Director Jessica M. Thompson’s "The Invitation" follows a woman named Evie, who realizes she has an entire branch of her family she’s never met after taking a DNA test in the wake of her mother’s death. Evie contacts her cousin Oliver and thinks she’s found some genuine connection when he invites her to a family wedding in the United Kingdom. She’s blown away by the elegant location after arriving in England, but she soon realizes that this new family might not be everything that it appears. By then, it’s too late to remove herself from what quickly becomes a life and death situation.
"The Invitation" is filled with talented actors who have been working for decades, as well as an assortment of relatively new faces. Whether you’re just getting your heart rate to slow down after seeing the film, or you are building up your anticipation ahead of seeing it, get to know the cast of "The Invitation" right here. This is where you might have seen them in action before.
Thomas Doherty (Walter)
Thomas Doherty’s Walter is essentially the villain of "The Invitation." The Scottish actor manages to bring a level of dark charm to his otherwise terrifying character. Prior to joining the film, he starred in 12 episodes of "Gossip Girl" as Max Wolfe, a role that might seem as far from a horror villain as possible. In fact, much of Doherty’s acting past has kept him fairly distant from the horror genre.
His first major credit was the TV movie "Descendants 2," in which he plays the son of Captain Hook. He took the role up for a second time in the film’s sequel "Descendants 3," and he has also played Harry Hook in a handful of spin-offs. In the middle of all that, Doherty jumped into his first proper feature film with 2018’s "High Strung Free Dance," a film about a Broadway show.
Many of Doherty’s biggest roles have been on television shows. In recent years he’s been a cast member of Disney Channel’s "The Lodge," HBO’s historical miniseries "Catherine the Great," and Hulu’s TV adaptation of "High Fidelity." Television is also where Doherty got his biggest dose of preparation for "The Invitation." From 2019 to 2020, he played the vampire Sebastian on The CW’s "Legacies," a spin-off of "The Originals" (which is itself a spin-off of "The Vampire Diaries").
Stephanie Corneliussen (Viktoria)
Television fans will almost certainly recognize Danish actor Stephanie Corneliussen. After getting a successful start making guest appearances on various shows, Corneliussen’s biggest roles have taken her across various networks and into some of the most memorable TV shows of the past decade. Her characters tend to have complicated, sometimes conflicting motivations, and they are usually looking out for themselves first and foremost.
In The CW’s "Legends of Tomorrow," Corneliussen plays Dr. Valentina Vostok, a Soviet scientist who aids the show’s main villain, Vandal Savage. For years Corneliussen also played Joanna Wellick on USA Network’s "Mr. Robot." While not exactly a villain herself, Joanna wouldn’t be described as heroic by anyone who watched the show. Following those roles, Corneliussen moved to ABC to play an antagonist magician known as the Mystery Woman on the crime drama "Deception."
Corneliussen returned to the superhero genre in 2019 to play the wife of Charles Xavier on the FX series "Legion." Since then she has kept a pretty low profile, but she returns to the spotlight in a big way as Viktoria in "The Invitation," the first feature film of her career.
Alana Boden (Lucy)
2022 has been a particularly good year for Alana Boden. First she made an appearance alongside Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg in the film adaptation of "Uncharted." After that, Boden starred in three episodes of Lifetime’s miniseries "Flowers in the Attic: The Origin." Her appearance in "The Invitation" rounds out the year as a strong (and terrifying) finale.
For the past decade, Boden’s career has given her the opportunity to try her hand at a huge variety of roles. In her early days, she joined the cast of a handful of short films which gave her the chance to work with half a dozen different directors in a wide variety of projects. Since then she’s also made appearances in feature films like "Brash Young Turks," "Hostage Radio" (aka "Feedback"), and "Infamous Six."
Along the way Boden has also taken on a number of television roles. She’s made more than a few guest appearances which have taken her from the Jeremy Piven-led series "Mr. Selfridge" to the reboot of "Hawaii Five-0." In 2016, Boden was a main cast member of "Ride," where she spent 20 episodes learning the intricacies of being an equestrian. Horse riding doesn’t play a major part in "The Invitation," but it’s a skill she could well use in future projects.
Hugh Skinner (Oliver)
In "The Invitation," Hugh Skinner plays Oliver, the long lost cousin of Nathalie Emmanuel’s Evie. Oliver sets the movie’s main events into motion when he asks Evie to attend a family member’s wedding in England. If not for Oliver’s charms, Evie might have avoided the wedding and its horrors altogether.
