While in her early 20s,
Anna Todd began writing installments of One Direction fan fiction on the website Wattpad. She told the story of Tessa Young, a sheltered girl who goes to Washington State University and is awakened by her torrid relationship with none other than Harry Styles (his name is changed to Hardin Scott in the book and movie). As she wrote, fans would help determine the course of the story. With over 1.5 billion hits, Todd's After ended up becoming the most widely-read book on Wattpad ( print copies sold over 11 million).
On April 12,
After is landing in theaters. Along with it comes the #Hessa fandom — and all of the controversies attached. Is Hardin a manipulative jerk molded in the style of Christian Grey, as some say? You'll have to decide for yourself. Josephine Langford Who She Plays:
Tessa Young, who undergoes
a character arc over the course of
. She starts off as the obedient (read: mildly repressed) daughter of a single mother. She's been dating the same guy for ages. When she goes to college, she meets Hardin Scott and begins a torrid relationship. There's before Hardin and
Where You've Seen Her:
If Josephine Langford looks familiar, it's probably because you are seeing twinges of
Katherine Langford of 13 Reasons Why
various other Netflix shows
in her face. Josephine and Katherine Langford are, indeed, sisters.
Hero Fiennes-Tiffin Who He Plays: Hardin Scott, the heavily tattooed guy in Tessa's English classes who knows enough about Jane Austen to debate Jane Austen. He has a mysterious British accent. In the original book, which is One Direction fan fiction, he was straight-up named Harry Styles (!). Where You've Seen Him: Look back into your childhood. Hero Fiennes-Tiffin will appear there, playing the 11-year-old version of Tom Riddle alongside his actual uncle, Ralph Fiennes. He's the latest member of the Fiennes family to go into show business: His mother, Martha, is a director and producer; his uncle, Joe, haunts us as Commander Waterford on The Handmaid's Tale; his other uncle, Ralph, is forever Voldemort. Fiennes-Tiffin is the descendent of British nobility. Selma Blair Who She Plays: Carol Young, Tessa's single mother. In wanting the best for her daughter (and by best, we mean straight A's), she's blind to some other dynamics in Tessa's life. Where You've Seen Her: Selma Blair was an icon in teen movies — now, she's the mom in a teen movie. Ah, the circle of life. She's appeared in Cruel Intentions, Legally Blonde, The Sweetest Thing; for a wild recent pick, check out the horror comedy Mom & Dad, in which she and Nic Cage play suddenly homicidal parents. Peter Gallagher Who He Plays: Hardin Scott's dad, Ken – a man with a troubled past. Yes, his son has a British accent. Yes, Ken speaks like he's from the Pacific Northwest. You'll find out as Hardin seethes at a wedding. Where You've Seen Him: Peter Gallagher has been famous for playing the dad of teenagers for years. Watch The O.C. for proof. Jennifer Beals Who She Plays: Karen Scott, Ken's new wife. Her son, Landon, is also at school with Hardin and Tessa. Where You've Seen Her: Beals did a lot before she briefly appeared in After as a semi-wicked step-mother. Really: She left Yale so she could star in Flashdance. She also starred in the Showtime show The L Word. Shane Paul McGhie Who He Plays: Landon Gibson, one of Tessa's best friends at school. Incidentally, he's also Hardin's soon-to-be step-brother. He and Hardin aren't on great terms. And would you be with someone who glowered at you constantly? Where You've Seen Him: McGhie recently appeared in the movie What Men Want. His longest-running role was as Jude Leland in Sacred Lies. Pia Mia Who She Plays:
Tristan, the girlfriend of Tessa's roommate. In the book, Tristan is a guy.
Where You've Seen Her: Pia Mia
is a singer and a member o
f Kylie Jenner's squad
Khadijha Red Thunder Who She Plays: Steph Jones, Tessa's roommate who approaches college like a string of parties. Naturally, Tessa's mom freaks out. Where You've Seen Her: After is Khadijha Red Thunder's first acting credit. She's worked primarily as a model until now. Dylan Arnold Who He Plays: Noah Porter, Tessa's next-door-neighbor and boyfriend since forever. He's still a senior in high school. He's essentially a spy for Tessa's mom. Where You've Seen Him: Quite a bit, actually. Arnold was in the 2018 movie Halloween and the 2017 movie Mudbound. Catch him in the series Nashville and The Purge. Samuel Larson Who He Plays: Zed Evans, Hardin's bad boy friend. He only hangs out with bad boys, after all. Where You've Seen Him: Samuel Larsen got his start on American Idol then made the natural transition to Glee, where he played a formally home-schooled Christian. Inanna Sarkis Who She Plays: Molly Samuels, the "villain" of our tale. She and Hardin regularly hook up. Where You've Seen Her: Sarkis has had some minor roles in movies like Boo 2! A Madea Halloween and Life of a Dollar.