May December cast and character ages guide

May December, L to R: Julianne Moore as Gracie Atherton-Yoo with Natalie Portman as Elizabeth Berry. Cr. François Duhamel / Courtesy of Netflix
May December, L to R: Julianne Moore as Gracie Atherton-Yoo with Natalie Portman as Elizabeth Berry. Cr. François Duhamel / Courtesy of Netflix /

A new critically acclaimed movie is now streaming on Netflix and we think it’s definitely worth the watch. May December follows an actress named Elizabeth (Natalie Portman) who shadows a woman named Gracie (Julianne Moore) to study her in preparation to portray her in a film. As Elizabeth spends more time with Gracie, who is a controversial figure, and her family, she blurs the lines of personal and professional and learns not everything is so black and white.

May December is loosely inspired by the real-life story of Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau. Charles Melton portrays Joe, Gracie’s husband who is 22 years younger than her. The two met when Joe was a child and Gracie sexually abused him when he was a minor and she was in her mid-30s.

Age and power play a very big role in the movie as Elizabeth gets to know the dynamic between Gracie and Joe years after the controversy unfolded. Because of this, you might be wondering how old the central actors are, as well as how old their characters are. Let’s break it all down below.

May December
May December. (L to R) Natalie Portman as Elizabeth Berry and Julianne Moore as Gracie Atherton-Yoo in May December. Cr. Francois Duhamel / courtesy of Netflix /

Julianne Moore as Gracie Atherton-Yoo

  • Character Age: 59
  • Actress Age: 62

Academy Award winner Julianne Moore is 62 years old in real life, and her character is a few years younger than that at 59. In May December, Gracie is seemingly unashamed about her relationship with Joe, and she believes what they have is true love. Elizabeth tries to understand how she could commit such a crime and what her life is like today, though some answers are harder to figure out than others. Gracie seems happy with Joe, though she breaks down and cries pretty frequently. She runs a baking business, however, her clientele is just repeating customers who presumably feel bad for her.

Moore is best known for movies like Boogie Nights, Magnolia, The Kids Are All Right, The Laws of Attraction, The Hours, and many other acclaimed films. She previously worked with director Todd Haynes on the movies Safe, Far From Heaven, I’m Not There, and Wonderstruck. In 2015, she won an Oscar for her performance in Still Alice; she had previously been nominated four times.

May December
May December, Charles Melton as Joe. Cr. François Duhamel / Courtesy of Netflix /

Charles Melton as Joe Yoo

  • Character Age: 36
  • Actor Age: 32

Charles Melton portrays Gracie’s husband Joe, and the two have been together for over two decades when May December begins. The actor is younger than the character by four years.

When Elizabeth starts spending time with the family, Joe confronts his emotions and begins to realize what happened when he was a minor was not right. He tries to speak to Gracie about it but she doesn’t want to hear it. His conflicted feelings lead to unexpected decisions (no major spoilers here) and leave him confused about his life. He and Gracie are about to have an open nest after their children head to college, and he starts to reevaluate his own life.

Melton is absolutely fantastic in the role, and he just won a Gotham Independent Film Award for Outstanding Supporting Performance this week. It’s been predicted he’ll receive his first Academy Award nomination for his performance as well. Not bad for a Riverdale alum. Apart from his role as Reggie Mantle in the CW series, Melton has appeared in movies The Sun is Also a Star and Mainstream, along with the shows Poker Face and American Horror Stories.

May December
May December, Natalie Portman as Elizabeth Berry. Cr. François Duhamel / Courtesy of Netflix /

Natalie Portman as Elizabeth Berry

  • Character Age: 36
  • Actor Age: 42

Like Moore, Portman is also portraying a character a few years younger than her. Elizabeth is a very complex and intriguing character, which really complements Gracie and Joe’s dynamic. She’s dedicated to her job as an actress and is determined to imitate Gracie to the best of her ability for the role. She assures the family that her performance will be as fair as it can be, given the nature of the part. It’s sometimes difficult to know what Elizabeth’s motives are, which is incredibly interesting. Her actions are morally ambiguous, which makes the movie all the more entertaining and thought-provoking.

Portman is one of my favorite actresses, best known for movies like Black Swan, Jackie, the Star Wars prequels, Closer, and V for Vendetta. She’s been nominated for three Academy Awards and won one in 2011 for her starring role as Nina in Black Swan. Like her May December co-stars, Portman is incredibly talented and brings so much to each part she takes on.

May December
May December, L to R: Elizabeth Yu as Mary Atherton-Yoo, Natalie Portman as Elizabeth Berry & Julianne Moore as Gracie Atherton-Yoo. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix /

Other May December cast members

  • Piper Curda as Honor Atherton-Yoo: Age 26
  • Elizabeth Yu as Mary Atherton-Yoo: Age 21
  • Gabriel Chung as Charlie Atherton-Yoo: Age 20
  • Cory Michael Smith as Georgie Atherton: Age 37
  • D. W. Moffett as Tom Atherton: Age 69
  • Andrea Frankle as Rhonda: Age 48

The melodramatic movie has understandably been receiving rave reviews, with director Todd Haynes and screenwriter Samy Burch being praised for their unique storytelling and tone throughout. If you’re looking for something to watch this weekend, look no further than May December on Netflix! I can’t wait to see what other awards it ends up being nominated for this season.

Next. 53 best Netflix movies to watch (and 21 to skip). dark