Netflix looks to Bird Box for inspiration in its new sci-fi thriller, Awake, starring Gina Rodriguez as an ex-soldier fighting to protect her family amid a global disaster that takes away mankind’s ability to sleep. When she learns that her daughter, played by Ariana Greenblatt, is not dealing with insomnia, Jill (Rodriguez) must decide whether to save her daughter or turn her over to scientists in hopes of curing the world at large.
Rodriguez is no stranger to the world of Netflix, and neither are her co-stars. In Awake, Rodriguez leads a cast of actors who can be found across the platform, including Shamier Anderson (Wynonna Earp), Atypical’s Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Marvel’s Iron Fist himself, Finn Jones. If you need help putting a face to a name — or are wondering where you've seen them before — you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a guide to the cast of Awake on Netflix:
Gina Rodriguez receives top billing as Awake’s hero, Jill Adams. An ex-soldier with a troubled past, Jill learns that her young daughter may hold the key to humanity’s survival, and she fights tooth and nail to protect her family from the implications of that power. Rodriguez is best known for starring in The CW's Jane the Virgin, for which she won a Golden Globe Award in 2015, and for appearances in dramas like Miss Bala, Annihilation, and Deepwater Horizon. But Rodriguez doesn’t just stick to hardcore cinematic fare: she also starred in Netflix romantic comedy Someone Great, Warner Bros.’ Scoob!, and voices the titular character in animated action-adventure Carmen Sandiego.
All eyes are on Matilda Adams in Awake, one of the last people on Earth with the ability to sleep. Matilda is played by Ariana Greenblatt, who has experience playing Gina Rodriguez’s younger counterpart: she played young Velma in Scoob!. Greenblatt also starred as Daphne Diaz in Disney’s Stuck in the Middle, played Young Gamora in Avengers: Infinity War, and was a finalist on Dancing with the Stars: Juniors in 2018.
Much like his mother, Noah, played by Lucius Hoyos, is suffering from insomnia, but that won’t stop him from fighting to secure his sister’s safety. Hoyos comes to Awake following appearances in Heroes Reborn, NBC’s Heroes continuation, Netflix’s Between, and horror film Our House. He can next be seen in Once Upon a Time in Staten Island, a coming-of-age crime drama also starring Frank Grillo, Naomi Watts, and Bobby Cannavale.
When Shamier Anderson’s Dodge first appears in the Awake trailer, he breaks up a potential disaster between Jill and a gaggle of jumpsuit-wearing prisoners. Dodge soon joins forces with the Adams family, but their efforts to protect Matilda are complicated by the interests of their fellow community members. Anderson is best known for playing U.S. Deputy Marshall Xavier Dolls in Syfy’s Wynonna Earp, but he’s also appeared in Amazon’s Goliath, Dear White People, and AMC's star-studded anthology series Soulmates.
Awake marks Jennifer Jason Leigh’s second major release this week. Last Friday Leigh was featured in the premiere episode of Lisey’s Story, Apple TV+'s series adaptation of Stephen King’s thriller overseen by the author himself, and she'll continue to appear as new episodes debut weekly throughout the summer. The veteran actor first broke out in the 1980s in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and over the next few decades, she built an impressive resume with roles in Miami Blues, Short Cuts, Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, and Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, the latter of which earned her Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actress. In recent years, Leigh has starred in the Netflix series Atypical, and even appeared alongside Rodriguez in Annihilation.
Veteran character actor Barry Pepper brings his piercing eyes and lengthy CV to Awake’s ensemble cast. In 1998, Pepper made a name for himself as Private Daniel Jackson in Saving Private Ryan, followed by roles in The Green Mile, made for TV movie 61*, and Flags of Our Fathers. More recently, the Canadian-American starred as Robert F. Kennedy in The Kennedys, for which he won the Emmy for Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie, appeared in the two Maze Runner sequels, The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure, and played The Boss in Running with the Devil.
Yet another Netflix star, Finn Jones is best known for playing Danny Rand in Marvel’s Iron Fist, The Defenders, and Luke Cage. Before entering the Marvel-verse, Jones broke out as Game of Thrones’ Loras Tyrell, who in Season 6 (spoiler alert) died as part of a plot orchestrated by Cersei (Lena Headey). Jones also appears in Dickinson Season 2 as Samuel Bowles, the swaggering publisher of the Springfield Republican.
Frances Fisher is perhaps the most experienced actor in the Awake cast. A trained theater actor, Fisher transitioned to the screen in the 1970s with a role in ABC daytime soap The Edge of Night, where she remained for five years. In the intervening years, she's landed roles in Unforgiven, Titanic (she played Kate Winslet’s mother, Ruth DeWitt Bukater), True Crime, and House of Sand and Fog, among many others. More recently, she's appeared in ABC drama Resurrection, Noah Hawley’s Fargo, and Emmy-winning drama Watchmen.
Gil Bellows rounds out Netflix’s ensemble cast. The Canadian actor, screenwriter, and director first burst on the scene as Tommy Williams in The Shawshank Redemption, a role that remains among his most recognizable. He's gone on to a successful career as a character actor, landing gigs as Billy Thomas in Ally McBeal and CIA agent Matt Callan in The Agency. More recent roles include USA Network’s Eyewitness, The Handmaid’s Tale, Patriot, and Love in the Time of Corona.
Awake drops on Netflix Wednesday June 9th.
Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.