When news first broke that Gran Turismo was joining the list of upcoming video game movies, it was admittedly hard to imagine how a racing simulation franchise with no story or characters would work on the big screen. But by combining elements of the popular Playstation exclusive with those of a real-life underdog story, Neill Blomkamp and the Gran Turismo cast turned out an incredible, unforgettable, and high-octane thrill ride of an experience.
After watching the thrilling racing film, you may be wondering where you’ve seen the actors before. Though some, like David Harbour, Orlando Bloom, and former Spice Girls member Geri Halliwell, will be instantly recognizable, it may be a different story for those like lead actor Archie Madekwe. Let’s break it all down now…
Archie Madekwe (Jann Mardenborough)
Archie Madekwe leads the Gran Turismo cast as Jann Mardenborough, a young video gamer who makes his dreams of becoming a professional racer a reality by entering the GT Academy. Interestingly enough, the real Mardenborough also appears in the movie as his own stunt double.
Those who use their Apple TV+ subscription to check out See will surely recognize Madekwe from his portrayal of Kofun on the sci-fi drama series. The same can be said about people who love A24 horror movies, as the actor also appeared in Midsommar back in 2019. He also appeared in the Heart of Stone cast, which became a hit on Netflix earlier in August. Later this year, he’ll have a role in Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn.
David Harbour (Jack Salter)
David Harbour plays a massive role in the events of Gran Turismo with his portrayal of Jann’s coach, Jack Salter, a former racer whose remarkable story goes beyond yelling at gamers for puking in the movie’s first trailer.
All those Stranger Things fans will probably be flooded with memories (and anticipation for the show’s fifth season) while watching Harbour once again play the reluctant father-type role in Gran Turismo. Outside of playing the Hawkins police chief for the better part of the past decade, Harbour has also given incredible performances in movies like Violent Night, No Sudden Move, and Black Widow. He’ll be playing the Red Guardian in another upcoming Marvel movie when appears in Jake Schreier’s Thunderbolts.
Orlando Bloom (Danny Moore)
Orlando Bloom is another pivotal member of the Gran Turismo cast with his portrayal of Nissan marketing executive and GT Academy founder Danny Moore.
Throughout his career, Bloom has portrayed iconic characters like Legolas in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies, Will Turner in the various Pirates of the Caribbean films, and worked with iconic filmmakers like Ridley Scott, Cameron Crowe, and the late Wolfgang Petersen.
Djimon Hounsou (Steve Mardenborough)
Djimon Hounsou shows up in Gran Turismo as Jann Mardenborough’s father, Steve, a former soccer player who doesn’t approve of his son’s obsession with video games.
A two-time Oscar nominee (In America, Blood Diamond), Hounsou’s film career goes back more than 30 years and includes appearances in decorated movies like Amistad, Gladiator, and A Quiet Place Part II. On top of that, the actor has also appeared in some of the best Marvel movies like Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain Marvel, the Fast and Furious franchise, and so much more. With upcoming movies like Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon, A Quiet Place: Day One, and Ridley Scott’s Gladiator 2, we’ll be seeing much more of Hounsou for years to come.
Geri Halliwell (Lesley Mardenborough)
Taking on the role of Jann’s mother, Lesley Mardenborough, is Ginger Spice herself, Geri Halliwell.
In addition to being part of one of the most successful pop music groups of all time and finding fame with the Spice Girls, Halliwell has made several film appearances over the years. This includes acting in movies like Spice World, Fat Slags: The Film, and Crank: High Voltage, and showing up as herself on various reality and talk show programs.
Daniel Puig (Coby Mardenborough)
Daniel Puig appears in Gran Turismo as Jann’s younger and more athletic brother, Coby Mardenborough.
This is Puig’s feature film debut, though he has appeared in various short films, made-for-TV movies, and series like Naomi over the course of the past half-decade.
Darren Barnet (Matty Davis)
Darren Barnet appears in the Gran Turismo cast as Matty Davis, a well-skilled driver and intense competitor who becomes Jann’s biggest rival in the GT Academy program.
Prior to playing one of the best characters in Gran Turismo, Barnet was a major player of the Team Ben or Team Paxton drama on the popular Netflix original series Never Have I Ever. He’s also appeared on shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles, and Skull Island.
Pepe Barroso (Antonio Cruz)
Pepe Barroso shows up in Gran Turismo as Antonio Cruz, one of drivers Jann befriends during the GT Academy competition.
The 2023 sports biopic was Barraso’s first film appearances, as all of his other roles have been on shows like 45 rpm, High Seas, and Patria.
Maeve Courtier-Lilley (Audrey)
Maeve Courtier-Lilley appears in Gran Turismo as Audrey, Jann’s crush in Cardiff who eventually becomes a major supporter in his journey to becoming a professional racer.
Like several other members of the Gran Turismo cast, this is Courtier-Lilley’s feature film debut, with all of her other previous appearances being on shows like Casualty, The Outpost, and Doctors.
Josha Stradowski (Nicholas Capa)
Taking on the role of the talented yet arrogant Nicholas Capa, who could best be described as the film’s antagonist, is Josha Stradowski.
Fans of the Amazon original series The Wheel of Time will probably recognize Stradowski from his portrayal of Rand al’Thor. His other notable appearances include shows like High Flyers and Spangas as well as movies like Instinct and Just Friends.
Takehiro Hira (Kazunori Yamauchi)
Then there is Takehiro Hira, who takes on the role of Kazunori Yamauchi, the creator of the iconic Gran Turismo video game franchise.
Throughout his career, Hira has appeared in a few dozen movies and TV shows, though most will probably recognize him from his portrayal of Kenta in the G.I. Joe origin story, Snake Eyes in 2021. His other recent films include We Couldn’t Become Adults, Lost Girls & Love Hotels, and Erica 38.
What We Thought Of The Movie:
As you can probably tell by now, the Gran Turismo cast is one that is filled with both established stars and up-and-comers just starting to make their mark on the world, much like Jann Mardenborough in the movie. Several of those actors also happen to have some pretty major releases on the 2023 movie schedule, so don't be all that shocked to see a lot more from them in the coming weeks and months.