Every Actor & Cameo In The Wes Anderson Movie – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

Every Actor & Cameo In The Wes Anderson Movie

Wes Anderson has collaborated with a plethora of actors throughout his career, and the cast of Asteroid City is no exception. While many of Anderson’s regulars make an appearance, there are also several new faces in the mix. The film, Anderson’s 11th feature, takes place in a fictional American desert town in 1955. The story revolves around the Junior Stargazer convention held in the town, which attracts eccentric tourists due to its mysterious asteroid. To bring the town of Asteroid City to life, Anderson has assembled a star-studded ensemble featuring many of his regular collaborators.

One notable absence from the Asteroid City cast is Bill Murray, marking the first Anderson film without his presence since Rushmore. Murray holds the record for appearing in nine of Anderson’s films. If Murray had been in Asteroid City, he would have tied with Owen Wilson, another Anderson regular, who also had to skip this film. Instead, the cast includes a mix of Wes-world newcomers, such as Tom Hanks, as well as recurring favorites like Jason Schwartzman.

Let’s take a closer look at the actors in Asteroid City and the characters they portray:

– Jason Schwartzman plays Augie Steenbeck, a grieving widower and father of four. Schwartzman’s collaboration with Anderson dates back to his breakthrough role as Max Fischer in Rushmore. He has also co-written several films directed by Anderson.

– Scarlett Johansson portrays Midge Campbell, a revered Hollywood actress. This is Johansson’s first live-action role in a Wes Anderson film, having previously been part of the voice cast in Isle of Dogs. She fits seamlessly into Anderson’s world, delivering dry humor alongside the rest of the Asteroid City cast.

– Jeffrey Wright joins the cast as General Grif Gibson, a military leader involved with the Junior Stargazer convention. Wright’s distinct voice and commanding presence make him a perfect fit for Anderson’s quirky characters. He previously appeared in The French Dispatch and is known for his roles in the James Bond series and The Batman.

– Jake Ryan takes on the role of Woodrow Steenbeck, Augie’s genius grandson with the ability to project logos onto the moon. Despite his young age, Ryan is already an Anderson regular, having appeared in Moonrise Kingdom and voiced a character in Isle of Dogs.

– Tilda Swinton portrays Dr. Hickenlooper, a scientist at a local observatory. Swinton has been a fixture in Anderson’s films since Moonrise Kingdom and brings her unique blend of social awkwardness and captivating speeches to the role. She is an Academy Award-winning actress known for her roles in various films, including the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

– Bryan Cranston joins the cast as The Host, the host of the TV documentary about the making of the play Asteroid City. This is Cranston’s first live-action appearance in a Wes Anderson film, having previously voiced a character in Isle of Dogs. He is best known for his role as Walter White in Breaking Bad and has a dedicated following for his comedic performance in Malcolm in the Middle.

– Edward Norton plays Conrad Earp, a legendary playwright who created Asteroid City. Norton has been collaborating with Anderson since Moonrise Kingdom and is a three-time Academy Award nominee. His extensive filmography includes notable roles in films like Fight Club and Birdman.


– Adrien Brody portrays Schubert Green, a famed director hired to direct the Asteroid City play. Brody has worked with Anderson on multiple films, including The Darjeeling Limited and The Grand Budapest Hotel. He won an Academy Award for his role in The Pianist and is known for his performances in various films and TV shows.

– Tom Hanks, a two-time Oscar winner, makes his Wes Anderson debut as Woodrow’s grandfather and Schwartzman’s father-in-law. Hanks has a long history of collaborations with renowned directors and brings his star power to the Asteroid City cast.

– Steve Carell joins the cast as The Motel Manager, his first time working with Wes Anderson. Carell stepped in when Bill Murray had to drop out due to COVID-19. Carell’s character is a simple yet opportunistic motel manager who takes advantage of the tourist attraction. He gained recognition for his role as Michael Scott in The Office and has appeared in numerous successful films.

In conclusion, the cast of Asteroid City is a blend of Wes Anderson’s regular collaborators and fresh faces. Each actor brings their unique style and talent to the film, adding depth and complexity to the characters they portray. With such a diverse and talented ensemble, Asteroid City is sure to be another Anderson masterpiece.

