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As someone who has been championing the recent comeback of M. Night Shyamalan, and a fan of horror movies in general, I am very much looking forward to the Academy Award nominated filmmaker’s latest thriller about a group of vacationers who discover a beach that mysteriously causes people to age terrifyingly fast. The Old cast is also a great reason alone to want to check out one of the most intense-looking 2021 movies because it is stacked (and I really mean stacked) with some grade-A talent. You might even feel old yourself by the time we are done with diving into the most notable highlights from these actors’ careers so far, starting with one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed international stars.
Gael García Bernal (Guy)
Golden Globe winner Gael García Bernal (for Amazon Prime’s Mozart in the Jungle) broke out in Amores Perros by Alejandro González Iñárritu (who also directed him in 2006’s Babel) a year before Alfonso Cuarón directed him in 2001’s Y Tu Mamá También - also starring his friend Diego Luna, with whom he co-starred alongside Will Ferrell in 2012’s Casa de mi Padre. The Mexican actor’s first supernatural drama before Old was 2007’s Blindness and his first supernatural film about family and mortality was Coco, a 2017 Oscar winner from Pixar.
Vicky Krieps (Prisca)
Playing Gael García Bernal’s wife in Old is Vicky Krieps, who comes from Luxembourg and broke out into English-language films with the thriller Hanna and the conspiratorial period piece Anonymous in 2011, years before starring in Phantom Thread as Alma - the muse of Daniel Day-Lewis as dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock. In addition to 2018’s The Girl in the Spider’s Web and the upcoming Netflix original thriller Beckett with John David Washington, the actress still participates in European productions, such as the multi-lingual limited series sequel to Das Boot from 2019.
Rufus Sewell (Charles)
One of the Rufus Sewell’s first big roles was as the hero of an entirely different kind of sci-fi flick - 1998’s Dark City - before playing the ruthless villain of the inventive Medieval period piece A Knight’s Tale opposite Heath Ledger. The British star of Amazon Prime’s The Man in the High Castle recently acted opposite Renée Zellwegger in her Academy Award-winning performance in Judy and Anthony Hopkins in his Academy Award winning performance from The Father in 2020.
Ken Leung (Jarin)
Old star Ken Leung also had some strange experiences on a beach as Miles Straume in the Lost cast following an impressive movie career that includes Rush Hour in 1998, Steven Spielberg’s A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, the first of the Saw movies, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015, to name a few. More of his additionally notable work in television includes HBO hits The Sopranos and Oz, the Marvel produced Inhumans (after previously starring in X-Men: The Last Stand), and The Blacklist Season 6 on NBC.
Nikki Amuka-Bird (Patricia)
Playing Ken Leung’s wife in Old is Nikki Amuka-Bird, who first broke into the horror genre (on the big screen) with the 2006 remake of The Omen before landing a recurring role on the hit British crime drama Luther opposite Idris Elba and the Wachowskis’ sci-fi epic Jupiter Ascending in 2015. The Nigerian-born, UK-raised actress combined sci-fi with satire for the HBO series Avenue 5 in 2020, after combining crime with comedy for the Netflix original film The Laundromat the previous year.
Abbey Lee (Chrystal)
Playing Rufus Sewell’s wife in Old is Australian model and actress Abbey Lee, who previously worked with the British actor in Gods of Egypt in 2016 - a year after Mad Max: Fury Road saw her big screen debut, but the same year The Neon Demon made her a Scream Queen. That reputation would continue with her titular performance in 2018’s Elizabeth Harvest and when she joined HBO’s Lovecraft Country cast as the witchy Christina Braithwhite.
Aaron Pierre (Kevin)
Making his feature-length debut in Old is English actor Aaron Pierre, who started off by acting in the 2016 short 18 Latimer Road before landing small roles in TV series like iTV’s Prime Suspect 1973, the BBC’s The A Word, and the medieval fantasy Britannia, which is exclusively available to stream on Amazon Prime. His career really began to take off in 2018 when he was cast on Krypton - the first of the DC TV shows to show life on Superman’s planet before his birth - and later as Caesar on Amazon Prime’s The Underground Railroad series.
