In 2018, New York Magazine published a story by Reeves Wiedeman concerning a family in Westfield, New Jersey, whose lives had been turned upside down by a mysterious stalker and a series of threatening letters.


Maria and Derek Broaddus were the subject of scorn in their community when the story first made headlines, with some residents of the neighbourhood accusing them of sending the letters to themselves.

Now, the real-life victims are having their true story told in a new Netflix series from Ryan Murphy, titled The Watcher, and one cast member has said she hopes the show drums up compassion for the family.

Naomi Watts (Mulholland Drive), who stars in the series as a character based on Maria Broaddus, told "It was a very distressing experience for them and hopefully people can conjure empathy for that reason. I would certainly not want to be in their shoes."

Watts continued: "I just imagined myself in their shoes and I thought it would be something that lots of people could relate to. Dreaming for that moment to come – that beautiful house – they've finally got it in their clutches, and for it to go so horribly wrong.

"It's something I think we can all identify with."

Meanwhile, Mia Farrow, who portrays an eccentric neighbour accused of terrorising the family, previously said she hopes the real-life victims steer clear of the new series and never watch it.

But who else stars in The Watcher? Read for everything you need to know about the cast and the real-life counterparts they portray.

Who's in the cast of The Watcher?

Naomi Watts and Bobby Cannavale play Nora and Dean Brannock

Nora and Dean sat next to one another at a desk covered in documents and papers
Eric Liebowitz/Netflix © 2022 Netflix

Who are Nora and Dean Brannock? A married couple who have just moved into their new $1.3 million home in Westfield, New Jersey. But when the renovation work kicks off, they receive a chilling letter from the "Watcher".

Where have I seen Naomi Watts before? You might recognise her from a number of films including King Kong, horror The Ring, disaster film Lo Impossible, psychological drama 21 Grams, Birdman with Michael Keaton and David Lynch's Mulholland Drive.

Where have I seen Bobby Cannavale before? His recent credits include Netflix's Blonde, Liane Moriarty's Nine Perfect Strangers, Thunder Force with Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer, Prime Video's Homecoming and Martin Scorsese's The Irishman.

Jennifer Coolidge plays Karen Calhoun

Karen sat down smiling at a table while smiling
Netflix © 2022

Who is Karen Calhoun? A realtor and one of Nora's old acquaintances. She "makes them feel like they don't really belong".

Where have I seen Jennifer Coolidge before? Her recent credits include The White Lotus. She's also known for Legally Blonde, American Pie, 2 Broke Girls and Joey.

Mia Farrow and Terry Kinney play Pearl and Jasper Winslow

pearl and jasper standing side by side in their doorway
Eric Liebowitz/Netflix © 2022

Who are Pearl and Jasper Winslow? A sibling duo. Pearl is described as "kooky" and Jasper sneaks into the Brannock's home and hides in their dumbwaiter.

Where have I seen Mia Farrow before? Her most notable role is the titular character in Rosemary's Baby, Secret Ceremony, John and Mary, and several Woody Allen films including The Purple Rose of Cairo, Hannah and Her Sisters and Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Where have I seen Terry Kinney before? His CV includes HBO's Oz, and more recently Showtime drama Billions and Netflix's Inventing Anna.

Margo Martindale and Richard Kind play Maureen/Mo and Mitch

mo and mitch relaxing on sun loungers in their garden
Eric Liebowitz/Netflix © 2022

Who are Mitch and Mo? Nora and Dean's neighbours, "who don't seem to understand property lines".

Where have I seen Margo Martindale before? She has appeared in historical drama Mrs America, Prime Video's Sneaky Pete, legal drama The Good Wife, crime drama Justified, crime comedy The Millers and spy drama The Americans, among others.

Where have I seen Richard Kind before? You might have watched him in CBS's East New York, comedy The Goldbergs, Batman spin-off Gotham and sitcom Mad About You. You might recognise his voice from comedy American Dad!, Pixar's Inside Out and Netflix's Big Mouth.

Henry Hunter Hall plays Dakota

Dakota climbing out of his white work van
Eric Liebowitz/Netflix © 2022

Who is Dakota? He works for a security company and becomes romantically involved with Ellie.

Where have I seen Henry Hunter Hall before? His most sizeable TV role prior to this was in Prime Video's Hunters.

Isabel Gravitt and Luke David Blumm play Ellie and Carter Brannock

the Brannock family sat around the dining table reading a letter
Eric Liebowitz/Netflix © 2022

Who are Isabel and Carter Brannock? Nora and Dean's children, who are understandably terrified by recent developments.

Where have I seen Isabel Gravitt before? Her CV includes Celeste Ng's Little Fires Everywhere and US sitcom American Housewife.

Where have I seen Luke David Blumm before? psychological drama The Sinner, The King of Staten Island with Pete Davidson and Where the Crawdads Sing starring Daisy Edgar-Jones.

Noma Dumezweni plays Theodora Birch

Theodora sat at a diner table with dean
Eric Liebowitz/Netflix © 2022

Who is Theodora Birch? A private investigator who spends her every waking moment attempting to solve the Brannock case. She has been given a a "fatal cancer diagnosis".

Where have I seen Noma Dumezweni before? She's appeared in HBO Max black comedy Made For Love, The Undoing with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant, and Black Earth Rising with Michaela Coel, among others.

Who else is in the cast of The Watcher?

  • Christopher McDonald (Happy Gilmore, Hacks) as Detective Rourke Chamberland, who Nora and Dean approach for help.
  • Joe Mantello (Hollywood) as a man who attends the open house for the property before it's snapped up by the Brannocks.

The Watcher is available to stream now on Netflix. Sign up for Netflix from £6.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

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