Wes Anderson has worked with many of the same actors over the years, and the Asteroid City cast is full of his regulars, but there are also a lot of new faces playing characters in the movie. Anderson’s 11th feature is set in 1955 in a fictional American town in the desert. The plot involves the attendance of the Junior Stargazer convention in the titular location. Being home to a mysterious asteroid draws a lot of quirky tourists to the town too. To populate the town of Asteroid City during this time, the movie has assembled most of Anderson’s regular troupe for a star-studded ensemble.

One famous face who is notably missing from the cast of Asteroid City is Bill Murray. The 2023 release is the first Anderson movie without an appearance from Bill Murray since his appearance in the director’s sophomore feature, Rushmore. In fact, Murray has been in a record-setting nine Anderson films. If he had been cast in Asteroid City, Owen Wilson would have tied with Murray, but he too had to skip this one. In their place are some Wes-world newbies, including Tom Hanks, alongside other recurring favorites, such as Jason Schwartzman. Here’s a guide to the actors in Asteroid City and who they play.

Related: Every Wes Anderson Movie Ranked From Worst To Best

Jason Schwartzman As Augie Steenbeck

Augie speaks with his children in Asteroid City

Jason Schwartzman plays Augie Steenbeck in the Asteroid City cast. Jason Schwartzman owes his acting success to Anderson, just as Anderson owes some of his directorial success to Schwartzman’s performances in his movies. The two are regular collaborators and Schwartzman’s lead role as Max Fischer in Anderson’s Rushmore established both of their styles of acting and directing. Schwartzman even co-wrote three Anderson-directed movies; The Darjeeling Limited, Isle of Dogs, and The French Dispatch. Augie is one of Schwartzman and Anderson’s most layered characters yet, as he’s a grieving widower who is at a crossroads when it comes to raising his four children.

Scarlett Johansson As Midge Campbell

Scarlett Johansson and Jason Schwartzmann at a table in Asteroid City

Scarlett Johansson’s Asteroid City character is Midge Campbell, a revered Hollywood actor. The role of the Hollywood starlet is Johansson’s first live-action part in a Wes Anderson movie. Before Asteroid City, she was part of the voice cast of Isle of Dogs. However, she fits in perfectly with Anderson’s regular live-action collaborators, as she plays Midge with just as much dry humor as everyone else in the Asteroid City cast. Midge has a fling with Augie and struggles with constantly being in the spotlight due to her fame. However, as Asteroid City is both actually a play and a TV documentary about the play, Johansson amusingly plays an actor playing an actor.

Jeffrey Wright As General Grif Gibson

Grif looks serious as he gives a speech in Asteroid City

Jeffrey Wright joins the Asteroid City cast as Grif Gibson. Another actor making his second Wes Anderson cast appearance in Asteroid City, Wright plays a military leader involved with the Junior Stargazer convention. As Anderson’s characters have hilariously unique quirks, Grif’s is his commitment to delivering compelling speeches, which couldn’t be more appropriate for Wright. Wright is known for his commanding voice, and the character seems tailor-made for him. The actor made his debut in Anderson’s troupe in The French Dispatch, but Wright is also known for playing Felix Leiter in Daniel Craig’s James Bond series, and he played Commissioner Gordon in The Batman.

Jake Ryan as Woodrow Steenbeck

Woodrow looks serious in Asteroid City

Jack Ryan plays Woodrow Steenbeck in the Asteroid City cast. Woodrow is Augie’s genius grandson who can project logos onto the moon. Though Ryan doesn’t have many credits due to being so young in the industry, he’s an Anderson regular. Asteroid City is Ryan’s third outing with Anderson. Prior to being a featured player in the cast of Asteroid City, Jake Ryan appeared in Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom and voiced a character in Isle of Dogs.

Tilda Swinton As Dr. Hickenlooper

Tilda Swinton standing beind a podium in The French Dispatch

Tilda Swinton’s Asteroid City character is Dr. Hickenlooper. The Oscar-winning actress first worked for Wes Anderson in Moonrise Kingdom and has been involved in every one of his movies since, making Asteroid City their fifth collaboration. Dr. Hickenlooper is a scientist at a local observatory. has a lot in common with Swinton’s character in The French Dispatch, as she doesn’t have many social skills, is committed to her work, and gives lengthy speeches that only she’s fascinated by. Swinton won an Academy Award for her role in Michael Clayton, she plays The Ancient One in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and she voiced Death in Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio.

