

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Michael Shannon (Henry Norcross)

As an American who comes to the main trio’s aid named Henry, we have Andrea Riseborough’s Waco and Nocturnal Animals co-star, Michael Shannon, who actually received an Oscar nomination for that 2016 film — his second after his supporting role in 2008’s Revolutionary Road. He should have received a nod, as far as I am concerned, for his performances in Take Shelter and probably every other movie he has done with director Jeff Nichols. Man of Steel's General Zod is also known for other acclaimed films like Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, Rian Johnson’s Knives Out cast in 2019, and (also in 2022) the Bullet Train cast

Mike Myers in Amsterdam

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Mike Myers (Paul Canterbury)

As Paul (a character who slightly resembles his Inglourious Basterds role), we have Rami Malek’s Bohemian Rhapsody co-star and Margot Robbie’s Terminal co-star, Mike Myers — yet another SNL vet who is known for creating and portraying irreverent characters like the title role of the Wayne’s World movies, the title role of the Austin Powers movies, and most of the characters from Netflix’s The Pentaverate. His other notable credits include 1993’s So I Married an Axe Murderer, 1998’s 54, and, arguably, his definitive role as the titular ogre from the Shrek movies.

Timothy Olyphant in Amsterdam

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Timothy Olyphant (Milfax)

While he has played villains before (i.e. Scream 2 and Live Free or Die Hard), Chris Rock’s Fargo Season 4 co-star, Timothy Olyphant, has never played a character so menacing and physically transformative as Milfax in Amsterdam. The actor also previously starred alongside Margot Robbie in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood in a role that reflected his penchant for starring in Westerns and, often, to Emmy-nominated acclaim — such as when he led both the Deadwood cast on HBO and the Justified cast on FX, and guest-starred on the Season  2 premiere of The Mandalorian

Zoe Saldaña in Amsterdam

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Zoe Saldaña (Irma St. Clair)

I cannot say I have seen Chris Rock’s Death at a Funeral co-star and Christian Bale’s Out of the Furnace co-star, Zoe Saldaña, play a role quite the like the reserved yet radiant morgue nurse Irma St. Clair — save, perhaps, her characters from Drumline, The Terminal, and Guess Who, for instance. I am more used to picturing her as a fierce, ass-kicking action hero from such films as the more recent Star Trek movies as Uhura, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy movies as Gamora, and the Avatar movies as Neytiri, just to name a few.

Taylor Swift in Amsterdam

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Taylor Swift (Liz Meekins)

I also cannot say I have seen Taylor Swift — who has been acting since her first appearance on SNL, before nailing her sole hosting gig, more than a decade ago — give a performance quite as strong and convincing as when she played Liz Meekins in Amsterdam. The Grammy-winning musician’s other acting credits include a 2009 episode of CSI, 2010’s romantic ensemble comedy, Valentine’s Day, the animated Dr. Seuss adaptation The Lorax, the 2014 Lois Lowry adaptation, The Giver, and Tom Hooper’s 2019 adaptation of Broadway’s Cats.

Robert De Niro in Amsterdam

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Robert De Niro (General Gil Dillenbeck)

Last, but certainly not least, as respected military general Gil Dillenbeck, we have frequent David O. Russell collaborator Robert De Niro, who is also known for his collaborations with Martin Scorsese — such as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull (which earned him his second Oscar) and Goodfellas — and plenty of other gangster movies, like The Godfather Part II (which earned him his second Oscar). The living legend is certainly not one to shy away from all kinds of genres, having done horror with Angel Heart, various comedies (one of the best being Meet the Parents), heist thrillers like Heat, and a comic book flick (2019’s Joker).

It is always a pleasure to see an ensemble as stacked and as stellar as the Amsterdam cast and, luckily, the film — now in theaters — is also worthy of their talent.

Jason Wiese
Content Writer

Jason Wiese writes feature stories for CinemaBlend. His occupation results from years dreaming of a filmmaking career, settling on a "professional film fan" career, studying journalism at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO (where he served as Culture Editor for its student-run print and online publications), and a brief stint of reviewing movies for fun. He would later continue that side-hustle of film criticism on TikTok (@wiesewisdom), where he posts videos on a semi-weekly basis. Look for his name in almost any article about Batman.