In Roadkill, the latest drama from PBS and Masterpiece, Hugh Laurie plays Peter Laurence, a Conservative British politician whose domineering public charisma is only matched by the skeletons in his closet. As he attempts to maneuver the corridors of power in London, Laurence deals with family drama and political rivalry. The series comes from acclaimed playwright David Hare, who also wrote the screenplays for films like The Reader and The Hours.
Hugh Laurie is the unquestioned star of the show, but he's appearing alongside a tremendously talented ensemble cast. Who are these familiar faces and where do you know them from?
You know who Hugh Laurie is. Best known for his role as the title character Dr. Gregory House on House, his famously prickly temperament entertained audiences for eight seasons, earning Laurie two Golden Globes and six Emmy nominations. He nabbed another Globe win for his role as a menacing crime boss in the AMC limited series The Night Manager. Laurie got his start along with his university pals Stephen Fry and Emma Thompson in the legendary comedy troupe the Footlights. Laurie and Fry would go on to partner on many comedy projects, most famously Blackadder. He's starred in films like Sense & Sensibility, 101 Dalmatians, Stuart Little, and in the 2020 Armando Iannucci film The Personal History of David Copperfield. Also working with Iannucci, Laurie appeared on Veep and recently starred in the space comedy Avenue 5.
London-born Helen McCrory is best known for playing Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies. She's also appeared as a villain on the second season of Showtime's Penny Dreadful, and as Aunt Polly on Peaky Blinders,. More recentl, she was on the recent AMC miniseries Quiz, and played the voice of Lord Asriel's (James McAvoy) daemon on His Dark Materials.
With dozens of film and TV projects on her resume, British actress Saskia Reeves is probably most recognizable to America audiences for her role opposite Alan Rickman and Clive Owen in the 1991 film Close My Eyes, and for playing Lady Jessica Atreides in the Sci-Fi Channel miniseries version of Dune. She has also appeared in the Ewan McGregor film adaption of John le Carré's Our Kind of Traitor, Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac, Richard Linklater's Me and Orson Welles, the Idris Elba series Luther, Kenneth Branagh's Wallander, the acclaimed Wolf Hall, Midsomer Murders, and countless others. She previously worked with writer David Hare on the series Collateral.
Danish actress Sidse Babbet Knudsen enjoyed her best known role and attained crossover acclaim in the United States for her performance as Danish Prime Minister Birgitte Nyborg on Borgen. She's also earned crirical notice for her roles in the films The Duke of Burgundy and A Hologram for the King, the latter opposite Tom Hanks. In 2016, she played the role of the ill-fated Theresa Cullen on the first season of Westworld.
Veteran actor Pip Torrens is likely best known to American audiences for his role as Tommy Lascelles on the first two seasons of Netflix's The Crown. He's also starred as Cary Warleggan on the BBC's Poldark, and in the feature films The Danish Girl (opposite Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander), The Iron Lady (opposite Oscar-winner Meryl Streep), and in the Steven Spielberg-directed, Oscar-nominated film War Horse. In 2015, Torrens played a First Order officer in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Iain De Casetecker has spent seven seasons playing Leo Fitz, one of the main characters on ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. As a teen, he played the role of Adam Barlow on the long-running U.K. soap Coronation Street. He played the lead role in the feature film Lost River, which was Ryan Gosling's directorial debut. In 2018, he starred in the ensemble of the supernatural World War II film Overlord.
Pippa Bennett-Warner got her career start at age 11, playing Nala in the Julie Taymor-production of The Lion King in London. Many roles on the London stage which aired on Hulu.followed. She's also appeared on TV shows like Doctor Who and Sick Note opposite Rupert Grint and Nick Frost. From 2017-2019, Bennett-Warner played the role of Harriet Lennox on the series Harlots,
Millie Brady's breakthrough role came as Violette on the British series Mr. Selfridge. Her best known role was as as Lady Aethelflaed in the BBC America historical-fiction series The Last Kingdom. She's also played Mary Bennett in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies as well as the daughter of Jude Law's character in the Guy Ritchie-directed King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.
Lovibond's best known film is almost certainly Guardians of the Galaxy, though you might not remember her role, playing Carina, slave to the enigmatic Collector (Benicio Del Toro). Last year, she appeared in the film Rocketman, playing Elton John's girlfriend, Arabella.
Roadkill marks a reunion of sorts for Irish actress Sarah Greene co-star Helen McCrory, who both played witches on Penny Dreadful. In 2014, Greene was Tony Award-nominated for her performance in the Martin McDonagh play The Cripple of Inishmaan, in which she starred opposite Daniel Radcliffe. Earlier this year, she had a recurring role on the BBC/Hulu production Normal People.
Roadkill premieres on PBS November 1st at 9:00 PM ET.
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, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.
TOPICS: Roadkill, PBS, Masterpiece, Helen McCrory, Hugh Laurie, Iain De Casetecker, Millie Brady, Ophelia Lovibond, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Pip Torrens, Sarah Greene, Saskia Reeves, Sidse Babett Knudsen