Cast Guide to ‘Hollywood’: Jim Parsons, Darren Criss & More

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Cast in Hollywood – Pictures courtesy of Netflix

If you were planning to join yet another virtual quiz this weekend, that can wait: Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood is coming to Netflix on Friday 1st May 2020. This is Murphy’s first full Original title for Netflix and follows aspiring stars and starlets in the golden age of Hollywood glamour. 

Ahead of the release of this 1940s period drama, we’ve put together a list of all the key cast members, as well as where you might have seen them before.

David Corenswet as Jack Castello

David Corenswet

Jack is a young man with a dream: he wants to be an actor. After doing his bit in WWII, he and his wife rock up to Hollywood to try to make that happen. However, things don’t go quite as expected for Jack Costello.

If you’re a fan of Ryan Murphy’s work, you probably recognize actor David Corenswet from the Fox-Netflix show The Politician. He played high school jock, River Barkley. This young actor is a relative newcomer, but he also starred in House Of Cards, and movie Affairs Of State. 

Darren Criss as Raymond Ainsley

darren criss

Raymond Ainsley is an aspiring screenwriter and director. Proud of his Asian-American heritage, he wants to make Hollywood more racially diverse and less discriminatory.

Darren Criss’s biggest role so far was his portrayal of Andrew Cunanan in American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace. His work here earned him an Emmy and a Golden Globe award. Criss also played Blaine Anderson in Ryan Murphy’s musical TV series, Glee, as well as starring in Supergirl and The Flash as Music Meister.

Laura Harrier as Camille

Aspiring actress, Camille, is Raymond’s love interest. She spends most of her time taking acting and elocution classes, and occasionally scoring small acting roles.

You’ll probably recognize Laura Harrier for her portrayal of Liz in Spiderman: Homecoming. She made her acting debut as Destiny Evans in One Life to Live, and also appeared in BlacKkKlansman.

Jeremy Pope as Archie Coleman

Jeremy Pope

Archie Coleman is black, gay, and proud of it. He fights harsh discrimination in order to fulfill his dream of becoming a screenwriter.

This is Jeremy Pope’s first on-screen role; you can usually find him onstage. In 2019, he received two Tony award nominations for his work in Choir Boy and Ain’t Too Proud.

Dylan McDermott as Ernie

Ernie is the boss of the gas station where both Archie and Jack work to make ends meet. Of course, this is Hollywood, so it’s not your normal gas station…

This isn’t the first time Dylan McDermott has worked with Ryan Murphy. He appeared in several series of the American Horror Story franchise and in The Politician. 

Samara Weaving as Claire Wood

Samara Weaving

Claire Wood is another aspiring actress; she’s as determined as she is beautiful.

Samara rose to fame during her four-year stint on Australian soap, Home & Away. In 2017 she starred in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and in 2018 she played Irma Leopold in spooky period piece, Picnic at Hanging Rock. Samara is also due to appear in the upcoming Bill & Ted movie. Netflix subscribers may also recognize her from the horror-comedy The Babysitter.

Jake Picking as Rock Hudson

Jake Picking

Rock Hudson is one of several real people portrayed in Hollywood. Rock Hudson (previously known as Roy Fitzgerald) was one of the most famous actors of the 1950s. At a time when homosexuality was illegal, this gay actor’s sexuality was an open secret around Hollywood.

Jake Picking has enjoyed success as Ron Slider Kerner in Top Gun: Maverick and Sean Collier in Patriots Day.

Jim Parsons as Henry Willson

Jim Parsons

Henry Willson is another historical figure represented in Hollywood. He was a Tinseltown talent agent who built a career out of placing muscular young men in Hollywood movie roles.

Unless you don’t watch TV (if so, what are you doing here?), we’re sure you’ll recognize Jim Parsons as kooky-but-lovable Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory. He also played supporting roles in the Ted Bundy biopic Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, and Hidden Figures.

Rob Reiner plays Ace Amberg

Rob Reiner

Ace Amberg is the big boss: he runs Ace Studios, where many of the Hollywood characters are employed.

Better-known as a director, Rob Reiner is responsible for classics such as Stand By Me, When Harry Met Sally, and This Is Spinal Tap (to name but a few). As an actor, he appeared in Sleepless in Seattle and The Wolf of Wall Street. 

Holland Taylor as Ellen Kincaid

Holland Taylor

Another boss at Ace studios, responsible for casting talent.

Holland Taylor appeared in long-running tv series, The Practice, alongside her Hollywood co-star Dylan McDermott. She has also starred in series Mr Mercedes, Two And A Half Men, and To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You. 

Patti LuPone as Avis Amberg

patti lupone

Avis is a silent movie actress struggling to gain roles in the new age of the ‘talkies’. Unhappily married, she must get her kicks elsewhere. Luckily, there’s plenty of attractive talent in Hollywood…

Patti LuPone is best-known onstage, including many Broadway roles. She has starred in Evita, Oliver!, Les Miserables, and Sweeney Todd. On-screen, she has appeared in several Ryan Murphy titles, including Glee, American Horror Story, and Pose. 

Are you looking forward to watching Hollywood? We are! Let us know in the comments below. 

Written by

Melissa is a freelance writer from Norwich. She has over seven years' experience running company blogs, social media, and PR campaigns. She has a degree in English Literature from the University of East Anglia, and studied journalism with the NCTJ. In her free time, Melissa runs her own book club and tells people she's writing a novel. Usually, she's just watching period dramas on Netflix.

 Poster Rating: TV-MA
Language: English
Genre: Drama
Cast: David Corenswet, Darren Criss, Laura Harrier, Joe Mantello
Season Additions:
  • - Season 1 was added to Netflix on May 1st, 2020