Today Amazon premieres a miniseries adaptation of the Agatha Christie's The Pale Horse. A whodunnit with supernatural intonations — including a trio of witches who may be committing a series of murders — it promises to be a fantastic weekend binge with a bevy of excellent British talent on display.
Here's a guide to the actors playing witches and witch-hunters alike.
It's unusual seeing Rufus Sewell playing the protagonist in The Pale Horse considering how often he's played the bad guy. After his breakthrough role in the 1998 sci-fi mind-bender Dark City, Sewell embarked on a series of roles as villains (2001's A Knight's Tale, 2005's The Legend of Zorro. 2006's The Illusionist, 2012's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), bad boyfriends (2006's The Holiday), and ultimately a Nazi in Amazon's The Man in the High Castle. Here, however, he'll be playing Mark Easterbrook, a widower who finds himself the possible target of a trio of witches.
If you're a fan of British teen dramas, you're probably very familiar with Kaya Scodelario. She was a major star of the series Skins, a show which also produced the likes of Nicholas Hoult, Dev Patel, Jack O'Connell, and Daniel Kaluuya. After wrapping Skins, she jumped to the role of Teresa in the Maze Runner series, in which she starred in all three films. In 2017, she appeared alongside Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem in the international blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. In 2019, she co-starred in the surprising crocodile-horror hit film Crawl for director Alexandre Aja. In The Pale Horse, she plays Mark's new wife.
As jittery, conspiracy-theory-prone shopkeeper Zachariah Osborne, Carvell helps Mark solve the mystery of the witches. In real life, Carvel is a British theater veteran whose crossover to the Broadway stage has been incredibly successful. In 2013, Carvel was nominated for a Tony Award for his role as Miss Trunchbull in Matilda: The Musical (he lost to Billy Porter in Kinky Boots). In 2019, he won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his role as Rupert Murdoch in Ink. In addition to a small role in the 2012 Oscar-nominated Les Miserables, Carvel has appeared on such hit TV shows as The Walking Dead, Sherlock, and The Crown, as well as the BBC's adaptation of Jonathan Strange and Mrs. Norell.
As Sybil, one of the three witches of note in this strange tale, Kathy Kiera Clarke no doubt had to perfect her icy stare. A screen actress for nearly 30 years, Clarke snagged an early role in director Paul Greengrass's Bloody Sunday, but she's probably best known for playing Aunt Sarah on Channel 4's Derry Girls.
As another of the witches, Bella, the 77-year-old actress is rocking some big crone energy. She's been a working actress since the 1960s, when she played the teenage lead role in director Tony Richardson's A Taste of Honey, for which she won the Cannes Film Festival prize for acting in 1962, as well as the Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer. Since then, she's been in movies like Dr. Zhivago with Julie Christie and Omar Sharif, and Being Julia with Annette Bening.
As the third witch in the trio, the Ugandan-born former model Sheila Atim casts a striking figure. She got her start on the stage in the British production of the current Broadway show The Girl from the North Country. Atim won an Olivier Award for her performance. After The Pale Horse, Atim will appear in the Barry Jenkins-produced Underground Railroad.
If you're familiar with British actress Georgina Campbell, it's likely from the Black Mirror episode "Hang the DJ," in which she played one half of a couple fixed up by a computer algorithm that only allows them a limited time to be together. After that, she starred in the third season of the crime series Broadchurch, Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams, and His Dark Materials. On The Pale Horse, Campbell plays Delphine Easterbrook, Mark's first wife.
The Pale Horse is now streaming on Amazon.
Joe Reid is the Managing Editor at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, The Herald Sun, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.