The cast of Netflix’s sci-fi series “Altered Carbon” is vast and varied, populating a futuristic world literally from the ground the up all the way into the sky. It’s an accomplishment then that so many of the characters are distinct and memorable, and a lot of that credit goes to the casting.
On “Altered Carbon,” a person’s body or sleeve is as interchangeable as any piece of wardrobe, which makes for some fun acting challenges when characters swap bodies. In a way though, it’s not unlike what actors are asked to do regularly. Roles are just like a succession of sleeves for actors, performance-wise.
With that in mind, here’s a guide to some of the previous sleeves we’ve seen the cast of “Altered Carbon” in previously.
Before he played Takeshi Kovacs, the Japanese-Hungarian envoy trapped in a white guy sleeve, Kinnaman was best known for “The Killing,” playing a homicide detective opposite Mireille Enos. More recently, he was seen on “House of Cards” as Republican Governor Will Conway.
Higareda, who plays cop Kristin Ortega, has had a successful acting career in Mexico, but made the transition to American projects with 2007’s “Borderland” followed soon after by “Street Kings,” in which she plays Keanu Reeves’ wife. More recently, she’s had a recurring role on USA’s “Royal Pains” as Viviana Torres, a woman who had a relationship with Dr. Jeremiah Sacani (Ben Shenkman).
Even before Lachman played Tak’s sister Reileen Kawahara, she’s rarely been cast in typical roles. She perhaps best known as Sierra, one of the actives or “dolls,” who were programmed with memories and skills to carry out specific assignments on Joss Whedon’s Fox series “Dollhouse.” She more recently played a 700-year-old half vampire named Suren who romances Aidan on “Being Human.”
Purefoy, who plays wealthy meth murder victim Laurens Bancroft, is probably the biggest name in the cast, and therefore may not need much introduction. He also has a very rich resume. Of his more recent projects though, Purefoy currently stars as Hap Collins opposite Michael K. Williams in Sundance TV’s excellent “Hap and Leonard” series. He’s also known for playing serial killer cult leader Joe Carroll on Fox’s “The Following” and Mark Antony in HBO’s “Rome.”
It’s difficult to see past Conner’s portrayal as Poe, the Edgar Allan Poe-inspired AI hotel manager, but before this he portrayed real-life lawyer Jeffrey Toobin in “American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson” and Dr. Weisman in USA’s “Colony.”
Before playing the esteemed Mrs. Miriam Bancroft, like Joel Kinnaman, Lehman was on “The Killing.” She played the campaign advisor and secret lover of Seattle mayoral candidate Darren Richmond on the show, is the star of the Canadian/ABC series “Motive,” and guest-starred on an old “X-Files” episode as the programmer Invisigoth. She also recently appeared as a fertility specialist on “The Good Doctor.”
Other than playing “Altered Carbon’s” distraught father and husband Vernon Elliott, Essandoh may be familiar to viewers as “Chicago Med’s” Dr. Isidore Latham, who has autism spectrum disorder. He also played Sherlock’s Narcotics Anonymous sponsor Alfred on CBS’ “Elementary,” Reverend Potter on “Blue Bloods,” and Lester Grimes on “Vinyl.”
Before taking on the role of envoy visionary Quellcrist Falconer, Goldsberry first starred as attorney Evangeline Williamson on “One Life to Live.” She was also Geneva Pine on “The Good Wife” and made guest appearances on ”Law & Order: SVU,” “ Younger,” “Masters of Sex,” and “The Get Down” as Misty Holloway.
She’s also quite an accomplished singer and songwriter and originated the role of Angelica Schuyler in a little Broadway musical known as “Hamilton.” She’s also done “The Color Purple,” “Rent” and “The Lion King” on Broadway, and sang backup vocals for the series “Ally McBeal.”
Before Tran made us a believer as “Altered Carbon’s” bloodthirsty and zealous fixer, he’d been busy on the stage in various productions around the country. You might also recognize him as Joey Phan from “The Newsroom.”
As Lizzie Elliott, Law overcomes her fears in the virtual world and then gets to put on a pretty badass catsuit later. She’s probably the most familiar playing another feline-adjacent role, that of Pussycat Valerie Brown on The CW’s “Riverdale.”
On “Altered Carbon,” Lee plays the original sleeve of Takeshi “Stronghold” Kovacs, and has an extensive resume that includes TV and film that often utilizes his martial arts skills. His most recent big credits include playing Sang Min in “Hawaii Five-0,” Mr. Gus on “True Blood,” and Kwon on “Strike Back.”
Before playing the Bancrofts’ ambitious lawyer Oumou Prescott, Taylor is probably most well-known for Dr. Camille Saroyan on “Bones.”
Mann plays yet another sleeve of Takeshi Kovacs on “Altered Carbon,” and one who takes advantage of the actor’s wushu skills. His credits also include playing Ryu on the big-screen “Street Fighter,” on the Fox series “Dark Angel,” in the big-screen Adam McKay film “The Big Short” and as railroad mercenary Chang on AMC’s “Hell on Wheels.” He’s also appeared on “Arrow” as Yao Fei Gulang and on “The Expanse” as Admiral Nguyen.
In “Altered Carbon,” Busch plays Det. Ortega’s police buddy Mickey, but he will forever be Warren from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” to us. His other more recent credits include Neal on “Men at Work,” “Chase One on “Empire” and Teacher on “Colony.”
Here, he plays Dmitri, but Penikett is best known for playing Helo on “Battlestar Galactica.” He was also Paul Ballard on “Dollhouse,” Greg Linden on “The Killing,” Cole Maddox on “Castle,” and Gadreel on “Supernatural.”
Before playing the morally compromised police captain Tanaka, Kanagawa played the compromised Lt. Suzuki on “iZombie.” His extensive resume also includes playing Cyrus Xander on “Caprica,” various roles on “The X-Files,” Hachiro Otomo on “Heroes Reborn,” Professor March on “The Magicians,” Taishi Okamura on Amazon’s “The Man in the High Castle” and Director Bennet on “Legends of Tomorrow.” He’ll also appear on the upcoming TV series adaptation of “Snowpiercer.”
Carnage, who runs Fight Drome, is quite the character on “Altered Carbon,” which may have tipped you off that he was once another quirky futuristic AI dude named Max Headroom back in the ‘80s. Of course, he’s done a ton of roles since then, and his most recent big ones include Dr. Aldous Leekie on “Orphan Black,” Anthony Bruhl on NBC’s “Timeless,” Dulaque on “The Librarians,” Dr. Christiansen on “The Knick” and Jim Taggart on “Eureka.”