Movies

Everyone Getting In On The Action In Netflix’s Outside the Wire

There's nothing quite like a dystopian war fantasy flick to kick off the chaotic year that is 2021. Netflix’s Outside the Wire is the sort of CGI-heavy action film that attempts to tackle a whole smattering of timely topics: the ethics of nuclear and drone warfare, artificial intelligence, racism, and a seemingly inevitable civil war, all set against the backdrop of personal growth and reckoning. The year is 2036. Damson Idris plays Lieutenant Thomas Harp, a drone pilot who is deployed to a war zone, where he’s partnered up with a top-secret android officer Leo (Anthony Mackie). Together, they’re tasked with stopping a nuclear attack that would undoubtedly wipe out a good portion of the earth’s inhabitants.

As with any war film, there are a number of other key players who add charm and character to the film, including a familiar face or two (see: Cannes best actress winner Emily Beecham). Here, we break down who’s who in the Mikael Hafstrom film that may ironically be just the sort of welcome distraction from reality we all need right now.

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Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Anthony Mackie plays Leo


Who Is Leo?
Leo is a top-secret android officer who’s an outcast in the futuristic world. He’s not exactly a Gump (one of the robotic soldiers created to be a peacekeeper alongside US troops), but he’s definitely not human, either.

Where You’ve Seen Mackie
Marvel fans will recognize Mackie as wise-cracking Falcon in the Avengers films. Outside of the superhero circuit, he’s also played roles in films as wide-ranging as The Hurt Locker, Detroit, and Love the Coopers. On TV, Mackie’s had parts on series like Black Mirror and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
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Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Emily Beecham plays Sofiya


Who Is Sofiya?
Not everyone in Outside the Wire’s world of warfare is looking to drop bombs as a means of communication. Sofiya is the leader of a group of resistance fighters whom Leo has a close relationship with, and she proves to be critical in the film’s ethical arc.

Where You’ve Seen Beecham
Emily Beecham tries out her range in Outside the Wire following a harrowing turn as Alice in the controversial Cannes Film Festival entry Little Joe, for which she won the Best Actress award in 2019. She’s also had recurring roles in TV series like Into the Badlands and The Village, and may be a familiar face as Deirdre from Hail, Caesar!
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Photo: Morgan Lieberman/Getty Images.

Pilou Asbæk plays Victor Koval


Who Is Victor Koval?
Every war movie needs a villain, and Koval is the requisite bad guy in Outside the Wire. He’s a ruthless local warlord who’s looking to gain control of a stash of long-dormant nuclear missiles the Russians left in Ukraine once upon a time, and he’s not stopping at anything to obtain them.

Where You’ve Seen Asbæk 
The Danish actor will look familiar to Game of Thrones fans, who know him best as Euron Greyjoy. In addition to his HBO credits, Koval may also look familiar to anyone who caught 2017’s Ghost in the Shell, where he starred as Batou opposite Scarlett Johansson’s Major.
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Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Damson Idris plays Lieutenant Thomas Harp


Who Is Lieutenant Thomas Harp?
Our protagonist is the sort of skeptical everyman that seems to anchor most war-borne movies: Lt. Thomas Harp is a drone operator who initially only experiences war from the comforts of his office chair. When he disobeys orders during one battle, however, he’s sent overseas to Ukraine to experience on-the-ground combat as a combination of punishment and pseudo-promotion.

Where You’ve Seen Idris
British actor Idris has a penchant for uncanny, futuristic works. In the past, he’s had roles on both Black Mirror and The Twilight Zone. Most recently, however, he’s played a leading role in the TV series Snowfall, which chronicles the early days of the cocaine epidemic in 1980s Los Angeles.
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Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Michael Kelly plays Eckhart


Who Is Eckhart?
Captain Eckhart is Harp’s first introduction to the war zone where he’s sent after going rogue in a battle that kills two Marines. He’s stern in an old-school military kind of way, and warns Harp that Leo is “not like us,” though he’s vague about why. Eckhart plays a bigger role toward the end of the film, but doesn’t get much screen time in-between.

Where You’ve Seen Kelly
Fans of House of Cards know Kelly as series staple Doug Stamper, but even those who never caught on to the political drama (or stopped watching after the downfall of you-know-who) may recognize Kelly from the many films and series he’s starred in over the years: he played Mike November in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and Gary Volesky on the TV miniseries The Long Road Home. Most recently, he played former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe in The Comey Rule.
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Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images.


Kristina Tonteri-Young plays Corporal Mandy Bale


Who Is Corporal Mandy Bale?
Bale is one of Harps’ military colleagues who initially questions whether or not his decision to disobey a direct order is the right one. Turns out, her moral compass helped launch Harp into the wild ride of the film.

Where You’ve Seen Tonteri-Young
Kristina Tonteri-Young made her debut in Netflix’s 2020 series Warrior Nun, as Sister Beatrice. Other screen credits include A Christmas Gift from Bob and Dancing Through the Shadows of Mao.
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Photo: Jesse Grant/Getty Images.

Enzo Cilenti plays Sergeant Miller


Who Is Sergeant Miller?
Not all of Harp’s fellow soldiers are in-the-know about the covert mission, and Sergeant Miller is one of them.

Where You’ve Seen Cilenti
Though he’s not exactly a household name in the States, Enzo Cilenti has tons of credits under his belt, including as Evander Pulchio on Rome and Yezzan zo Qaggaz on Game of Thrones. Cilenti also had a small role in Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as recurring roles on Luther and TV miniseries Les Miserables.
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Photo: Jesse Grant/Getty Images.

Henry Garrett plays Brydon



Who Is Brydon?
Brydon is Harp’s superior officer, and not happy about the fact that the lieutenant decided to disobey orders.

Where You’ve Seen Garrett
Some actors just have “that look,” and Henry Garrett’s look seems to be serious and often military-adjacent. The English actor previously played a guard in Zero Dark Thirty, Captain McNeil on Masterpiece Theater’s Poldark, and a technician in the 2016 film Criminal.



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Photo: ITV/Shutterstock.

Velibor Topic plays Oshlank



Who Is Oshlank?
Oshlank plays a critical role in Leo and Harp’s covert mission, as an arms dealer who provides them with intel about warlord Koval’s whereabouts.

Where You’ve Seen Topic
Velibor Topic is no stranger to top secret missions and chaos. The actor, who hails from Bosnia and Yugoslavia, frequently plays the henchman in action flicks, with memorable turns in Kingsman: The Secret Service and Mission Impossible - Fallout.

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