Kathleen Chalfant (Agnes)
Playing Rufus Sewell’s mother in Old is Kathleen Chalfant, who started acting later in life (she was born in 1945) but was introduced to the horror genre early with one of the more underrated anthology horror movies, 1990’s Tales from the Darkside: The Movie and revisited it recently with an uncredited role in Hereditary in 2018. The San Francisco-born actress is best known for the 1994 Arnold Schwarzenegger comedy Junior, the 2004 Alfred Kinsey biopic with Liam Neeson, and the romantic con artist comedy Duplicity with Julia Roberts and Clive Owen.
Alexa Swinton (11-Year-Old Maddox)
One of the actors playing Gael García Bernal and Vickey Krieps’ daughter in Old is Alexa Swinton, who has only starred in two other feature-length films, namely 2014’s five-hour River of Fundament and Sometime Other Than Now in 2021. The rest of the young actress’ career has been short films and TV, such as two brief appearances on Saturday Night Live and major roles on the sci-fi drama Emergence and the hit Showtime original Billions in the recurring role of Paul Giamatti’s onscreen daughter, Eva.
Nolan River (6-Year-Old Trent)
One of the actors playing Gael García Bernal and Vickey Krieps’ son in Old is Nolan River, who has only had two other credits so far in his career. He appeared on New Girl’s final season as a boy who shares his name with Die Hard and Family Matters star Reginald VelJohnson, and joined an all-star cast, including Mickey Rourke and Sean Astin, for the 2020 crime thriller Adverse.
Embeth Davidtz (Adult Maddox)
Another member of the Old cast portraying the character of Maddox is Embeth Davidtz, who is certainly no stranger to horror after playing Bruce Campbell’s love interest, Sheila, in Army of Darkness, starring in the 2001 cult favorite Thir13en Ghosts, and being cast in a clever combination of found footage thrillers with space movies called Europa Report in 2013. The actress is best known, however, for appearing in Schindler’s List, playing Miss Honey in the Matilda cast, portraying Peter Parker’s mom in the Amazing Spider-Man movies, and recurring roles in series like Californication, Mad Men, and Ray Donovan.
Eliza Scanlen (15-Year-Old Kara)
Another member of the Old cast portraying the character of Kara is Eliza Scanlen, who made her feature film debut in 2019’s Little Women after starring on the HBO miniseries Sharp Objects and the Australian soap opera Home and Away. The 22-year-old Aussie appeared in another star-studded literary adaptation in 2020 with Netflix’s The Devil All the Time the same year she wrote and directed the award-winning short Mukbang.
Alex Wolff (15-Year-Old Trent)
Another member of the Old cast portraying the character of Trent is Alex Wolff, who can already claim to be in one of the best horror movies of all time after starring in the aforementioned Hereditary, which came after other game-changing roles in Patriots Day, and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle as the one who gets Dwayne Johnson as an avatar. The 23-year-old debuted as himself in the Nickelodeon mockumentary film (and subsequent series) The Naked Brothers Band, befriended a future serial killer in 2017’s My Friend Dahmer, and also shared the screen with Nicolas Cage in Pig 2021.
Emun Elliott (Adult Trent)
Another member of the Old cast portraying the character of Trent is Emun Elliott, who has had the pleasure being a part of the Games of Thrones cast, appearing in one of the Star Wars movies, and working with director Ridley Scott twice - first in 2012 on Prometheus before reunited for Exodus: Gods and Kings in 2014. The Scottish actor also has prior experience with the horror genre having starred on the British series Afterlife and miniseries Paradox, but has also used his funny bone as one of the leads of the UK sitcom Threesome and the darkly comedic limited series Guilt.
Thomasin McKenzie (16-Year-Old Maddox)
Another member of the Old cast portraying the character of Maddox is Thomasin McKenzie, who was 14 when she landed her first big role in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, years before earning praise for 2018’s Leave No Trace and in Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit as a Jewish girl in hiding during the Holocaust. The young New Zealander also appears in Netflix movies The King and Lost Girls, and her second horror movie in 2021, Last Night in Soho, also stars Scream Queen Anya Taylor-Joy and is directed by Edgar Wright.
Hopefully, you did not age too quickly reading our breakdown of the Old cast. If anything, we imagine it only makes you more curious to see what writer and director M. Night Shyamalan brings to his adaptation of the French graphic novel Sandcastle when it hits theaters on Friday, July 23, 2021.