Know the Cast: ‘Safe House’

Safe House Cast - Every Main Performer and Character in the 2012 Movie

The Safe House cast features Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds and Vera Farmiga. This info article contains spoilers and character details for Daniel Espinosa’s 2012 movie on Netflix. Check out Vague Visages’ Know the Cast section for more streaming guides.

In Safe House, a promising CIA officer named Matt Weston chases after a legendary rogue agent, Tobin Frost. The men initially clash but then team up to expose a high-level intelligence conspiracy. Weston hopes to balance his personal and professional lives but learns that it’s simply impossible given his line of work. Here’s every main performer and character in Safe House.

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Safe House Cast: Denzel Washington as Tobin Frost

Safe House Cast - Denzel Washington as Tobin Frost

Character Profile: An ex-CIA agent who allegedly sells intel to U.S. enemies. He plans to expose corrupt high-level intelligence operatives in various countries. Frost reveals that he became a skeptic after inadvertently causing the death of a whistleblower.

Washington’s Resume: Dr. Philip Chandler in St. Elsewhere (1982-88), Malcolm X in Malcolm X (1992), Alonzo in Training Day (2001), Frank Lucas in American Gangster (2007), Robert McCall in The Equalizer (2014)

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Safe House Cast: Ryan Reynolds as Matt Weston

Safe House Cast - Ryan Reynolds as Matt Weston

Character Profile: A New York native and Yale Law graduate. He’s a CIA officer who is stationed at a safe house in Cape Town, South Africa. Weston crosses paths with the infamous Tobin Frost and helps expose a corruption conspiracy.

Reynolds’ Resume: Michael “Berg” Bergen in Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place (1998-2001), Van Wilder in Van Wilder (2002), Wade Wilson/Deadpool in the X-Men/Deadpool Movie Franchise (2009-), Hal Jordan in Green Lantern (2011), Michael Bryce in The Hitman’s Bodyguard Movie Franchise (2017-)

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Safe House Cast: Vera Farmiga as Catherine Linklater

Safe House Cast - Vera Farmiga as Catherine Linklater

Character Profile: A CIA operative who initially leads the Frost interrogation. She believes that Weston has somehow turned on the agency. Linklater gets killed by her superior, Barlow, during a country meeting.

Farmiga’s Resume: Madolyn in The Departed (2006), Alex Goran in Up in the Air (2009), Norma Louise Bates in Bates Motel (2013-17), Lorraine Warren in The Conjuring Movie Universe (2013-), Livia Soprano in The Many Saints of Newark (2021)

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Safe House Cast: Brendan Gleeson as David Barlow

Safe House Cast - Brendan Gleeson as David Barlow

Character Profile: Weston’s mentor. He seems to understand that Reynolds’ character truly intends to capture Frost. Barlow kills Linklater when she learns about a microchip that implicates him in a corruption conspiracy. He is later gunned down by Weston in the climax.

Gleeson’s Resume: Stobrod Thewes in Cold Mountain (2003), Ken in In Bruges (2008), Gerry Boyle in The Guard (2011), Father James in Cavalry (2014), Bill Hodges in Mr. Mercedes (2017-19)

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Safe House Cast: Sam Shepard as Harlan Whitford

Safe House Cast - Sam Shepard as Harlan Whitford

Character Profile: The CIA’s deputy director. He recommends Weston for a senior case officer position while making passive-aggressive threats. Whitford ultimately goes to court for his role in a corruption scandal.

Shepard’s Resume: The Farmer in Days of Heaven (1978), Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff (1983), Garrison in Black Hawk Down (2001), Tom in Mud (2012), Robert Rayburn in Bloodline (2015-17)

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Safe House Cast: Rubén Blades as Carlos Villar

Safe House Cast - Rubén Blades as Carlos Villar

Character Profile: A native of the Langa Township in Cape Town. He refers to Frost as the “Black Dorian Gray.” Carlos examines the contents of a flash drive and provides fake documents for Washington’s character.

Blades’ Resume: Martinez in Color of Night (1994), Dr. Max Cabranes in Gideon’s Crossing (2000-01), Jorge in Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003), Jefe in The Counselor (2013), Daniel Salazar in Fear the Walking Dead (2015-)

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Safe House Cast: Nora Arnezeder as Ana Moreau

Safe House Cast - Nora Arnezeder as Ana Moreau

Character Profile: Weston’s girlfriend. She is a medical student in France. Ana is heartbroken when Weston accepts that he is fully committed to his work.

Arnezeder’s Resume: Douce in Paris 36 (2008), Celia in The Words (2012), Ana Maria in Mozart in the Jungle (2014-18), Nadia in Riviera (2017-20), Lilly in Army of the Dead (2021)

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Safe House Cast: Robert Patrick as Daniel Kiefer

Safe House Cast - Robert Patrick as Daniel Kiefer

Character Profile: A CIA agent who questions Frost in Cape Town. He unnerves Weston with his waterboarding tactics. Kiefer is killed during a mercenary attack.

Patrick’s Resume: T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), Coach Joe Willis in The Faculty (1998), Rome in The Marine (2006), Jackson Herveaux in True Blood (2012-14), Herman Baggerly in Perry Mason (2020)

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Safe House Cast: Liam Cunningham as Alec Wade

Safe House Cast - Liam Cunningham as Alec Wade

Character Profile: A 15-year NOC at MI6 who leaks Israeli intel about corrupt CIA agents to Frost. He’s shot and murdered in a first act Cape Town sequence. Wade worked with Frost in Hamburg during the 80s.

Cunningham’s Resume: Dan in The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006), Father Dominic Moran in Hunger (2008), Solon in Clash of the Titans (2010), Davos Seaworth in Game of Thrones (2012-19), Walter in The Vault (2021)

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Safe House Cast: Joel Kinnaman as Keller

Safe House Cast - Joel Kinnaman as Keller

Character Profile: An alleged CIA safe house keeper. Keller claims that Weston is his first guest in 10 months. Moments later, he attacks Reynolds’ character and gets killed.

Kinnaman’s Resume: Stephen Holder in The Killing (2011-14), Alex Murphy/RoboCop in RoboCop (2014), Rick Flag in the DCEU (2016-), Will Conway in House of Cards (2016-17), Edward Baldwin in For All Mankind (2019-)

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The Safe House cast also includes Fares Fares (Child 44, Westworld), Pope Jerrod (Rendition, Monster Hunter), Allen Irwin (Chronicle, Dredd) and Jake McLaughlin (In the Valley of Elah, Savages).

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