Bryan Cranston As The Host

Bryan Cranston hosting a black and white documentary in Asteroid City

Bryan Cranston joins the Asteroid City cast as The Host. Another actor making his first live-action appearance in a Wes Anderson movie, Cranston previously voiced the main character, Chief, in the animated feature Isle of Dogs. Though Cranston’s character doesn’t have a proper name in Asteroid City, that doesn’t mean it isn’t an important role. Cranston plays the host of the TV documentary about the making of the play Asteroid City, and it makes for some of the best fourth-wall-breaking jokes in the movie. Cranston is best known for plays Walter White, a.k.a. Heisenberg, the teacher-turned-druglord, in Breaking Bad. However, Bryan Cranston also has a distinct following for his role as Hal in Malcolm in the Middle.

Related: What Working on Wes Anderson’s New Movie Is Like For Bryan Cranston

Edward Norton As Conrad Earp

Edward Norton playing a guitar in The French Dispatch

Edward Norton plays Conrad Earp in the Asteroid City cast. Conrad is a legendary playwright who created Asteroid City, and he’s featured in the TV documentary part of the movie that focuses on the making of the play. Asteroid City marks Norton’s fifth casting in a Wes Anderson movie. Like Swinton, Edward Norton started his collaborations with Wed Anderson in Moonrise Kingdom. and has been part of the troupe ever since. Norton is a three-time Academy Award-nominated actor, having been nominated for Primal Fear, American History X, and Birdman. The actor is also known for everything from classics, such as Fight Club, and recent hits, such as Glass Onion.

Adrien Brody As Schubert Green

Schubert speaks with his ex-wife in Asteroid City

Adrien Brody’s Asteroid City character is Schubert Green, a famed director who is hired to direct the Asteroid City play. Schubert is unlikable but committed to his work, and he often imposes his own feelings and grief into his work. Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody collaborated with Wes Anderson on four movies prior to being cast again by the filmmaker for Asteroid City. He co-starred in The Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and The French Dispatch. Brody won an Academy Award for Best Actor for The Pianist, and he’s also known for his roles in The Village, King Kong, and Succession.

Tom Hanks As Woodrow’s Grandfather

Tom Hanks outside a service station in Asteroid City

The biggest star in the cast of Asteroid City is two-time Oscar-winner Tom Hanks. While he seems to play a character that Bill Murray might have embodied, Hanks was part of the ensemble when Murray was still on board. Hanks makes his Wes Anderson movie debut as the father-in-law of Jason Schwartzman’s character and grandfather of Woodrow and three other children. The actor has worked multiple times with such directors as Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan; Bridge of Spies), Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump; Cast Away), Penny Marshall (Big; A League of Their Own), Nora Ephron (Sleepless in Seattle; You’ve Got Mail), and Ron Howard (Splash; Apollo 13). Adding Wed Anderson to this list feels, if anything, like a long time coming.

Steve Carell As The Motel Manager

Steve Carell with a visor in Asteroid City

Steve Carell joins the Asteroid City cast as Motel Manager, his first time working with Wes Anderson. Steve Carell was cast in Asteroid City when Bill Murray had to drop out after testing positive for COVID-19. Steve Carell’s character The Motel Manager is simple but opportunistic, capitalizing off the tourist attraction by selling timeshares and vending-machine martinis. Carell to fame in the role of Michael Scott on The Office, although this is far from his only prominent role. His popular movie characters include Brick in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and its sequel, the titular role of Andy in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, the voice of Gru in the Despicable Me and Minions franchise, and real-life murderer John du Pont in Foxcatcher, which earned him an Oscar nomination.

Hope Davis As Sandy Borden

Hope Davis outside the women's room In Asteroid City

Hope Davis plays Sandy Borden in Asteroid City. Sandy is the mother of Shelly, a Junior Stargazer awardee, and often unintentionally gives backhanded compliments. Borden is best known for her roles as Sandi Furness in Succession, Gina Baxter on Your Honor, and Maria Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The actor’s one past recurring director collaborator was Stanley Tucci (The Impostors; Joe Gould’s Secret), but she was a staple of independent cinema in the ’90s and early 2000s, working with many unique filmmakers on The Daytrippers, which had her acting opposite Tucci, Next Stop Wonderland, American Splendor, and About Schmidt.

