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Imagine a relaxing international vacation with your significant other ruined by a horrifying accident before later discovering that you have somehow become a pawn in some mysterious political conspiracy. That is the premise of Beckett, a Netflix original from director Fernando Cito Filomarino, starring John David Washington in the title role of an ordinary man in an extraordinarily distressing situation during a seemingly normal visit to Greece. Outside of Washington and his romantic lead Alicia Vikander, there are a few other actors from the Beckett cast you may also recognize or will have the pleasure of discovering for the first time while watching the thriller. However, why don’t we begin by revisiting the career of our story’s hero first?
John David Washington (Beckett)
Since debuting at a young age in 1992’s Malcolm X (starring his father, Denzel Washington), John David Washington has become one of Hollywood’s top leading men, especially after appearing alongside Dwayne Johnson on the HBO series Ballers, reuniting with Spike Lee for BlackKklansman in 2018, and playing the unnamed “Protagonist” in Christopher Nolan’s Tenet in 2020. However, Beckett marks the second of two Netflix movies featuring the actor in a titular role after Malcolm & Marie, which he also produced with co-star Zendaya, in 2021. Washington will be able to call the likes of Academy Award nominee Margot Robbie and Academy Award winner Robert De Niro his co-stars in a currently untitled David O. Russell project and True Love, his upcoming film from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story director Gareth Edwards, is now in pre-production.
Alicia Vikander (April)
Because the story requires it, Alicia Vikander does not get as much screen time as John David Washington’s girlfriend, April, in Beckett as you would expect from an Academy Award winner (for 2015’s The Danish Girl) and blockbuster action hero (for The Man from U.N.C.L.E., 2016’s Jason Bourne, and the Tomb Raider reboot from 2018). The Swedish actress’ English-language debut was the Russian-set, 2012 period piece Anna Karenina, which she followed with the Julian Assange biopic The Fifth Estate before making her breakthrough as an android in 2014’s Ex Machina and meeting her husband, Michael Fassbender, on the set of The Light Between Oceans. After starring in a more unusual biopic called the The Glorias in 2020, Vikander returned to the fantasy genre for The Green Knight in 2021 and will hopefully return to play Lara Croft in Tomb Raider 2 soon.
Boyd Holbrook (Tynan)
Also known for biopics (like his debut film Milk, the History Channel’s Hatfields & McCoys miniseries, and Steven Soderbergh’s Behind the Candelabra) and blockbusters (including Logan as the villain and The Predator as the hero) is Boyd Holbrook, who plays a U.S. embassy employee in Beckett. The thriller is the actor’s fourth Netflix original after the series Narcos, the sci-fi movie In the Shadow of the Moon, and Robert Rodriguez family film We Can Be Heroes in 2021, but he has also led a versatile big screen career with the dramedy The Skeleton Twins, David Fincher’s adaptation of Gone Girl, and even two Liam Neeson movies. Holbrook will next star in an episode of B.J. Novak’s FX anthology series The Premise, the former Office cast member’s directorial debut Vengeance, and he has joined the Indiana Jones 5 cast in an undisclosed role.
Vicky Krieps (Lena)
Playing a stranger who comes to Beckett’s aid we have Vicky Krieps, who was most recently seen in M. Night Shyamalan’s Old cast as the mother of two children growing up way too quickly. A decade earlier, the Luxembourg-born actress broke into English-language movies with Hanna and Anonymous, which questions if William Shakespeare was more than one person, and later played Daniel Day-Lewis’ muse in 2017’s Phantom Thread and Mikael Blomkvist’s “occasional lover” in The Girl in the Spider’s Web the following year. Despite her success in the states, Krieps still appears in films and TV series from Europe to this day, such as the 2019 limited series sequel to Das Boot or the upcoming two-part adaptation of The Three Musketeers by French filmmaker Martin Bourboulon.
Michael Stuhlbarg (April’s Father)
Playing Alicia Vikander’s onscreen father is Emmy nominee Michael Stuhlbarg in a reunion with Beckett producer Luca Guadagnino, who directed this student of Broadway in Call Me By Your Name in 2017. He may be one of the most underrated character actors of his time, but might not care considering all the amazing filmmakers he has worked with, including the Coen Brothers for A Serious Man, Martin Scorsese for Hugo and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, Steven Spielberg for Lincoln and The Post, Danny Boyle for 2015’s Steve Jobs, and Denis Villeneuve for Arrival in 2016. Stuhlbarg also stole scenes in Men in Black 3, became a Marvel movies star with a Doctor Strange appearance, and will next star in a pair of really interesting miniseries: the star-studded “Big Pharma” exposé Dopesick and the true-crime story The Staircase, in which he will play Michael Peterson’s lawyer, David Rudolf.
Yorgos Pirpassopoulos (Karras)
While you could infer that Yorgos Pirpassopoulos may have felt right at home while filming Beckett in Greece, the actor was actually born in Adelaide, Australia, before moving to Athens, where his acting career began to take off. He is best known for the acclaimed comedy Chevelier, lending his voice to the video game Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey in 2018, and he recently appeared alongside Sebastian Stan in the romantic drama Monday, which was also filmed in Greece. His next English-language film will be the sci-fi thriller Crimes of the Future, which also stars Kristen Stewart and is written and directed by the legendary David Cronenberg.
Panos Koronis (Officer Xenakis)
Another actor who starred alongside Yorgos Pirpassopoulos in the Greek comedy Chevelier is Panos Koronis, who plays a corrupt Athens cop in Beckett. Despite originating from Greece, the actor’s English-language debut (the 1999, Thomas Jane-led drama Junked) was also his acting debut, which he followed up with Richard Linklater’s Before Midnight 14 years later before starring in more productions from his native land. His next film The Lost Daughter - the directorial debut of Maggie Gyllenhaal, who also adapted the screenplay from Elena Ferrante’s novel - which also stars Academy Award winner Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson, and Ed Harris.
Lena Kitsopoulou (Female Shooter)
You may recognize Lena Kitsopoulou from the Beckett trailer as the blonde woman who shoots a gun at John David Washington. The Netflix film is, indeed, the English-language debut of the Greek-born performer, whose most notable acting credits include the 1997 romantic sci-fi thriller No Sympathy for the Devil, Paradise is a Personal Matter, and the coming-of-age sports drama Park.
Could Beckett end up being remembered as one of the strongest 2021 movies, especially in terms of star-studded suspense thrillers? See for yourself by streaming it on Netflix after it releases Friday, August 13.
Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.
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