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Why The Cast Of The Dirt Looks So Familiar

As the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody continues to rake it in at the box office and on the awards circuit , many filmgoers have been preparing for the likely wave of new classic rock-fueled biopics to hit multiplexes in its wake. Of course, there's been no shortage of needle-dropping flicks coming out of Hollywood over the years, with everyone from Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan to the Doors and Ray Charles already having their moment on the big screen to varying degrees of success. In spite of the genre's history of critical and commercial divisiveness, Bohemian Rhapsody's runaway success will likely open the rock floodgates.

In 2019 alone, Elton John fans can relive his rise in Rocketman, starring Kingsman vet Taron Egerton as John, and then there's Netflix's down and dirty tale of the band that brought the filth and fury of the Sunset Strip circa the 1980s to the mainstream. That band was Mötley Crüe. Throughout the '80s, their hard-rocking and infamously debauched ways made them one of the more notorious rock acts in history, and the movie portraying the Crüe's meteoric rise and fall — titled The Dirt, after the band's memoir — has been picked up by Netflix. When you watch it, you're certain to see a few familiar faces behind all the teased hair, tight pants, and guyliner, so here's a look at where you've seen those actors before. Here's why the cast of The Dirt looks so familiar.

Mick Mars - Iwan Rheon

Prior to 2013, even the staunchest of cinephiles would've had a little trouble picking Iwan Rheon out of a lineup. To say the Welsh actor made an impression when he first appeared as Ramsay Bolton (or Snow, if you prefer) on Game of Thrones would be a gross understatement. In fact, most of us spent the next three years loathing every fiber of Rheon's being as his viler than vile character flayed, raped, and bullied his way through Westeros and into the hallowed halls of Winterfell. We also took particular pleasure when Ramsay finally met his poetically vicious demise.

So brilliant was Rheon as the despicable Ramsay, it's been all but impossible to see him as anyone else in his post GoT work, a fact that almost certainly affected the reception of his short-lived 2017 Marvel TV series Inhumans. With any luck, enough time has now passed that Rheon will be able to recalibrate his promising career, and we're really hoping his turn as raucous Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars proves a worthy opening to the next chapter.  

Nikki Sixx - Douglas Booth

Showbiz insiders have been expecting big things from Douglas Booth since the actor landed a prime gig opposite Ian McShane, Eddie Redmayne, and Hayley Atwell in Starz's Golden Globe/Emmy-nominated historical drama miniseries The Pillars of the Earth. The young star has certainly had his share of exposure in the years since — i.e. he played fair Romeo to Hailee Steinfeld's Juliet in 2013's underrated adaptation of Romeo & Juliet before working with Darren Aronofsky on the director's epic biblical tale Noah, teaming up with The Wachowskis' bonkers (and sort of amazingly so) Jupiter Ascending, and making a few dead hearts flutter as Mr. Bingley in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Still, he's yet to have a legit breakthrough moment. It's too early to tell if Booth's turn as the Crüe's notoriously heroin-addicted bassist Nikki Sixx is that breakthrough, but it should more than serve as a profile-raising work that'll ensure viewers are acquainted with the actor's face moving forward. 

Tommy Lee - Colson Baker (aka Machine Gun Kelly)

Whether or not you know his face, if you've been paying attention to hip-hop news in the past year or so, you almost certainly know Machine Gun Kelly's name. He is, after all, one of the more prominent (if divisive) names in the genre right now. He also spent much of 2018 in the news while throwing shade at, and trading disses with, one of hip-hop's most infamous bad boys, Eminem. Of course, if rapid-fire flow and silly macho rap feuds aren't really your thing, it's entirely possible you recognize Machine Gun Kelly for his under-the-radar big-screen work, where he's credited under his given name, Colson Baker.

Under that moniker, the multifaceted performer has delivered memorable turns in films like Beyond the Lights, Punks Dead: SLC Punk 2, Nerve, and Cameron Crowe's short-lived road crew series Roadies. Most recently, Baker put in a solid appearance as Ty in the Sandra Bullock-led see no evil sci-fi drama Bird Box. As far as casting goes, we're thinking Kelly is a perfect fit to keep the beat and bring the swagger to Mötley Crüe's upside down drummer/master of mayhem Tommy Lee — though we really don't envy the makeup artists tasked with covering and swapping the pair's heavily tattooed torsos.