Maya Hawke As June Douglas

Maya Hawke praying outside in Asteroid City

Best known for playing Robin Buckley on the Netflix series Stranger Things, Maya Hawke portrays June in Asteroid City, a schoolteacher who is afraid to stray from the general curriculum about the solar system when she and her students learn about the existence of aliens. June also sparks a romance with Montana, a singing cowboy. One of her previous movies, Mainstream, was co-written and directed by Gia Coppola, whose uncle Roman Coppola co-wrote Asteroid City. Hawke also notably played Flower Child in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Matt Dillon As Hank

Matt Dillon looking out of a car window in Asteroid City

Matt Dillon joins the Asteroid City cast as a mechanic named Hank. An acting veteran, Matt Dillion is best known for his starring roles in There’s Something About Mary, Wild Things, and Crash, the last of which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. In the past, Dillon has collaborated on multiple movies with directors Francis Ford Coppola (The Outsiders; Rumble Fish), Tim Hunter (Tex; The Saint of Fort Washington), and Gus Van Sant (Drugstore Cowboy; To Die For).

Hong Chau As Polly Green

Hong Chau sits on a balcony in The Whale

Hong Chau plays Polly Green in the Asteroid City cast. Polly is only in one scene, as she plays Schubert’s wife and gives him advice about the play’s dialogue. Wes Anderson cast Hong Chau for the first time in the 2023 movie, and Asteroid City continues Chau’s hot streak. The actress made her feature film debut as Jade in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice then broke out in the role of Ngoc Lan Tran in Alexander Payne’s Downsizing. She earned an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Liz the nurse in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale and also played Elsa in Mark Mylod’s The Menu, and starred in the shows Watchmen, Big Little Lies, and The Night Agent.

Margot Robbie As Steenbeck’s Deceased Wife

Margot Robbie in the first image from Barbie

Margot Robbie’s Asteroid City cameo character is Steenbeck’s deceased wife. However, audiences meet the character in the TV documentary part of the movie. Robbie is playing the actor who was supposed to play Steenbeck’s wife in flashbacks in the play, but her scenes were cut. Famous for her roles as Barbie, DC’s Harley Quinn, Sharon Tate in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Tonya Harding in I, Tonya, Margot Robbie had never worked with Wes Anderson before being cast in Asteroid City. Besides her recurring DCEU role and multi-movie part in the Peter Rabbit franchise, Robbie hasn’t reunited with too many filmmakers yet. Hopefully a part in a future Wes Anderson movie after Asteroid City may happen, as her role here was brief.

Sophia Lillis As Shelly Borden

Sophia Lillis and other kids In Asteroid City

Sophia Lillis joins the Asteroid City cast as Shelly Borden. Shelly is another one of the genius children and Junior Stargazer awardees. Since her breakout role as Beverly Marsh in the two-part adaptation of Stephen King’s It, Sophia Lillis has starred in Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase, Gretel & Hansel, and Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, where she plays the tiefling druid Doric. On the small screen, she played the young version of Amy Adams’s character in Sharp Objects and Sydney Novak in Netflix’s graphic novel adaptation I Am Not Okay With This.

Liev Schreiber As J.J. Kellogg

Liev Schreiber holds a lightbulb in X-Men Origins Wolverine

Liev Schreiber plays J.J. Kellogg in the Asteroid City cast. Kellogg is the father of Clifford, another Junior Stargazer awardee, and he’s the most impatient and irritable of all the parents. He threatens people with his son’s makeshift anti-gravity gun, and he’s willing to try to escape when the town is locked down by the U.S. military, knowing that there’ll be fatalities. Prior to being cast in Asteroid City, which marks his third straight collaboration with Wes Anderson, Liev Schreiber voiced Spots in Isle of Dogs and appeared as a talk show host in The French Dispatch. Schrieber also starred in X-Men Origins: Wolverine as Sabertooth and played the titular character in Ray Donovon for seven seasons.

