Olivia Colman as Lena Caruso
Colman leads the charge of impeccable performances with her portrayal as Lena Caruso, a British professor whose vacation plans are interrupted by a young mother and her daughter.
Throughout the film we see both younger and older versions of Lena as she begins to slip into an almost déjà vu trance. Her experiences as a mother almost seem to mirror that of Nina’s.
Although Colman won’t be returning to Netflix to reprise her role in The Crown, she’s set to star alongside Timothée Chalamet in the upcoming Charlie And The Chocolate Factory adaption Wonka. Here’s hoping it’s a lot more cheery than this.
Jessie Buckley as a Young Lena Caruso
Irish actress Jessie Buckley stars as young Lena, and, while we only see her in flashbacks, her performance is just as riveting as Colman’s.
In these scenes, we begin to understand the older Lena’s uneasiness as we see her juggle two smothering children and an aspiring career as a writer.
Most recently, Buckley starred opposite Jesse Plemons, who you may recognise as Kirsten Dunst’s husband, in the thrilling Netflix horror I’m Thinking Of Ending Things. Buckley has also starred in Fargo and Chernobyl.
Dakota Johnson as Nina
Arguably some of Dakota Johnson’s best work yet, Johnson stars as Nina, an American mother who becomes entangled with Lena on holiday after an incident with her daughter.
While Johnson is no stranger to psychological thrillers, having starred in Susperia and Bad Times At The El Royal, she revealed in an interview with E! News that she went to a "deeper, darker, more confused" place in order to prepare for her role in the film, and it really paid off.
We’ll next see Johnson star in the upcoming Netflix film Persuasion based on the Jane Austen novel of the same name.
Peter Sarsgaard as Professor Hardy
Peter Sarsgaard plays Professor Hardy, an academic with a keen interest in Lena’s burgeoning career. Not only Sarsgaard married to Gyllenhaal, but in the movie he had to film a sex scene, directed by none other than his wife.
Sarsgaard first rose to prominence in early 90s films including The Man With The Iron Mask and Boys Don’t Cry. He recently starred alongside his brother-in-law Jake Gyllenhaal in the film The Guilty, and will appear in the new comic book reboot The Batman.
Ed Harris as Lyle
Ed Harris portrays Lyle, the property’s housekeeper where Lena is staying. Throughout the duration of the film, we see Lyle and Lena awkwardly (albeit flirtatiously) interact with each other as Lena begins to grapple with past romantic decisions.
Harris is an Academy Award winner and is currently starring in dystopian sci-fi Western Westworld. Harris will also appear in the upcoming Top Gun sequel.
Paul Mescal as Will
Paul Mescal makes his feature film debut in The Lost Daughter as Will, a student who also takes care of the house Lena is staying at.
Johnson isn’t immune to Mescal’s charm and dashing looks, revealing in an interview with Vogue that she is a “super fan” of his.
“On the first day of filming, Paul and I had an intense scene” the actress continued, “we hadn’t met each other, he was slightly nervous and I was empathetic. To make everybody comfortable, I told him all of my deepest, darkest secrets.” To be a fly on that wall.
Mescal is currently dating American singer Phoebe Bridgers and will star in another upcoming psychological thriller called God’s Creatures.
The Lost Daughter is currently streaming on Netflix.