Welcome back to the 1970s and the early days of the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit. While you might be (weirdly obsessed) with the life and times of notorious serial killers of yesteryear, these guys were actually living it way back when as they got psychological profiling off the ground and turned it into a real tactic for law enforcement. Netflix's Mindhunter takes us back to the beginning when the team was still working out of the basement and hitting roadblocks (both professional and personal) at every turn.
The series is stacked with families that certainly look familiar, whether you've encountered them on the stage of screen before. Maybe even more unnerving than that, the series is also populated with real-life serial killers as the Behavioral Science Unit tries to work out a system to so they can track and monitor their behavior while also discovering common patterns. It's both unnerving and fascinating to watch as our fictional FBI agents interact with jailed murderers (and yes, Season 2 is finally going to introduce Charles Manson) who look eerily like their counterpart.
As we dive into the eight brand new episodes of the series, here are all the familiar faces you'll find populating the world of Mindhunter,
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Jonathan Groff Plays Holden Ford
Who he plays: Holden Ford, a special agent in the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit. He starts off as a negotiator for the FBI but later meets up with Bill Tench and the two start traveling around the country teaching FBI techniques to local law enforcement... while also assisting on cases as they go. During season 1, he dates a grad student named Debbie, but the two eventually break up.
Where You've Seen Him: Groff has made a name for himself on Broadway starting with Spring Awakening (which he played opposite Lea Michele, who he also starring alongside on Glee) and most recently in a little show called Hamilton playing King George III. But it’s okay if you just know him as the voice of Kristoff in Frozen.
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Holt McCallany Plays Bill Tench
Who he plays: Bill Tench, a special agent in the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit. Tench is an instructor and has been traveling around the country teaching his class to local law enforcement. After Ford takes an interest in his work, the two team up and start working together eventually receiving actual funding to do their work in the basement of the FBI. Tench has a wife and a six-year-old adopted son who has speech difficulties.
Where You've Seen Him: McCallany played The Mechanic in Fight Club, played an uncredited bulgur in Justice League, and played D.A. Robert McCoy on Blue Bloods. This fall he’ll star in a French-language film, Le Dindon.
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Anna Torv Plays Dr. Wendy Carr
Who she plays: Dr. Wendy Carr, a social sciences professor in Boston, Massachusetts who’s working towards tenure. Carr is interested in Ford and Tench’s work and eventually leaves Boston to join them, eventually securing enough funding to continue their unit. She’s a closeted lesbian with a girlfriend back in Boston, and she knows she has to stay closeted (at least for now) to advance her career at the FBI.
Where You've Seen Her: Torv is maybe best known for her role as Olivia in J.J. Abrams' TV series Fringe and was even briefly married to her Fringe co-star Mark Valley. She’s also no stranger to the stage as she’s performed in numerous theater productions in Australia, where she’s originally from.
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Cameron Britton Plays Ed Kemper
Who he plays: Real-life serial killer Edmund Kemper. Out of all the breakout stars from Mindhunter Season 1, no one expected it would be Britton’s portrayal of Kemper, aka the co-ed killer. He was convicted of killing 10 people and given to eight life sentences in 1973.
Though Britton appeared in over 20 episodes of Freeform’s Stitchers, his breakout role is without a doubt is serial killer Ed. Since then he’s appeared on Barry as Charlie, and also played Hazel in Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy (and it’s okay if you didn’t realize that was him because without the glasses and mustache he looks like a completely different person). He also received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for playing Ed.
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Cotter Smith Plays Shepard
Who he plays: Shepard, a unit chief at the FBI Academy who is (very much begrudgingly) overseeing the work of Ford, Tench, and Carr in the Behavioral Sciences Unit. Reportedly, the character will depart in season 2 to make way for a new chief.
Where You've Seen Him: Smith has made a career out of playing important people in high places and played the President in X2, the President in Revolution, and the Deputy Attorney General in The Americans.
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Damon Herriman Plays Charles Manson
Who he plays: Charles Manson. Hopefully, you know who Manson is because there have been about 500 Mansion centric-stories this year alone, including the most recent Once Upon A Time In... Hollywood.
Where You've Seen Him: And funnily enough, Herriman has played Manson twice this year, in Quentin Tarantino's OUATIH and then again in Mindhunter. Imagine being cast as Charles Manson not once, but twice. He has played non-Charles Manson roles, too, like Dewey Crowe in Justified and Freddy on Mr Inbetween.
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Sonny Valicenti Plays The ADT Man (Possibly BTK Killer)
Who he plays: Very little is known about the mysterious ADT man we see in just about every episode, but it’s clear that he’s up to no good and has nefarious acts on his mind. He may or may not end up being the BTK Killer.
Where You've Seen Him: Valicenti has been in comedies like You’re The Worst and Lady Dynamite and played Tony Russo in Steven Spielberg’s The Post.
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Michael Cerveris Plays The New Chief
Who he plays: Good question! Cerveris is joining Mindhunter season 2 in a still somewhat secret role. Supposedly, Shepard is leaving his position and now Cerveris has come on to be the new chief of the Behavioral Science Unit.
Where You've Seen Him: The actor's addition to the cast is also exciting as it makes season 2 of Mindhunter is a mini Fringe reunion for him and Anna Torv.
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Stacey Roca Plays Bill Tench's Wife Nancy
Who she plays: Nancy, who is struggling with Tench’s work (and how he sometimes brings it home), as well as their adoptive son Brian, who is struggling with speech difficulties.
Where You've Seen Her: Roca played Rachel on the original British The Office back in 2002 and is known for other TV roles in England on series like Strictly Confidential and Ladies of Letters.
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Lauren Glazier Plays Kay
Who she plays: Glazier is Kay, a woman Wendy meets and decides to date. She's a bartender.
Where You've Seen Her: Mindhunter is Glazier's biggest role so far, but you might have seen her popping up Grace & Frankie, Big Little Lies, and Red Sparrow.
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Nate Corddry Plays Detective Art Spencer
Who he plays: Art Spencer adds to the pen of lawmen in season 2.
Where You've Seen Him: Corddry has been on a million shows you love, but most recently you might have seen him playing Neil Simon on Fosse/Verdon or as Randall on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
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Sierra McClain Plays Tanya
Who she plays: Tanya meets Ford early on in season 2 and leads him to the case that will guide the whole season.
Where You've Seen Her: McClain is still relatively new to the acting world, but she spent a few seasons playing Nessa on Empire.