More and more TV series feature star-studded casts these days – but there are still relatively few that can rely on a seven-time Oscar nominee to lead them.
That is the case however, with new HBO crime drama Mare of Easttown, which stars Kate Winslet in the lead role and airs on Sky Atlantic in the UK.
Winslet is joined by a host of other famous faces, including Julianne Nicholson, Evan Peters and Guy Pearce. Read on for everything you need to know.
Kate Winslet plays Mare Sheehan
Who is Mare Sheehan? A small-town Pennsylvania detective charged with solving a local murder while her life crumbles around her.
What else has Kate Winslet been in? An A-lister in every sense of the word, Winslet’s filmography includes several huge films and a hoard of awards and nominations. Among the highlights are Oscar nods for Sense and Sensibility, Titanic, Iris, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Little Children and Steve Jobs, in addition to a win for The Reader. More recently, she starred alongside Saoirse Ronan in Ammonite, while she is also set to feature in the upcoming Avatar sequels.
Mare of Easttown marks her return to the small screen after more than a decade – her last TV role being the titular character in HBO’s 2011 miniseries Mildred Pierce.
Julianne Nicholson plays Lori Ross
Who is Lori Ross? Lori is Mare’s best friend and has been since childhood. She knows how difficult Mare can be at times but loves her exactly as she is.
What else has Julianne Nicholson been in? Nicholson is perhaps best known for her role as Detective Megan Wheeler on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, while other prominent small screen credits include recurring roles as Esther Randolph on Boardwalk Empire and as Dr. Lillian DePaul on Masters of Sex. She has also played main roles on shows including the final season of Ally McBeal and crime drama Eyewitness. On the big screen she’s appeared in films including August: Osage County, Black Mass and I, Tonya.
Jean Smart plays Helen Sheehan
Who is Helen Sheehan? Helen is Mare’s mother, a devout Catholic who is stubborn and never holds back on her opinions.
What else has Jean Smart been in? Veteran actor Smart has taken on a wealth of roles for stage and screen. Small-screen highlights include her Emmy-winning turns as Lana Gardner on Frasier and Regina Newley on Samantha Who, while she has also had roles in shows such as 24, Fargo and Legion. Film credits include Sweet Home Alabama, I Heart Huckabees and A Simple Favor, and she also starred as Laurie Blake in HBO’s 2019 Watchmen miniseries.
Angourie Rice plays Siobhan Sheehan
Who is Siobhan Sheehan? Siobhan is Mare’s teenage daughter – a lovely, brilliant young woman who is rebellious and headstrong.
What else has Angourie Rice been in? Rice has been acting from a young age and rose to prominence for her acclaimed role as Holly March in 2016 film The Nice Guys. She’s since gone on to appear as Betty Brant in Spider-Man: Homecoming and it’s sequel Spider-Man: Far From Home. Her most high-profile TV role is an appearance alongside Miley Cyrus in the Black Mirror episode Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too.
Evan Peters plays Detective Colin Zabel
Who is Colin Zabel? Colin is the county detective called in to assist with Mare’s investigation – much to her chagrin.
What else has Evan Peters been in? Peters was recently seen on our screens in TV miniseries WandaVision as a “recast” version of Pietro Maximoff, a role he had earlier played in various X-Men films. Other credits include several appearances in various seasons of American Horror Story and a main role in the first series of Pose.
Guy Pearce plays Richard Ryan
Who is Richard Ryan? Richard is a charming creative writing professor visiting town, who is something of an enigma. His novel won the National Book Award 25 years ago, but he hasn’t lived up to his early promise.
What else has Guy Pearce been in? Australian actor Pearce has an array of prominent film credits to his name, having been the star of such movies as The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, L.A. Confidential and Memento, and also appeared in franchise films such as Iron Man 3 and Prometheus. On the small screen, he started his career as Mike Young in Neighbours and also previously starred alongside Winslet in Mildred Pierce – a role which won him an Emmy.
Cailee Spaeny plays Erin McMenamin
Who is Erin McMenamin? Isolated teen Erin is a single mother to infant son DJ, who lives with her volatile father.
What else has Cailee Spaeny been in? Spaeny’s only previous small screen credit is as Lyndon on Alex Garland’s series Devs, but she has appeared in a range of films including Pacific Rim: Uprising, Bad Times at the El Royale, On the Basis of Sex and Vice.
David Denman plays Frank Sheehan
Who is Mark Sheehan? Affable and outgoing Mark is a maths teacher at the high school, and Mare’s ex-husband. They divorced years ago having originally married aged just 20.
What else has David Denman been in? Denman will be familiar to fans of The Office US as Pam’s ex-fiancee Roy Anderson, while he has also had main roles on the short-lived sitcom Traffic Light and horror drama Outcast. He’s had credits in an assortment of films including Big Fish, Logan Lucky and Brightburn.
John Douglas Thompson plays Chief Carter
Who is Chief Carter? Carter is Mare’s boss at the Easttown Police Department, and has deep compassion for the people he’s charged with protecting.
What else has John Douglas Thompson been in? Thompson is a highly acclaimed stage actor and has received a host of awards and nominations for his theatre work, including a Tony nod for his role in August Wilson’s Jitney. Previous small screen roles have included parts in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and legal drama For Life, while film credits include small roles in Michael Clayton, The Bourne Legacy and A Most Violent Year.
Patrick Murney plays Kenny McMenamin
Who is Kenny McMenamin? Kenny is Erin’s volatile, single father, who works as a mason and is bitter and cruel, especially when he drinks.
What else has Patrick Murney been in? Murney’s most prominent role to date was a main part in Netflix series Seven Seconds, while he had a minor role in Martin Scorsese’s epic gangster film The Irishman in 2019. Other credits include episodes of Public Morals, Suits and Godfather of Harlem.
Joe Tippett plays John Ross
Who is John Ross? John is Lori’s husband and was her high school sweetheart. He is good-natured and a protective father to their children Ryan and Moira, while he is also close with his brother Billy.
What else has John Tippett been in? Tippett previously starred as Sam Strickland in the short-lived musical drama series Rise and appeared in four episode of Apple TV+‘s The Morning Show. He also has some big-screen credits to his name, with roles in Monsters and Men and the Lifetime drama Patsy & Loretta.
Neal Huff plays Father Dan Hastings
Who is Father Dan Hastings? Dan is Mare’s cousin. He is a progressive, inclusive Roman Catholic priest who struggles with his faith and enjoys the occasional Manhattan with Helen, but remains the moral and spiritual voice of Easttown.
What else has Neal Huff been in? Huff has appeared in several US TV series, including a recurring role as Michael Steintorf in The Wire and appearances in shows such as Billions, Girls and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Film credits include Meek’s Cutoff, Spotlight and Beach Rats and small roles in the Wes Anderson films Moonrise Kingdom and The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Ruby Cruz plays Jess Riley
Who is Jess Reilly? Jess is Erin McMenamin’s best friend.
What else has Ruby Cruz been in? This is Cruz’s most prominent role to date, but she has also appeared in episodes of Blue Bloods and Castle Rock. She has been cast as one of the leads in the upcoming Willow TV series.
The cast also includes James McArdle (Ammonite) as Deacon Mark Burton, Sosie Bacon (13 Reasons Why) as Carrie Layden, Izzy King as Drew Sheehan, Cameron Mann (For Life) as Ryan Ross, Kassie Mundhenk as Moira Ross, Patsy Meck (American Hustle) as Jan Kelly and Kate Arrington (Billions) as Faye.