HBO's 'Vinyl' Cast Is Full Established Names & Soon-To-Be-Stars Who Are Worth Paying Attention To
HBO's Vinyl is bringing the '70s back to television, and it's being done by some people who know the '70s better than most. Terence Winter, of Boardwalk Empire fame, has teamed up with Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger to tell the story of the rock music industry in the 1970s. With a couple of the biggest names in film and music involved on the production side of the show, Vinyl is going to need a solid cast to match the talent assembled behind the camera — and it looks like that's exactly what they've done. The cast of HBO's Vinyl features some recognizable faces and some soon-to-be-big names, who definitely deserve attention.
Vinyl tells the story of American Century Records, a fictional record label, and many of the musicians, radio DJs, and other music scene personalities that end up connected to the record label in the ongoing quest to bring the best music to as many people as possible, while keeping the label in business. The show tells its story using an expansive cast that inhabits the world that Scorsese, Jagger, and Winter re-create. Here are some of the many cast members to look forward to when the show premieres on Feb. 14 at 9 p.m.
Bobby Cannavale as Richie Finestra
The main character of the show is Richie Finestra, a record executive who seeks to keep his company alive by looking to the future of music. Richie is brought to life by Bobby Cannavale, who had been an actor for over 20 years before landing the lead role in Vinyl. Cannavale is a great match for the show not just because he's a great actor, but the last time he worked with Terence Winter resulted in Cannavale winning a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of Gyp Rosetti in Boardwalk Empire. Perhaps Emmy gold will strike again with this collaboration.
Olivia Wilde as Devon Finestra
At first glance, Devon Finestra seems to fall into the archetype of "long-suffering wife," which is common among male television protagonists with bad habits. What makes Devon different from previous versions of that trope is that she's played by Olivia Wilde, and Olivia Wilde is amazing. Hopefully, with such an amazing actor in the role, Devon will transcend the stereotype and prove to be as compelling of a character as Richie — if not even more so.
Ray Romano as Zak Yankovich
That's right, Ray Romano is in this show — the one that everybody loves. In one of his biggest roles since his titular sitcom, Romano plays Zak Yankovich, who works with Richie and serves as a voice of reason to Richie's outlandish methods. Who better to serve as a voice of reason than one of the most notably deadpan comedians of all time?
Ato Essandoh as Lester Grimes
Lester Grimes is a former colleague of Richie, and seems to be just as fed-up with Richie as everyone else in the series. Grimes is brought to life by Ato Essandoh, who despite not being a very well-known actor has had a prolific career which includes recurring roles in television programs like Believe, Girls, Blue Bloods, and Elementary, in addition to film roles in Django Unchained and Garden State. Hopefully, Vinyl will bring him the recognition he deserves.
Max Casella as Julian "Julie" Silver
Julie Silver seems to be one of Richie's many employees as the head of A&R, focusing on finding and developing new musical talent. He is played by Max Casella, whose past roles include parts on The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire, and most famously Doogie Howser's best friend Vinnie Delpino.
Juno Temple as Jamie Vine
Jamie Vine is a young and ambitious assistant working under Julie in the A&R department of American Century Records that Richie takes a liking to. Jamie is played by Juno Temple, who despite being only 26 already has an expansive career, acting in over 30 movies in the past 10 years, including The Dark Knight Rises and Black Mass.
James Jagger as Kip Stevens
Yes, they're related. Mick Jagger's son James is making his acting debut as Kip Stevens, the frantic lead singer of fictional early punk band "The Nasty Bits." Stevens and The Nasty Bits represent the oncoming force of Punk music to rebel against the ideals that rock and roll established, which causes the forward-looking Richie to take a liking to him. Don't call this casting nepotism, though — James is staking a claim to the "Jagger" name all on his own, despite his father's involvement in the show. Showrunner Winter told Vanity Fair that James "came in, auditioned, and beat everybody else because he was just phenomenal. He has that leading-man quality—your eyes are drawn to him and he always commands the scene and at the same time he’s a warm and genuine person. That’s as good as it gets."
These major roles seem to cover only a fraction of the world that Winter, Scorsese, and Jagger seek to explore in Vinyl. Other roles include a plethora of other American Century employees, Andrew Dice Clay as a violent and drugged-out radio DJ, and John Cameron Mitchell – who created and originated the title role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch — appears in Vinyl as Andy Warhol. Winter and company seek to give a full, complete picture to what rock and roll was like in the '70s, and it seems they've collected the perfect cast to do so.
Images: Macall B. Polay, Brigitte Lacombe/HBO; HBO (6)