Vince Neil - Daniel Webber

Filmgoers can often be heard saying of one actor or another that "they just have one of those faces." Daniel Webber is one of those actors. Though the talented Australian hasn't had a ton of exposure Stateside, we'd still bet he's frequently mistaken for higher-profile lookalike performers Brady Corbet and Mark Webber (no relation). Odds are Webber has not often been mistaken for Mötley Crüe frontman Vince Neil, but he certainly seems to have the outlandish singer's mannerisms down in The Dirt's trailer.

As for where you've seen Webber before, fans of the J.J. Abrams-produced time-twisting JFK assassination drama 11.23.63 will recognize the actor from his scene-stealing performance as Lee Harvey Oswald. If you missed that underrated gem of a series on Hulu, odds are you know Webber for his twitchy turn as the PTSD-suffering mad bomber Lewis on the first season of Netflix's The Punisher, but if you want to see him at his best, we'd recommend you check out his 2017 indie crime thriller Thumper. With titles like those already under his belt, Daniel Webber is clearly a star on the rise, and we're really hoping The Dirt continues his worthy ascension.

Tom Zutaut - Pete Davidson

Over the past decade, Pete Davidson has slowly worked his way from talented up-and-coming comedian to one of the more preeminent names in comedy. That rise has had a lot to do with his button-pressing gig as a featured cast member on NBC's long-running sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live. Even if you're not a fan of that series, odds are you've seen Davidson's face in the news because of a certain controversial joke made at the expense of Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw — a former Navy SEAL who lost his eye in combat.

If SNL is not your thing and you've avoided the perpetual news cycle over the past few months, there's a good chance you remember Davidson for his brief cameo in Amy Schumer's hit comedy Trainwreck, or possibly from Netflix's better-than-average 2018 rom-com Set It Up. Largely unproven as an actor, it remains to be seen what Davidson will bring to his role as legendary record exec Tom Zutaut in The Dirt, but we're pretty sure it'll be a performance worth remembering.

Sharise Neil - Leven Rambin

While it's true that not many folks are overly familiar with Leven Rambin's name, it's all but a certainty that you've seen her face before. Since breaking into Hollywood in 2004 with a long-running gig on daytime soap opera All My Children, Rambin has carved out an enviable resume for herself with memorable appearances in some of the best shows on television, including arcs on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Grey's Anatomy, CSI: Miami, One Tree Hill, and True Detective.

If you've somehow managed to miss her work on the small screen, it's likely you recognize Rambin from her turn as Glimmer in The Hunger Games, or as the lovely Clarisse in 2013's Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, while Green Day fans will certainly know her for her appearance in the music video for their 2012 single "Stray Heart." That brief brush with the rock 'n' roll lifestyle may or may not have prepared Rambin for the role of Vince Neil's second wife Sharise, but we'd like to think an actor of her pedigree will bring some much-needed depth and heart to the film in light of the devastating personal tragedy Sharise and Vince endured in the mid-'90s.

Doc McGhee - David Costabile

It's not often that a band's manager gets a lot of screentime in a rock biopic, but we're sort of hoping that's not the case with The Dirt, if only because Doc McGhee is an industry legend whose story would probably make for a compelling bit of cinema in its own right. If you're not familiar with the name, just know that through the '80s and '90s, McGhee managed some of the biggest bands of the age, including Bon Jovi, Skid Row, Kiss, and of course Mötley Crüe — whom he repped through their heyday of debauchery from 1982-1989.

If McGhee's story isn't enough to garner interest, the performer portraying him in The Dirt — character actor extraordinaire David Costabile — most certainly will. Don't know Costible's name? Don't worry, you'll recognize his face from dozens of supporting turns over the years from TV's The Wire, Flight of the Concords, Suits, and Billions, not to mention big-screen appearances in Afterschool, Lincoln, Side Effects, and The Post. And if you somehow missed him in those roles, you'll definitely recognize Costabile as Walter White's beloved/ill-fated cook Gale Boetticher from Breaking Bad.

David Lee Roth - Christian Gehring

Part of the fun of biopics is watching famous people from the period turn up on the periphery of the central narrative. As The Dirt unfolds over what essentially became the death knell for the "sex, drugs, and rock n roll" era, you'd better believe there are some compelling characters in the mix. Few names from the hard rock scene are more prominent than David Lee Roth, so it's only natural he should turn up in The Dirt, and it'll be more than a little bit interesting to see just how the film presents the on-again, off-again Van Halen frontman.

