The Trial of the Chicago 7: How does the Netflix cast compare to the real people?
Some of them are scarily similar
Netflix’s latest drama film The Trial of the Chicago 7 dropped on Netflix last Friday and is already in the Top 10. People have called it “the best thing” they’ve watched in 2020 and it’s already generating Oscar buzz.
The movie is a dramatisation of the true case of The Chicago 7 which happened in the late 1960s. Eight defendants were charged by the federal government for conspiracy and inciting to riot in relation to anti-war protests against the Vietnam War.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 explores the court case and the proceedings that go on behind the scenes of each side of the case. The cast lineup is incredible, Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are just a few of the actors involved in the film. And one thing the film has nailed is how close to their real life counterparts the actors are.
This is the cast of Netflix’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 and how similar they are to the real life person they play:
Sacha Baron Cohen – Abbie Hoffman
Sacha Baron Cohen plays Abbie Hoffman, one of the defendants in the Chicago Seven and looks strikingly similar to Abbie. Abbie was the cofounder of the Youth International Party and was a leader of the Flower Power Movement.
Abbie was well known in the trial for creating antics that often ended up in the press such as turning up in court robes and when being sworn in he used his hand to give the middle finger.
Sacha Baron Cohen is incredibly well known for Borat, Brüno and Les Miserables.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II – Bobby Seale
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II plays Bobby Seale, the only black man part of the Chicago 8, who was tried separately to the rest of the Chicago 7 after repeatedly asking the judge to not try him without his lawyer present, which is how they became the Chicago 7.
Hair and makeup should defo be congratulated here as they’ve managed to get Yahya’s facial hair remarkably similar to Bobby’s. Bobby co-founded the Black Panther party alongside Huey P. Newton.
Yahya is most well known for his roles in Aquaman, The Get Down and Watchmen which he just won an Emmy for.
Eddie Redmayne – Tom Hayden
Eddie Redmayne plays Tom Hayden who was another of the Chicago 7 defendants. He was a political activist and ended up holding seats in the California Assembly and the California Senate. Oh and he was married Jane Fonda.
Eddie sports a rather interesting American accent for this film, in a very harsh contrast to usual posh English accent that he’s used for films such as The Theory of Everything and Fantastic Beasts. And he also seems to have a lot less hair than the actual Tom Hayden.
Jeremy Strong – Jerry Rubin
Jeremy Strong plays Jerry Rubin, another defendant in the trial, whilst his hair is a bit different to his real life counterpart at least they got the headband right. He was another co-founder of the Youth International Party.
Jeremy is most known for his role in Succession and for appearing in the films The Big Short and The Gentleman.
Alex Sharp – Rennie Davis
They got the glasses spot on for Alex Sharp who plays another Chicago 7 defendant Rennie Davis. Rennie was one of the chief organisers of the anti-Vietnam protests.
Alex Sharp, who I’m not gonna lie, looks a bit like Game of Thrones’ Ramsey in the above picture, has been in a few things before the Netflix movie. He’s starred in Hustle and To The Bone.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt – Richard Schultz
Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the role of Richard Schultz who is the Nixon Justice Department’s prosecutor in the case.
It feels like Joseph Gordon-Levitt hasn’t actually been in anything for a while, but the Inception actor has been in another Netflix movie this year – Project Power.
Frank Langella – Julius Hoffman
Frank Langella takes on the role of the judge in the trial Julius Hoffman, but he was in no way related to defendant Abbie Hoffman.
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) February 17, 2016
This is not Langella’s first time acting a role that is based in the Nixon era, he previously starred in Frost/Nixon in 2008 which was about the post Watergate TV interviews.
Mark Rylance – William Kunstler
William Kunstler was the lawyer defending the Chicago 7 and was himself a civil rights activist. In the Netflix movie he is played by Mark Rylance who has a bit more a tidy hair look than the actual William Kunstler.
It is 8:00 p.m.—the supposed start of the Bill Kunstler and Jerry Rubin address at University Hall. Tonight, follow this thread with audio, photos, and documents from our collections as we "live-tweet" the 1970 May Strike! #maystrikeincontext #1970UVA pic.twitter.com/hxV5JSDH2h
— UVA Special Collections (@RareUVA) May 7, 2020
Kunstler is on the right in the picture above. Mark has previously starred in The BFG and Dunkirk, amongst other notable works.
Michael Keaton – Ramsey Clark
Michael Keaton pops up half way through the film as former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and basically looks nothing like the actual Ramsey Clark, but hey it’s cool that he’s there.
Michael Keaton has been in so many films including Birdman, Spotlight and The Founder.
John Carroll Lynch – David Dellinger
John Carroll Lynch plays another member of the Chicago 7, David Dellinger who was a pacifist and an activist for non-violent social change.
“I advocate overthrowing the government by force but not by violence, and tax refusal is but one of the cutting edges and forces that are available to us.” — David Dellinger, #OnThisDay 50 years ago, in Washington, D.C. at the Vietnam Moratorium rally. pic.twitter.com/KZD2ZsnccP
— 99 Tax Refusal Tactics (@99Tactics) April 15, 2020
David Dillinger is seen in the above photo on the left and looks a little different to John who plays him. John is most known for his role in the film Fargo and alongside Michael Keaton in The Founder.
Daniel Flaherty – John Froines
John Froines is played by Daniel Flaherty in the Netflix movie and one of the main differences between the actor and his real life counter part is Daniel’s hair length which is much longer than John’s.
John was one of the Chicago 7 and was charged with “interstate travel for purposes of inciting a riot and with making incendiary device”, however he was one of the two who did got acquitted in the trial.
Daniel Flaherty has previously been in The Wolf of Wall Street, Annie and the series The Americans.
Noah Robbins – Lee Weiner
Noah Robbins took on the role of the last member of the Chicago 7, Lee Weiner, who was also the other defendant acquitted of charges. He’s recently written a memoir about his experience of the trial.
[the Chicago Eight: (top L-R) Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman,Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, Bobby Seale, Lee Weiner, John Froines and David Dellinger, circa 1968.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images] pic.twitter.com/U1V4Nck9tr
— purita (@_purita_) October 16, 2020
Unlike the real life Lee, Noah has no way near the same amount of facial hair, if any to the actual Lee.
Before starring in the Netflix movie Noah was in Unbreakable Kenny Schmidt, Younger and Masters of Sex.
The Trial of The Chicago 7 is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.