To infinity and beyond!
I’m sure if you’ve seen the Toy Story movies and even Pixar’s latest film, Lightyear, you have heard that phrase about a million times at this point. Featuring the story of the legendary Buzz Lightyear, the character who inspired the toy we all know and love from the original Toy Story series, Lightyear has arrived in theaters.
With a star-studded cast featuring voices from all over, here is where you might have seen or heard the Lightyear cast before, from Chris Evans to Pete Sohn.
Chris Evans (Buzz Lightyear)
While Buzz Lightyear isn’t voiced by the legendary Tim Allen this time around, Chris Evans is a suitable replacement for the role as Buzz. As a pretty big name in Hollywood, I’m almost positive this is not the first time you have heard of Chris Evans.
For superhero fans, Evans was the actor behind Captain America, otherwise known as Steven Rogers, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe from 2011 until 2019. However, just because you might recognize him as the Star-Spangled Man with a plan from the MCU, that doesn't mean Evans hasn’t done many other big projects.
Some of his other big films were when he portrayed Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four movies, as well as roles in Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World, Snowpiercer, Gifted, and the murder mystery, Knives Out. While he's better known for his work on the big screen, he was also in the TV miniseries on Apple TV, Defending Jacob.
Keke Palmer (Izzy Hawthorne)
Keke Palmer voices Izzy Hawthorne in Lightyear, and has had a long career in both movies and television.
Some of her biggest roles that she has been in thus far when it comes to movies are Akeelah and the Bee, Joyful Noise, the TV original films Jump In! and Rags, Ice Age: Continental Drift and more. She was also a part of the Hustlers cast. She’s even going to star in the upcoming Jordan Peele movie, Nope.
And if you're around my age, Palmer may have been a big part of your childhood, as she starred in the popular Nickelodeon show, True Jackson V.P., as well as having a voice role in The Winx Club. However, she hasn’t strayed that far from television, as she had a main role in the Ryan Murphy TV show, Scream Queens.
In Lightyear, we also get to see Young Izzy, who is voiced by Keira Hairston.
Uzo Aduba (Alicia Hawthorne)
Another super famous name on this list, Uzo Aduba voices Alicia Hawthorne, a Commander at Star Force and Izzy’s grandmother. Aduba has gotten around the business in the last couple of years, appearing in a variety of movies and television shows.
You might recognize her as being a part of the Orange is the New Black cast, playing Suzanne Warren, otherwise known as Crazy Eyes, a role that won her a Primetime Emmy award. Other than that, she’s had several roles on television, including a starring role on the HBO series, In Treatment, and several guest spots. She also had a starring role in the FX drama miniseries, Mrs. America.
She’s also been in a variety of movies as well, such as Showing Roots, Candy Jar, Beats, Really Love, Miss Virginia, and more.
James Brolin (Zurg)
James Brolin has been in the film industry for some time and has starred in many films and television shows - which now includes him voicing Zurg in Lightyear. It's kind of fitting that he should take on the villainous character opposite Chris Evans in Lightyear, when we take into account that his son, Josh Brolin, portrayed the villainous Thanos in the MCU.
Some of James Brolin's biggest films thus far have include Skyjacked, Westworld, Traffic, Last Will, Love, Wedding, Marriage, The Steps, Sisters, Being Rose and more. He's also spent plenty of his career impressing on the small screen.
James Brolin starred as Steven Kiley in Marcus Welby, M.D. from 1969-1976, which won him many awards. After that, he also had roles in TV shows such as Hotel, Live in Pieces, Pensacola: Wings of Gold and more, including many guest roles. Brolin also had a starring role as Ronald Reagan in the television movie, The Reagans, for which he won the Golden Globe award for.
Peter Sohn (Sox)
While the name Peter Sohn might not be as recognizable as some of the others on this list, he has been an essential part of Pixar for many years - and now, he’s voiced Sox, the cutest little robot critter in the galaxy in Lightyear. Sohn has worked with Pixar for many years, often working as a story artist for many of the best Pixar films that we all love today, such as Ratatouille, WALL-E, The Incredibles, Up, and more.
