Know the Cast: ‘The Lost Daughter’

The Lost Daughter Cast - Every Performer and Character in the 2021 Netflix Movie

The Lost Daughter cast features Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley and Dakota Johnson. This info article contains minor spoilers and character details for Maggie Gyllenhaal’s 2021 Netflix movie. Check out more streaming guides in Vague Visages’ Know the Cast section.

Based on Elena Ferrante’s 2008 novel, The Lost Daughter follows a Cambridge-based professor who travels to a Greek island. The protagonist reflects about her life while assessing the demeanors of her fellow vacationers. As Leda Caruso bonds with a Queens native named Nina, she’s forced to confront her past decisions as a mother. Here’s every main performer and character in The Lost Daughter.

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The Lost Daughter Cast: Olivia Colman as Leda Caruso

The Lost Daughter Cast - Olivia Colman as Leda Caruso

Character Profile: A 48-year-old professor from Cambridge, Massachusetts via Leeds. She vacations at a Greek island and reflects about her experiences teaching comparative and Italian literature. Leda bonds with fellow vacationers while trying to understand how they perceive her.

Colman’s Resume: PC Doris Thatcher in Hot Fuzz (2007), Queen Anne in The Favourite (2018), Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown (2019-20), Anne in The Father (2020), Susan Edwards in Landscapers (2021)

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The Lost Daughter Cast: Jessie Buckley as Young Leda Caruso

The Lost Daughter Cast - Jessie Buckley as Young Leda Caruso

Character Profile: An Italian literature scholar. In flashback sequences, she chastises her daughter Bianca for treating a doll named Mina “like shit.” Leda works on an Italian translation of William Butler Yeats’ poetry and leaves her family to pursue a romance with an admiring professor.

Buckley’s Resume: Rose-Lynn in Wild Rose (2018), Lyudmilla Ignatenko in Chernobyl (2019), Rosalyn Wilder in Judy (2019), Oraetta Mayflower in Fargo (2020), Young Woman in I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020)

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The Lost Daughter Cast: Dakota Johnson as Nina

The Lost Daughter Cast - Dakota Johnson as Nina

Character Profile: A Queens, New York resident. She bonds with Leda after a near-tragedy. Nina plays nice at first but ultimately reveals a darker side in Greece.

Johnson’s Resume: Amelia Ritter in The Social Network (2010), Fugazy in 21 Jump Street (2012), Anastasia Steele in The Fifty Shades of Grey Movie Franchise (2015-2018), Susie in Suspiria (2018), Maggie Sherwoode in The High Note (2020)

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The Lost Daughter Cast: Ed Harris as Lyle

The Lost Daughter Cast - Ed Harris as Lyle

Character Profile: A caretaker at Leda’s Greek island resort. He’s a divorced man with a 50-year-old daughter. Lyle shows romantic interest in Leda and recalls an encounter with the late musician Leonard Cohen.

Harris’ Resume: Gene Kranz in Apollo 13 (1995), Christof in The Truman Show (1998), Jackson Pollock in Pollock (2000), Virgil Cole in Appaloosa (2008), Man in Black in Westworld (2016-)

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The Lost Daughter Cast: Peter Sarsgaard as Professor Hardy

The Lost Daughter Cast - Peter Sarsgaard as Professor Hardy

Character Profile: Leda’s lover in the flashback timeline. He gives lectures on the British poet W.H. Auden and French philosopher Paul Ricoeur. Professor Hardy’s public admiration for Leda results in an affair.

Sarsgaard’s Resume: Clyde Martin in Kinsey (2004), Alan Troy in Jarhead (2005), Ray Seward in The Killing (2013), Henry Fisher in The Guilty (2021), Rick Mountastle in Dopesick (2021)

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The Lost Daughter Cast: Dagmara Domińczyk as Callie

The Lost Daughter Cast - Dagmara Domińczyk as Callie

Character Profile: A vacationer from Queens. She clashes with Leda and then apologizes. Callie displays passive-aggressive behavior which thematically correlates with her family as a whole.

Domińczyk’s Resume: Mercedes in The Count of Monte Cristo (2002), Belva in The Immigrant (2013), Terry Alba in They (2002), Karolina Novotney in Succession (2018-), Ellen in The Assistant (2019)

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The Lost Daughter Cast: Paul Mescal as Will

The Lost Daughter Cast - Paul Mescal as Will

Character Profile: A 24-year-old beach house employee. He’s a business student from Dublin. Will befriends Leda and secretly hooks up with Nina.

Mescal’s Resume: Matt in Bump (2019), Connell in Normal People (2020), Sean McKeogh in The Deceived (2020), Feature Movie Debut in The Lost Daughter

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The Lost Daughter Cast: Jack Farthing as Joe

The Lost Daughter Cast - Jack Farthing as Joe

Character Profile: Leda’s husband in the flashback timeline. He values his family over his wife’s professional achievements. Joe pleads with Nina to prioritize her children instead of a romantic fling.

Farthing’s Resume: Freddie Threepwood in Blandings (2013-14), George in The Riot Club (2014), George Warleggan in Poldark (2015-19), Dan in Burn Burn Burn (2015), Charles in Spencer (2021)

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The Lost Daughter Cast: Alba Rohrwacher as Female Hiker

The Lost Daughter Cast - Alba Rohrwacher as Female Hiker

Character Profile: A hiker in the flashback timeline. She feels obliged to do “stupid things.” The unnamed character admires Leda for her understanding of the Italian language.

Farthing’s Resume: Elisabetta Recchi in I Am Love (2009), Mina in Hungry Hearts (2014), Angelica in The Wonders (2014), Hana/Mark in Sworn Virgin (2015), Narrator in My Brilliant Friend (2018-20)

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The Lost Daughter cast also includes Robyn Elwell (feature debut), Ellie Blake (feature debut), Oliver Jackson-Cohen (The Invisible Man, The Haunting of Bly Manor), Panos Karonis (Before Midnight, Beckett) and Alexandros Mylonas (I aithousa tou thronouMatomena homata).

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