They’re back and they’re better than ever! Minions: The Rise of Gru has arrived in theaters as part of the 2022 movie releases, telling the beginning of everyone’s favorite villain, Gru, and how he came to use the Minions - ya know, those little yellow monsters - as his personal henchman.
But, with any Despicable Me movie, and especially with Minions 2, whether that be a main entry or a spinoff such as Minions: The Rise of Gru, there is always a star-studded cast, and that is the case with this film as well. Here is where you might have seen - or heard - the cast of Minions: The Rise of Gru before.
Steve Carell (Gru)
I’m sure it’s no surprise that Steve Carell, the man, the myth, the legend himself, has returned to voice the impeccable Gru - this time, in younger form for Minions: The Rise of Gru. But of course, you’ve seen Steve Carell in plenty of other places before, in both movies and television.
Carell is probably known the most for his iconic portrayal of Michael Scott in the critically acclaimed The Office, but the actor has done plenty more in television since then, including the leading role on the Netflix original comedy, Space Force, a main role in the great Apple TV+ series, The Morning Show, a leading role in Angie Tribeca, and plenty of guest spots on many TV shows.
However, Carell has also been plenty active in movies as well. You might have seen in comedies such as Evan Almighty, Date Night, Crazy, Stupid Love, or maybe even Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy. He's also done so much in drama as well, with appearances in critically acclaimed films such as Foxcatcher, Little Miss Sunshine, Battle of the Sexes, Beautiful Boy, and more.
Taraji P. Henson (Belle Bottom)
Another fantastic talent on this list is Taraji P. Henson, who voices Belle Bottom in Minions: The Rise of Gru. This amazing actress has been around for some time and appeared in many movies and TV shows, with one of her biggest being Empire, where she portrayed Cookie Lyon, and received critical acclaim.
She also has had several guest roles on many television shows, and was a part of the Annie Live! cast, where she got to show off her singing skills.
Henson has also had a great run in movies as well, appearing in huge hits such as Hidden Figures, Hustle & Flow, Proud Mary, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Best of Enemies and so many more.
Michelle Yeoh (Master Chow)
Another iconic actress that is added to the cast list of Minions: The Rise of Gru is Michelle Yeoh, who voices Master Chow, a kung-fu master. Most recently in 2022, Michelle Yeoh has been making headlines for her incredible performance in Everything, Everywhere, All At Once, but Yeoh has been active in the film industry for decades.
She's appeared in many movies, such as the James Bond film, Tomorrow Never Dies, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, the romantic comedy, Crazy Rich Asians, Last Christmas, the Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and so many others.
Yeoh has also made her mark in television, with a role as Phillipa Georgiou in Star Trek: Discovery on Paramount+, as well as a role in the Netflix original series, Marco Polo. She’s also going to be in the upcoming The Witcher spinoff, The Witcher: Blood Origin.
Jean-Claude Van Damme (Jean Clawed)
Playing Jean Clawed in Minions: The Rise of Gru is none other than action star himself, Jean-Clause Van Damme. This Belgian actor has made his name in Hollywood and appeared in a variety of movies and TV, showing off his skills as not only a fighter but as an actor.
Some of his highlights in the film industry include the crime drama JCVD, Sudden Death, Maximum Risk, Double Impact, Cyborg, The Expendables series, the Kung Fu Panda franchise, the Kickboxer series, The Last Mercenary, and many more.
Damme has made his mark on television as well, although it’s usually through guest appearances or hosting his own shows, such as Jean Claude Van Damme: Behind Closed Doors, Ramez Movie Star or other series.
Lucy Lawless (Nunchuck)
You ever wonder what a nun with nunchucks would look like? That’s what Nunchuck, who is voiced by Lucy Lawless, answers in Minions: The Rise of Gru. This iconic actress made a name for herself back in the ‘90s in the series, Xena: Warrior Princess, and has only continued to grow as a star.
Some of her biggest roles in the film industry have been Boogeyman, Justice League: The New Frontier, Bedtime Stories, and more. Lawless has lent more of her talents to television, with roles in several big-time shows after her time as Xena, including Battlestar Galactica, Sapartcaus: Blood and Sand, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, Spartacus: Vengeance, Parks and Recreation, Ash vs. Evil Dead, My Life is Murder, and more.
