2020s

Know the Cast: ‘The Electrical Life of Louis Wain’

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain - Every Performer and Character in the Amazon Movie

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain cast features Benedict Cumberbatch, Claire Foy and Andrea Riseborough. This info article contains minor spoilers for Will Sharpe’s 2021 Amazon Prime movie. Check out more streaming guides in Vague Visages’ Know the Cast section.

Set during the late 19th century and early 20th century, The Electrical Life of Louis Wain examines the life of a beloved English artist. As a young man, the privileged title character shocks his community by marrying a lower class woman, Emily, while pursuing various careers and looking after his five sisters. The Amazon Prime movie follows the protagonist as he learns to embrace the world’s beauty rather than reflecting about “negative electricity.” Here’s every main player in The Electrical Life of Louis Wain.

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch as Louis Wain

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain Cast - Benedict Cumberbatch as Louis Wain

Character Profile: A failed art teacher, failed musician, aspiring inventor, enthusiastic polyhobbyist and part-time illustrator. He is the oldest of six siblings and falls in love with a teacher. Louis’ mental health declines after a familial tragedy, but he still becomes a famous artist known for depicting cats.

Cumberbatch’s Resume: Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock (2010-17), Khan in Star Trek in Darkness (2013), Alan Turing in The Imitation Game (2014), Dr. Stephen Strange in the MCU (2016-), Colonel Mackenzie in 1917

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain Cast: Claire Foy as Emily Richardson-Wain

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain Cast - Claire Foy as Emily Richardson-Wain

Character Profile: Louis’ wife, a teacher. After being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer, she urges her husband to focus on the beauty in the world. Emily inspires Louis to channel all of his hopes and fears into art.

Foy’s Resume: Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown (2016-20), Janet Armstrong in First Man (2018), Sawyer Valentini in Unsane (2018), Lisbeth Salander in The Girl in the Spider’s Web (2018), Joan Richmond in My Son (2021)

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain Cast: Andrea Riseborough as Caroline Wain

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain Cast - Andrea Riseborough as Caroline Wain

Character Profile: Louis’ sister, the family matriarch. She’s a stern character who worries about her brother’s decisions and financial matters. Caroline urges Louis to behave like a man.

Riseborough’s Resume: Victoria in Oblivion (2013), Laura in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014), Svetlana in The Death of Stalin (2017), Mandy Bloom in Mandy (2018), Emma Lynwood in ZeroZeroZero (2019-20)

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain Cast: Toby Jones as Sir William Ingram

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain Cast - Toby Jones as Sir William Ingram

Character Profile: The publisher of The Illustrated London News. He offers Louis a staff position because of his ability to quickly produce quality work. William also helps Louis’ sisters by offering the family a place to stay in the countryside.

Jones’ Resume: Dobby in the Harry Potter Movie Franchise (2002-10), Percy Alleline in Tinkor Tailor Soldier Spy (2011), Arnim Zola in the MCU (2011-), Claudius Templesmith in The Hunger Games Movie Franchise (2012-15), Chief Factor in First Cow (2019)

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain Cast: Sharon Rooney as Josephine Wain

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain Cast - Sharon Rooney as Josephine Wain

Character Profile: Louis’ sister. She is a charismatic individual who leaves the family decision-making to Caroline.

Rooney’s Resume: Rae in My Mad Fat Diary (2013-15), Miss Atlantis in Dumbo (2019), Ruth in Jerk (2019-), Nicola in Finding Alice (2021), Nina in The Teacher (2021)

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain Cast: Aimee Lou Wood as Claire Wain

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain Cast - Aimee Lou Wood as Claire Wain

Character Profile: Louis’ sister. She has a pleasant demeanor and urges her brother not to leave for New York City.

Wood’s Resume: Aimee Gibbs in Sex Education (2019-), Sonya in Uncle Vanya (2020), Jane in On the Edge (2021)

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain Cast: Hayley Squires as Marie Wain

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain Cast - Hayley Squires as Marie Wain

Character Profile: Louis’ sister. She is diagnosed with schizophrenia and spends time at a country home, courtesy of Mr. Ingram.

Squires’ Resume: Kate in I, Daniel Blake (2016), Babs in In Fabric (2018), Gini in Happy New Year, Colin Burstead (2018), Jolene Dollar/Hayley Burrows in Adult Material (2020), Olivia Wendle in In the Earth (2021)

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain Cast: Stacy Martin as Felicie Wain

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain Cast - Stacy Martin as Felicie Wain

Character Profile: Louis’ sister. She speaks little and often informs her brother when Caroline would like to speak with him.

Martin’s Resume: Young Joe in Nymphomaniac (2013), The Teacher in The Childhood of a Leader (2015), Anne Wiazemsky in Godard Mon Amour (2017), Eleanor in Vox Lux (2018), Juliette Voclain in The Serpent (2021)

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain Cast: Taika Waititi as Max Kase

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain Cast - Taika Waititi as Max Kase

Character Profile: An American writer based on the real-life figure. He meets with Louis in New York City and describes him as “The Cat Man.”

Waititi’s Resume: Director of What We Do in the Shadows (2014), Thor: Ragnarok (2017) and Jojo Rabbit (2019) — Also, Thomas Kalmaku in The Green Lantern (2011) and Korg in the MCU

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain Cast: Adeel Akhtar as Dan Rider

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain Cast - Adeel Akhtar as Dan Rider

Character Profile: A train passenger who asks Louis to draw his cat, Cleopatra. Several decades later, Dan spots the artist in a psychiatric facility and delivers a moving commentary about life, death and nature.

Akhtar’s Resume: Faisal in Four Lions (2010), Wilson Wilson in Utopia (2013-14), Naveed in The Big Sick (2017), Lestrade in Enola Holmes (2020), Steve in The Nest (2020)

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The Electrical Life of Louis Wain cast also includes Phoebe Nichols (The Elephant Man, Transformers: The Last Knight), Asim Chaudhry (People Just Do Nothing, Wonder Woman 1984), Crystal Clarke (Black Mirror, Sanditon), Richard Ayoade (The IT Crowd, The Mandalorian), Nick Cave (Johnny Suede, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), Olivia Colman (The Favourite, The Crown).

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

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