Imagine purchasing your dream home, only to discovery through a series of disturbing letters that it is also an object of fascination for a mysterious onlooker observing the house with possessive and envious eyes. Not only is that the plot of the new Netflix original TV show, The Watcher, but the horrifying true experience of an American family in 2014.
From Ryan Murphy of American Horror Story fame and Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story creator Ian Brennan, this seven-episode limited series dramatizes the shocking and bizarre events that happened to the Broadusses after they moved into an idyllic New Jersey house that turned out to be the site of their worst nightmares. Bringing the story to life on screen is the star-studded, supremely talented The Watcher cast, including Naomi Watts and Bobby Cannavale. Learn about some of their greatest hits and that of their co-stars in our breakdown of the ensemble.
The Watcher is only the latest of many creepy titles in English actor Naomi Watts’ repertoire, many of which (excluding her David Lynch movies, like Mulholland Dr.) are remakes — including 2001’s The Ring, 2007’s Funny Games, 2005’s King Kong, and, most recently, Amazon’s English-language version of Goodnight Mommy in 2022.
The two-time Academy Award nominee (for 2004’s 21 Grams and The Impossible in 2012) is known for plenty of comparatively lighthearted titles, too, such as the many biopics in her filmography (including 2003’s Ned Kelly or 2013’s Diana, in which she played the late princess) or the hilarious Best Picture Oscar winner, Birdman, from 2014.
Two-time Emmy winner Bobby Cannavale (for playing Vince on Will & Grace and Gyp Rosetti on Boardwalk Empire) previously worked with his onscreen wife from The Watcher, Naomi Watts, a few times (namely in Movie 43 and, more recently, 2021’s This is the Night), yet is not known for as many particularly creepy titles.
He is part of the MCU, though, after appearing in two Ant-Man movies and, even then, was still cast in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman — one of a few other Netflix originals he is also known for. Highlights of his versatile filmography also include 2013’s Blue Jasmine, star and director Jon Favreau’s Chef from the following year, and leading HBO’s short-lived music history drama, Vinyl.
Playing a local realtor, we have Jennifer Coolidge, who recently won an Emmy for her performance in HBO’s The White Lotus cast after nearly 30 years of memorable small screen appearances that include her starring roles on 2 Broke Girls and The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and a guest spot on Seinfeld that marked her TV debut.
However, she is even better known for big screen titles like David Guest’s improvisational mockumentaries (such as Best in Show), being in the American Pie cast as Stifler’s Mom, the Legally Blonde movies as Paulette Parcelle, and A Cinderella Story as Hilary Duff’s evil stepmother.
A The Watcher cast member who is certainly no stranger to creepy titles is Rosemary’s Baby star Mia Farrow, who would go on to star in other thrillers like The Haunting of Julia before playing Daisy Buchanan in 1974’s The Great Gatsby, Jacqueline De Bellefort in 1978’s Death on the Nile, and a Kryptonian named Alura in the 1983 Supergirl movie, to name a few. She is also known for several Woody Allen movies (including The Purple Rose of Cairo and Hannah and Her Sisters), the 2006 remake of The Omen, and Michel Gondry’s Be Kind Rewind.
Three-time Emmy winner Margo Martindale (one for her recurring role in the Justified cast and two for The Americans) made her feature film debut in 1990’s Days of Thunder, starred in The Rocketeer the following year, and continued to earn roles in acclaimed films like 1995’s Dead Man Walking, 2002’s The Hours, and 2018’s Instant Family to name a small, but notable, few. Her other best-known small screen credits include a recurring spot on Bojack Horseman as herself, FX’s historical miniseries Mrs. America, and Showtime’s Your Honor cast, more recently.
Terry Kinney previously worked with Margo Martindale in The Firm in 1993 — the same year he starred in Abel Ferrara’s Body Snatchers and the year after he appeared in Michael Mann’s The Last of the Mohicans. This only describes a small portion of his notable filmography, which also includes acclaimed TV series like Thirtysomething in the late 1980s, HBO’s harrowing prison-set drama, Oz (which also featured Bobby Cannavale in a small role), Showtime’s Billions, and another fact-based Netflix original miniseries called Inventing Anna.
