Where You've Seen The Cast Of Dumplin' Before

Courtesy of Netflix
On December 7, the feel-good movie you need to warm these cold winter days drops on Netflix. Dumplin' has the sweetness of To All The Boys I Loved Before, the mother-daughter dynamics of Patti Cake$, and an entirely new Dolly Parton soundtrack.
Dumplin' opens in a small Texas town where summer is long, gossip spreads fast, and the annual teen pageant is as big of a deal as the Superbowl. Willowdean Dickson (a charming as ever Danielle McDonald) grew up in the shadow of that pageant. Her steely, superficial mother, Rosie (an excellent Jennifer Aniston, maybe you've heard of her), is the former champion and current pageant organizer, and never made her plus-size daughter feel welcome in that space. In an act of rebellion, Willow decides to go there. She enters the pageant.
Could we be seeing these actors together again? There's a chance Dumplin' is the start of a new universe, with follow-up films to come? The movie is adapted from Julie Murphy's 2015 YA novel of the same name. Dumplin's characters live on in Murphy's follow-up novel, Puddin', which turns Dumplin' supporting character Millie Michalchuk (Maddie Baillio) into a leading lady. With any luck, any follow-ups will feature the same cast.
1 of 8
Danielle Macdonald

Who She Plays: Willowdean Dickson, a high schooler in Texas who feels especially lost after her beloved aunt dies and she's left alone with her pageant-obsessed mother. She decides to enter the pageant as an act of revolution.

Where You've Seen Her: In 2017, Macdonald starred as an aspiring rapper in Patti Cake$, which is surprisingly similar to her role in Dumplin'. Like in Dumplin', Macdonald's Patti Cake$ character gives standing O-worthy performances, and has a troubled relationship with her single mother, who nurses her own deferred dreams of stardom. The Australian actress will appear in Netflix's Bird Box later this year.
2 of 8
Jennifer Aniston

Who She Plays: Aniston plays Rosie Dickson, the former winner of the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet pageant. Now an adult, Rosie devotes herself to grooming future pageant queens. She just never expected her daughter, Willowdean, would be among them.

Where You've Seen Her: Um, duh. For many of us, Jennifer Aniston will always be Rachel Green. Since her tenure on Friends concluded in 2004, the TV icon has gone on to have a fascinating film career, often choosing roles diametrically opposed to Rachel. Notably, she's played a woman struggling with disability (Cake), the creator of a toxic workplace environment (Horrible Bosses 2), and a dog mom (Marley and Me). She's also set to appear alongside Reese Witherspoon an untitled drama about a morning show.
3 of 8
Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock
Odeya Rush

Who She Plays: Ellen Dryer, Will's equally Dolly Parton-obsessed best friend. Ellen has a boyfriend but she still makes time for her bestie.

Where You've Seen Her: In Dumplin', Rush plays the ideal high school best friend: Supportive, game, kind. Not so in Lady Bird, when she plays the blasé, prototypical "cool girl" that Lady Bird (Saoirse Ronan) briefly becomes enamored with. Rush, an Israeli actress, appeared alongside Michael Caine in The Dictator earlier this year.
4 of 8
Dove Cameron as Bekah Colter

Who She Plays: Bekah Colter, the shoe-in for pageant queen.

Where You've Seen Her: Dove Cameron is a Gen-Z A-Lister. She rose to fame playing both Liv and Maddie in the Disney Channel show Liv & Maddie, and has had a music career as well. Cameron appeared alongside Dumplin' co-star Maddie Baillio in Hairspray Live!
5 of 8
Bex Taylor-Klaus

Who She Plays: Bex Taylor-Klaus plays Hannah, is one of the "misfts" who joins Willowdean in her pageant revolution. She, the only true revolutionary of the group, enlists in the pageant armed with political discourse.

Where You've Seen Her: Only 24, Bex Taylor-Klaus has already had quite a TV career. She's appeared in The Killing, MTV's Scream, and House of Lives.
6 of 8
Luke Benward

Who He Plays: Meet Dumplin's leading man, Bo. Bo is Willowdean's coworker at a local burger joint, and he has a big 'ol crush on her.

Where You've Seen Him: Catch Benward as another charming love interest in the 2018 movie Life of the Party. Also, Benward is evidently drawn to characters with similar-sounding names — he plays Beau on the Disney show Good Luck Charlie.
7 of 8
Maddie Baillio

Who She Plays: Millie Michalchuk, a classmate of Willowdean's, is hyped about entering the pageant. Her conservative and religious mother disapproves of all pageants, so she enters without her knowledge.

Where You've Seen Him: Aside from Dumplin', Michalchuk's biggest role has been Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray Live! Julie Murphy's subsequent novel, Puddin', follows Millie. So if there's another movie in the Murphy-verse, we're sure to see more of Baillio.
8 of 8
Jim Smeal/BEI/REX/Shutterstock
Harold Perrineau

Who He Plays: While looking into her aunt's past, Willowdean meets her good friend Rhea Rayne, a drag queen and Dolly Parton impersonator. Rhea is played by Perrineau.

Where You've Seen Him: Oh, just abut everywhere. Perrineau has appeared in the TV shows Lost, Sons of Anarchy, Claws, and The Unusuals. He was a memorable Mercutio in Baz Luhrman's Romeo + Juliet.

More from Movies


R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.