Leave the World Behind is Netflix’s latest big movie of the week. Based on the book of the same name by Rumaan Alam, the film is and written and directed by Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail and centers on the Sandford family. The Sandfords are looking forward to enjoying a relaxing vacation when two strangers show up in the middle of the night claiming that a deadly cyberattack is imminent and will destroy society as we know it.
Boasting an acclaimed cast that includes Julia Roberts, Ethan Hawke, and Mahershala Ali, Leave the World Behind has been generating significant buzz since its world premiere at AFI Fest this past October. After debuting in select theaters on November 22, Leave the World Behind finally makes its Netflix premiere on December 8.
For those interested in learning more about the movie’s talented cast, maybe finding out where you’ve seen some of these performers before, keep reading to get to know the cast and characters of Leave the World Behind.
Julia Roberts as Amanda Sandford
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t know who A-list actress Julia Roberts is in 2023. The Academy Award-winning actress is one of the most bankable stars in the world and Roberts has countless accolades under her belt to prove it.
While she’s known for movies like Mystic Pizza, Steel Magnolias, and Pretty Woman, in recent years you might have seen her in Ticket to Paradise with George Clooney and playing Martha Mitchell in the Starz series Gaslit. Roberts plays Amanda Sandford in Leave the World Behind, wife of Clay and mother of Rose and Archie.
- Instagram: @juliaroberts
Ethan Hawke as Clay Sandford
Four-time Academy Award-nominated actor and director Ethan Hawke stars alongside Julia Roberts as her on-screen husband Clay Sandford. Hawke is another long-time Hollywood performer, known for Boyhood, the Before Sunset trilogy, Maggie’s Plan, First Reformed, and The Black Phone.
The actor has received many nominations and accolades throughout his lengthy career, including a Tony Award and two Golden Globes. Next he’ll return to play The Grabber in The Black Phone 2, set for a 2025 release. He’s also writing, directing, and producing the biographical drama Wildcat about author Flannery O’Connor which will star his daughter Maya Hawke.
- Instagram: @ethanhawke
Mahershala Ali as G.H. Scott
Mahershala Ali is a two-time Academy Award-winning actor best known for his work in the acclaimed films Moonlight and Green Book. He’s also won a Golden Globe Award and a Primetime Emmy Award, along with being consistently hailed as one of the best working actors of this century. In Leave the World Behind, Ali plays G.H. Scott, the owner of the house rented by the Sandford family for their vacation. His daughter, Ruth Scott, is played by Industry star Myha’la.
Ali’s recent projects include Swan Song, True Detective, Alita: Battle Angel, Ramy, and voice work in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse and the Prime Video series Invincible, along with narrating the Netflix series Chimp Empire. Next he’ll lend his voice to the stop motion fantasy film Wildwood and he’s attached to play the titular vampire hunter in the Marvel movie Blade.
- Instagram: @mahershalaali
Myha’la as Ruth Scott
Myha’la portrays Ruth Scott, daughter of G.H. Scott, in the film. Interestingly, director and writer Sam Esmail made a change here from book-to-screen, as the character of Ruth was originally G.H.’s wife in the book, while in the movie Ruth is his daughter.
The 27-year-old is a very talented up-and-coming actress who got her breakout role in the HBO series Industry, which is going into its third season. She’s also starred in movies like Dumb Money, Bodies Bodies Bodies, The Honeymoon, and Plan B. Netflix fans might recognize her from the most recent season of Black Mirror where she played Pia in the “Loch Henry” episode.
- Instagram: @mmyhala
Kevin Bacon as Danny
In the book, the character of Danny works for G.H. Scott as his contractor. Danny is a conspiracy theorist who has been prepping for end times. When discussing casting Kevin Bacon in the role, Esmail says, “Kevin and I spoke a lot about how we can humanize this guy so he doesn’t come off like a caricature.”
Like his co-stars, Kevin Bacon is an accomplished actor with several notable accolades including a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Primetime Emmy nomination for his work in the 2009 film Taking Chance. You’ve also seen him in Footloose, Tremors, Mystic River, Hollow Man, City on a Hill, The Toxic Avenger, You Should Have Left, and many more films and television shows. Next, he’ll star in MaXXXine alongside Mia Goth and in the upcoming Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley.
- Instagram: @kevinbacon
Farrah Mackenzie as Rose Sandford
Farrah Mackenzie is the young actress playing the on-screen daughter of Ethan Hawke and Julia Roberts. Mackenzie is best known for starring in the Prime Video series Utopia, United States of Al, Logan Lucky, and Please Stand By.
- Instagram: @farrahmackenzie
Charlie Evans as Archie Sandford
Out of everyone in the cast, Charlie Evans is one of the newest on the acting scene. Leave the World Behind is one of his biggest roles to date. Previously, he starred in the Freeform series Everything’s Gonna Be Okay.
- Instagram: @charliebluejay