Which Actor’s Name in a Cast List Guarantees You’ll Watch?

If they’re in the cast, you know there’s a reason to tune in.

(L-R) Clancy Brown, Walton Goggins, Jason Watkins, Ayo Edebiri, Jesse Plemons, Daniel Radcliffe, Eve Hewson
Photo: Apple TV, Orion Pictures, HBO, Getty Images, ITV, created by Chloe Lewis

This isn’t about favourite actors. Those guys surf along on a wave of goodwill and personal adoration that means you’ll pretty much watch them in anything, regardless of quality. If Wes Bentley‘s your fav, for instance, you’ll have sought out Dolan’s Cadillac and Hirokin: The Last Samurai because you love the man, but you’ll be no better off for it.

This is about a different kind of actor – not your indulged favourite, but the one who’s earned your respect. When this actor’s name appears in a cast list, you sit up and pay attention because over the years, they’ve proved that they have the taste, integrity and talent to make their IMDb credits page if not a flawless, then certainly an interesting place to be. The collaborations they’re a part of and the projects they pick are worth seeking out. In short: if they’re in, so are you.

Our writers picked theirs, share yours below.

Jesse Plemons

We all remember the moment we realized that Jesse Plemons was one of the best young actors in the world. For me (and many others, I imagine) it was with his Game Night line delivery of “How can that be profitable to Frito Lay?” At that instant it became clear that this former Friday Night Lights actor who looks vaguely like a melted Matt Damon was a titanic talent. This list, however, is not just about talent but rather taste. What actors out there are not only skilled but have a keen eye for good scripts? With that in mind, it’s hard to think of many other actors who are more discerning than Jesse.


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