Sohn also directed The Good Dinosaur, executively produced Luca, and will be directing the upcoming Pixar film, Elemental. Sohn has also provided additional voice work to many Pixar films, voicing characters such as Emile in Ratatouille, Squishy in Monsters University, Forrest Woodbush in The Good Dinosaur and Ciccio in Luca.
Dale Soules (Darby Steel)
Another part of Izzy’s team in Lightyear is Darby Steel, who is voiced by Dale Soules. This actress is also a part of the Orange is the New Black cast, where she played Freida Berlin on the series. Other than that, she’s had guest roles in many other TV shows like American Masters, Law & Order, Big Lake, the Amazon Prime original series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and more.
Soules has also appeared in many movies, with some of her biggest being The Messengers, Motherhood, AWOL and The Miseducation of Cameron Post.
Taika Waititi (Mo Morrison)
This is a name that I’m sure you’ve heard of once or twice over the last couple of years. Taika Waititi voices Mo Morrison in Lightyear, another part of Izzy’s team.
Waititi has been making a name for himself in Hollywood over the years, often with his directed films like Jojo Rabbit, which was nominated for several Oscars, winning one for Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as Thor: Ragnarok. Waititi has even directed the sequel to Ragnarok, titled Thor: Love and Thunder, which is slated to release during the 2022 new movie schedule in July.
Beyond directing, Taika Waititi has also delivered some memorable on-screen performances. He’s appeared in films such as the horror comedy What We Do In The Shadows (which he also co-directed), Free Guy, and has had voice roles including Korg in the Thor series.
He’s also guest starred on several TV shows, and even had a recurring guest voice-roll on The Mandalorian, where he voiced IG-11.
Mary McDonald-Lewis (I.V.A.N.)
Next up, we have Mary McDonald-Lewis, who voices I.V.A.N. in Lightyear. Mary McDonald-Lewis has had some small live-action roles, her biggest being a recurring role in the fantasy series Grimm, but she’s mainly kept her talents to being a voice actress and has had major roles in many TV shows.
These include, but aren’t limited to, Veronica Deane in the adult animated series Archer, Where’s Wally?, Batman: The Animated Series, Action Force, Galtar and the Golden Lance, and G.I. Joe: Revenge of Cobra. So this is only adding onto her talent as a voice-actress.
Efren Ramirez (Airman Diaz)
Moving on, we have Efren Ramirez, who voices Airman Diaz in Lightyear, and he’s appeared in many movies and TV shows. Some of his biggest films thus far have been playing Pedro Sanchez in the hilarious Napoleon Dynamite, Crank, American Summer, Endgame, Trafficked, Mad Families and more.
Ramirez has also guest starred in many TV shows like Even Stevens, Boston Public, ER, Scrubs and more. He had a recurring guest role on Perpetual Grace, LTD, as well as a guest role on the HBO Max original show, Made For Love.
Isiah Whitlock Jr. (Commander Burnside)
Last but not least, we have Isiah Whitlock Jr., who voices Commander Burnside in Lightyear. Whitlock Jr. is primarily known for his role on the legendary HBO series, The Wire, where he played Clay Davis, but he has been in many other movies and TV shows since then.
Some of his biggest film roles include 25th Hour, Pieces of April, She Hate Me, Enchanted, The Angriest Man In Brooklyn, BlacKkKlansman, Da 5 Bloods, and the dark comedy film, I Care a Lot, among many others. Whitlock Jr. has also guest starred several times on Law & Order in different roles, as well as other TV shows like Madigan Men, Chappelle’s Show, Rubicon, The Good Wife, and more.
He’s had recurring roles in shows such as the HBO series, Veep, The Mist, The Good Cop, and more. He also had a main role in the Showtime series, Your Honor.
Talk about a stacked cast list, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from a big-time Pixar film such as Lightyear. And I’m sure that within the next couple of years, we’ll all see these actors' careers blast off even more - into infinity and beyond (okay, I’ll stop with the joke now, I promise)!
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Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!