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Why The Cast Of Midsommar Looks So Familiar

Hard as it is to believe, barely a year has past since Ari Aster knocked our collective heads off with his beyond unsettling (and utterly perfect) debut feature Hereditary. Even harder to believe is that the boundary-pushing genre guru already has a new movie hitting theaters, and if pre-release feedback is to be believed, Aster has only just begun to mess with our heads.

Aster's latest genre experiment is titled simply Midsommar, and it follows the tale of a young couple who travel to rural Sweden to take part in a small village's mid-summer festival. It's not too long before the seemingly picturesque experience spins into a nightmarish game of one-upmanship at the whim of a pagan cult. While we wait to see if the great and powerful Paimon is in any way involved, it's a safe bet that those of you who've braved the Midsommar trailer picked out a few familiar faces amongst the twisted, horrified cast members within. So if you're wondering why the cast of Midsommar looks so familiar, here's where you might've seen them before.

Dani - Florence Pugh

One of the more recognizable faces in Aster's film is that of Florence Pugh. Midsommar finds the up-and-coming actor at the center of the fray as Dani, the grieving female half of the film's tragically unsuspecting couple. With any luck, Midsommar will be the film that gives Pugh's career the push from "up-and-comer" to "star of the future," 'cause the gifted actor has more than proven herself as a formidable on screen presence in recent years.

If you're having trouble placing just where you've seen Pugh's face before, it's likely you saw it opposite Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Nick Frost in this year's massively underseen wrestling dramedy Fighting with My Family. If you missed out on that one — and if you did, we'd encourage you to rectify that mistake immediately — it's entirely possible you recognize Pugh from her appearances in a pair of 2018 Netflix releases; the first being the underrated horror drama Malevolent, and the second coming opposite Chris Pine in the period drama Outlaw King. Of course, true cineastes are all but certain to recognize Pugh for her commanding breakout turn in 2016's BAFTA-nominated chiller Lady Macbeth.

Christian - Jack Reynor

Like Pugh, the actor who portrays her aloof onscreen boyfriend in Midsommar can absolutely lay claim to the title of "up-and-comer." And we're sincerely hoping that Jack Reynor's harrowing jaunt through Aster's latest hellscape will help raise his star as well, 'cause he's been stealing scenes with surprising regularity over the past five or six years.

He's done so via a string of strong supporting turns in some of the best films in release over that period. Among Reynor's esteemed credits are a hilarious/heartbreaking performance as the directionless big brother to an aspiring rock & roller in 2016's miraculous musical Sing Street. Reynor followed that turn with another crackling performance in Ben Wheatley's ultra-violent gem Free Fire before stepping into the "based on true events" fray of Kathryn Bigelow's criminally underseen Detroit.

If you somehow managed to miss Jack Reynor in those killer flicks, it's entirely likely you know him from the Impossible Planet episode of Amazon's Philip K. Dick-inspired series Electric Dreams. We'd also wager a few too many of you know the actor from his work in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, even if you're not willing to admit having seen that oh so unnecessary addition to the franchise.

Mark - Will Poulter

Those of you who did manage to catch Jack Reynor in Detroit a couple years back will probably recognize his Midsommar co-star Will Poulter as well. The young actor plays one of Reynor's pals (and travel partners) in Aster's film, but Midsommar will hardly mark the first time Poulter has stepped into a grim narrative spotted with nefarious characters. Point of fact, he's even played a few nefarious characters himself over the years, none more memorable than Detroit's racist, trigger-happy copper Krauss.

For those of you who slept on Detroit — and most of you did — there's still a dozen or so higher-profile flicks that you might've seen Poulter's face (and wildly expressive eyebrows) in. Those credits include Poulter's big break in 2007's brilliant indie comedy Son Of Rambow. Three years later, Poulter appeared as the Pevensies' cousin Eustace Scrubb in The Chronicle of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Since then, he's starred opposite Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudekis in We're the Millers, again with Reynor (and Hereditary star Toni Colette) in 2014 indie Glassland, and opposite heavy hitters Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy in The Revenant. If none of those roles are jogging your memory, he also played Gally in The Maze Runner series, and can currently be seen as a central figure in Black Mirror's groundbreaking Bandersnatch movie.

Josh - William Jackson Harper

While many of his co-stars have already begun plotting successful career arcs on the big screen, William Jackson Harper started plotting his rise with breakout success on the small screen. While the actor is hardly a film neophyte (his was fantastic opposite Adam Driver in Paterson), Harper got his first big break back in 2009 with a key role in the revival of PBS's beloved family-friendly series The Electric Company, which saw him trading songs with none other than Lin-Manuel Miranda. From there, Jackson landed a few blink-and-you'll-miss-him spots on popular series Law & Order, 30 Rock, and The Blacklist.

