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Where You've Seen The Cast Of Black Bird Before

"Black Bird," Dennis Lehane's limited series crime drama on Apple TV+, isn't for the faint of heart. Based on James Keene and Hillel Levin's autobiographical novel "In With the Devil: a Fallen Hero, a Serial Killer, and a Dangerous Bargain for Redemption," the show digs into the mind of a cold and calculated murderer.

The protagonist is James "Jimmy" Keene (Taron Egerton), a cocky drug dealer who gets busted and sentenced to 10 years in jail. The FBI approach him with a deal for a commuted sentence. In exchange, he must transfer to a Springfield maximum security prison, take on a different identity, and befriend convicted murderer Larry Hall (Paul Walter Hauser). The agents feel that Jimmy's natural charm and bewitching personality will get him close enough to get Larry to reveal where he has more bodies buried.

While the most disturbing moments in "Black Bird" occur later in the series, each episode is packed with haunting tension, and that's largely due to the excellent performances. Here's where you may have seen the cast of "Black Bird" before.

Taron Egerton

Jimmy Keene, played by Taron Egerton, lives a pretty charmed life until he's busted and sent to prison, but everything changes when he becomes the FBI's best chance at convicting a serial killer. Egerton displays a lot of versatility in the role. The Welsh actor began acting at when he was just a teenager, and he's built an impressive body of onscreen work over the years.

Egerton's first big starring role was as Dennis 'Asbo' Severs in the Jodie Whittaker miniseries "The Smoke." He then broke out in the 2014 spy film "Kingsman: The Secret Service," playing the wayward Gary "Eggsy" Unwin as he's recruited by the titular spy agency. You may recognize Egerton's voice as Johnny, the gorilla in "Sing," El-Ahrairah in Netflix's "Watership Down," or Rian in "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance." Egerton also starred in 2018's "Robin Hood" and stepped into the sequined platforms of superstar Elton John for the larger-than-life fantasy musical "Rocketman," for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor

Apparently, Egerton felt "Black Bird" was something audiences wouldn't expect from him. "People tend to think of you as the last thing you did," he said in an interview with The New York Times. "They don't want to take that risk on giving an actor a role that they've not seen them do a version of before."

Paul Walter Hauser

Paul Walter Hauser gives a spine-chilling performance as serial killer Larry Hall in "Black Bird."  Despite the grotesque nature of the character, Hauser made sure to play the role truthfully. "Monsters don't always believe they're monsters," the actor told E! Insider. "You don't try to play him like a monster. You try to play him like a person and you let the monster reveal itself."

Hall isn't the first real-life person Hauser has portrayed onscreen. In "I, Tonya", the actor plays Tonya Harding's bodyguard, Shawn Eckhardt, who confessed to planning the Nancy Kerrigan attack. He can also be seen in "Richard Jewell" as the titular character suspected of bombing the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics. The actor, who appears in films like "BlacKkKlansman" and "Da 5 Bloods," is also well known for his more comedic roles, such as in "Reno 911," "Cruella," and "Queen Pins." His "Cobra Kai" character, Stingray, quickly became a fan favorite, and he's appeared in other shows like "Kingdom" and "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt." Hauser can also be found rapping under the name Signet Ringer.

Greg Kinnear

Earnest and dedicated FBI agent Brian Miller is played by Greg Kinnear in "Black Bird." Kinnear's on-screen career dates back to the late 1980s, but Hollywood didn't really start to take notice until his role opposite Jack Nicholson in 1997's "As Good As It Gets". From there, the "Little Miss Sunshine" actor has had steady work in both film and television. Fans of the NBC sitcom "Friends" may recall his hilarious season 10 appearance as the conniving ex of Ross' girlfriend Charlie. His comedic timing has served him well in several other prominent TV guest spots, such as "Modern Family," "BoJack Horseman," and "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt."

In the early '90s, Kinnear worked as the first host of the comedy mash-up show "Talk Soup." Speaking with GQ, Kinnear said that director Sydney Pollack cast him as David Larrabee in "Sabrina" because of his work on the show. From there, the movie roles kept coming. Kinnear played Richard Hoover in "Little Miss Sunshine," Frank Navasky in "You've Got Mail," and Dick Vermeil in "Invincible," among many other film roles. He's also featured in major TV series like "The Stand," "House of Cards," and "Shining Vale."

Ray Liotta

Legendary actor Ray Liotta embodied so many iconic characters over the course of his career that it's difficult to pick a favorite. Some might say that Shoeless Joe in "Field of Dreams" was his breakout performance, but he's undoubtedly known best for his role as Henry Hill in "Goodfellas." "There's not a day that goes by that I don't hear somebody mention 'GoodFellas,'" the actor told GQ in 2010. "Unless I stay home all night." 

