Here's What Netflix's "The Sandman" Cast Looked Like At The Beginning Of Their Careers Vs. Now

·14 min read

1.Tom Sturridge's first major role in 1996:

Tom Sturridge in "Gulliver's Travels"

Tom's first big acting role came in 1996 when he starred as Tom Gulliver in the miniseries Gulliver's Travels, which was directed by his dad. From there, Tom went on to appear in several notable TV shows and movies like Vanity Fair, Being Julia, On the Road, Sweetbitter, and more. He's also an accomplished theater actor, having appeared in plays such as Punk Rock, Orphans, and American Buffalo.

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Tom Sturridge as Dream/Morpheus in The Sandman:

Tom Sturridge in "The Sandman"

At San Diego Comic-Con 2022, author and executive producer Neil Gaiman revealed that Tom Sturridge was one of the first people they saw for Dream and was an early favorite for the role.

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Tom Sturridge in real life:

Tom Sturridge

Alongside his role as Dream in The Sandman, Tom also appeared in the 2022 limited series Irma Vep alongside Alicia Vikander.

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2.Boyd Holbrook's first major role in 2008:

Boyd Holbrook

Boyd's first film credit is for the 2008 film Milk, where he portrayed Denton Smith. He then went on to star in numerous movies and TV shows like Very Good Girls, The Host, Gone Girl, Logan, Hatfields & McCoys, Behind the Candelabra, Narcos, and more.

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Boyd Holbrook as The Corinthian in The Sandman:

Boyd Holbrook in "The Sandman"

Looking back at the audition process for The Sandman, Boyd revealed that he initially auditioned and then didn't hear back for "six months." He said the audition process was a lot, but it gave him time to read Neil Gaiman's The Sandman comics and become familiar with the world.

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Boyd Holbrook in real life:

Boyd Holbrook

After The Sandman Season 1, you can watch Boyd in the upcoming Indiana Jones film alongside Harrison Ford. He's also currently filming the upcoming TV series Justified: City Primeval. He also recently starred in Vengeance.

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3.Vivienne Acheampong's first major role in 2015:

Vivienne Acheampong in "The Trap"

Vivienne's first acting credit was for the film The Trap in 2015. She then went on to appear in several episodes of TV shows like Doctors, Holby City, Turn Up Charlie, and more. In 2018, she landed a recurring role on Famalam before starring in The One and appearing in the 2020 film The Witches.

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Vivienne Acheampong as Lucienne in The Sandman:

Lucienne

Speaking about playing Lucienne, Vivenne said she "immediately connected" with the role and loved having Neil Gaiman so involved in adapting his comic book series for Netflix. "The first time that I went into that library, I was like, 'Oh, my god, this is mine,'" Vivienne recalled. "It was amazing."

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Vivienne Acheampong in real life:

Vivienne Acheampong

Alongside her work in The Sandman, Vivienne also appeared in a few episodes of Ellie & Natasia in 2022.

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4.David Thewlis's first major role in 1993:

David Thewlis

After appearing in several episodes of TV shows, David's breakout role came in 1993 when he starred in Naked. After receiving critical acclaim for Naked, he went on to star in countless movies like Prime Suspect 3, Restoration, Black Beauty, Total Eclipse, Seven Years in Tibet, The Big Lebowski, and many more. Of course, one of David's most recognizable roles to this day is his portrayal of Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter films.

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David Thewlis as John Dee in The Sandman:

John Dee

Neil Gaiman revealed that one of his favorite moments from The Sandman Season 1 involved David Thewlis. "Watching David Thewlis as John Dee wander into the kitchen at the back of the diner, get himself some ice cream, come around, and eat it on the counter, while all this stuff is happening around him, is one of my favorite sequences," Neil explained. "It does so much, and nothing is said. David Thewlis goes and gets ice cream, and it’s both horrifying, awful, and human."

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David Thewlis in real life:

David Thewlis

After The Sandman, David will appear in Enola Holmes 2, Avatar 3, Littlemouth, and the upcoming TV series Kaos.

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5.Gwendoline Christie's first role in 2009:

Gwendoline Christie

Gwendoline's first acting credit was for her role as "Classy Shopper 2" in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus in 2009. She then went on to appear in the background of several films before landing her breakthrough role as Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones. Gwendoline also starred in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

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Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer Morningstar in The Sandman:

Lucifer Morningstar

At San Diego Comic-Con 2022, Gwendoline talked about preparing to play Lucifer, saying, "I just went back to the comics. I know that everybody was so devoted to making those comics come alive. Also, when you're aware that there's a huge fanbase that initially felt underground, very special, not so many people knew about it, and then the love for it has really grown. There's a kind of responsibility that I feel goes with that."

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Gwendoline Christie in real life:

Gwendoline Christie

Following The Sandman, Gwendoline will be starring in the upcoming Netflix series Wednesday alongside Jenna Ortega.