Dolph Lundgren (Svengeance)
Next up, we have Dolph Lundgren, who voices Svengeance in Minions: The Rise of Gru, and he came to fame primarily for portraying Ivan Drago in Rocky IV. Since then, he has appeared in a variety of movies and television shows.
He portrayed the iconic He-Man in Masters of the Universe, and had big roles in films such as The Punisher, Showdown in Little Tokyo, Castle Falls, Wanted Man, Silent Trigger, and more. He also had a big role in The Expendables series, reprised his role as Ivan in Creed II, and was a part of the Aquaman cast.
Lundgren has also had some time in the spotlight in regards to television, appearing in a recurring role in the CW's Arrowverse, on the flagship show, Arrow, as well as a main role in the series SAF3.
Danny Trejo (Stronghold)
Let me tell you - Danny Trejo has been everywhere in Hollywood and is a badass, and it’s no surprise that he’s voicing Stronghold in Minions: The Rise of Gru. This man has way more credits than other actors. Seriously, just look him up, he’s all over. But, for the sake of the length of this article, we’ll go over some of his best.
In terms of film, Trejo has appeared in many great ones, including Desperado, Heat, the From Dusk ‘Till Dawn series, Machete, Grindhouse, Dora and the Lost City of Gold, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Reindeer Games, and so many others.
Trejo has also had a prominent career in television, with some of his biggest roles being a recurring voice part on King of the Hill, a role on the popular FX drama, Sons of Anarchy, and a role in the TV series based on From Dusk ‘Till Dawn - along with many guest roles.
Russell Brand (Young Dr. Nefario)
Russell Brand has been around for some time in the business and he’s a great choice for voicing young Dr. Nefario, Gru’s partner, in Minions: The Rise of Gru. Originally, Brand became well known for hosting Big Brother’s Big Mouth, but continued to lend his talents higher profile projects.
He starred in movies such as Get Him To The Greek, Hop, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Rock of Ages, Trolls, Arthur, and most recently, was a part of the Death on the Nile cast in 2022. He’s also had some parts on television as well, with most having been guest appearances or for his own shows, such as Brand X with Russell Brand. However, he did have an acting role as Lance on the HBO series, Ballers.
Julie Andrews (Gru’s Mother)
Julie Andrews is straight up the love of my life and that’s because I adore Julie Andrews and her movies so much, and I am so happy that she’s back for Minions: The Rise of Gru to continue voicing Gru’s mother.
Andrews is an icon in Hollywood. While she hasn’t participated that much in television, aside from a few guest roles and her work as Lady Whistledown on the Netflix show, Bridgerton, she has been huge in movies for decades now, appearing in so many legendary films that I’m sure you’ve heard of.
Some of her highlights include, but are not limited to, The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Victor/Victoria, My Fair Lady, The Princess Diaries franchise, The Tamarind Seed, Torn Curtain, the Eloise at the Plaza series, and the Shrek series.
Alan Arkin (Wild Knuckles)
Next up, we have Alan Arkin, who voices Wild Knuckles in Minions: The Rise of Gru. Alan Arkin has been active in Hollywood for a very long time, and has been nominated for many awards for his performances, so it’s no surprise that he’s adding a voice-acting role to his already impressive resume.
Some of his biggest films have been The Russians Are Coming, Wait Until Dark, The In-Laws, Little Miss Sunshine (which he won an Academy Award for), Argo, Slums of Beverly Hills, Thirteen Conversations About One Thing, Million Dollar Arm, and more.
He’s also appeared in a few projects on television, such as Escape from Sobibor, as well as The Kominsky Method.
Last but not least, we have RZA, an actor and a music artist, who is in Minions: The Rise of Gru. As an artist, who originally got his start as part of the Wu-Tang Clan, he has scored many films that you might recognize the music from, such as the Kill Bill duology, Blade: Trinity, The Man with the Iron Fists, and more.
But, as an actor, he’s appeared in many movies and TV shows as well. Some of his biggest films were American Gangster, Nobody, The Dead Don’t Die, and Life in a Year, alongside many other roles. He’s also guest-starred on shows such as Outlaw, Gang Related, The Simpsons, and more.
With so many big stars, it’s not surprising to see that the cast of Minions: The Rise of Gru have done so many incredible things. I for one can’t wait to see what they do next - that is, after having a run at those pesky little minions.
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!
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