George Clooney directs, produces and stars in a new TV adaptation of the classic satirical novel Catch-22 on Channel 4.
Catch-22 is an absurdist black comedy chronicling the lives of US Air Force pilots during the Second World War. It revolves around the experience of rebellious soldier Yossarian, played by Christopher Abbott.
- The best TV shows airing in 2019
- How does Channel 4’s Catch-22 differ from the novel?
- Everything you need to know about Catch-22 on Channel 4
Here are the characters you’ll meet – and the stars who play them:
Christopher Abbott plays John Yossarian
Who is John Yossarian? Captain Yossarian is a rebellious US air force soldier who can’t fathom why thousands of people he has never met want to kill him. He is desperate to complete his service in the army and leave, but he can’t because of Catch-22 – an absurd rule which dictates that pilots who feel mentally unfit to fly can be sent home, but anyone who applies to stop flying is deemed sane enough to stay.
What else has Christopher Abbott starred in? Abbott is best known for his recurring role as Charlie (boyfriend of Marnie) in Girls, and he has appeared in the Netflix series The Sinner and the films First Man and Vox Lux. He’s also set to star in the forthcoming sci-fi thriller Possessor with Sean Bean.
George Clooney plays Scheisskopf
Who is Scheisskopf? He is an inept training commander, whose name in German translates to “s***head”. Scheisskopf has it in for Yossarian and Clevinger – and also has a strange obsession with elaborate military parades.
What else has George Clooney starred in? Clooney won an Oscar for his supporting role in the 2005 film Syriana. His prolific Hollywood career has also included roles in the films The Monuments Men, Gravity, The Descendants, The Ides of March, Up in the Air and Burn After Reading, to name a few. Catch-22 is Clooney’s first TV role since ER ended in 2009.
While Clooney is best known for his acting – he is also an accomplished director and producer. His directorial debut was the 2002 movie Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, and he has also helmed the films Good Night and Good Luck, The Ides of March, The Monuments Men and Suburbicon. Previous executive producer credits include the Oscar-winning Argo.
Hugh Laurie plays Major de Coverley
Who is Major de Coverley? Executive officer of the squadron Major –– de Coverley is admired and feared by the men. Nobody knows his first name and nobody is quite sure what his duties are, but he spends his time pitching horseshoes on his private lawn and acquiring apartments for the soldiers to use on rest leave. He is a fan of fine cuisine.
What else has Hugh Laurie starred in? Laurie is most famous in the UK for playing the bumbling fool in Blackadder and for being Stephen Fry’s long-time comic collaborator. Internationally, he is best known for playing the misanthropic lead in the long-running US medical series House. Laurie has also starred in the TV shows Veep and The Night Manager and the films Stuart Little and Sense and Sensibility, to name a few.
Kyle Chandler plays Colonel Cathcart
Who is Colonel Cathcart? Cathcart is an group commander at the US base in Pianosa who, obsessed with impressing his superiors in a bid to become a General, keeps increasing the number of missions the men must complete before they can go home. He is also desperate to maintain an image of extreme masculinity.
What else has Kyle Chandler starred in? Kyle Chandler has starred in many Hollywood movies including First Man, Game Night, Manchester by the Sea, Carol, The Wolf of Wall Street and Argo, which was produced by Clooney. He is also well-known for appearing in the TV series Bloodline and Grey’s Anatomy.
Grant Heslov plays Doc Daneeka
Who is Doc Daneeka? Squadron flight surgeon Doc Daneeka is peeved because the war has interrupted his lucrative private practice in the United States, so he understands Yossarian’s frustration at being kept in battle – but he also thinks that he, personally, has it worse. Doc Daneeka is the first person to explain Catch-22 to Yossarian.
What else has Grant Heslov starred in? Heslov, who produced Catch-22, is a long-time collaborator of Clooney’s, having produced and strarred in The Monuments Men, as well as producing Argo and The Ides of March.
Tessa Ferrer plays Nurse Duckett
Who is Nurse Duckett? She is a nurse who looks after Yossarian when he checks into hospital. Yossarian quickly takes a shine to Nurse Duckett.
What else has Tessa Ferrer starred in? Ferrer is best known for playing Dr Leah Murphy in Grey’s Anatomy, and she has also appeared in the US series Mr Mercedes, You’re the Worst and Extant.
Julie Ann Emery plays Marion Scheisskopf
Who is Marion? Mrs Scheisskopf is having a secret affair with Yossarian. Her husband’s obsession with military parades and his complete disinterest in his marriage has left her sex-starved.