Liotta is known for his many film roles, which include "Unlawful Entry," "Narc," "Copland," "Identity," "The Place Beyond the Pines," and "The Many Saints of Newark." He also brought his talents to lighter fare like "Corrina, Corrina" and "Heartbreakers." Never letting bravado or fame get in the way of having fun with his roles, Liotta even voiced an animated version of himself in "Bee Movie."

On May 26, 2022, Liotta's devastating death took the world by surprise. His role as Jimmy Keane's father, Big Jim Keene, in "Black Bird" marks one of his last posthumous performances. 

Sepideh Moafi

Sepideh Moafi has starred in several TV series in her career. Her most beloved role might be that of Gigi Ghorbani in "The L Word: Generation Q." "I didn't expect to get such a global response to the character of Gigi," Moafi said in an interview with Vogue. "There's a lot more gratitude for Gigi's existence and her dynamism and the sort of...fire and grit that she brings." That same fire and grit can be seen in her portrayal of Special Agent Lauren McCauley in "Black Bird."

Prior to landing her bigger roles, Moafi was busy with TV appearances on several popular shows including "Nurse Jackie," "The Blacklist," and "Elementary." She then became a series regular on the USA series "Falling Water," as well as HBO's "The Deuce."  Moafi stars opposite Clayne Crawford in the 2020 film "The Killing of Two Lovers," which takes a look at a married couple navigating a difficult separation. Moafi's other TV credits include "Limitless," "Blue Bloods," "Unforgettable," and "Black Box," in which she plays Dr. Farrah Mahmoud.

Jake McLaughlin

Larry Hall has a fraternal twin brother, Gary, who's played by Jake McLaughlin in "Black Bird." Gary is the more athletic and well-adjusted of the twins and tries all of his life to do right by Larry. It's unclear whether it's because of guilt or just brotherly love, but Gary refuses to see Larry for who he truly is. He knows that his brother isn't normal, but he still wants to believe he didn't commit the murders that he confessed to. 

McLaughlin has had many supporting and guest roles throughout the years, appearing on shows like "Criminal Minds," "Grey's Anatomy," and "The Mentalist." The actor has shared a screen with Denzel Washington in "Safe House" and Tom Hardy in "Warrior." His major acting breakthrough came in 2015 when he began starrign as Ryan Booth in the ABC drama "Quantico." The show follows FBI recruits training at the titular Quantico base who have to figure out which one of them is a sleeper cell terrorist (via IMDB).  After 3 seasons, "Quantico" was canceled in 2018. Since then, Mclaughlin has continued to bring his talents to the TV screen.

Joe Williamson

Joe Williamson plays CO Carter in "Black Bird" — possibly Jimmy Keane's biggest threat during his time in the maximum security prison. When Jimmy first arrives, Carter comes off like a buddy who's going to show him the ropes. But things quickly change, and Carter starts looking to make Jimmy's life much more difficult. 

Eagle-eyed "Grey's Anatomy" fans will recognize Williamson as Pierce, an intern who made rounds at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital for several seasons on the medical drama. After his residency, he appeared in other TV shows like "Lucifer," "The Rookie," and "Criminal Minds." He scored a recurring role in the legal drama "All Rise" as detective Kevin Harris, which may have helped to prep him for his menacing role as CO Carter in "Black Bird." he also played Malcolm Collins in the HBO series "Here and Now." 

While most of Williamson's roles have been on television, he also has some major film credits to his name. He scored a role as Don Frey in the 2019 film "Ford v Ferrari" opposite Matt Damon and Christian Bale, as well as appearing in "Lucy in the Sky."

Robert Wisdom

In "Black Bird", Robert Wisdom plays Edmund Beaumont, the prosecutor who sandbags Jimmy Keene into taking a plea deal instead of going to trial. In the scene where Beaumont and Special Agent Lauren McCauley first present the opportunity to Jimmy, he has a few choice words for Beaumont. But Beaumont keeps his smug cool the entire time — something the talented actor has done in many of his roles over the years.

Wisdom's filmography is impressive, to say the least. The "Burn Notice" actor has starred in his fair share of successful TV shows, including "Nashville," "Ballers," and "Chicago P.D." In the Hulu original series "Helstrom," he plays Caretaker, a guardian of knowledge, and in the HBO series "Barry" he plays the role of Jim Ross. Wisdom also has credits as Cyrus Montrose in "The Alienist," Seymour in "Watchmen," Buck Neal in "The Fix," Uriel in "Supernatural," and Norman St. John in "Prison Break."