As for the actor portraying Roth in The Dirt, we can only assume Christian Gehring (himself a relative newcomer) is quite comfortable wearing spandex, as that was Roth's fabric of choice in the '80s. Either way, the young actor will likely be unrecognizable to most viewers, save for diehard fans of popular TV series Bones and Modern Family. Of course, fans of HBO's Jack Black/Tim Robbins-led political farce The Brink are also likely to recognize Gehring for his revealing turn as Billy, though they might have seen a bit more of the actor in that role than anticipated.

Ozzy Osbourne - Tony Cavalero

As far as major players on the metal scene, The Dirt will also see an appearance from the man who essentially birthed it, the one and only Ozzy Osbourne. As legend has it, the boys in Mötley Crüe had some utterly mad times while touring with The Ozzman in the '80s, with Osbourne wowing even the Crüe with his own insatiable thirst for sex, and drugs, and yeah, maybe a little bit of rock 'n' roll.

Capturing the spirit of the Prince of Darkness on the big screen will be a tall order to say the least. In fact, no actor has played Osbourne onscreen to date, with the Black Sabbath frontman actually appearing as himself on a handful of occasions. The Dirt will find funnyman Tony Cavalero bravely stepping into the role, and if you're wondering just where you know Cavalero's face from, you probably saw him rocking out as would-be substitute teacher Dewey Finn in the short lived (and ill-advised) television adaptation of School of Rock.

Athena Lee - Courtney Dietz

Speaking of peripheral players on the hair band scene, one of the lesser-known is Athena Lee, sister of Tommy. While Athena apparently didn't play the drums upside down, she did bang the skins for a couple of hard-hitting bands in the '80s in Hardly Dangerous and punk rockers Butt Trumpet, though her music career didn't quite go the way of her infamous brother's. If you've seen the trailer for The Dirt, you've already gotten a look at the actor portraying the younger Lee sibling. Her name is Courtney Dietz, and up until now, she's largely been relegated to smaller TV roles, though Scooby Doo fans may recognize her from the 2018 prequel Daphne & Velma. Of course, if you bought a ticket and took the oh-so bloody ride that was 2018's theme park slasher flick Hell Fest, you'll most definitely recognize Dietz as the hunted reform school girl Britney.

Heather Locklear - Rebekah Graf

Of course, one of the most notable '80s hair band scenesters was also one of the decade's most prominent actors. By the time Heather Locklear became the first Mrs. Tommy Lee, she'd already earned "blonde bombshell" status and become a household name by scoring major TV hits in T.J. Hooker and Dynasty, not to mention appearing in a couple of big-screen cult classics in Firestarter and The Return of Swamp Thing — though she'd eventually net a Razzie for the latter.

Needless to say, the actor tasked with embodying Locklear in The Dirt has some pretty big shoes to fill. Surprisingly, the role was claimed not by a future "blonde bombshell" but an on-the-rise brunette named Rebekah Graf, and we're sincerely hoping her work doesn't find her in Razzie territory. As for the on the rise part, Graf has already turned some heads in Hollywood with memorable roles in shows like Workaholics, Bones, and Hawaii Five-0. But if you don't recognize her from any of those appearances, horror fans likely will from her appearance as Donna Benedettio in 2018's The Amityville Murders.

Tommy Lee's father David - Joe Chrest

Some actors are born to leading man status; others are slotted early on for supporting actor detail. If you don't know Joe Chrest's name, it's because he's long held the title of supporting player — and as far as supporting players go, he's made more of that career track than most. Since hitting the scene in the early '90s, Chrest has "character-actored" his way into films from some of cinema's most lauded directors — Steven Soderbergh, Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, and Andrew Dominik amongst them. He even worked his way into the MCU with a supporting turn in Ant-Man.

Over the years, Chrest has also found his footing in television, appearing in hit shows like Deadwood, Treme, and the first season of True Detective. Those roles aside, it's far more likely that viewers will recognize the chameleonic Chrest for his work as the affably aloof paterfamilias of the Wheeler Clan on Netflix's runaway hit sci-fi series Stranger Things. As far as the actor's turn as Tommy Lee's dad in The Dirt goes, we can't imagine it's a very big part, but we're pretty damn sure Chrest will find a way to make it a memorable one.