Of course, Harper's biggest break came in 2016, when he landed one of the lead roles on NBC's afterlife comedy The Good Place, where his scene-stealing work as the perpetually indecisive Chidi Anagonye finds him flexing some serious comedic muscle opposite the likes of Kristen Bell and Ted Danson. While we've all been saddened by the news that The Good Place is coming to an end in the very near future, it's clear that the show has opened more than a few doors for Harper. With Midsommar primed to open quite a few more, we can only hope we'll be seeing the actor's face on screens big and small for years to come.

Simon - Archie Madekwe

Odds are you've never heard Archie Madekwe's name. It's entirely possible you haven't seen his face before either. If that's the case, you're going to want to take note when he pops up in Midsommar, because Madekwe is very much a young star on the rise. That being said, if you're one of the folks who bought a ticket to the pop-tinged Elle Fanning-fronted musical drama Teen Spirit earlier this year, you're already well acquainted with Madekwe's screen charisma. If that's not where you recognize Madekwe's face from, fans of Amazon's searing crime series Informer might know the young star for a one-off turn opposite Paddy Considine and Bel Powley. Though it's far more likely followers of Masterpiece Theater know Madekwe for his work as the charming revolutionary Courfeyrac in the latest incantation of Les Misérables, which saw the young star sharing screen time with big time talents like Dominic West, Lily Collins, David Oyelowo, and Olivia Colman.  

Hipster Guy - Austin R. Grant

Speaking of names you probably don't know but should probably start learning, count Austin R. Grant among them. Though the actor has yet to land himself a true breakthrough role, he's been quietly making a name for himself over the past few years behind a series of appearances in a handful of seriously impressive projects. That includes claiming supporting roles in Rob Reiner's underrated 2015 drama Being Charlie, and 2017's marvelous Jeremy Renner vehicle Wind River. Eagle-eyed viewers will likely also recognize Grant from his small screen work on the YouTube Red series Youth & Consequences, and for his one-off appearance in Paramount Network's Kevin Costner starring neo-western Yellowstone.

As it happens, Grant's role as "Hipster Guy" in Midsommar will mark the actor's second collaboration with Ari Aster, who cast Grant as "Stoner Guy #1" in Hereditary. Who knows, if Grant manages to prove his mettle in Midsommar, it's possible Aster might just see fit to cast Grant in a role in his next project. Hey, maybe he'll even go crazy and give Grant's character a name.

Connie - Ellora Torchia

For all intents and purposes, American audiences can be forgiven for not being overly familiar with Ellora Torchia as Midsommar will mark the actor's first project to receive a proper release stateside. UK viewers, on the other hand — along with those US viewers who worship at the altar of Brit-centric film and television — will be a lot more familiar. In recent years, the actor has appeared in a handful of British series including DCI Banks, The Split, and the epic fantasy miniseries Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands. Torchia also had a memorable nine-episode run on Masterpiece Theater's 2015 series Indian Summers, not to mention a one-episode appearance on the hit BBC series Broadchurch opposite David Tennant and Jodie Whittaker. While Midsommar marks Torchia's highest-profile film stateside, she's actually no stranger to the big screen, delivering solid work in Thomas Bidegain's austere French alt-western Les Cowboys and another memorable supporting turn Patrick Cassir's 2018 rom-com Our Happy Holiday.  

Siv (?) - Julia Ragnarsson

As Midsommar is mostly set in rural Sweden, you can be certain the film will feature its share of Swedish actors. You can be just as certain that American viewers have probably not seen many of those actors before. But there may just be a few familiar faces amongst the film's Swedish set, and Julia Ragnarsson who (with a little sleuthing) we can infer is playing a character called Siv, is one face you may well have seen before. That's especially true for fans of the popular detective series Wallander. Not only did Ragnarsson appear on the original Swedish series, she landed a role on the BBC remake, which featured the likes of Kenneth Branagh and Tom Hiddleston. Of course, diehard fans of the Swedish indie film scene are certain to recognize Ragnarsson for her work in the film Stockholm Stories, as well as for her role as the 12-year-old version of the Stina character in the critically adored arthouse drama Everlasting Moments.  

Karin - Anna Åström

Anna Åström is another one of those Swedish performers that'll be more recognizable to her home crowd than any other set. Though she's not yet 30, Åström has been working steadily in the Swedish entertainment industry for over almost two decades, appearing in dozens of film and television projects along the way. Of those projects, Swedish audiences will most certainly recognize Åström for her work on the Morrisey-adoring comedy Viva Hate, for her five-episode run on the series Kontoret (the Swedish adaptation of The Office), and for her turn as Elin in the horror series Black Lake. As far as where American viewers have seen Åström's face before, diehard fans of the epic History Channel series Vikings are likely to know the actor for her role as Hild in the season two episode "Invasion." While we're not entirely certain what Åström's role in Midsommar is, we're willing to bet that Ari Aster has some very specific plans to use her fragile features against us, and we cannot wait to see just how that particular madness unfolds.