Wisdom's commanding on-screen presence can be witnessed in numerous films as well, such as "Ray," "Motherless Brooklyn," and "A Journal for Jordan." Though he has a ton of acting credits to his name by this point, the actor is probably still best known for playing Howard "Bunny" Colvin as part of the cast of "The Wire" on HBO.

Tony Amendola

Viewers are introduced to Tony Amendola's Vincent Gigante character in Episode 3 of "Black Bird." Gigante is pointed out to Jimmy as an inmate he may want to get in good with. The Genovese crime family boss has about as many liberties as one can have in a maximum security prison, and he takes an interest in Jimmy and eventually invites him into his inner circle. 

The Connecticut-born actor's career started with guest spots on some legendary TV shows like "L.A. Law" and "Columbo." In 1997, he got called to space to play Master Bra'tac in the sci-fi series "Stargate SG-1," staying for the full run of the show. Some years later, Amendola made a home in another sci-fi drama, "Continuum," playing Edouard Kagame for several seasons. 

The veteran actor plays a priest who fights to rid a doll of its possessed spirit in "Annabelle" and embodies the villainous drug dealer Santos Jimenez in Showtime's "Dexter." He even took on the role of Geppetto, the kindly father figure to Pinocchio, in the fantasy drama TV series "Once Upon a Time." In addition to those larger roles, Amendola has appeared in numerous other series and films. His resume is long and diverse, and there's no telling where he might show up next.

Christopher B. Duncan

In "Black Bird", Christopher B. Duncan plays prison therapist Dr. Aaron Zicherman, one of the few people at Springfield prison who know Jimmy Keene's true identity. Duncan has made a strong career playing supporting roles on major TV shows, including "Coach," "Black Lightning," and "Veronica Mars." The actor has also had many guest appearances on police procedurals like "CSI," "Criminal Minds," and "Bones." 

Despite having proven that his acting has range, Duncan finds it "bittersweet" that most people still mostly see him as Braxton from the late 1990s sitcom "The Jamie Foxx Show." "If you see me in a different role, you see me doing the work," Duncan expressed in an interview with Comedy Hype. "If it's a drama, if it's a romantic comedy, whatever it is, all I ask is for some openness to receive it." Duncan may find it complicated that he'll forever be remembered for playing the straight man to Jamie Foxx's Jamie King character, but he's clearly also grateful for all the love given to him throughout the years by his fans.

Cullen Moss

When agent Brian Miller starts suspecting that Larry Hall is Jessica Roach's killer in "Black Bird," he talks with the local law enforcement, which includes detective Russ Aborn, played by Cullen Moss. Moss has quite a few supporting roles to his name, including Bodee in "The Notebook," Rooster in "Dear John," and the mission control commander in "Hidden Figures." Perhaps most notably, Moss played Junk on the WB-turned-CW series "One Tree Hill" from 2003 to 2012 – one of the longest-running teen dramas in history. His other notable roles include Deputy Shoupe in "Outer Banks," Tim Garner in "Hap and Leonard," and Joey in "Resurrection."

Right before "Black Bird", Moss played District Attorney Jim Hardin in the HBO Max limited series "The Staircase," which depicts the true story of the death of Kathleen Peterson and her husband Michael's trial and murder conviction. Having done two recent dramas based on true events, Moss told Screen Rant his approach to playing real people: "Just hoping that you're doing that person justice, that you're doing this real story justice, that you're honoring the gravity of everything at hand, and that you're honoring the people involved"

Melanie Nicholls-King

Dr. Amelia Hackett, played by Melanie Nicholls-King, is the prison therapist who works with Larry Hall in "Black Bird." She seems to genuinely want what's best for Larry, and she does a good job of connecting with him. In a red carpet interview with FabTV, Nicholls-King described her character as "very protective, especially of Paul's character (Larry)." It's that same protective nature that the actor has brought to roles such as Hazel Lacroix in "Anne With an E" and Anne Marie Bowen in "Falling Water."

The "Little Fires Everywhere" actor began her career on stage with Sugar'n'spice, a theater company that she and two other women created. Her skills as a theater-trained performer can be seen in projects like "Veep," "The Sinner," and "Rookie Blue." Nicholls-King shares a connection with "Black Bird" co-star Robert Wisdom, as they were both regulars on HBO's "The Wire." The Canadian actor played detective Shakima Greggs's live-in girlfriend Cheryl on the show. Today, roles on both the big and small screens keep Nicholls-King busy and creative.