All of the Famous Faces in the ‘Promising Young Woman’ Cast

Promising Young Woman

Trigger Warning: This article contains references to sexual assault.

Promising Young Woman is quickly becoming the break-out film of 2021, even scoring Golden Globes nominations for best picture drama, best actress (Carey Mulligan), best director and best screenplay.

The revenge thriller stars Mulligan, as Cassie, whose childhood best friend, Nina, was raped during a party in medical school. Both dropping out due to a sham investigation into the events of the evening, we learn straight away that Nina has died and Cassie now devotes her life to avenging her death.

Cassie targets men by going to bars, pretending to be drunk and inevitably, after a man takes her home and tries to sleep with her, she reveals her ruse — giving them the most moral of lessons by confronting the predatory men. 

Directed and written by Killing Eve‘s Emerald Fennell, the film serves as both a warning and a glimpse into a world, no one wants to be a part of.

Of course, a film with such depth needs an incredible cast, and this one is no exception — at every turn, there’s a famous face including Adam Brody, Bo Burnham, Alison Brie, Jennifer Coolidge, Clancy Brown, Max Greenfield, Laverne Cox, Alfred Molina, Connie Britton, Chris Lowell and Molly Shannon to name a few.

Here’s where you’ve seen some of the Promising Young Woman cast before.

Carey Mulligan (Cassie Thomas)

Mulligan plays the lead role in the film and even scored a best actress nom for her turn as a best friend scorned, however, this is not the first time she has received such a high accolade.

In 2009, she was nominated for an Oscar for her role in An Education. 

The 35-year-old has also appeared in Inside Llewyn Davis, Drive, The Great Gatsby (2013), Shame, Never Let Me Go, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Wildlife, and Pride & Prejudice (2005), as well as Public Enemies, Far from the Madding Crowd, Mudbound, Suffragette, The Greatest, and Brothers.

Bo Burnham (Dr Ryan Cooper)

Bo Burnham has one of those faces where you think, ‘Hey! I’ve seen that guy before’ and you certainly would have.

The actor, who plays Mulligan’s love interest Dr Ryan Cooper, was the co-creator and star of MTV’s Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous, and has appeared in The Big Sick, Rough Night, Hall Pass, and Funny People and Parks and Recreation.

Bo Burnham

Alison Brie (Madison McPhee)

You’re bound to recognise Alison Brie, the actor playing former med student Madison McPhee. Brie has starred in everything from Netflix’s GLOW, Mad Men, Community, Sleeping With Other People, Scream 4, How to Be Single, The Post, The Disaster Artist, The Little Hours, Get Hard, The Five-Year Engagement, The Kings of Summer, The Rental, and Happiest Season, to name a few.

Jennifer Coolidge (Susan Thomas)

Jennifer Coolidge’s turn as Susan Thomas, Cassie’s mother, is probably the most serious we’ve ever seen the actor.

Previously, Coolidge has starred in the American Pie franchise, Legally Blonde, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, For Your Consideration, Date Movie, Mascots, A Cinderella Story, Gentlemen Broncos, Click, Like a Boss, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans, and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. 

Jennifer Coolidge

Chris Lowell (Al Monroe)

Another familiar face, Chris Lowell plays Al Monroe, another former classmate of Cassie and Nina. Most recently, Lowell starred with Brie in GLOW, but was also a main fixture on Veronica Mars. He has also starred in Enlisted, Halt and Catch Fire, iZombie, The Help, Up in the Air, Brightest Star, Love and Honor, Graduation, Spin, Katie Says Goodbye, Veronica Mars (2014), and Complete Unknown.

Chris Loweell

Max Greenfield (Joe Macklemore III)

Adding this particular role to the “douche jar” (if you’ve seen the film, you’ll know), Max Greenfield stars as Joe, another former classmate.

Of course, Greenfield’s most notable role is Schmidt in New Girl, however, he’s also starred in Ugly Betty, Veronica Mars, The Neighborhood, Greek, American Horror Story: Hotel, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, and A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Max Greenfield

Laverne Cox (Gail)

Laverne Cox plays Gail, Cassie’s best friend and boss. Of course, you will most likely recognise her for her Emmy nominated role in Orange is the New Black, but she has also starred in Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word, Doubt, I Want to Work for Diddy, TRANSform Me, The Mindy Project, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again.

Laverne Cox

Connie Britton (Dean Elizabeth Walker)

Multiple-Emmy nominee, Connie Britton, plays Dean Elizabeth Walker, whom Cassie confronts about Nina’s assault. Most recently, you would have seen her in the first Dirty John TV series starring Australia’s Eric Bana, Nashville, Friday Night Lights and American Horror Story.

Connie Britton

Adam Brody (Jerry)

Adam Brody, plays Jerry, Cassie’s first target for revenge. The first role we’ve hated him in, Brody seems nice at first but is anything but.

Most notably, Brody starred as Seth Cohen in The OC but has also appeared in Gilmore Girls, House of Lies, The League, Cop Out, Shazam! and The Kid Detective.

Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Neil)

Another of Cassie’s targets, Christopher Mintz-Plasse plays a coked update who understandably freaks out once Cassie reveals herself.  

We feel a bit sorry for Mintz-Plasse. There’s really only one role we recognise him from. McLovin in Superbad. #NeverForget.

He has also had roles in Role Models, Kick-Ass, Kick-Ass 2, Neighbors, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, Year One, Fright Night (2011), Pitch Perfect, This is the End, The To-Do List, and Movie 43.

Alfred Molina (Jordan Green)

Alfred Molina plays Al’s former lawyer and is no doubt one of the more notable actors in the film. Molina has starred in movies such as Chocolat (with Johnny Depp), The Da Vinci Code, Love is Strange, Frida, Dudley Do-Right, Magnolia, Prick Up Your Ears, Enchanted April and An Education with Mulligan.

Molly Shannon (Mrs Fisher)

Molly Shannon plays Mrs Fisher, Nina’s mother, and is another actor with stellar credits to her name. For ‘90s kids, she played Anita in Never Been Kissed, as well as How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Osmosis Jones, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, My Boss’s Daughter, Wet Hot American Summer, The Santa Clause 2, Shallow Hal, Serendipity, Analyze This, Marie Antoinette, Wild Nights with Emily, and Horse Girl.

Molly Shannon

Experience this twisted and witty thriller now at HOYTS in extra-comfy recliners. Book you tickets now.


If you or anyone you know is struggling and needs support, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or Lifeline on 13 11 14, both of which provide trained counsellors you can talk with 24/7. You can also talk to someone from 1800RESPECT via online chat. If you are in immediate danger, call 000. 

Read more stories from The Latch and follow us on Facebook.