Steve Park As Roger

Lieutenant Nescaffier looks into the camera in The French Dispatch

Steve Park’s Asteroid City character is Roger Cho, the father of Ricky, another Junior Stargazer awardee. Steve Park has now been in two of Wes Anderson’s movies in a row. Before being cast as Roger in Asteroid City, he played the chef Nescaffier in The French Dispatch. He was also thanked in the credits of Isle of Dogs. Steve Park is a comedian first and foremost, but his filmography is impressively full of some of the most beloved American movies. His filmography includes Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, the Coen brothers’ Fargo, and Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer.

Rupert Friend As Montana

Montana sings a song next to a campfire in Asteroid City

Rupert Friend joins the Asteroid City cast as Montana, a singing cowboy who’s open-minded about alien life and has a crush on June. English actor Ruper Friend has been cast in three Wes Anderson movies in succession. He previously played the drill sergeant in The French Dispatch, and after working on Asteroid City in the role of Montana, he was cast in the filmmaker’s next project, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. Friend is also known for his main role in Homeland, playing the Grand Inquisitor in Obi-Wan Kenobi, and for playing Agent 47 in Hitman: Agent 47.

Willem Dafoe As Saltzburg Keitel

Willme Dafoe's Klaus Daimler holding a gun in The Life Aquatic

Willem Dafoe plays Saltzburg Keitel in the Asteroid City cast. Saltzburg is a revered acting teacher who helps Schubert find the fictional cast for the Asteroid City play within the movie. This leads to one of the most impressive scenes where the entire A-list cast of Asteroid City is in the same room together, which must have been a logistical nightmare given the movie stars’ schedules. Dafoe’s previously played Klaus in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Jopling in The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Albert the Abacus in The French Dispatch, and he voiced Rat in Fantastic Mr. Fox. The actor is best known for playing the Green Goblin in Spider-Man, and then for reprising the role in Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Tony Revolori As Gen. Gibson’s Aide-De-Camp

Zero Moustafa in his Lobby Boy costume in The Grand Budapest Hotel

Tony Revolori joins the Asteroid City cast as Grif Gibson’s aide-de-camp, which is a personal assistant to somebody of a high rank; Revolori doesn’t have much dialogue, but the character delivers some of the funniest action comedy in the movie. After breaking out with the role of Zero Moustafa in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, Tony Revolori was again cast by the filmmaker in The French Dispatch and Asteroid City. He’s also known for playing Flash Thompson in the MCU’s Spider-Man movies.

Jeff Goldblum As The Alien

Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster in Thor Ragnarok

Jeff Goldblum plays The Alien in the Asteroid City cast. The alien is obviously entirely CGI in the movie, is it’s supposed to be intentionally kitsch, but Goldblum is seen preparing backstage when the play breaks the fourth wall and crosses over with the TV documentary. Mostly famous for his lead roles in The Fly, Independence Day, and the Jurassic Park franchise, Jeff Goldblum has also been cast in four Wes Anderson movies, including Asteroid City. He played Allistair Hennessey in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and Deputy Kovacs in The Grand Budapest Hotel, and voiced the part of Rex in Isle of Dogs.

Related: Jeff Goldblum Opens Up About Working With Wes Anderson on Asteroid City

Fisher Stevens As Detective #1

Fisher Stevens sitting on the couch in Friends

Fisher Stevens’ Asteroid City character is Detective #1. Detective #1 arrives in Asteroid City following the UFO and alien sighting and locks down the entire town. Succession actor Fisher Stevens has similarly been cast in four Wes Anderson movies, including Asteroid City. He previously played M. Robin in The Grand Budapest Hotel and a story editor in The French Dispatch and voiced the part of Scrap in Isle of Dogs. The actor has so many credits to his name, whether it’s playing a food critic in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia or a doctor in Frasier.

Bob Balaban As Larkings Executive

Bob Balaban leans back in his chair in Seinfeld

Bob Balaban plays Larkings Executive in the Asteroid City cast, and he briefly appears after the alien sighting in the town. Prior to reuniting with Balaban for Asteroid City, Wes Anderson cast the actor as the narrator in Moonrise Kingdom, M. Martin in The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Uncle Nick in The French Dispatch. He also voiced the character King in Isle of Dogs. Outside of Wes Anderson-directed movies, the actor is best known for starring in science fiction movies such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Altered States, and 2010.: The Year We Make Contact.

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