Meet the cast and characters of Netflix’s Persuasion

Dakota Johnson
Meet the characters and cast of Persuasion, including Dakota Johnson as Anne Elliot. Pic credit: ©

Netflix’s new spin on Jane Austen’s classic novel Persuasion is coming to the streaming service this Friday and viewers are ready to see how this unique film adaptation plays out.

The trailer showed some instances of breaking the fourth wall, a bit of dramatic flair at the prospect of being alone forever and befriending a lover, and much more. Though it’s a new style, it has worked for films such as Enola Holmes.

Persuasion follows protagonist Anne Elliot, a 27-year-old woman who is rather alone as her family is nothing like her. Eight years prior, she broke off her engagement with the love of her life, Captain Frederick Wentworth, and she still has feelings for him.

In true Jane Austen fashion, Captain Wentworth makes his way back into Anne’s life, leaving her with a choice to make: Does she try again or leave things be? Not to mention, there’s a new contender for Anne’s heart.

The characters in Persuasion all have their own personalities and unique traits that make them endearing despite some of their uglier attributes, as some are quite selfish and self-obsessed.

Keep reading to get a look at the main cast of Netflix’s Persuasion.

Dakota Johnson as Anne Elliot

Anne is the main character and narrator for persuasion, surrounded by her self-obsessed family— but she has her own flaws to deal with as well. At times an unreliable narrator, Anne describes the people in her life and her world in very colorful ways.

Viewers will first meet her as she lives her life with her father and older sister, as she never married after breaking off her engagement eight years before.

Portraying Anne is Dakota Johnson, who fans might recognize from big names such as The Social Network or the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise.

Dakota has a massive film repertoire having been in over 25 movies and having played a variety of characters, such as a dancer at a witchy academy in the movie Suspiria and even an overwhelmed mom trying to enjoy her vacation in Greece in the recent film The Lost Daughter.

Not only does she work in front of the camera but also behind it as she co-founded the production company TeaTime Pictures with Ro Donnelly in 2019.

Cosmo Jarvis as Captain Frederick Wentworth

Captain Frederick Wentworth, unfortunately, had his heart broken by Anne eight years ago when he was a young man. Anne was advised to leave him based on his lack of financial prospects, but the two seem to have never forgotten each other.

Over the time that has passed, Captain Wentworth joined the British Navy and returned to England far richer than he was before. And with wealth comes marriage prospects. Will he give Anne another chance or seek a new love?

Cosmo Jarvis was born in America but is a British actor. His full name is Harrison Cosmo Krikoryan Jarvis. He starred alongside Florence Pugh back in 2016 in Lady Macbeth, but he has also appeared in Raised by Wolves and Peaky Blinders.

Not only is he an actor, but he’s a musician and has released several albums and written hundreds of original songs.

Nikki Amuka-Bird as Lady Russell

Lady Russell is a long-time family friend, who was best friends with Anne’s mother. Though Anne’s mother is deceased, Lady Russell takes over for Anne and does her best to guide the young woman through her life.

That said, she’s remorseful for being the reason that Anne broke off her engagement with Captain Wentworth. Though Lady Russell acted with Anne’s best interest at heart, it seems it wasn’t the right choice and tries to make it up to Anne.

Lady Russell is a widow herself but lives an extravagant life of her own. Rather than remarrying, she enjoys gallivanting around Europe and having some steamy romances free of judgment.

Lady Russell is being portrayed by Nikki Asuka-Bird, who appeared in Old and The Personal History of David Copperfield. Nikki was nominated for a BAFTA in 2016 and is considered a huge part of London’s theater scene.

Nikki also worked with Persuasion director Carrie Cracknell back in 2014 for Birdland.

Henry Golding as William Elliot

William Elliot is rich, eligible, and Anne’s cousin— though he did snub Anne’s sister Elizabeth when he married an American woman.

It seems that William’s marriage fell through and he’s back in England and searching for a new wife, though it doesn’t seem that living the promiscuous life of a bachelor is hard for him.

His return could cause trouble for Captain Wentworth, as both William and Anne are eligible for marriage, and William is certainly trying his hardest to impress Anne.

Henry Golding is known for his roles in romantic comedies, most commonly known as Nick Young in Crazy Rich Asians, and for his role in Last Christmas. He also played Blake Lively’s husband in A Simple Favor, a husband who seemed to be perfect in every way.

However, no one is truly perfect— and it’s possible that William’s charming demeanor may not be enough to persuade Anne to marry him.

Mia Mckenna-Bruce as Mary Musgrove

As Anne noted, she is nothing like the rest of her family, and definitely nothing like her younger sister Mary Musgrove.

Mary is described as spoiled and selfish, and often treats people, including her children, as if they are disposable. She is married to Charles Musgrove, who is also disposable as far as Mary is concerned.

Despite her flaws, Mary as seen in the trailer a source of comedic relief, so she has at least one redeeming quality.

Her actress, Mia McKenna-Bruce, starred in the British teen thriller series Get Even, where she portrayed the character Bree Deringer. Mia is most commonly known for taking on the role of Tee Taylor in Tracy Beaker Returns and The Dumping Ground.

Yolanda Kettle as Elizabeth Elliot

Elizabeth Elliot is the pride and joy of the Elliot family as far as the girls’ father is concerned. Incredibly vain, Elizabeth is known for her beauty, at least, that’s what she believes.

She is very much a daddy’s girl and seems to take after the vain man easily. Though she is concerned to be the most beautiful daughter of the Elliot family, she was still snubbed by their cousin William, so maybe she isn’t all that perfect after all.

Taking on the role of Elizabeth is Yolanda Kettle, who starred as Camilla Fry in The Crown and appeared in Howards End.

Richard E. Grant as Sir Walter Elliot

Sir Walter Elliot is a proud and vain man who may very well be considered entirely self-absorbed. As Anne says, “He’s never met a reflective surface he didn’t like.”

That is taken as a fact, as the man is often seen pondering his reflection or paintings of himself even in the short trailer for the film.

Taking on the role of the Elliot father is Richard E. Grant, an acclaimed actor. Richard was nominated for an Academy Award in 2018 for his role in Can You Ever Forgive Me? but has also been seen in several other hits such as Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey, and Loki.

Richard has proven before that he has the range to take on any role he’s placed in, and it seems clear from the trailer that he will fill Sir Walter Elliot’s shoes with ease.

Persuasion will be available on Netflix on Friday, July 15.

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