Mike Marsland / WireImage / Getty Images

6.Mason Alexander Park's first major role in 2011:

Mason Alexander Park

Mason's first notable acting role was in 2011 when they appeared in an episode of iCarly. Then, Mason went on to appear in several TV shows like Cowboy Bepop and The Legend of Vox Machina. Mason is also known for their work in theater, having starred in productions of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Cabaret, Spring Awakening, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and more.

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Mason Alexander Park as Desire in The Sandman:

Desire

Mason talked about taking on the role of Desire, saying, "Desire can easily be interpreted in a myriad of ways, both positive and negative, which is true of the emotion and the need that they represent," they began. "That's what stands out to me the most, because when I talk to certain people about the character, they think Desire's the big bad villain of the story. But when I first talked to Neil about the character, he had nothing but incredible things to say: 'Desire is awesome, Desire is amazing, Desire saves the universe in the end.' He told me that Desire is the hero of Desire's own story."

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Mason Alexander Park in real life:

Mason Alexander Park

After The Sandman, Mason will star in the upcoming Quantum Leap reboot on NBC.

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7.Jenna Coleman's first major role in 2005:

Jenna Coleman

Jenna's breakout role came in 2005 when she starred as Jasmine Thomas in Emmerdale Farm. She starred on the show for 180 episodes. After this, Jenna was cast as Clara Oswald in Doctor Who in 2012. She's also starred in Victoria, The Serpent, and more.

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Jenna Coleman as Johanna Constantine in The Sandman:

Johanna Constantine

Jenna discussed what it was like bringing Constantine to life in The Sandman, considering the role has traditionally been played by a man. “I think it is such an interesting approach for them to explore Constantine in a way that we haven’t seen before," Jenna explained. "It changes the dynamic, having a male and a female protagonist, but to be honest, in one sense, the gender felt completely irrelevant to me because of how I came into the project, not knowing who I was playing.”

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Jenna Coleman in real life:

Jenna Coleman

Following The Sandman Season 1, Jenna will appear in the upcoming film Klokkenluider, and she's set to star in Prime Video's series Wilderness alongside Oliver Jackson-Cohen.

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8.Patton Oswalt's first major role in 1994:

Patton Oswalt on "Seinfeld"

Patton's first notable onscreen credit came in 1994 when he appeared in an episode of Seinfeld. From there, Patton has appeared in numerous TV shows and movies. Some of his most notable roles have been in The King of Queens, Big Fan, The United States of Tara, A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, Justified, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and more. He's also known for his stand-up comedy and his extensive voiceover work, which includes voicing Remy in Ratatouille.

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Patton Oswalt as Matthew the Raven in The Sandman:

Matthew the Raven

Patton was one of the first people cast in The Sandman, and he has been a devoted fan of the comic and Neil Gaiman for years. Speaking about what he would like to see in the series moving forward, Patton said, "I want to see A Game of You adapted and especially want to see Season of Mists adapted. I wrote the intro for the 30th anniversary trade paperback. It’s one of my favorite stories of all time. I want to see The Tempest, I want to see all of the Brief Lives ones."

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Patton Oswalt in real life:

Patton Oswalt

After The Sandman, Patton's upcoming projects include: Adventures in Wonder Park, Heroes of the Golden Masks, Absolute Dominion, Shatter Belt, Manhunt, The Forever House, and more. He's also hinted at returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Pip the Troll following his appearance in Eternals.

Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty Images

9.Kirby Howell-Baptiste's first major role in 2011:

Kirby Howell-Baptiste

After appearing in an episode of Holby City, Kirby's first starring role came in the short film Prepping Keisha in 2011. From there, she went on to appear in numerous short films and episodes of House of Lies, Comedy Bang! Bang!, and more. Kirby's first recurring role came in 2016 when she starred in Love. She then went on to star in The Good Place, Killing Eve, Barry, Veronica Mars, Why Women Kill, Hacks, and more.

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Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death in The Sandman:

Death

Kirby's first appearance as Death in The Sandman is almost an exact recreation of the character's introduction in the comic books. Speaking about casting Kirby in this pivotal role, Neil Gaiman said, "We saw a lot of Deaths, well into the many hundreds. But Kirby had a quality that was unique of being able to speak honestly to power. That honesty, and the fact that she could deliver those lines and you believe them, were what sold me on Kirby 100 percent."

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Kirby Howell-Baptiste in real life:

Kirby Howell-Baptiste

Up next, Kirby will be starring in Mr. Harrigan's Phone, She Taught Love, and the upcoming TV series Culprits.

Mike Marsland / WireImage / Getty Images

10.Joely Richardson's first major role in 1985:

Joely Richardson

Joely's first big onscreen role came in 1985 when she starred in the film Wetherby. From there, she appeared in several big movies and TV shows like 101 Dalmatians, Event Horizon, The Patriot, Return to Me, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and more. Her most notable roles came when she starred on Nip/Tuck in 2003 and The Tudors in 2010.

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Joely Richardson as Ethel Cripps in The Sandman:

Ethel Cripps

"The world itself I found fascinating," Joely said when reflecting on filming The Sandman Season 1. "There were lots of special effects that was medium-ly new to me. It was a great project to be involved in."

