The long-awaited creative reunion of Office collaborators Steve Carell and Greg Daniels, Netflix’s Space Force follows the efforts of a four star general who's given the unenviable job of running the nation’s newest branch of the military: the Space Force. A tongue-in-cheek response to many of the "super duper" actions of the current administration, Space Force has the potential to be not only one of this year’s funniest comedies, but also one of its timeliest.
Just in case Space Force didn’t already have enough going for it, the comedy also boasts a stellar cast the likes of which we've never seen Here’s a quick look at who's who among the show’s central players:
Steve Carell rocketed to fame with his indelible, Emmy-winning performance as Michael Scott in the U.S. version of The Office. He's also starred in some of the most beloved comedies and dramas of the past 20 years, including Anchorman 1 & 2, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Little Miss Sunshine, Crazy, Stupid, Love, Despicable Me, Foxcatcher, The Big Short, and Vice. In Space Force, he plays General Mark R. Naird ,a former Air Force general who is put in charge of the show’s titular new military venture. The series comes several months after Carell co-starred as Mitch Kessler in the first season of the Apple TV+ drama, The Morning Show.
John Malkovich is one of the most recognizable actors working today, known for his performances in films like Being John Malkovich, Empire of the Sun, Con Air, Rounders, Shadow of the Vampire, and Burn After Reading. He made his film debut as Mr. Will in 1984’s Places in the Heart, and received his first Academy Award nomination for his performance in the film. (His second Oscar nomination came nearly ten years later, for his performance as Mitch Leary in 1993’s In the Line of Fire). More recently, Malkovich starred in HBO’s The New Pope alongside Jude Law, and had a recurring guest role as Grigor Andolov on Showtime’s Billions. In Space Force, he plays Dr. Adrian Mallory, the reluctant Head Science Advisor for Mark’s new military branch.
Ben Schwartz is probably best known for his recurring guest role as the obnoxious Jean-Ralphio Saperstein on NBC’s Parks and Recreation. Other prominent roles include Clyde Oberholt on Showtime’s House of Lies, and voice performances as Dewey Duck on Disney’s rebooted DuckTales series and Sonic in this year’s live-action Sonic the Hedgehog film. In Space Force, he plays F. Tony Scarapiducci, the head media manager of the new military branch.
Another comedic powerhouse, Lisa Kudrow became a household name with her role as Phoebe Buffay in Friends, and has continued to deliver winning performances in shows like The Comeback, Web Therapy, and the recent Netflix original, Feel Good. In addition to her iconic TV work, Kudrow has also appeared in a number of memorable films over the years, including Analyze This, Easy A, Neighbors, Long Shot, and Booksmart. She plays Maggie Naird, the wife of Carell’s Mark. Shockingly, Kudrow filmed Space Force without knowing it was an actual thing.
Playing Mark and Maggie’s daughter Erin is Diana Silvers. A relative newcomer, Space Force is her largest screen role to date, follwing smaller roles in Booksmart (alongside her new TV mom Kudrow) and last year's Octavia Spencer-led horror film, Ma.
Noah Emmerich has been one of Hollywood’s go-to character actors since the 90s, known for his work in films like Beautiful Girls, Cop Land, The Truman Show, Miracle, Super 8, Warrior, and Jane Got a Gun. Emmerich received overwhelming critical praise for his turn as Stan Beeman on FX’s The Americans, and followed up his role on that series with memorable performances in the Sacha Baron Cohen-led Netflix original The Spy, and the National Geographic mini-series The Hot Zone. In Space Force, Emmerich plays Kick Grabaston, a current rival of Mark’s and his former boss at the Air Force.
Tawny Newsome has been working her way up in Hollywood for several years now, beginning with a number of guest roles on TV shows throughout the early 2010s. Those guest spots led to several recurring parts, including her role as Nina in The Comedy Get Down, her work as Gabby Taylor on Brockmire, and her turn as Chelsea Leight-Leigh in Bajillion Dollar Propertie$. She plays ambitious helicopter pilot Angela Ali in Space Force.
Best known for playing Jian Yang on HBO’s Silicon Valley. Yang has also appeared in films like Patriots Day, Life of the Party, Crazy Rich Asians, The Happytime Murders, Like a Boss, and Fantasy Island. In early May, he dropped his first stand-up comedy special on Amazon.
Playing the joint chief of the navy in Space Force is none other than Jane Lynch. A six-time Emmy Award winner, Lynch has appeared in countless films, including Best in Show, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Role Models, Julie & Julia, Wreck-It Ralph, and Ralph Breaks the Internet. Her most prolific work, however, has been on the small screen, with the actress receiving critical and popular attention for her performances in The L Word, Party Down, Glee, Angel from Hell, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Mark’s father, Fred Naird, is played by the late, great Fred Willard, in his last on-screen role. A comedy legend, Willard accrued 300+ credits over the course of his career, receiving combined four Primetime Emmy Award nominations for his guest performances on Everybody Loves Raymond and Modern Family. Some of his notable film roles include This is Spinal Tap, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, Anchorman 1 & 2, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, and Wall-E, to name just a few. His extensive TV career goes all the way to his early work in the 1970s on Fernwood Tonight through guest roles in the 90s on shows like Roseanne and Mad About You, to some of his more recent appearances on The Bold and the Beautiful and Review.
The entire ten-episode first season of Space Force drops on Netflix Friday, May 29th.
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Alex Welch has written about television and film for TV by the Numbers, IGN, The Berrics, Paste Magazine, Screen Rant and GeekNation. Follow him on Twitter @alexrwelch.