Although Netflix’s "Arcane," out November 6, has managed to draw the attention of even casual viewers unacquainted with "League of Legends," the show’s release naturally comes with an extra sweet taste for the fans who have long been hip to the cinematic storytelling potential of the "LoL" universe. And everything unveiled so far about "Arcane," including its fantastic official trailer, indicates that Riot Games and animation house Fortiche Productions are going to great lengths to ensure that potential translates into viewers.
One example of that effort would be the voice cast that’s bringing the "Arcane" characters to life. The game had its own brilliant cast, of course, comprised of prolific voice actors like Cia Court and Sarah Williams. But, for "Arcane," Netflix and Riot have opted to enlist a stacked roster of big film and TV stars. In addition to their great, expressive voices, these actors are also gorgeous in real life, and many of them you’ll likely recognize.
Hailee Steinfeld – Vi
American actress-singer-model Hailee Steinfeld is one of the greatest all-around talents of her generation, as anyone who’s seen her many brilliant performances can attest. After breaking through and earning an Oscar nomination at 14 years old in the Coen brothers’ "True Grit" remake, Steinfeld embarked on a career of significant roles in films like "Ender’s Game," "Begin Again," and the "Pitch Perfect" franchise, received widespread acclaim for her sensitive performance in Kelly Fremon Craig’s coming-of-age drama "The Edge of Seventeen," and shot into superstardom with roles in blockbuster projects like "Bumblebee" and "Hawkeye."
She also launched herself as a pop star in that time, releasing two EPs and hit singles like "Love Myself" and the Grey partnership "Starving," which charted in the Top 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 (via Billboard). Given her previous success as a voice actress in the role of Gwen Stacy in "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse," it makes total sense that the makers of "Arcane" have turned to Steinfeld for the leading role of hard-edged Piltover enforcer Vi.
Ella Purnell – Jinx
Ella Purnell is a rising film and TV star from Tower Hamlets, London. Extensively trained in theater from a young age (via Empire), she originally broke through as a child actress in films like "Never Let Me Go," "Intruders," and "Maleficent," before landing a major role in Tim Burton’s "Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children" and an award-winning performance in "WildLike" put her in the Hollywood spotlight.
In the years since, Purnell has nabbed central roles in a number of significant projects, including the Starz drama "Sweetbitter" and the Julian Fellowes-penned period drama "Belgravia." She’s also been flexing her voice acting muscles a lot: In addition to "Arcane," on which she’ll be resident Piltover troublemaker Jinx, Purnell is playing Gwyn on the Paramount+ animated series "Star Trek: Prodigy," and reprising her role as Kate Ward on the "Army of the Dead" anime spin-off "Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas" (via Netflix).
Kevin Alejandro – Jayce
Anyone who’s been watching TV for some time will be familiar with Mexican-American actor Kevin Alejandro, who has made appearances on more shows throughout the 2000s and 2010s than you could count. After a string of one-off appearances on popular series, Alejandro broke out as Santos, the troubled ex-boyfriend of Hilda Suarez (Ana Ortiz) and father to Justin (Mark Indelicato), on ABC’s "Ugly Betty." This was followed by a major role on the acclaimed crime drama series "Southland" as Detective Nate Moretta, and arcs on "True Blood" as Jesus Velasquez and "Arrow" as Sebastian Blood.
Since 2016, Alejandro has been playing his biggest role yet as Detective Dan Espinoza on "Lucifer" — a show that has also seen him take up the director’s chair several times. Even though Jayce will be his first voice acting turn ever, the conflicted relationship to justice and morality he’s embodied for six seasons on "Lucifer" makes Alejandro ideally suited to bring Jayce’s fraught, reluctant heroism to life.
Toks Olagundoye – Mel
Originally a theater actress and co-founder of the Three Chicks Theatre company (via TV Guide), Nigerian actress Toks Olagundoye had a lot of minor gigs in movies and on TV before landing her first big screen role on the ABC alien sitcom "The Neighbors," which she followed with recurring spots on "Castle" and "Veep."
But her real scene, as far as screen-acting goes, has always been voice work. Indeed, of the many stars in the cast of "Arcane," Olagundoye may be the one with the widest breadth of prior voice acting experience: She’s had a five-season series regular role on "DuckTales" as Mrs. Beakley, a recurring role on Netflix’s "Carmen Sandiego" as V.I.L.E. faculty member Countess Cleo, and a small but memorable appearance in several "Steven Universe" episodes as Beach City mayor Nanefua Pizza.
The character she’s playing on "Arcane," Mel, is original to the series, and we don’t know much about her just yet. But, whatever Mel’s personality and role in the story turn out to be, we can be sure Olagundoye has the chops and the experience to make her memorable.
Harry Lloyd – Viktor
You probably recognize Harry Lloyd from something; after all, the London-born English actor has been a fixture of prestige television for the entirety of the past decade.
His first big role, and the one he’s perhaps best-known for to this day, was that of Viserys Targaryen, brother to Daenerys and heir to House Targaryen, on the first season of "Game of Thrones." But it wasn’t long after his exit from the hit HBO show that TV audiences were seeing him again in a regular capacity: Lloyd gave an acclaimed performance just a year later on the British miniseries "The Fear," and then became a series regular on the underrated WGN America drama "Manhattan."
Before "Arcane," Lloyd’s only voice turns were a 2016 guest spot on "American Dad" and a reprise of his role as Viserys in the "Game of Thrones" animated extra "Conquest & Rebellion." His character, tech genius Viktor, stirred some confusion among fans due to his dissimilarity from his game counterpart, until it was clarified that the series will explore the characters’ backstory leading up to the current "LoL" timeline (via Blog of Legends).