Know the Cast: ‘An Unfinished Life’

An Unfinished Life Cast - Every Main Performer and Character in the 2005 Movie

An Unfinished Life’s cast includes Robert Redford, Jennifer Lopez and Morgan Freeman. This info article contains minor spoilers for 2005 movie (now streaming on Netflix). Check out more streaming guides at Vague Visages’ Know the Cast section.

Written by Virginia Korus Spragg and directed by Lasse Hallström, An Unfinished Life explores the bond between a Wyoming native, Einar, and his estranged daughter-in-law, Jean. The protagonists reunite after several years apart, and attempt to overcome their differences for the sake of a young girl. Here’s every main player in An Unfinished Life, an adaptation of Mark Spragg’s 2004 novel.

An Unfinished Life Cast: Robert Redford as Einar Gilkyson

An Unfinished Life Cast - Robert Redford as Einar Gilkyson

Character Profile: A Wyoming man who reunites with his estranged daughter-in-law and granddaughter. He takes care of his best friend Mitch, and hasn’t fully recovered from the death of his 21-year-old son, Griffin. Einar learns to cope with emotional trauma by reconnecting with family members.

Redford’s Resume: The Sundance Kid in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), Bob Woodward in All the President’s Men (1976), Rob Hobbs in The Natural (1984), Nathan Muir in Spy Game (1997),  Forrest Tucker in The Old Man & the Gun (2018)

An Unfinished Life Cast: Jennifer Lopez as Jean Gilkyson

An Unfinished Life Cast - Jennifer Lopez as Jean Gilkyson

Character Profile: Einar’s daughter-in-law who flees from an abusive boyfriend with her young daughter, Griff. In 1992, she fell asleep while driving, which resulted in the death of her husband, Griffin. Jean won’t allow Einar to shame her for what happened in the past.

Lopez’s Resume: An Iconic American Pop Star; Also — Selena Quintanilla in Selena (1997), Karen Sisco in Out of Sight (1998), Lucy Tucci in Home (2015), Harlee Santos in Shades of Blue (2016-18), Ramona in Hustlers (2019)

An Unfinished Life Cast: Morgan Freeman as Mitch Bradley

An Unfinished Life Cast - Morgan Freeman as Mitch Bradley

Character Profile: Einar’s best friend who suffered extreme injuries after being mauled by a bear. He dreams about the sea, and maintains an optimistic attitude. Mitch help Einar reassess his legacy and worldview.

Freeman’s Resume: Hoke Colburn in Driving Miss Daisy (1989), Red Redding in The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Somerset in Se7en (1995), Nelson Mandela in Invictus (2009), Senior in Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (2021)

An Unfinished Life Cast: Josh Lucas as Crane Curtis

An Unfinished Life Cast - Josh Lucas as Crane Curtis

Character Profile: A Wyoming sheriff. He bonds with Jean, and offers legal advice to Einar. Crane is any easygoing fellow but doesn’t allow any riff-raff in his community.

Lucas’ Resume: Craig McDermott in American Psycho (2000), Jake Perry in Sweet Home Alabama (2002), Don Haskins in Glory Road (2006), Young John Dutton in Yellowstone (2018-19), Leo Beebe in Ford v Ferrari (2019)

An Unfinished Life Cast: Damian Lewis as Gary Winston

An Unfinished Life Cast - Damian Lewis as Gary Winston

Character Profile: Jean’s abusive husband. He claims that a “red mist” takes over him. Gary tracks Jean to Wyoming and subsequently receives a beating from Einar.

Lewis’ Resume: Richard D. Winters in Band of Brothers (2001), Charlie Crews in Life (2007-09) Nicholas Brody in Homeland (2011-20), Bobby Axelrod in Billions (2016-), Steve McQueen in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)

An Unfinished Life Cast: Camryn Manheim as Nina

An Unfinished Life Cast - Camryn Manheim as Nina

Character Profile: A Wyoming waitress. She befriended Einar after the tragic death of her daughter. Nina works with Jean and offers her a place to stay.

Manheim’s Resume: Ellenor Frutt in The Practice (1997-2004), Kristina in Happiness (1998), Trooper Champlin in Scary Movie 3 (2003), Delia Banks in Ghost Whisperer (2006-10), Lieutenant Cosgrove in Stumptown (2019-20)

An Unfinished Life Cast: Becca Gardner as Griff Gilkyson

An Unfinished Life Cast - Becca Gardner as Griff Gilkyson

Character Profile: Jean’s daughter. She initially believes that Einar and Mitch are lovers. Griff enjoys spending time with her grandfather at his Wyoming property.

Gardner’s Resume: Bonnie in What Ever Happened to Alice (2003), Anna Vjorka in The Practice (2003), Rebecca “Bex” Singleton in Grey’s Anatomy (2006), Gracie Ann Gates in The Closer (2011)


An Unfinished Life’s cast also includes Lynda Boyd (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Virgin River), Rob Hayter (Stargate SG-1, Deadpool), P. Lynn Johnson (Final Destination, The Invisible), Byron Lucas (Northwood, First Wave) and R. Nelson Brown (Freddy Got Fingered, The Fog).

Q.V. Hough (@QVHough) is Vague Visages’ founding editor.

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