Originally written By Q.V. Hough for Screen Rant
The Ad Astra cast consists of several top-tier actors and actresses, and they've come together to bring a new space movie to theaters. The Lost City of Z's James Gray directed the 2019 science fiction drama, and co-wrote the screenplay with Ethan Gross.
Ad Astra's central storyline involves a pivotal space journey to Mars. When sonic blasts hit Earth, the government enlists Major Roy McBride for an intergalactic research mission to locate his missing father, astronaut pioneer Clifford McBride. In space, secrets are revealed about the past and the future of humanity. Space movies are indeed popular in mainstream cinema, but there's a difference between a typical Hollywood blockbuster and a James Gray drama. The director's last two features - The Immigrant and The Lost City of Z - haven't been successful at the box office, yet they've been praised by critics for the high quality of filmmaking.
With his new production, Gray works with a proper blockbuster budget of over $80 million, which allows him more flexibility when executing crucial spaced-themed sequences as well as acquiring top talent for the Ad Astra cast.
BRAD PITT AS MAJOR ROY MCBRIDE
Brad Pitt stars as Ad Astra's protagonist, Major Roy McBride, the son of the famous (and missing) American astronaut Clifford McBride. At Mars, he attempts to solve a mystery that could save or destroy humanity.
Pitt first emerged with a breakthrough performance in the 1991 road trip classic Thelma & Louise. In the '90s, David Fincher films like Se7en and Fight Club showcased Pitt’s versatility, while the 21st century Ocean’s franchise underlines his natural charisma and charm. Though Pitt is a well-known movie star, he’s also a three-time Oscar nominee for his acting work (12 Monkeys, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Moneyball). Pitt also co-founded the production company Plan B Entertainment, which has funded Best Picture winners like The Departed, Moonlight, and 12 Years a Slave. In 2019, Pitt co-starred with Leonardo DiCaprio in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
TOMMY LEE JONES AS CLIFFORD MCBRIDE
Cinema veteran Tommy Lee Jones plays Roy McBride’s enigmatic father in Ad Astra., Clifford McBride. He travels to Neptune to search for alien life and seemingly disappears. Educated at Harvard University, Jones has received numerous acting accolades over the past 40 years. In the ‘90s, he delivered iconic performances in blockbusters like JFK, Batman Forever, and Men in Black, and won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for The Fugitive. Jones portrayed Colonel Chester Phillips in Captain America: The First Avenger, and headlined the main cast for the Coen brothers classic No Country for Old Men.
RUTH NEGGA AS HELEN LANTOS
In Ad Astra, Ruth Negga portrays a martian, a human born on Mars. Helen’s parents were on Clifford McBride’s spacecraft. Negga played Raina in ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. She previously collaborated with Pitt for the action blockbuster World War Z, albeit in a minor role as a W.H.O. Doctor. Negga headlines the main cast for AMC’s Preacher, and previously earned a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in the 2016 drama Loving.
LIV TYLER AS EVE MCBRIDE
Liv Tyler stars as Roy McBride’s ex-wife in Ad Astra, Eve McBride. In The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, Tyler portrayed Arwen Undómiel. She’s the daughter of Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, and also an accomplished fashion model. From 2014 to 2017, she was part of the main cast of HBO’s The Leftovers. Tyler starred as Bruce Willis’ daughter in the 1998 space blockbuster Armageddon. In the MCU, she portrayed Betty Ross in The Incredible Hulk.
DONALD SUTHERLAND AS COLONEL PRUITT
Donald Sutherland portrays an intergalactic liaison, Colonel Pruitt. He once knew Roy McBride, and serves as a space guide for his son, Roy. A famous actor, Sutherland portrayed President Snow in The Hunger Games movie franchise. He’s the father of actor Kiefer Sutherland, and has starred in classics like M*A*S*H, Don’t Look Now, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. On television, he recently played J. Paul Getty in the FX series Trust.
NATASHA LYONNE AS TANYA PINCUS
Ad Astra features Natasha Lyonne as a Mars customs officer named Tanya Pincus. Known for portraying quirky characters, Lyonne starred as Nicky Nichols in Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black and currently stars in the acclaimed Netflix series Russian Doll. She starred in the 1998 cult classic The Slums of Beverly Hills, and later portrayed Jessica in the American Pie movie franchise.
JAMIE KENNEDY AS PETER BELLO
A versatile comedy actor, Jamie Kennedy has a supporting role in Ad Astra as Peter Bello. In 1996, Kennedy became a familiar face in mainstream cinema after appearing as Sampson in Romeo + Juliet and Randy Meeks in Scream. During the early 2000s, he starred in the popular hidden camera show The Jamie Kennedy Experiment.
THE REST OF AD ASTRA’S CAST
LisaGay Hamilton as Adjutant General Amelia Vogel: During the late ‘90s and early 2000s, LisaGay Hamilton starred as Rebecca Washington on ABC’s The Practice. She made her film debut in the 1985 music classic Krush Groove, and recently portrayed Condoleeza Rice in Adam McKay’s 2018 film Vice. Hamilton also played Celia Jones on Netflix’s House of Cards.
John Ortiz as General Rivas: A popular character actor, John Ortiz currently stars as Taino Osorio in FX’s Mayans MC. Since the early ‘90s, he’s appeared in notable films such as Carlito’s Way, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, Silver Linings Playbook, and American Gangster. Ortiz plays Arturo Braga in the Fast & Furious movie franchise, and had a role as Dr. Powell in Bumblebee.
Kimberly Elise as Lorraine Deavers: Over the past 20 years, Kimberly Elise has won four NAACP Image Awards for Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Close to Home, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story, and For Colored Girls. She made her film debut in the 1996 crime film Set It Off as part of the main cast with Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, and Vivica A. Fox.
John Finn as Stroud: An American performer, John Finn has been a character actor in both film and television since the ‘80s. He portrays Earl Sutton on AMC’s The Walking Dead.