2020s

Know the Cast: ‘8-Bit Christmas’

8-Bit Christmas Cast - Every Performer and Character in the HBO Max Movie

The 8-Bit Christmas cast features Winslow Fegley, Neil Patrick Harris and Steve Zahn. This info article contains minor spoilers for Michael Dowse’s 2021 HBO Max movie. Check out more streaming guides in Vague Visages’ Know the Cast section.

8-Bit Christmas primarily takes place in 1988 Chicago. Eleven-year-old Jake Doyle hopes to receive a Nintendo console during the holiday season but encounters various obstacles. In the present, an adult version of the character reflects about a chaotic Christmas season and what he learned from the experience. Here’s every main performer and character in 8-Bit Christmas, an adaptation of Kevin Jakubowski’s 2013 novel.

8-Bit Christmas Cast: Winslow Fegley as Young Jake Doyle

8-Bit Christmas Cast - Winslow Fegley as Young Jake Doyle

Character Profile: An 11-year-old Chicago native. He clashes with his younger sister during Christmastime but then collaborates with her for a financial opportunity. Young Jake intends to either buy, win or receive a Nintendo entertainment system by Christmas.

Fegley’s Resume: Mel in Fast Layne (2019), Byron in Come Play (2020), Timmy Failure in Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made (2020), Alex in Nightbooks (2021)

8-Bit Christmas Cast: Neil Patrick Harris as Adult Jake Doyle

8-Bit Christmas Cast - Neil Patrick Harris as Adult Jake Doyle

Character Profile: The movie’s narrator. He tells his daughter Annie about how he acquired a Nintendo system in the late 80s. Adult Jake also reflects about lessons learned from his family members during the Christmas season.

Harris’ Resume: Dr. Doogie Howser in Doogie Howser, M.D. (1989-93), Carl Jenkins in Starship Troopers (1997), Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother (2005-14), Desi Collings in Gone Girl (2014), Count Olaf in A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017-19)

8-Bit Christmas Cast: Steve Zahn as John Doyle

8-Bit Christmas Cast - Steve Zahn as John Doyle

Character Profile: Jake’s father, a “dyslexic Bob Vila.” He’s an easy-going man who refuses to buy his son a Nintendo system. John gives Jake a more valuable gift instead.

Zahn’s Resume: Wayne in Saving Silverman (2001), Al Giordino in Sahara (2005), Duane in Rescue Dawn (2006), Bad Ape in War for the Planet of the Apes (2017), Mark Mossbacher in The White Lotus (2021)

8-Bit Christmas Cast: June Diane Raphael as Kathy Doyle

8-Bit Christmas Cast - June Diane Raphael as Kathy Doyle

Character Profile: Jake’s mother, a teacher. She observes her hard-working husband and tech-savvy son during the holiday season. Kathy bonds with her daughter Lizzy while the males clash about the pros and cons of owning a Nintendo system.

Raphael’s Resume: Ann at the Bar in Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008), Maya in Year One (2009), Brianna Hanson in Grace and Frankie (2015-), Devin LeSeven in Big Mouth (2017-), Maggie Millikin in Long Shot (2019)

8-Bit Christmas Cast: David Cross as Dealer

8-Bit Christmas Cast - David Cross as Dealer

Character Profile: A black market Cabbage Patch Kids dealer. He sells a doll to John and reflects about his childhood. The dealer later offers poignant life advice to Young Jake.

Cross’ Resume: A Popular Stand-Up Comedian — Also, Tobias Fünke in Arrested Development (2003-19), Rob in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Minion in Megamind (2010), Jerry Wexler in Genius (2021)

8-Bit Christmas Cast: Cyrus Arnold as Josh Jagorski

8-Bit Christmas Cast - Cyrus Arnold as Josh Jagorski

Character Profile: A bully who torments Jake and his friends. He’s the “King of the Mountain” who disrupts a holiday plan to purchase a Nintendo system. Josh threatens Jake but then backs off when the young protagonist stands up for himself.

Arnold’s Resume: Derek Jr. in Zoolander 2 (2016), David “Truck” Johnson III in The Exorcist (2017), Kip Quade in Run Hide Fight (2020), Caleb in Players (2020), Trevor Larkin in Just Beyond (2021)

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The 8-Bit Christmas cast also includes Bellaluna Resnick (Alien Encounters), Sophia Reid-Gantzert (Scaredy Cats, The Baby-Sitters Club), Che Tafari (Daredevil, Rel), Santino Barnard (The Kids Are Alright, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels), Max Malas (Little Voice, Teenage Euthanasia), Brielle Rankins (Feature Debut), Braelyn Rankins (Lady and the Tramp, Doom Patrol) and Chandler Dean (Shameless, Black-ish).

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

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