Skinner is a British actor whose talents have carried him far. He made his acting debut in an episode of the British show "Bonkers" and quickly followed that up with a larger role in the series "Tess of the D’Urbervilles." Skinner continued working on a variety of TV shows and in recent years has landed more substantial parts like Unwin Trevaunance in "Poldark," Harry in "Fleabag," Prince William (credited as Wills) in "The Windsors," and the spectacularly named Hugo Cavendish-Smyth in "Little Birds."
On the film side of things, Skinner has kept himself equally as busy. In addition to roles in "Kill Your Friends" and "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" (he plays Holdo’s First Officer in the sci-fi blockbuster), Skinner has appeared in a few movie musicals. He made his feature film debut in the 2012 adaptation of "Les Misérables," and six years later he returned to the musical scene for "Mama Mia! Here We Go Again."
Nathalie Emmanuel (Evie)
Emmy nominated actor Nathalie Emmanuel plays the lead in "The Invitation." Her character Evie meets a long-lost relative and agrees to go to a wedding in England with him, with disastrous consequences. Her acting career began in 2007 when she joined the cast of the soap opera "Hollyoaks," but it wasn’t long before the Brit was skyrocketing toward fame: She has already been part of two of the largest franchises ever put to film.
"Hollyoaks" is one of the most well-known soap operas in the United Kingdom, but its popularity pales in comparison to Emmanuel’s next big TV role. In 2013, she became a main cast member in "Game of Thrones," playing Missandei. Over the course of 38 episodes, her character went from being an enslaved interpreter to a major player in Westeros. Emmanuel’s "Game of Thrones" role might be why so many people recognize her, but it’s not what won her an Emmy nomination — that was her role in "Die Hart," a hilarious action comedy in which Kevin Hart plays a version of himself.
In 2015, Emmanuel’s career took its next big leap when she joined everyone’s favorite family-focused action franchise with "Furious 7." She has since reprised her role as the computer hacking expert Ramsey in "The Fate of the Furious" and "F9: The Fast Saga." She’s set to return to the role for "Fast X" in 2023.
Sean Pertwee (Mr. Fields)
The son of "Doctor Who" star Jon Pertwee, British actor Sean Pertwee is one of the more experienced members on the cast of "The Invitation," and he’s no stranger to horror. One of his most memorable roles came in the unforgettable sci-fi horror classic "Event Horizon." Pertwee’s penchant for sci-fi and horror also led to him joining the 2002 films "Equilibrium" and "Dog Soldiers."
Pertwee got his start in the business with recurring roles in TV shows like "Hard Cases" and "Chancer." Fans of superhero properties will no doubt recognize him as Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne’s steadfast butler, who Pertwee portrayed in the hit DC series "Gotham." In addition to his film and TV work, Pertwee has used his talents to break into the video game industry. Gamers might recognize his voice from the "Fable" series as well as "Assassin’s Creed Black Flag," though Pertwee has also had roles in half a dozen other smaller games.
Through the years, Pertwee has never lost his taste for darker material. In 2020 he starred in Neil Marshall’s "The Reckoning," a mystical horror film about witch burning in the years of the Black Plague. He’s reteaming with Marshall (best known for his work on "Game of Thrones") to star in "Duchess," an upcoming film about a working class criminal.
Virág Bárány (Emmaline)
Virág Bárány is a Hungarian actor whose work has brought her international success. Much of her time has been spent on television, with her first major role coming in 2010 in the Starz adaptation of Ken Follett’s historical fiction novel "The Pillars of the Earth." Bárány also had a recurring role in the Spanish TV drama "Captain Alatriste," based on the books by Arturo Pérez-Reverte. The show follows the titular soldier of fortune during his escapades in 17th century Europe.
Bárány’s film roles have placed her alongside some big names in the industry. She appeared in the Selena Gomez-led film "Monte Carlo" in 2011, and a year later she appeared with Mads Mikkelsen in the thriller "Move On." More recently, Bárány worked with Keira Knightley in the 2018 historical drama "Colette," a biopic about the French novelist Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette.
"The Invitation" represents Bárány’s first film role in four years. She hasn’t yet made a name for herself as a horror star, but she isn’t entirely without experience, either: Back in 2013, she guest-starred in an episode of NBC’s "Dracula," playing a theater actor within the show.
Courtney Taylor (Grace)
Up-and-coming star Courtney Taylor may be the freshest face in "The Invitation." Taylor is an actor and director who’s been working in the industry since 2015, when she made her debut in the feature-length drama "Why She Cries." After that role, Taylor pursued a project of her own: She directed and starred in the series "Girl Oriented S*** Show," playing a version of herself. Following that, Taylor secured recurring roles in "Single & Anxious" and "Insecure."
