Where You Recognize The Actors From

The American black comedy crime thriller A Simple Favor was released in 2018, and its cast members in it are extremely recognizable. The film, directed by Paul Feig from a screenplay written by Jessica Sharzer, is a suspenseful story based on the 2017 novel of the same name, written by Darcey Bell. The movie stars Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick in the main roles, among other notable actors in supporting roles. The plot centers on a small-town video blogger who attempts to solve the mystery behind her friend’s disappearance.

A Simple Favor was released by Lionsgate, and the movie garnered critical praise upon its theatrical release. Most critics praised the chemistry of the ensemble cast, and also wrote enthusiastically about the movie’s shocking plot twists and turns. The film ended up making $5.9 million on its first day alone, and grossed a total of $97 million worldwide, on a budget of only $20 million.

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Indeed, the movie has an impressive cast led by its main stars, Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick. Henry Golding, Andrew Rannells, and Linda Cardellini are some of the supporting cast members, as well as Jean Smart, Rupert friend, Eric Johnson, and Dustin Milligan, among other actors.

Blake Lively As Emily/Hope/Faith

Blake Lively takes on the role of Emily Nelson, Hope McLanden, and Faith McLanden in A Simple Favor, and her character’s life is the most interesting part of the film. Viewers know Lively from teen movies The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Accepted, Simon Says, and other early-aughts flicks. Later, she appeared in movies ranging from New York, I Love You to The Town to superhero flick Green Lantern, which she starred in alongside her future husband Ryan Reynolds. In more recent years, Lively has appeared in The Age of Adaline, The Shallows, Café Society, and All I See Is You.

Following her success with A Simple Favor, Lively starred in the movie The Rhythm Section in 2020 alongside actors Jude Law and Sterling K. Brown. The movie follows a grieving woman who goes on a destructive path for revenge after learning that the plane crash that killed her family was actually a terrorist attack. To date, that is Lively’s most recent role. From 2007 – 2012, of course, Lively starred as Serena van Der Woodsen in the hit show Gossip Girl, for which she won several accolades.

Anna Kendrick As Stephanie Smothers

Love Life

Like Lively, actress Anna Kendrick, who portrays Stephanie Smothers in A Simple Favor, has been working in Hollywood for several years. She first became a familiar face for her role as Jessica Stanley in the Twilight movies. Following the franchise’s end, Kendrick began to take on different roles. She played Natalie Keener in Up In The Air, Janet Taylor in End of Watch and voiced Courtney Babock in ParaNorman. In 2012, Kendrick reached full stardom for playing Becca Mitchell in the popular movie Pitch Perfect. After that, Kendrick appeared in a slew of movies from 2013 until A Simple Favor in 2018, including  What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Drinking Buddies, Cake, Into the Woods, the two Pitch Perfect sequels, and The Accountant. She also appeared in the movies Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates and voiced a character in Trolls.

Related: The Shallows Behind The Scenes: How Filming Injured Blake Lively

Following her turn as Stephanie in A Simple Favor, Kendrick played Kendra Glack in the 2019 movie The Day Shall Come and portrayed Noelle Kringle in the holiday movie Noelle, released the same year. She also reprised her role in Trolls for the movie’s 2020 sequel.

Andrew Rannells As Darren

Andre Rannells, who plays Darren in A Simple Favor, began his career in television. He voiced characters on children’s shows, like Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh!, as a kid, and the early aughts also saw his break into theater. He had numerous roles on the stage, and in 2011 played Elder Kevin Price in The Book of Mormon as an original cast member. From 2014 – 2018, he also had roles in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Hamilton, Falsettos, and The Boys in the Band.

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Rannells became a familiar face on the screen when he joined the cast of Girls from 2012 – 2017, playing Elijah Krantz in 35 episodes. This role led him to other television parts, including Bryan Collins in The New Normal and Frazier H. Wingo in The Knick, as well as guest appearances in hit shows like How I Met Your Mother and Glee. He also had voice roles in the shows Sofia the First, Welcome to the Wayne, and Vampirina. Most notably, in 2017 Rannells joined the cast of Big Mouth. He continues to play that role into 2021, as well as continues to make occasional guest appearances on other shows. In terms of film — Rannell’s most recent roles were in the 2020 films The Boys in the Band, The Prom, and The Stand In. And before appearing in 2018’s A Simple Favor, he had parts in 2016’s Why Him? and 2015’s The Intern.

Linda Cardellini As Diana Hyland


Linda Cardellini plays the part of Diana Hyland in A Simple Favor. Cardellini first became a household name in 1999, when she starred as Lindsay Weir in the cult television series Freaks and Geeks. That wasn’t her first time in a series, though; throughout the late 1990s, she appeared in shows like Bone Chillers, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Clueless, Step by Step, Promised Land, Kenan & Kel, and Boy Meets World, among other programs.

Post-Freaks and Geeks, Cardellini continued her career in TV, appearing as Samantha Taggart in ER as Bliss Goode and Shelly in The Goode Family. She also had turns in popular shows like Gravity Falls, Mad Men, and New Girl, and took on the serious role of Meg Rayburn in 2015 for 33 episodes of Bloodline. In 2019, Cardellini began portraying Judy Hale in the Netflix series Dead to Me, opposite Christina Applegate.

