Based on the highly acclaimed comic book series from writer and artist Jeff Lemire, the pint-sized epic Sweet Tooth is Netflix's latest zeitgeist-catching original series, with Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey as two of its executive producers. (They know a thing or two about comic book projects, I'd think.) In the same way that Sweet Tooth's hopefulness makes it stand apart from other post-apocalyptic tales, the show's cast is also a very unique blend of actors from various backgrounds.
The complementary meshing of the Sweet Tooth cast is especially applicable, considering the show concerns a strange phenomenon tying into the Great Crumble plague, where babies across the globe are born as human-animal hybrids, generally of the extremely adorable variety. So, let's take a largely spoiler-free look at the actors playing the angler-headed Gus and the other most noteworthy characters you'll meet during Sweet Tooth's eight-episode first season.
Christian Convery (Gus)
The deerboy hybrid Gus and his taste for candy (and especially syrup) are where the show gets its name, though Gus is certainly known for more than that. In many ways, Gus is the epitome of fish-out-of-water innocence, even though no fish parts are involved, and his wide-eyed optimism is one of the drama's strongest hooks.
Thankfully, the wildly talented Christian Convery is the absolute perfect young actor for the job, having proven his worth in a wider variety of roles than one might think for an 11-year-old. In his first few years, Convery landed roles in fan-favorite shows such as Supernatural and Lucifer, and played a younger version of Dan Stevens' David Haller in the comic series Legion. Also a lead on the short-lived Disney Channel series Pup Academy, based on the Air Bud franchise, Convery has also appeared in a selection of Hallmark and Lifetime Christmas movies.
Will Forte (Pubba)
Without the fatherly and somewhat eccentric Pubba, there is no Gus, and without Gus, there is no Sweet Tooth. So, show creator Jim Mickle (Hap & Leonard) & Co. had to find someone who could convincingly become a bearded outdoorsman while still maintaining the sensitivity to raise a half-deer son in his survivalist image.
Who better for the role, then, than Last Man on Earth star Will Forte and his magnificent beard growth? A veteran of 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live, and the latter's MacGruber spinoff, which is soon to be its own streaming series, Forte is known for his completely silly and surreal comedy and has become a major player in the voice-acting game. He can be heard in The Great North, Bob's Burgers, No Activity, last year's Scoob! and Fox's upcoming HouseBroken, to name just a few.
Nonso Anozie (Tommy Jepperd)
While Tommy Jepperd was a grizzled white hockey player in Jeff Lemire's source material, the Sweet Tooth TV character is a Black ex-football player who unwittingly (and sometimes unwillingly) becomes Gus' father figure during their journey together. Of course, the so-called "Big Man" ends up getting just as much out of that companionship as Gus does.
UK actor Nonso Anozie brings just the right amount of empathetic gruffness to the role, and fans will likely recognize Anozie from a number of past roles. One of his biggest breaks here in the U.S. came through the recurring role of Xaro Xhoan Daxos on Game of Thrones, and he went on to land major roles in such TV projects as Zoo, Tut and Dracula. On the film side of things, Anozie has popped up in recent years in features such as Cinderella, Pan, Artemis Fowl and The Laundromat, among others.
Dania Ramirez (Aimee)
A character who wasn't in Jeff Lemire's comic book, though she does share characteristics with those in the source material, is Aimee. Without going too far into details, the protective and motherly Aimee is a former therapist who ends up running The Preserve, which is known to be a sanctuary for displaced hybrids.
In the role of Aimee is actress Dania Ramirez, whose face and warm smile could immediately put anyone at ease, human or hybrid. With an early career that included TV appearances in Buffy and The Sopranos, Ramirez made her mark with roles on Heroes and Devious Maids, and reached a noteworthy peak in portraying Disney's Cinderella for Once Upon a Time. Most recently, she starred in the first season of the streaming drama Tell Me a Story.
Stefania LaVie Owen (Bear)
As the founder of the Animal Army, a group of teen quasi-activists who consider hybrids to be the key to the future, Bear is a strong leader, but one who also obviously has compassion for others. Plus, as someone who calls herself Bear and wears such a striking costume, the character is also skilled in the ways of fighting and weaponry.
Bringing this original-to-TV character to life is actress Stefania LaVie Owen, who has made quite a name for herself early on in her career. Owen has been a big part of TV series such as Netflix's Messiah, Showtime's I'm Dying Up Here, and Hulu's Chance, among others, and is also known for her roles in films such as Krampus and last year's Paper Spiders.
Adeel Akhtar (Dr. Aditya Singh)
Though Dr. Singh was indeed a character from the Sweet Tooth comic book, the TV show makes him a far more sympathetic and relatable character as a devotee to both his doctorly profession and to his loving wife. But, because of a complication that arises with said wife, Singh enters a life of dark secrets and shady relationships with others.
UK actor Adeel Akhtar was cast to take on the role of Dr. Singh, and his is a face which has popped up Netflix several times in the past few years, as he was in both Enola Holmes with Henry Cavill and Murder Mystery with Adam Sandler. On the TV side, Akhtar has won awards in the UK for his work on the original Utopia and for the TV movie Murdered by My Father, and following a run on the short-lived Fox comedy Ghosted, has appeared in acclaimed series such as Counterpart and Killing Eve.
Aliza Vellani (Rani Singh)
As the equally loving and devoted wife of Dr. Singh, Rani is completely unique as a character, in that she has managed to survive through the Great Crumble in a way that no one else has, which plays into why she and her husband have to remain completely mum about her situation.
Having gotten her break on the Canadian comedy Little Mosque on the Prairie, actress Aliza Vellani has taken on roles in a variety of genre-heavy TV shows, from Colony to Riverdale, and The Flash to Supernatural, not to mention The X-Files and iZombie. In that respect, it's only natural that a reality-skewing show like Sweet Tooth would be her next move.
Neil Sandilands (General Abbot)
Rocking a pair of opaque glasses and a round, bald head sitting atop a giant beard, General Abbot is undeniably Sweet Tooth's main villain, and he always looks the part. As the leader of the militaristic and monstrous Last Men, Abbot is continuously leading a mission to wipe hybrids from the face of the earth so that humanity can be protected in one way or another.
Playing such a duplicitous and genius bad guy probably wasn't too hard a career turn for Neil Sandilands, who'd most recently had a starring stint on The CW's The Flash as the Arrowverse's Clifford "The Thinker" DeVoe. Before that, the South African actor enjoyed short stints on dramas such as Hap and Leonard, The 100 and The Americans. On the film side, Sandilands secured arguably his biggest movie role to date in Paul Greengrass' News of the World.
James Brolin (Narrator)
Technically, Sweet Tooth's folksy narrator is never seen, so the role doesn't 100% require a spot in this article. But, given the actor behind the voice, it bears noting that Hollywood legend James Brolin is the voice viewers hear throughout the first season. The father of MCU vet Josh Brolin, the elder actor is well-known for a plethora of projects over the past 60 years, with his biggest TV roles coming through the series Marcus Welby, M.D., Hotel and, more recently, the CBS comedy Life in Pieces. (Not to mention tons of appearances in other shows like Castle, Batman and When Calls the Heart.) On the film side, he's arguably most notable for his work in The Amityville Horror, Traffic and an A+ cameo in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure.
While there are certainly a handful of other noteworthy characters and cast members who show up in Sweet Tooth, to list them here would be stepping into major spoiler territory, and that's not how Gus would want things to be handled. So, don't forget to keep your eyes peeled and your candy bars plentiful, and hit up Netflix to watch Sweet Tooth's eight episode first season when it debuts on Friday, June 4, just in time to kick off the 2021 Summer TV season.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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