Here's Where You Know The Cast Of Nope From

Jordan Peele's hotly-anticipated third film "Nope" has featured a cryptic marketing campaign that obscures what the movie is about. The character posters feature the main cast looking up at the sky with a combination of fear and amazement; the trailer teases strange disappearances taking place on a horse ranch, and that's about all most people knew before seeing the film. While the film's most famous actors feature in the trailer, the cast is much bigger than the advertising lets on. Accordingly, many people who see the film may be surprised by who's in it, and audiences may find themselves wondering why the cast looks so familiar.

As with his previous hits "Get Out" and "Us," Peele has also slipped some social commentary into his film. "The part of African-American history that this addresses more than anything is the spectacle-isation of Black people, as well as the erasure of us, from the industry, from many things," he told Empire, adding that the film is in part about the erasure from history of the Black man who rode a horse in the very first moving picture.

To build out his cast, Peele has selected some of Hollywood's biggest up-and-coming stars, some actors he's worked with before, and some familiar faces who audiences will likely recognize but have trouble immediately placing. To help you out, read on to find out where you know the cast of "Nope."

Daniel Kaluuya got out

"Nope" star Daniel Kaluuya rose to prominence as Posh Kenneth on the hit British teen drama "Skins." He followed it up with the lead role in the classic "Black Mirror" episode "Five Million Merits," playing a man trapped in a dystopia centered around reality competitions in exchange for basic necessities. That role wound up being a consequential one for the budding actor: director Jordan Peele saw it, and he knew he'd found his "Get Out" star. Peele later told Kaluuya in a conversation for Essence, "I knew that as a performer you embodied the spectrum of somebody who could play small and subtle. Someone we would root for, but who also had an explosive side and an ability to access certain deranged elements in your psychology."

Since "Get Out," Kaluuya has been busy. He starred in Marvel's "Black Panther" as W'Kabi, though he won't be returning for the sequel because he was busy filming "Nope," per Variety. He led the cast of "Judas and the Black Messiah" as Fred Hampton, and Kaluuya's performance was so well-received that he won an Oscar for it. He's also recognizable for his roles in films like "Widows" and "Queen & Slim."

In "Nope," he plays OJ Haywood, a horse trainer, and he tried not to let the pressure of following up "Get Out" get to him. "When I got to the set, I was like, 'Oh s***, this is a f***ing action film,'" he told The Hollywood Reporter.

Keke Palmer has been famous for a while

So you've seen "Nope" — or just the trailer — and you're wondering why the actor who plays Emerald Haywood looks so familiar. Baby, this is Keke Palmer! She first lit up screens in "Barbershop 2: Back in Business," but she broke out a few years later as a precocious spelling-bee hopeful in "Akeelah and the Bee." Palmer played a young wordsmith from South Los Angeles who went all the way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, and she more than held her own opposite acting heavyweights like Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne. Looking back on her role fifteen years later, Palmer told Entertainment Weekly that she was excited about the part even though she was a child. "I don't think I understood the depths and the nuances of the impact that it would have on my community," she reflected.

Since rocking to stardom, Palmer has been a consistent presence in culture. She played the title role in Nickelodeon's hit show "True Jackson, VP," starred on Ryan Murphy's "Scream Queens" as Zayday Williams, led "Hustlers," and has spawned numerous iconic memes. She introduced "the gag is..." to the world, and she famously didn't recognize Vice President Dick Cheney while hooked up to a lie detector. She's a judge on "Legendary," a voice actor on the reboot of "The Proud Family," and she starred on MTV's "Scream" television show. In other words... you know Keke Palmer. No need to say "sorry to this woman!"

Brandon Perea's star is on the rise

Audiences first met Brandon Perea as Kenton in the YouTube Red Original "Dance Camp," where he acted opposite social media personalities like Jake Paul and Gabi DeMartino. At the end of 2016, he broke out on Netflix's cult hit "The OA." Perea played Alfonso "French" Sosa, a fan-favorite character who came out as gay in the show's second season. Perea told Contrast Mag that he was drawn to the part because he's different from French in real life, but he was able to relate to his character anyway. "Seeing his story made me realize there are a lot of people that go through what he's going through, trying to impress their families and not getting the love they want to receive from their hard work," he reflected.

