Every TV series needs a great premise, which Reprisal delivers. When Katherine Harlow (Abigail Spencer) is chained up by her gang boss brother Burt (Rory Cochrane), dragged behind a pick-up truck and left for dead, it sparks a fierce quest for vengeance – with Katherine reinventing herself as Doris Quinn, marrying a Detroit restaurateur, and quietly plotting her elaborate and brutal revenge against her sibling.
Every great new show needs a stellar cast, too, and Reprisal doesn’t disappoint in that camp either. If Spencer’s name sounds familiar, that’s because she has popped up in everything from Mad Men and Grey’s Anatomy to True Detective and Suits – and if Cochrane’s rings a bell, then you’re probably a fan of Empire Records, CSI: Miami or 24.
From Sons of Anarchy and Hellboy’s Ron Perlman to Love Actually and Lost’s Rodrigo Santoro, Reprisal is filled with familiar faces. Here’s your guide to this impressive cast.
As many an actor has, Spencer’s career started in the world of soap operas, with a 21-episode role on All My Children. But while appearances in Gilmore Girls, Ghost Whisperer and Bones all followed, as well as the Lifetime channel’s crime series Angela’s Eyes, it was Mad Men that put her on the map. Playing one of Don Draper’s romantic interests will do that, of course.
From there, weighty roles in True Detective, Suits and Grey’s Anatomy all followed; however it’s Rectify that stands out as Spencer’s pre-Reprisal highlight. In the four-season drama, she played the younger sister of a man convicted of rape and murder, but released from death row decades later due to conflicting evidence.
Within the first five years of his career, Cochrane had two of the ’90s biggest teen comedies on his resume: Dazed and Confused and Empire Records. A constant presence on screen since, he has featured in a diverse array of films spanning Hart’s War, A Scanner Darkly and Public Enemies, as well as Argo and forthcoming Keri Russell-starring horror film Antlers.
But it’s on television that Cochrane has spent the bulk of his time, including as evidence expert Tim Speedle in the first three seasons of CSI: Miami, as well as appearing in the seventh season of 24.
In his native Brazil, he provided the dubbed voice for Stuart Little. In Love Actually, he’s the handsome colleague that Laura Linney secretly pines for. In 300, he plays the god-king, Xerxes, who the film’s titular horde of Spartans battle to defeat. And in Lost, he was a despised new inclusion added to the cast in its third season. Clearly, Santoro’s resume is hefty – and that’s before his roles in Che, I Love You Phillip Morris, Focus, Jane Got a Gun and Ben-Hur.
Since 2016, he’s also been part of Westworld’s cast, as one of the android-filled theme park’s many robot hosts. And in Reprisal, he plays Joel, Burt’s right-hand man helping lead their crime gang, the Banished Brawlers.
When Disney took audiences to a whole new world again in 2019 – a whole new live-action world, to be more accurate – it did so with Massoud enjoying quite the magic carpet ride. The Egyptian-born Canadian actor was picked to play Aladdin after a worldwide search; however, months later, he commented that he hadn’t received a single audition since the billion-dollar box-office hit was released. Clearly, he nabbed his part in Reprisal before Aladdin hit the big-screen.
Before he sang and danced in the popular musical remake, and before he played Ethan, Reprisal’s new recruit into the Banished Brawlers and its gang-within-a-gang 3 River Phoenixes, he also popped up in Nikita, Open Heart, Jack Ryan and big-screen thriller Strange but True.
Add Wakefield to the list of Australian actors who graduated from one of Hollywood’s favourite sources of antipodean talent: Home and Away. He spent three years on the nightly soap, but it was his performance in acclaimed local drama The Black Balloon that earned him an AFI Award nomination for Best Actor. From there, he featured in the Australian-shot Broken Hill and Sanctum, as well as US fare such as Endless Love.
Alongside his role as 3 River Phoenixes leader Matty in Reprisal, Wakefield has two other high-profile American parts to his name: the Polite Leader in The Purge and as the teenager involved in the case at the centre of True Detective’s third season.
As Meredith in Reprisal, Davenport spends much of her screen time in one of the Bang-a-Rang clubs owned by her father Burt. The Banished Brawlers’ go-to hangout, these bars are filled with greasers, booze and scantily clad women putting on a show – and wouldn’t feel out of place in From Dusk Till Dawn, which Davenport knows plenty about. For three years, she starred in From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, although that’s not the only recognisable name on her resume.
In 2018, she co-starred in mini-series Sharp Objects and in 2019, she featured in the Black Mirror episode ‘Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too’. And in the cinematic realm, she has featured in Darren Aronfsky’s Noah and as Tina Fey’s daughter in Sisters.
Bethany Anne Lind
Like her Reprisal co-star Madison Davenport, Lind boasts a Tina Fey connection on her resume: direct-to-TV sequel Mean Girls 2. Like Abigail Spencer, she also featured in Rectify, albeit for just one episode. Elsewhere, Lind’s past parts include The Walking Dead, Stranger Things, Ozark and Doctor Sleep, as well as a stage career in musical theatre. In Reprisal, she plays two roles – Molly Quinn, the wife of Doris’ son-in-law, and her sister Grace.
W. Earl Brown
For three glorious seasons – and in one excellent, long-awaited TV movie, too – Brown swaggered through gold rush-era South Dakota as one of Deadwood’s most beloved characters, Dan Dority. Playing the loyal offsider to the camp’s sly saloon owner, it’s the role he’ll always be known for, so it’s no wonder he’s Doris’ confidante and helping hand in Reprisal, too.
That said, Brown’s three-decade resume also features appearances in Seinfeld, The X-Files, NYPD Blue, Justified and Rectify, as well as meatier parts in American Crime, True Detective, I’m Dying Up Here and Preacher. And, on the big-screen, it spans everything from Backdraft, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, Scream and There’s Something About Mary to Being John Malkovich, Vanilla Sky, The Master and Wild.
As Detroit mob boss Big Graham, Perlman is in comfortable territory in Reprisal. In Sons of Anarchy, he led an outlaw motorcycle club, and in Drive, he was the enforcer for a Los Angeles underworld kingpin. But it was two vastly dissimilar parts on his resume that first brought him to wider fame: his role as lion-man Vincent in late-’80s TV series Beauty and the Beast, opposite Linda Hamilton; and his collaborations with filmmaker Guillermo del Toro in Cronos, Blade II, the original Hellboy and its sequel Hellboy II: The Golden Army, and Pacific Rim.
Other standouts include The City of Lost Children, Alien Resurrection, Enemy at the Gates and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, as well as a lengthy list of voice-acting credits.
When DeLaria appeared on The Arsenio Hall Show in 1993, she became the first openly gay comic to feature on a late-night talk show. As well as that feat, her career includes jazz and comedy albums, and stints on stage. As an on-screen actor, it all started with two episodes of Matlock, before bit parts in Friends, Will & Grace and Broad City. Of course, before playing Reprisal’s Queenie, the matriarch-like figure in charge of the Bang-a-Rang’s dancers, DeLaria was best known for her work as Big Boo in Orange is the New Black.
Season 1 of Reprisal premieres on SBS at 8:30pm on Wednesday April 22 with a double episode. Single episodes then air weekly, and are available at SBS On Demand the day of broadcast.