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Joely Richardson in real life:

Joely Richardson

Alongside The Sandman, she's also recently appeared in The Blacklist. In terms of what's next for Joely, you'll be able to watch her in the upcoming TV series Suspect.

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11.Razane Jammal's first major role in 2010:

Razane Jammal

Razane's first big role came when she starred in the limited series Carlos in 2010 opposite Edgar Ramírez. Then, in 2012, she appeared in Kanye West's short film Cruel Summer. Razane has starred in several other movies and TV shows since then, like A Walk Among the Tombstones, Berlin Station, Paranormal, Doubt, and more.

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Razane Jammal as Lyta Hall in The Sandman:

Lyta Hall

While filming the deeply emotional moment in The Sandman where her husband dies, Razane learned that her mother slipped into a coma in real life. "I was playing a character that was going through grief, and I was in parallel losing my own mom," Razane recalled. "Nobody knew except for my co-star Vanesu [Samunyai] and maybe two makeup artists. I didn’t want to make a big scene about it. I was filming a scene of losing someone without knowing if I had lost her already."

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Razane Jammal in real life:

Razane Jammal

Alongside The Sandman, Razane also starred in Kira & El Gin in 2022. She also has several other projects in the works, saying that she's currently in Turkey filming a big movie she can't wait to announce.

Mike Marsland / WireImage / Getty Images

12.John Cameron Mitchell's first major role in 1987:

John Cameron Mitchell

After appearing in numerous TV episodes, John's first notable onscreen credit came in 1987 when he starred in the TV movie The Stepford Children. From there, he went on to appear in numerous episodes of popular TV shows like The Equalizer, The Twilight Zone, MacGyver, Head of the Class, Law & Order, and many more. In 2001, John's most notable project came when he directed and starred in the film adaptation of his play Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

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John Cameron Mitchell as Hal Carter in The Sandman:

Hal Carter

Talking about bringing Hal to life in The Sandman, John said, "Hal is me, if I’d never stuck it out. If I went to a smaller town, became the big fish in the small pond and still did his thing. He’s more old-school drag than me, but Hal’s good. And in a better world, he would be working on Broadway."

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John Cameron Mitchell in real life:

John Cameron Mitchell

Alongside The Sandman, John also starred as Joe Exotic in the limited series Joe vs. Carole in 2022. As for upcoming projects, he can be seen next in the TV series City on Fire.

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13.Stephen Fry's first major role in 1986:

Stephen Fry

Stephen's first notable role came in 1986 when he started appearing in the Blackadder series opposite Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Laurie, Tony Robinson, Tim McInnerny, and more. Then, his breakthrough role on TV came in A Bit of Fry and Laurie, which was a sketch comedy series starring Stephen and Hugh Laurie. Stephen's appeared in countless movies and TV shows like A Fish Called Wanda, Wilde, Gosford Park, V for Vendetta, The Hobbit franchise, Bones, Danger Mouse, Doctor Who, and more.

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Stephen Fry as Gilbert in The Sandman:

Gilbert

Stephen said from the start he had a personal connection with his character because Gilbert is based on the writer G.K. Chesterton, who he loved growing up. He explained, "When Neil got in touch, because I’ve known Neil for some time, he said that he wanted me to play Gilbert, and I remembered, from having read The Sandman, that the character of Gilbert was clearly G.K. Chesterton."

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Stephen Fry in real life:

Stephen Fry

Alongside his work on The Sandman, Stephen was also featured in Netflix's Heartstopper in 2022. Coming up, Stephen will be voicing several characters in some upcoming animated features, and he's currently filming the film adaptation of Red, White & Royal Blue.

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14.Charles Dance's first major role in 1986:

Charles Dance

Charles' first noteworthy role came in 1986 when he starred in the film The Golden Child opposite Eddie Murphy. He then went on to appear in countless movies such as Alien 3, Last Action Hero, The Imitation Game, The King's Man, and more. Of course, he's probably best known for his work on Game of Thrones where he played Tywin Lannister. Charles also portrayed Lord Mountbatten in the third and fourth seasons of Netflix's The Crown.

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Charles Dance as Roderick Burgess in The Sandman:

Roderick Burgess
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Charles Dance in real life:

Charles Dance

Following The Sandman, Charles' next project is The Serpent Queen, an upcoming series where he'll portray Pope Clement VII.

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15.And finally, Vanesu Samunyai's first major role as Rose Walker in The Sandman:

Vanesu Samunyai

Vanesu's role as Rose Walker in The Sandman is her first major TV role, and she crushed it. Speaking about playing Rose, Vanesu said, "From the get-go, Rose is different. In the show, she’s different from the way she is in the comics. From the first audition, I already felt like I knew how to play her. The script was really well-written. It was one of those things that an actor dreams of, where it’s like, 'Oh, yes, this is so easy to play.' The words just come straight out of my mouth, and it feels so natural."

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Vanesu Samunyai in real life:

Vanesu Samunyai

As of right now, Vanesu doesn't have any announced upcoming projects, but here's hoping we get to see her in more TV shows and movies soon!

Jeff Spicer / Getty Images

The Sandman is currently streaming on Netflix.