Since "The OA" was canceled in 2019, Perea has built a solid resume. He starred as Dr. Jonathan Tyme on HBO Max's "Doom Patrol," and he played Arjay in Saban Films' "American Insurrection." His role in "Nope" will introduce the young star to his widest audience yet, and a quick scroll through his Instagram shows that he couldn't be happier. He shared a snap of himself posing beneath a billboard featuring his own face in Los Angeles, and he gushed in the caption about what an important achievement it represents. "Basically my lifetime of work to get to a moment like this," he wrote. "Gotta appreciate these wins on this journey. Always envisioned this."

Steven Yeun made Oscars history

One of the first glimpses audiences got of "Nope" was a picture of Steven Yeun in a cowboy hat, a red jacket, and a bolo tie, staring up at the sky in wonder. Though plot details were kept under wraps up through the film's release — and we won't be spoiling things here! — Yeun teased some basics while appearing on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!." "I can say I play a character named Ricky 'Jupe' Park, who is a former child star, and he owns his own theme park," the actor said carefully.

Fans likely recognize Yeun from his starring role as Glenn on "The Walking Dead," a part he played for the hit zombie show's first six seasons. After he left the show, Yeun made the leap to film; he starred in the action-horror film "Mayhem" as well as Bong Joon-ho's "Okja" before finding critical acclaim in "Burning." In 2020, Yeun was nominated for an Oscar for his starring role in "Minari," where he played the father of a Korean family who try to make a life for themselves on a farm in rural Kansas. This made Yeun the first Asian-American to be nominated for Best Actor. While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, though, Yeun pushed back against the label, preferring to instead just be called "an actor." Still, he allowed, "It's cool that we get to establish new ground and that young Asian American kids can feel like this is possible for them, too."

Barbie Ferreira is one of the Euphoria kids

In "Nope," Barbie Ferreira plays Nessie; fans will recognize her primarily from HBO's runaway hit "Euphoria," though her role was reduced in Season 2. She plays Kat on the teen drama, a girl who takes her sexuality into her own hands after a revenge-porn incident and starts webcamming. Ferreira started as a model, posing for brands like American Apparel, H&M, and Aerie, but she told Allure that she took that path because she always knew she wanted it to lead to acting. When she got the role in "Euphoria," she realized, "I made a lot of decisions at a young age that forced me — with no backup plan — to just go for it, and it worked, thank God." Good thing; the magazine calls her a "rising Gen-Z icon."

Fans may also recognize Ferreira from her role in another HBO project, the HBO Max Original Film "Unpregnant." She plays the best friend of a girl who needs an abortion, and the film follows the two as they road-trip out of state so she can get the medical care she requires. Ferreira told Esquire that the film's topic was very important to her. "The amount of misinformation about abortion from adults is astounding," she said. "We need to address things head-on with a full scope of stories, because one story could never encompass any topic's full spectrum. With more abortion stories, there are more sides to it, more information, and it grows normalized."

Oz Perkins has a famous father

Osgood "Oz" Perkins plays a character named Fynn Bachman in "Nope," but before release, few details were available about what the role involves, exactly. Audiences who see the film may be wondering why they recognize Perkins, and we have two words for you: "Legally Blonde." In the classic 2001 comedy, Perkins played "Dorky David," a nerdy character to whom Reese Witherspoon's Elle Woods lends a bit of social cachet.

He got his start in acting thanks to his famous father; Perkins is the child of Anthony Perkins, better known as Norman Bates from "Psycho." Oz stepped into his father's shoes in "Psycho II," playing Norman in flashbacks, and it seems he caught a bite of the horror bug. In addition to his acting career, he directs; he's been behind the camera for terrifying films like "The Blackcoat's Daughter," Netflix's "I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives in the House," and the 2020 film "Gretel & Hansel." Oz and Jordan Peele worked together in the past on an episode of "The Twilight Zone" — he directed the episode Peele starred in!

"For me, the horror genre has always been about sort of what we don't know, and what we can't see, and what we can't fully understand, and what's coming for us," he told Consequence. That means he fits right in with "Nope," a movie whose marketing kept its cards very close to its chest in a way few films do these days.

Wrenn Schmidt is best known for her TV roles

Wrenn Schmidt has made a name for herself in television over the past decade. While she has had roles on film in movies like Michael Bay's "13 Hours" and the Tom Hiddleston-starring Hank Williams biopic "I Saw the Light," audiences are far more likely to recognize the actor from numerous arcs in a number of popular television shows. She played the Jennings' KGB handler Kate on the second season of "The Americans," recurred for ten episodes of "Boardwalk Empire" as Julia Sagorsky, and won fans as Dr. Iris Campbell on "Person of Interest." She also played CIA agent Diane Marsh in "The Looming Tower," Hulu's mini-series about the run-up to the September 11th attacks, per Decider.