"The Invitation" is Taylor’s second feature film, and it also serves as her first venture into the horror genre. Not one to waste any time, Taylor already has her next project lined up: She’s a cast member in the upcoming film "Out of My Mind," the story of a girl with cerebral palsy. She’s also signed on to star in two episodes of the upcoming original series "Send Help," a comedy about a Haitian American trying to make it in Hollywood. She already has an impressive track record, and Taylor is really just getting warmed up as an actor and director.
Kata Sarbó (The Manicurist)
Like many actors, Kata Sarbó began her career with a focus on TV guest roles and short films. Sarbó found a real passion for shorter projects, and she continues to focus on them today. One of her best known roles came in the 2015 short "TimeTrap," directed by Mate Holdosi. Sarbó’s most recent short work includes 2019’s "Neext!," 2020’s "Mintaapák," and 2021’s "I Don’t Even Know You."
Though she’s had an intense focus on short films, Sarbó has still found time to fit in big screen projects. She made her feature film debut in "Inferno," the final film in the Robert Langdon trilogy. In 2018, she again partnered with director Mate Holdosi for his feature film debut "The Last Alchemist." Her most recent feature length project was 2021’s "Eucharisztia," which had her taking on the role of Mary Magdalena.
Along with all of that, Sarbó has made guest appearances in a variety of TV shows. She landed a recurring role on National Geographic’s sci-fi series "Mars," which takes place in 2033 and follows the first manned expedition to the planet as well as the crew’s attempts to survive there. "The Invitation" (in which she plays a manicurist) is an excursion for Sarbó, her first foray into the world of horror films.
Scott Alexander Young (Uncle Julius)
Scott Alexander Young didn’t start acting until well into adulthood. Despite that, he’s wasted no time since launching his career, appearing in almost 50 roles since 2007. Young’s work has taken him into just about every available medium. His most recent film role was in the 2021 boxing film "The Survivor," in which he plays a big fight referee, but not long before that film Young was working on shows like "Shadow and Bone" and lending his voice to games like "Dread Nautical."
Young’s career has overlapped with those of his co-stars in "The Invitation" (in which he plays Uncle Julius) more than once. In his early years, he guest starred on the same "Dracula" TV show as Virág Bárány. Just two years later he worked alongside fellow late bloomer Jeremy Wheeler (who plays Jonathan Harker in "The Invitation") on the set of "Anti-Social." Fans of "The Witcher" will no doubt recognize him as the innkeeper from Season 1, a show that Hugh Skinner will appear in during Season 3. Other notable credits for Young include the Jennifer Lawrence film "Red Sparrow," as well as the TV shows "The Alienist" and "The Terror."
Carol Ann Crawford (Mrs. Swift)
Character actor Carol Ann Crawford has been working in the movie business for decades, but she’s kept her screen time fairly limited. She started out taking guest roles in a handful of TV shows before landing recurring parts in "Take the High Road," "Badger by Owl-Light," and "Brookside." In the past decade, Crawford has only worked in front of the camera twice: In 2016 she guest starred in a single episode of "Outlander," and five years later she picked up an episode of the BBC series "Guilt."
When she isn’t acting, Crawford is staying involved in filmmaking by working as a dialect coach — she was actually coaching some of the cast members of "Outlander" when she took on her guest role in 2016. Crawford, who hails from the Scottish village of Bute, believes that dialects not only help actors more fully embody their characters but also create "a sense of time and place" within the project as a whole. "A lot of what I do is practice and repetition," she told The Herald. "When I’m working with the actors, I break down the sounds. I talk about the tune and rhythm. Some accents have a very distinctive rhythm. For instance, there is a scoop and rise to the Glasgow accent where the vowels get stretched."
Elizabeth Counsell’s acting career dates back to the early 1960s, when she got her start guest-starring on various TV shows and made an uncredited appearance in the James Bond film "From Russia with Love." Since then, she’s kept herself busy and has appeared in a variety of roles.
Counsell has always split her time between TV and film, and she’s had stand out moments in both mediums. On the TV side, she had a notable role in the ’80s sitcom "Brush Strokes," a show about a womanizing house painter. Her character Veronica Bainbridge appeared in 37 episodes over the course of five years. Her most recent recurring role was as Elisabeth Wiley in the gripping miniseries "Cold Call," a drama about a single mother who gets scammed out of a huge sum of money.
In the film world, Counsell is best known for starring alongside Terence Stamp and Christopher Eccleston in the Paul Andrew Williams drama "Unfinished Song," aka "Song for Marion." Prior to working on "The Invitation," Counsell reunited with Williams on his 2021 film "Bull."