The Watcher marks Joe Mantello’s fifth collaboration with The Watcher co-creator Ryan Murphy following the 2014, Emmy-winning HBO movie, The Normal Heart (which Murphy directed), Netflix movie The Boys in the Band (which Mantello directed and Murphy produced), another Netflix miniseries called Hollywood (which Murphy co-created and Mantello starred in), and a role on American Horror Story Season 11 this year. The Broadway star made his screen debut in the 1989 movie, Cookie, and made his theatrically-released directorial debut with 1997’s Love! Valour! Compassion!
Another Broadway-based actor in The Watcher cast is Richard Kind, whose best-known roles are, mainly, of the comedic variety — such as Paul Lassiter in the Spin City cast, the various characters he has voiced in Pixar movies like Inside Out, Marty Glouberman in Netflix’s Big Mouth cast, and recurring spots on hit sitcoms like Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Goldbergs. His more dramatic work includes Oscar darlings like Argo, 2019’s Bombshell (in which he played Rudy Giuliani), and the 2021 Netflix original tick, tick… BOOM!
British actress Noma Dumezweni made her feature-length film debut in director Stephen Frears’ 2002 crime thriller, Dirty Pretty Things, and her most notable cinematic credits from later include 2018’s Mary Poppins Returns, the 2019 fantasy The Kid Who Would Be King, and Netflix’s biographical drama, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, from the same year. Audiences may also recognize her from the small screen as Capt. Magambo on Doctor Who, the 2018 miniseries Black Earth Rising, an episode of Hulu’s Normal People, HBO’s The Undoing cast, HBO Max’s Made for Love cast, and FX’s Pose — her last collaboration with Ryan Murphy.
Emmy nominee Christopher McDonald (for his recurring role on HBO Max’s Hacks), is best known for playing unscrupulous jerks in classic ‘90s comedies like the John Hughes-penned Dutch, Happy Gilmore (also one of Adam Sandler’s best movies), Dirty Work (a cult favorite starring Norm Macdonald), and the animated sci-fi classic The Iron Giant in 1999. He also has a few credits in common with his fellow The Watcher cast members (such as Boardwalk Empire), previously worked with Ryan Murphy on Impeachment: American Crime Story, and is about to join the MCU as part of the Secret Invasion cast in an undisclosed role.
Fellow American Crime Story vet (of the second season from 2018) Michael Nouri has starred in some great ‘80s movies of both the iconic (dance drama Flashdance) and underrated variety (sci-fi thriller The Hidden) and also worked with Steven Spielberg for 2004’s The Terminal and appeared in the beloved rom-com, The Proposal, in 2009. He also has a Marvel movie under his belt (1990’s straight-to-video Captain America) but, as a TV star, he is known for soap operas like The Young and the Restless and All My Children, and recurring roles on dramas like Damages, NCIS, and Yellowstone.
Before joining Netflix’s The Watcher cast, Isabel Gravitt had experience portraying people involved in a suburban nightmare by starring in the 2018 horror flick, Cucuy: The Boogeyman, and the Hulu original miniseries, Little Fires Everywhere. Before then, she had a recurring role on the hit ABC sitcom, American Housewife, and played a younger version of actress Ksenia Solo’s central character in the 2017 drama, In Search of Fellini.
Henry Hunter Hall
Henry Hunter Hall debuted in 1997’s Gridlock’d — directed by his father, Vondie Curtis-Hall, who later cast him in his 2006 crime thriller, Waist Deep, and later acted alongside him the 2013 holiday movie, Black Nativity, and 2019’s Oscar-nominated biographical drama, Harriet, which his mother, Kasi Lemmons, directed. After making a brief, uncredited appearance in the quasi-true-crime-documentary American Animals in 2017, he appeared in two episodes of Netflix’s Emmy-winning, fact-based miniseries, When They See Us, in 2019 and, in 2020, joined the cast of the Amazon Prime original period action drama, Hunters.
Luke David Blumm
After making his acting debut on an episode of The Walking Dead in 2019 and following that with an episode of HBO’s Watchmen the same year, Luke David Blumm had a recurring role on Season 3 of The Sinner in 2020 and, that same year, starred in one of the best Pete Davidson movies, The King of Staten Island. He played the focus of the 2021 horror flick, Son, before later appearing in the Amazon Prime original rom-com, I Want You Back, and 2022’s adaptation of Where the Crawdads Sing as a younger version of Taylor John Smith’s character, Tate.
A cast like this should make it easy to decide if you will watch The Watcher. Stream the intense miniseries on Netflix (opens in new tab) now.