However, her most prominent (and longest-lasting) role to date has been as Margo Madison on the hit Apple TV+ series "For All Mankind," a drama about astronauts. Margo is a NASA engineer, one who winds up in quite the predicament involving nuclear secrets in the show's third season. "Margo realizes she's in a chess game for her life," Schmidt teased to Town & Country while Season 3 aired in 2022. "It really is like her every move is starting to count in a really horrific and a pressurized way."

Horrific and pressurized — sounds like a Jordan Peele movie! Schmidt, after all, stars in "Nope" as Amber Park.

Donna Mills is a soap opera legend

In "Nope," soap opera legend Donna Mills plays a character named Bonnie Clayton. Mills is best known for her role on "Knots Landing," a primetime spinoff of "Dallas" that aired from 1979 to 1993. She played Abby Ewing throughout the show's run, a scheming character the actor was desperate to play. "Once I heard about Abby, I wanted the part so badly in order to get away from all the goody-two-shoes roles I was doing," she told SoapHub almost two decades after the show's finale. However, playing a character like that on television came at a cost; she admitted that sometimes people were "standoffish" to her in real life. "I would try to be nice to them and I couldn't figure out why they were being so cold. I finally figured out they thought I would steal their husbands or do something nefarious," she said.

Since "Knots Landing" ended, Mills has kept busy on a number of other shows. She made appearances on "Melrose Place" and "Nip/Tuck," and she even showed up in "Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens." She joined the cast of "General Hospital" in 2014 as Madeline Reeves, and the role finally netted the soap legend a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Performer. "My heart just went... whoop!" she told Michael Fairman backstage, moments after her win. "At this stage in my life, in my career, for this to happen is just amazing to me."

Keith David plays a pivotal role

In the first trailer for "Nope," a character named Otis Haywood, Sr. is visible riding on one of his son's horses. Moments later, the horse runs free, and Otis is... gone. Cue the intrigue. Fans may recognize Keith David from a number of iconic roles, usually as a character actor; in addition to many other roles, he appeared in "Armageddon," "The Thing," and "They Live," and he reprised his character Imam throughout the "Chronicles of Riddick" movies. He also had a leading role as a new study-group member on the sixth and final season of "Community," a role he was excited about. "I love smart comedy that comes out of live situations," he told Variety. "That's what's funny. Life is funny."

Even fans of "Nope" who don't recognize David's face will likely know his voice, which is, not so coincidentally, how he first got on "Community." He recalled, "I got a job narrating the pillow fight episode on 'Community,' and I understand it went over very well." David has voiced a number of iconic cartoon characters, including Goliath on "Gargoyles," and his talent for voiceover has made him a triple Emmy winner for his work narrating documentaries. 

The actor views on-screen acting and voiceover as two sides of the same coin, explaining to Dread Central, "In either situation, I love working. I mean it's two different genres, but it's all about acting and bringing the best you can to the table."

Michael Wincott is Antlers Holst

Michael Wincott's character has the coolest name on the "Nope" cast list, if you ask us; he's playing someone named "Antlers Holst." He's not the most-recognizable member of the cast list, though, but fans who think he looks familiar may know him from a number of roles in big films. In the 2002 adaptation of "The Count of Monte Cristo," for example, he starred as Dorleac, the warden of the prison where Jim Caviezel's Edmond Dantes was locked up. He has a memorable death scene in the film, drowning during Dantes' infamous escape from jail.

Wincott has been acting for a long time, having starred in Oliver Stone's "Talk Radio" all the way back in 1989, when he was just 30 years old. In a Rolling Stone profile that previewed then-upcoming roles in films like "Born on the Fourth of July" and "Bloodhounds of Broadway" (opposite Madonna!), the young actor talked about not wanting to get too complacent in his budding career. "My worst work happens when I get obedient," he insisted, telling the reporter, "I usually get called in on things that have a certain degree of intensity to them." His plan for himself decades ago seems to have worked out well; "Nope" is a lot of things, and "intense" is definitely on the list.