Related: Why Freaks and Geeks Was Cancelled After One Season

Of course, many movie watchers know Cardellini’s likeness from feature films. She appeared as Chutney Wyndham in Legally Blonde, and famously portrayed Velma Dinkley in Scooby-Doo and its sequel. Cardellini also had parts in Brokeback Mountain, The Lazarus Project, Kill the Irishman, and Daddy’s Home and its sequel. Superhero movie fans know Cardellini as Laura Barton, the wife of Clint Barton aka Hawkeye in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Avengers: Endgame. And Cardellini has also starred in critically acclaimed films like Green Book, in which she played Dolores. In 2020, Cardellini portrayed Mae Capone in the movie Capone.

Henry Golding As Sean Townsend

Henry Golding

Actor Henry Golding portrays Sean Townsend in A Simple Favor. Golding has been a presenter on BBC’s The Travel Show since 2014. Today’s movie watchers primarily know him for playing the role of Nick Young in the hit 2018 movie Crazy Rich Asians, for which he won a Teen Choice Award. He also took on the role of Tom in the recent 2019 romantic-comedy holiday flick Last Christmas. Some lesser-known movies Townsend has appeared in include Pisau Cukur, Monsoon, and The Gentlemen. His most recent project is Snake Eyes, which is in post-production. In addition to being a longtime host on BBC’s travel show, Golding has hosted shows including Football Crazy, Welcome to the Railworld Japan, and Surviving Borneo.

Jean Smart As Margaret McLanden

Jean Smart as Laurie in Watchmen

Jean Smart, who played Margaret McLanden in A Simple Favor, is most known for playing Lana Gardner on the NBC sitcom Frasier – a role for which she won two Primetime Emmy Awards. She started her impressive acting career in both film and television in the late 1970s. Some of the notable movies she’s appeared in include Piaf, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, Snow Day, Sweet Home Alabama, Garden State, Life As We Know It, The Accountant, and, most recently, Superintelligence.

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Smart has also appeared in television shows other than Fraiser throughout her career. She voiced Helen Ventrix in an episode of Batman: The Animated Series, played Sally Brewton in three episodes of Scarlett, and played Elinore “Ellie” Walker for 13 episodes of High Society. She also gained recognition for playing Martha Logan, the First Lady, in the show 24, and for portraying Regina Newly in 35 episodes of Samantha Who? 

Smart was in numerous other television series up until her turn in A Simple Favor, and also appeared in small guest roles in popular shows like Halt and Catch Fire and The McCarthys. In more recent years, Smart portrayed Floyd Gerhardt in Fargo and Melanie Bird in Legion, as well as Arlane Hart in Dirty John, Mimi in Arrested Development, and series regular Agent Laurie Blake in Watchmen. 

Rupert Friend As Dennis Nylon

Rupert Friend played Dennis Nylon in A Simple Favor. The actor began his career with the 2004 movie The Libertine. He first became a familiar face when he took on the role of Mr. Wickham in Pride & Prejudice. Throughout the early aughts he had several other significant roles, including Sandy Mardell in Outlaw and Demetrius in The Last Legion, as well as Lt. Kurt Kotler in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and Prince Albert in The Young Victoria. 

Related: Bridgerton: Every Pride And Prejudice Easter Egg & Reference

TV-wise, Friend is most known for portraying the character Peter Quinn in 58 episodes of Homeland. For his performance as Peter, Friend was nominated for numerous accolades. He also appeared in other shows since the end of Homeland, including Dream Corp, LLC, Strange Angel, and, most recently, Anatomy of a Scandal.

A Simple Favor Supporting Cast

Eric Johnson as Davis: played Flash Gordon on the eponymous 2007 – 2008 television series, as well as Whintey Fordman on the show Smallville and Jack Hyde in the Fifty Shades franchise, among other roles.

Dustin Milligan as Chris: played Ethan Ward on the teen drama show 90210. Most recently, of course, the majority of television watchers know him as Ted Mullens from Schitt’s Creek.

Bashir Salahuddin as Detective Summervile: appeared in the movies Snatched and Gringo, and since then has been in Marriage Story and The 24th. He’s also known as a writer on Maya and Marty and for portraying Keith Bang on GLOW and Office Goodnight on South Side.

Kelly McCormack as Stacy: known for playing Zeph in the sci-fi show Killyjoys and for playing Betty Anne on the show Letterkenny. Most recently, she wrote, produced, and starred in the feature film Sugar Daddy.

Sarah Baker as Maryanne Chelkowsky: was previously in the movies The Campaign and Mascots, as well as shows like The Kominsky Method and Louie.

Melissa O’Neil as Beth: first gained fame for winning the third season of Canadian Idol in 2005. She’s also known for her roles as Two/Rebecca/Portia Lin on the sci-fi series Dark Matter and as Officer Lucy Chen on the police drama show The Rookie.

Of course, viewers have probably seen these listed stars in other movies and TV shows, too. This is a non-exhaustive list of the films and shows that they are most likely recognized from. When all of these actors came together to work on 2018’s A Simple Favor, it was a notable project. The movie was praised for its ensemble effort and continues to gain traction among movie watchers today.

Next: A Simple Favor Ending: Disappearance Reveal & The Many Twists Explained

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