Tick, Tick...Boom Cast: Where You've Seen The Actors Before

Andrew Garfield in Tick Tick Boom on Netflix.
(Image credit: Netflix)

There have been some awesome movie musicals that have popped up in the last couple of years, such as the filmed stage production of Hamilton, or even Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of The Prom on Netflix. However, a new musical has stepped into the spotlight, and that would be Tick, Tick...Boom!, the film adaptation of Jonathan Larson’s auto-biographical musical, starring Andrew Garfield, and directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, which will most likely become one of the best movies on Netflix

But, with such a long cast, full of familiar faces both in Hollywood and from Broadway, one can only wonder where you might have seen these people before. If you’re wondering why those faces look so familiar, here is where the Tick, Tick...Boom! cast has popped up prior to their roles in the Netflix musical. 

Andrew Garfield in the trailer for Tick Tick Boom.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Andrew Garfield (Jonathan Larson)

As the star of Tick, Tick...Boom!, Andrew Garfield plays the real-life Jonathan Larson, and he's appeared not only in a variety of movies but plays on Broadway as well. 

First off, with movies, Garfield has been in several big-time films, such as the Academy Award-winning The Social Network, the science fiction romance Never Let Me Go, the war drama Hacksaw Ridge, and the Martin Scorsese film, Silence. Garfield has also stepped into the superhero spotlight, playing the iconic superhero, Spider-Man, during the Amazing Spider-Man franchise from 2012-2014.

Garfield has also performed several times on Broadway. He played Arthur Miller in the 2012 Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman, which earned him a 2012 Tony Award nomination, and starred as Prior Walter in a production of Angels in America, a role he reprised on Broadway in 2018, which won him the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Play.

Alexandra Shipp in the trailer for Tick Tick Boom.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Alexandra Shipp (Susan)

In Tick, Tick...Boom!, Alexandra Shipp plays Susan, and Shipp has been around in the business of Hollywood for a while, in both television and movies. 

Her biggest role in television was playing Aaliyah Haughton in the television movie, Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B, a biographical film about the star of the same name. She also played KT Rush in the Nickelodeon show, House of Anubis, and has guest starred on several TV shows, like Ray Donovan, Awkward, Victorious, and more. 

In movies, Shipp is most known for playing Storm in the later X-Men films, X-Men Apocalypse and in Dark Phoenix. Other than that, she’s appeared in several films, such as Deadpool 2, the coming-of-age film Love, Simon, the biographical movie Straight Outta Compton, the Netflix original film All the Bright Places, and more.  

Robin de Jesus in the trailer for Tick Tick Boom.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Robin de Jesus (Michael)

Moving on, Robin de Jesus plays Michael in Tick, Tick...Boom!. While de Jesus hasn’t been in as many films and television shows as some of his co-stars, he’s appeared in a multitude of Broadway shows. 

In movies, de Jesus has appeared in the musical drama Camp, the dramas 11:55 and The Boys in the Band, among others. With television, he appeared as Jose Silva in five episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. However, Robin de Jesus has offered his talents much more to the world of musicals. 

He was part of the original Broadway cast of In the Heights until 2010, but also appeared in a variety of musicals and plays such as Rent (created by Jonathan Larson), Aladdin, Wicked, and played Emory in the Broadway revival of The Boys in the Band. With someone as talented as him, on both stage and screen, it’s no surprise he ended up in a movie like Tick, Tick...Boom!. 

Joshua Henry (right) in the teaser trailer for Tick Tick Boom.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Joshua Henry (Roger)

Joshua Henry plays Roger in Tick, Tick...Boom!, and this Netflix musical movie is actually his first major film role. 

Henry has been very active on Broadway for some time. He was part of the ensemble of In the Heights from 2007-2008, played the Tin Man in The Wiz, Haywood Patterson in The Scottsboro Boys, and played Aaron Burr in Hamilton in the Chicago version of the show, as well as in the first U.S. National tour. He also played Billy Bigelow in Carousel and Dr. Pomatter in Waitress in 2021. 

Joshua Henry has had some film and TV experience, like a minor guest appearance on Ryan Murphy’s Nip/Tuck, as well as a small role in the first Sex and the City film. He also played Quincy in Army Wives, and Jerlamarel in the Apple TV+ series, See, but Tick, Tick...Boom! is hopefully going to give Henry the momentum he needs to step into the spotlight of movies. 

MJ Rodriguez in the teaser trailer for Tick Tick Boom.

(Image credit: Netflix)

MJ Rodriguez (Carolyn)

Playing Carolyn in Tick, Tick...Boom! is MJ Rodriguez, a transgender actress who has been active on both stage and screen for a long time. She started off her career as a stage actress, playing Angel in Rent, and appearing in many other musicals like Runaways and Little Shop of Horrors. 

Later on, she began to show up in both television and film. She appeared in the comedy Adam, and the musical fantasy drama, Saturday Church. 