What else has Julie Ann Emery starred in? Emery is known for her roles in Preacher, Better Call Saul and Fargo, and she also starred alongside Clooney in ER as a paramedic.
Kevin J O’Connor plays Colonel Korn
Who is Korn? Lieutenant Colonel Korn is Colonel Cathcart’s cunning and cynical sidekick.
What else has Kevin J O’Connor starred in? You might recognise O’Connor as the barman in the film Widows, and he is also known for starring in the US series 11.22.63, Chicago PD, The Mob Doctor and The Others.
Giancarlo Giannini plays Marcello
Who is Marcello? The proprietor of a brothel in Rome. He claims to be 107 years old.
What else has Giancarlo Giannini starred in? Giannini is known for playing agent of the French secret service René Mathis in the Bond films Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. He has also starred in Man on Fire and was nominated for an Oscar for his lead role in the Italian film Seven Beauties in 1975.
Daniel David Stewart plays Milo Minderbinder
Who is Milo Minderbinder? A fellow member of Yossarian’s squadron, Milo successfully campaigns to become the mess officer. He is 27, ambitious and a firm believer in capitalism. In his new role, Milo sets up a complex global trading network for the good of the “syndicate”, in which everyone “has a share”.
What else has Daniel David Stewart starred in? Stewart is known for playing Oliver Gingerfield in Kids vs Monsters and he also appeared in the film The Sound of Magic.
Rafi Gavron plays Aarfy
Who is Aarfy? Yossarian’s navigator who joins him on bombing runs and who has a terrible sense of direction. His full name is Captain Aardvaark and he always smokes a pipe. Yossarian finds him infuriating.
What else has Rafi Gavron starred in? Gavron has appeared in the series Homecoming and 24 as well as the movie A Star is Born.
Josh Bolt plays Dunbar
Who is Dunbar? A friend of Yossarian who is stationed at the same base.
What else has Josh Bolt starred in? You might recognise Bolt as Rob Dawson from Benidorm or as Raff from Last Tango in Halifax, and he also appeared in the John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy.
Austin Stowell plays Nately
Who is Nately? A good-natured boy in Yossarian’s squadron. He is from a wealthy family and is full of American optimism.
What else has Austin Stowell starred in? You might recognise Stowell from his role as Billie Jean King’s husband Larry in the movie Battle of the Sexes, and he has also starred in the films Bridge of Spies and Whiplash.
Graham Patrick Martin plays Orr
Who is Orr? Yossarian’s tent-mate. He takes joy in winding people up, and is a practical-minded man who is building a working gas stove in the tent.
What else has Graham Patrick Martin starred in? Martin played Eldridge Mackelroy in Two and a Half Men and he also had a recurring role in the US series Major Crimes.
Gerran Howell plays Kid Sampson
Who is Kid Sampson? A pilot in the squadron.
What else has Gerran Howell starred in? You might recognise Howell as the vicar’s son in BBC3 mockumentary This Country, or for appearing the series Emerald City, The Sparticle Mystery and Young Dracula.
Jon Rudnitsky plays McWatt
Who is McWatt? A cheerful pilot who often flies Yossarian’s planes.
What else has Jon Rudnitsky starred in? Rudnitsky has appeared in the films Nobody’s Fool, Set it Up and Home Again.
Pico Alexander plays Clevinger
Who is Clevinger? A patriotic and earnest member of Yossarian’s squadron.
What else has Pico Alexander starred in? He has had roles in the movies Hot Air, Home Again and War Machine.
Lewis Pullman plays Major Major
Who is Major Major? This poor kid was given Major as his first, middle and last names when he was born. He is the subject of a lot of mockery in the army thanks to his name.
What else has Lewis Pullman starred in? Pullman has appeared in the film Battle of the Sexes, alongside Emma Stone, as well as Lean on Pete and The Ballad of Lefty Brown.
Jay Paulson plays the Chaplain
Who is the Chaplain? An Anabaptist minister from Wisconsin who is wildly out of his depth and constantly worried. He is terrified of authority and is bullied by his assistant, Corporal Whitcomb. Yossarian forms an unlikely friendship with the Chaplain.
What else has Jay Paulson starred in? Paulson is known for his roles in the US series I Am the Night, Beyond and Happy Town.
Catch-22 airs on Channel 4 on Thursdays at 9pm