Based on JP Delaney's 2018 bestseller of the same name, BBC One and HBO Max thriller The Girl Before features an all-star cast, including Gugu Mbatha-Raw and David Oyelowo.


The official plot synopsis from the BBC reads: "The Girl Before tells the story of Jane (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), who gets the chance to move into a beautiful, ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect (David Oyelowo). If you want more insight into the premise, you can read our The Girl Before review.

"There’s just one catch: the occupants must abide by his list of exacting rules. Jane starts to feel the house changing her in unexpected ways, but when she makes the shocking discovery about her predecessor, Emma (Jessica Plummer), she’s forced to confront unnerving similarities. As the two women’s timelines interweave, Jane begins to question if her fate will be the same as the girl before…"

Read on for everything you need to know about the cast and characters of The Girl Before.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw plays Jane

Who is Jane? A prospective tenant of One Folgate Street, she hopes that the starkly minimal home and its strict set of rules will provide solace for her following a death.

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Where have I seen Gugu Mbatha-Raw before? She's best known for playing Ravonna in Loki, Hannah Shoenfeld in The Morning Show, and Dido Elizabeth Belle from the film Belle. Other projects have included Beyond the Lights, Concussion, A Wrinkle in Time, Black Mirror, and her role as Plumette in Beauty and the Beast (the live action version)

David Oyelowo plays Edward Monkford

Who is Edward Monkford? A visionary architect who designed the ultra-minimalist house at One Folgate Street.

Where have I seen David Oyelowo before? The actor has starred in Come Away (you can read our Big RT Interview with David Oyelowo here), The Water Man, Don't Let Go, A United Kingdom, the BBC TV version of Les Misérables (in which he played antagonist Javert), Star Wars: Rebels, and will star in the UK version of Call My Agent.

Jessica Plummer plays Emma

Who is Emma? A young woman who was recently robbed at knife point, and who hopes living at One Folgate Street will provide the safety she craves, and will help deal with her trauma.

Her tagline states: "For her, One Folgate Street’s stone walls represent security, safety and renewal. But Emma is hiding a dark secret and, living in the pressure cooker that is One Folgate Street, the truth will out in the end."

Where have I seen Jessica Plummer before? She's best known for playing Chantelle Atkins in EastEnders, but has also starred in the likes of How To Talk To Girls At Parties.

Ben Hardy plays Simon

Who is Simon? Emma's insecure partner, who is less keen on the prospect of moving to Folgate Street.

Where have I seen Ben Hardy before? He's known for his role as Angel in X-Men: Apocalypse, Roger Taylor in Bohemian Rhapsody, and Walter Hartright in The Woman in White. He's also appeared in EastEnders, Mary Shelley, and Call the Midwife.

Mark Stanley plays Saul

Who is Saul? Emma's former boss, who works in a different division to the company she still works at.

Where have I seen Mark Stanley before? He plays Hugo Duffy in Netflix police procedural Criminal: UK, and is known for roles in Sanditon, White House Farm, Elizabeth is Missing, Honour, Small Axe, Little Women (the BBC/PBS mini-series), and Channel 5 drama Anne Boleyn.

The Girl Before cast also includes: Jimmy Walker (Save Me) as Ray Nelson, Ian Conningham (Manhunt) as DI Ray Clarke, Francesca Knight (The Outlaws) as Camilla, Ben Addis as Peter Creed, Jason Thorpe (Curfew) as John Broome, Antonia Clarke (Lightfields) as Alyssia, Dan Li (Vigil) as Dr. Green, David Mumeni (Stath Lets Flats) as Mark, Katy Carmichael (Safe) as Linda Waugh, Lucy Russell (The Letter for the King) as Rachel.

Read more: The Girl Before ending explained: What happened to Emma and Jane?

The Girl Before premieres on BBC One and BBC iPlayer at 9pm on Sunday, 19th December, 2021.

While you're waiting, take a look at our other Drama coverage, or find out what else is on with our TV guide.


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