Meet the cast of The Miniaturist on BBC1

The secrets of 17th century Amsterdam are revealed in this two-part drama starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Romola Garai and Alex Hassell

The Miniaturist

The adaptation of Jessie Burton’s unusual period novel The Miniaturist stars Anya Taylor-Joy as naive Nella Oortman as she begins her life in 17th century Amsterdam, with Romola Garai as her scary sister-in-law and Alex Hassell playing her unusual husband.

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Find out more about all the cast and characters below.


Anya Taylor-Joy – Nella Oortman

The Miniaturist – Anya Taylor-Joy as Nella Oortman

Who does Anya Taylor-Joy play? Petronella ‘Nella’ Oortman arrives in 17th century Amsterdam with a birdcage in hand. She and her parakeet have arrived to live with her new husband, the rich businessman Johannes Brandt, who has paid off her family’s debts in return for her hand in marriage. But she finds this house hides many secrets and her marriage will not be straightforward – especially when he buys a large doll’s house as a wedding present.

“She’s supposed to be the madam of the house, a wife and all of these different things,” actress Anya Taylor-Joy says. “And then as the script progresses and the ground under her feet is unsteady, she has to be the thing that is steady…”

Where have I seen Anya Taylor-Joy before? Taylor-Joy is an up-and-coming actress who was nominated for a Bafta Rising Star Award in 2017. She caught critics’ attention with her starring role in horror movie The Witch and in horror-thriller Split opposite James McAvoy. She’s also previously appeared in BBC mythology series Atlantis.


Alex Hassell – Johannes Brandt

The Miniaturist – Alex Hassell as Johannes Brandt

Who does Alex Hassell play? Johannes Brandt is a rich merchant trader in Amsterdam, a vibrant business centre and thriving city. Nella’s new husband is a bit of a maverick and runs up against the puritanical mood of the era.

Where have I seen Alex Hassell before? You’re more likely to have seen him on stage, but Alex Hassell’s distinctive face has also appeared in Suburbicon, Bonkers and Miranda.


Romola Garai – Marin Brandt

The Miniaturist – Romola Garai as Marin Brandt

Who does Romola Garai play? Marin is a wonderfully complex character. When Nella first meets her she is cold, intimidating and spiky, making the newcomer extremely unwelcome. As Johannes’ sister, she is used to running the household and being the boss. She is unmarried and extremely religious, intelligent, intellectual and full of secrets.

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Where have I seen Romola Garai before? Romola Garai’s acting career began on a high when she appeared opposite Judi Dench’s in The Last of the Blonde Bombshells. She went on to star in Attachments, Nicholas Nickleby and I Capture the Castle. Many will remember her for her role as teenager Briony in Oscar-nominated movie Atonement alongside Keira Knightley, James McAvoy and Vanessa Redgrave. More recently she’s starred in One Day, The Last Days on Mars, Measure for Measure, Born to Kill, The Hour and Suffragette.