Andrew Patrick Ralston is a character actor

Andrew Patrick Ralston's role in "Nope" remained a secret ahead of the film's debut, so we won't be spoiling specifics here. When he does show up on screen, though, fans are likely to recognize him from his impressive list of credits that seems like it spans every show on television over the past decade. He's been on everything from "Big Time Rush" to "Bones," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" to "You're The Worst," and "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" to "Veep." Most of those were one-episode guest-starring roles, but he joined the cast of "Lethal Weapon" in 2016, playing Jim McNeile multiple times throughout the next several years. 

The actor also curates an eccentric Instagram profile, a place where he posts original songs about the Mt. St. Helens eruption, original artwork, obscure album covers, and even the occasional selfie. "This morning I looked in the mirror and thought I was my doppelgänger, Harry Styles," he quipped in one caption. He also shares clips of his own work, including from his guest appearance on "SWAT." One fan wrote in the comments, "Always a good surprise to see you pop up on a show I watch." That fan, at least, will know exactly why Ralston seems familiar when he pops up in "Nope!"

Alex Hyde-White's resume is 'fantastic'

Alex Hyde-White plays a character called Grizz in Jordan Peele's "Nope," but as he hasn't done press for the film, we won't be spoiling who "Grizz" really is. Instead, let's talk about where you might recognize Hyde-White from! He's had a long career in Hollywood, including in films like "Pretty Woman" and "Catch Me If You Can," and he played the younger version of Sean Connery's character in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" flashbacks, opposite River Phoenix as Indy.

However, Hyde-White's most impactful role almost wasn't seen by anyone. Relatively early in his career, he won the then-coveted role of Mr. Fantastic in Roger Corman's ill-fated 1994 adaptation of the beloved Marvel Comics superhero team. However, the low-budget movie never saw an official release. It wasn't until many years later that bootleg footage made its way online and won the actor a legion of fans. 

He now appears at conventions on the basis of the cult-favorite role, and he told The Hollywood Reporter that he was grateful for all the attention the film brought long after its intended release. He also mentioned that he disagrees with people who say "it never should have been made." He clarified, "I'm really glad it was because, you know, it's like creeping ivy: You can trim it, you can cut it, you can even think you've destroyed it — but you go away for six months, and it's taken over the side of the house."

Michael Busch is a comedian

In the trailer for "Nope," comedian Michael Busch can be glimpsed in a scene that shows him walking calmly against the flow of a frightened crowd, all of whom seem to be fleeing a danger that Busch's character is walking right towards. We won't tell you any more than that about who he's playing, but when you see the actor, you may find yourself wondering where you've seen him before.

To answer that very question, the comedian — who teaches Improv classes — has put many of his most well-known clips online. Busch is perhaps best known for a number of national commercial spots, including playing a Sprint employee in a series of advertisements for Alltel Wireless. Among many others, he's also done ads for Sprinkles Cupcakes, Huggies baby wipes, and a memorable one for Juicy Fruit gum, where he gets turned into a monkey.

He's also had bit parts on a number of TV shows. In "Pretty Little Liars," he played a campus nerd who Spencer went to for help with an investigation. On "Community," he played another nerd, this time in an episode where Ken Jeong's character gets fired from the college. He has also appeared in a number of sketches for Conan O'Brien's late-night show, including one in which he played an audience member.

Call Eddie Jemison for your next heist

Eddie Jemison plays Buster in "Nope," but he hasn't done press for the film, so we won't give away many details beyond that. If Jemison seems familiar, it's likely from his starring roles in the "Ocean's Eleven" franchise — the first of which was, incredibly, his first major film role. He played Livingston Dell in all three Steven Soderbergh heist movies, the surveillance and tech guy on the team. Jemison told The AV Club years later that he was intimidated by the people he worked with, recalling that at first, he was confident. "What I didn't count on," he recalled, was that "as soon as you're in a room with Brad Pitt and George Clooney, Don Cheadle and Carl Reiner and Elliott Gould, all those guys — suddenly all the weight of their combined greatness made me very anxious."

The films launched his career, though, and he has since carved out a nice career for himself on numerous television shows. He played Ronnie Haxon (the new husband of Anne Heche's character) on 21 episodes of HBO's raunchy hit "Hung," and he starred as Dr. Stanley Stohl, Chief of Emergency Medicine, on 19 episodes of "Chicago Med." He also recurred for several seasons as the villainous Mr. Boss on The CW's cult hit "iZombie," a role he enjoyed. He told The AV Club, "What I love about old Mr. Boss is all these awful awful things are done in his name, but he's pretty breezy."