The Premise cast features Jon Bernthal, Ayo Edebiri and Boyd Holbrook. This info article contains minor spoilers for the FX on Hulu series. Visit the Vague Visages Know the Cast section for more streaming guides.
Created by B.J. Novak, The Premise tells stand-alone stories about modern sociopolitical issues. The first episode explores activism and contrived online personas, while the second tale maintains a dark tone that’s similar to the popular Netflix series Black Mirror. Here’s every main player in The Premise.
The Premise Cast: Ben Platt as Ethan Streiber (“Social Justice Sex Tape”)
Character Profile: A Bed-Stuy resident and self-proclaimed activist. He’s the focus of a sex tape that reveals the innocence of a Black man who allegedly assaulted a police officer. Ethan’s true feelings and motivations emerge when he’s pressured by a defense lawyer in court.
Platt’s Resume: Benji in the Pitch Perfect Movie Franchise (2015-), Daniel in Ricki and the Flash (2015), Josh in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (2016), Payton Hobart in The Politician (2019-20), Evan Hansen in Dear Evan Hansen (2021)
The Premise Cast: Ayo Edebiri as Eve Stone (“Social Justice Sex Tape”)
Character Profile: A lawyer who defends a Black activist. She’s stunned by Ethan’s self-serving and hypocritical statements. Eve discovers the truth in court by pressuring her primary witness.
Edebiri’s Resume: Missy Foreman-Greenwald in Big Mouth (2020-), Nikki in Cicada (2020), Stand Up in How It Ends (2020), Hattie in Dickinson (2021), Khadijah in As of Yet (2021)
The Premise Cast: Tracee Ellis Ross as Rayna Bradshaw (“Social Justice Sex Tape”)
Character Profile: Eve’s colleague. She’s skeptical of Ethan as an individual but knows that he’ll be exposed in court. Rayna is a true social justice warrior who recognizes Eve’s potential and authenticity.
Ross’ Resume: Joan Clayton in Girlfriends (2000-20), Kristin in Labor Pains (2009), Carla Reed in Reed Between the Lines (2011), Gloria Parkes in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2011), Rainbow Johnson in Black-ish (2014-)
The Premise Cast: Jermaine Fowler as Darren Williams (“Social Justice Sex Tape”)
Character Profile: A Bed-Stay activist charged with aggravated assault. He’s defended by Eve in court. Darren makes post-case jokes that entertain Rayna.
Fowler’s Resume: Principal in The Eric Andre Show (2012), Pete Repeat in BoJack Horseman (2015-19), Russell in Crashing (2017-19), Lavelle Junson in Coming 2 America (2021), Mark Clark in Judas and the Black Messiah (2021)
The Premise Cast: Jon Bernthal as Chase Milbrandt (“Moment of Silence”)
Character Profile: A National Gun Lobby PR agent. His five-year-old daughter was killed in a school shooting 15 years prior. Chase intends to make a bold statement during a live stream on the 15th anniversary of his daughter’s death.
Bernthal’s Resume: Shane Walsh in The Walking Dead (2010-18), Brad in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), Frank Castle/Punisher in The Punisher (2017-19), Matt Rayburn in Wind River (2017), Rick Macci in King Richard (2021)
The Premise Cast: Boyd Holbrook as Aaron (“Moment of Silence”)
Character Profile: A National Gun Lobby employee. His three favorite things are alcohol, tobacco and firearms. Aaron befriends Chase and realizes that he may be plotting against the NGL.
Holbrook’s Resume: Peter Kristo in A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014), Jeff in Gone Girl (2014), Steve Murphy in Narcos (2015-16), Pierce in Logan (2017), Tynan in Beckett (2021)
The Premise Cast: Lucas Hedges as Jesse Wheeler (“The Ballad of Jesse Wheeler”)
Character Profile: A famous pop star. He donates $1 million to his high school for a new library, and also offers a sex prize to a student who wins a history fair competition. Jesse bonds with the valedictorian and makes awkward statement about his feelings.
Hedges’ Resume: Patrick in Manchester by the Sea (2016), Robbie in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017), Danny O’Neill in Lady Bird (2017), Jared Eamons in Boy Erased (2018), Luke in Waves (2019)
The Premise Cast: Kaitlyn Dever as Abbi Miller (“The Ballad of Jesse Wheeler”)
Character Profile: The Victory High School valedictorian. She believes that celebrity worship is a modern type of religion. Abbi wins a history fair project and makes a brief and revealing statement about her experience with Jesse.
Dever’s Resume: Loretta McCready in Justified (2011-15), Eve Baxter in Last Man Standing (2011), Jayden in Short Term 12 (2013), Amy in Booksmart (2019), Marie Adler in Unbelievable (2019)
The Premise Cast: O’Shea Jackson Jr. as Cooper (“The Ballad of Jesse Wheeler”)
Character Profile: Jesse’s manager. He’s slightly concerned about his client offering to have sex with a student. Cooper owes Jesse approximately $800,000 for a recent show.
Jackson Jr.’s Resume: Ice Cube in Straight Outta Compton (2015), Dan Pinto in Ingrid Goes West (2017), Donnie Wilson in Den of Thieves (2018), Lance in Long Shot (2019), Chief Warrant Officer Barnes in Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)
The Premise Cast: George Wallace as Principal Wallace (“The Ballad of Jesse Wheeler”)
Character Profile: The Victory High School principal. He introduces Jesse to the Phi Beta Kappa club. Principal Wallace thinks Jesse’s history fair sex offer won’t become a big deal.
Wallace’s Resume: The Mayor in Batman Forever (1995), Mayor Randolph in Little Nicky (2000), Mr. Washington in The Wash (2001), Sheriff Wyner in The Ladykillers (2004), Mayor Benson in Hubie Halloween (2020)
The Premise Cast: Grace Song as Susie Xu (“The Ballad of Jesse Wheeler”)
Character Profile: A member of the Phi Beta Kappa club. She is confused by Jesse’s intentions. Susie doesn’t fare well with her history fair “America” project.
Song’s Resume: Grace in High Maintenance (2018), Eliza in Kidding (2018), Female Barista in Life Itself (2018), Hilary in Straight Up (2019), Elsie Fang in Launchpad (2021)
The Premise Cast: Brendan Scannell as Caleb Rose (“The Ballad of Jesse Wheeler”)
Character Profile: Abbi’s high school friend. He is intrigued by Jesse’s sex promise. Caleb wants to make a “statement” by having sex with the pop star, and receives an A+ for his “Intersectional Progress of Justice” project.
Scannell’s Resume: Pete Devin in Bonding (2018-), Elsie Fang in Heathers (2018), Jerry in Straight Up (2019), Leo Gold in Just to be Nominated (2021)
The Premise Cast: Ed Asner as Mr. Holmes (“The Ballad of Jesse Wheeler”)
Character Profile: Abbi and Caleb’s teacher. He appears on the show “Datin’ & Matin.'” Mr. Holmes also judges the Victory High School history fair competition.
Asner’s Resume: Bart Jason in El Dorado (1966), Lou Grant in The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-77), Santa in Elf (2003), Carl Fredricksen in Up (2009), Sid Weinberg in Cobra Kai (2018-21)
The Premise cast also includes Talia Balsam (Mad Men, Divorce), Melissa Saint-Amand (Ozark), Beau Bridges (The Fabulous Baker Boys, The Descendants) and Amy Landecker (Transparent, Doctor Strange).
Q.V. Hough (@QVHough) is Vague Visages’ founding editor.