Rodriguez also had many guest appearances on shows like the Showtime series, Nurse Jackie, The Carrie Diaries, Netflix’s Luke Cage, but it wasn’t until 2018, when she took the role of Blanca Rodriguez-Evangelista in the Ryan Murphy series, Pose that she broke out into mainstream and became well-known. Now, after Tick, Tick...Boom!, hopefully more people will see her and know just how much talent she has. 

Bradley Whitford in the trailer for Tick Tick Boom.

(Image credit: Netflix)

 Bradley Whitford (Stephen Sondheim) 

Next up, we have Bradley Whitford, playing the real-life Stephen Sondheim in Tick, Tick...Boom! Whitford, who has been a popular actor in both movies and TV for a long time, has surely appeared in something you have seen. 

Whitford has been in several television shows. He played White House Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman in the critically acclaimed The West Wing, for which he won an Emmy. He also won a second Emmy in 2015 for his role as Marcy in the Amazon original series, Transparent. Other than that, Whitford has had roles as Danny Tripp in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Dan Stark on The Good Guys, Timothy Carter on The Mentalist, Roger Peralta in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Commander Joseph Lawrence in the Hulu original series, The Handmaid’s Tale, and so many others. 

Bradley Whitford has also had a prominent film career. Some of his biggest roles were playing Eric Gordon in Billy Madison, Arthur Parsons in The Post, Rick Stanton in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and Dean Armitage in the horror movie Get Out. He’s also appeared in other movies, such as Saving Mr. Banks, The Cabin in the Woods, The Last Full Measure, and many more. 

Tariq Trotter (right) in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. He will be in Tick, Tick...Boom.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Tariq Trotter (H.A.W.K. Smooth)

Tariq Trotter, otherwise known as Black Thought, is in Tick, Tick...Boom! as H.A.W.K. Smooth, and is primarily known for his music as a rapper and the lead MC of the Philadelphia-based hip hop group, The Roots. They have released a total of eleven albums, and have been the main band on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. 

Besides his musical ability, Trotter has appeared in a variety of movies and TV shows, such as the biographical film Get On Up, The Deuce, and the Netflix original series, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. With someone as talented as him, it's no wonder that he's had such a prolific career in the music industry, and was a great addition to the cast of Tick, Tick...Boom!.

Judith Light in the Politician

(Image credit: Netflix)

Judith Light (Rosa Stevens)

Judith Light, who plays Rosa Stevens in Tick, Tick...Boom!, has been very successful in both the movie and TV industry. 

She started out of her career on Broadway in A Doll’s House, and then began working on television in 1977, as Karen Wolek on the daytime soap opera, One Life to Live. She then starred in and had several roles on television shows, like Angela Bower in Who’s the Boss?, Elizabeth Donnelly in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Claire Meade in Ugly Betty, Judith Brown in Dallas, and Shelly Pfefferman in Transparent. 

Besides her bigger roles, she’s appeared in a variety of TV shows as a guest, like Spin City, Nurse Jackie, and more. Her latest series she’s been a part of is Impeachment: American Crime Story, where she played Susan Carpenter-Mcmillan.  

Light has also appeared in several movies, like the comedies Last Weekend, We’ll Never Have Paris, Before You Know It, and more, but has mainly kept her talents to television. Hopefully with Tick, Tick...Boom!, we’ll see a lot more of her in the theaters soon. 

Vanessa Hudgens in the trailer for Tick Tick Boom.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Vanessa Hudgens (Karessa Johnson)

Last up, we take a look at Vanessa Hudgens, who plays Karessa Johnson in Tick, Tick...Boom! For some time, Hudgens has been active in Hollywood, mainly in movies. Her breakout role was playing Gabriella Montez in the legendary Disney Channel-movie franchise, High School Musical. 

After that, she appeared in a variety of movies, including the romantic drama Beastly, the Zack Snyder-directed action movie Sucker Punch, the adventure film Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Spring Breakers, the Will Smith and Martin Lawrence movie, Bad Boys for Life, and more. She’s also had quite a Netflix presence, having her own series of Christmas movies called The Princess Switch, in which she plays three - that’s right, three - different character, as well as starring in The Knight Before Christmas.

Hudgens has also had some time on the small screen as well. Besides her big-time role in the first two High School Musical movies, Hudgens played the role of Emily Locke in the NBC series, Powerless, and has appeared on many television shows as a guest. She also had some time on stage as well, including playing Rizzo in Grease: Live and Maureen Johnson in Rent: Live. 

With such a talented cast, it’s no surprise that you’ve probably seen a lot of the actors and actresses of Tick, Tick...Boom! in many other projects before. And I’m sure you’ll only continue to see them as time goes on.  

Alexandra Ramos
Content Producer

A self-proclaimed nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire, Alexandra Ramos is a Content Producer at CinemaBlend. She first started off working in December 2020 as a Freelance Writer after graduating from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Journalism and a minor in English. She primarily works in features for movies, TV, and sometimes video games. (Please don't debate her on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!) She is also the main person who runs both our daily newsletter, The CinemaBlend Daily, and our ReelBlend newsletter.