It’s always a big deal when a bunch of A-list Hollywood actors star together in a movie and that is very much the case with Amsterdam. The new comedy period thriller blends historical fact with fiction and features an all-star cast playing creative characters.
With so many actors and characters to keep track of, we’ve put together a guide on who each of the big stars is playing in Amsterdam and what you need to know about it.
Everything you need to know about Amsterdam (the movie)
What is Amsterdam about?
Before we get into the insane cast list, you might be wondering what is Amsterdam actually about?
Here’s the plot synopsis from Disney:
From 20th Century Studios, New Regency, and acclaimed filmmaker David O. Russell comes Amsterdam, an original romantic crime epic about three close friends who find themselves at the centre of one of the most shocking secret plots in American history.
That’s all pretty vague, but if you’ve ever seen American Hustle, then you have a decent idea of what to expect.
Amsterdam character guide: Who is playing who?
Christian Bale – Burt Berendsen
American Hustle star Christian Bale plays Burt Berendson, a doctor and war hero who has a dysfunctional relationship with his wife. The character is based on a real doctor, who Bale and O. Russell built upon to tell their tale of an unlikely friendship trio who met in the aftermath of the war.
Bale has described his character as an outsider, who has been through hell but manages to remain an optimist.
John David Washington – Harold Woodman
Playing one of Burt’s best friends is Tenet star John David Washington, who stars as Harold Woodman, a lawyer who uses his expertise to help those in need.
Washington said at a recent press event for Amsterdam that the research for his character was an eye-opening experience as he learned about what it was like for African Americans to fight for the U.S.
“I was getting all this information about… what it was like fighting over there, and what kind of freedoms [African Americans] had. They had more freedoms there in a lot of ways, than they did in their own country.”
Margot Robbie – Valerie Voze
Australian actress Margot Robbie rounds out Amsterdam’s core trio as Valerie Voze, an artist who meets Burt and Harold in a Belgian hospital.
Robbie said during the press conference that she drew inspiration from her own real-life friendship groups to help build out their dynamic.
“[Valerie] really marches to the beat of her own drum, and, you know, her friendship pact that she makes with Harold and Burt, I mean, it’s everything to her.”
“I have, you know, a very close trio similar to this. We ironically all met in Belgium as well… I think you do end up infusing parts of yourself in there, and I think that comes across in a very, authentic way on camera.”
Rami Malek – Tom Voze
Oscar-winner Rami Malek appears in Amsterdam as Tom Voze, an eccentric socialite who is the brother to Robbie’s character, Valerie, and husband to Anya Taylor Joy’s Libby.
Malek said that Amsterdam drew him in with its universal themes of “love versus hate”.
“You can deliver that as this great comedic thriller and deliver us this amazing, shocking, untold history but all the while have these themes that just resonate to all of us,” Malek said.
Michael Shannon and Mike Myers – Henry Norcross and Paul Canterbury
A dynamic duo of Mikes also star in Amsterdam with Michael Shannon and Mike Myers appearing as two oddball characters, who are also secretly spies. The actors described Henry and Paul as “helper characters”.
“You have these three characters on this incredible journey that they’re on, and then they meet us, and we help them get even further along,” Michael Shannon said during the press conference.
Robert De Niro – General Gil Dillenbeck
Hollywood star Robert De Niro joins the cast of Amsterdam as General Gil Dillenback, a decorated U.S. General and Commander of the 369th New York regiment.
The story in Amsterdam kicks off after the death of General Bill Meekins, which Gil finds suspicious and leads him across the path of Bale, Washington and Robbie’s characters.
De Niro describes his character as “part of the military elite” but someone who “related to the common man”.
Andrea Riseborough – Beatrice Vandenheuval
Andrea Riseborough plays the estranged wife of Christian Bale’s character, Burt. The actress described her character as “a little bit of a mixed bag”.
“She is representative of the upper echelons or the aspirations to be part of the upper echelons of New York society and sort of triumphs and fails at every turn, but really wants desperately to connect,” Riseborough explained at the press conference.
Amsterdam supporting cast
If you’d believe it, there are even more actors filling out the cast of Amsterdam we’re yet to mention, including Chris Rock as Milton King, Zoe Saldana as Irma St. Clair, Taylor Swift as Liz Meekins, Timothy Olyphant as Taron Milfax and Alessandro Nivola as Detective Hiltz.
What are people saying about the film?
It would be remiss not to mention the controversy surrounding Amsterdam, particularly pertaining to the movie’s director David O. Russell.
O. Russell’s behaviour has been met with allegations of abuse of actors on set and sexual misconduct, but he has never been charged. This isn’t the first time the director has made a big-budget film or worked with an elite cast since these controversies have come to light.
There’s been a lot of outcry on social media regarding why such A-list stars would choose to work with O. Russell given his alleged history, but it hasn’t been publicly addressed.
The reviews of the film haven’t been very kind either, and Amsterdam currently sits at only 30% on Rotten Tomatoes.
You’re, of course, welcome to form your own opinions, and if you so choose to, you’ll be able to catch the film in theatres from October 6.
Quotes in this article have been edited for clarity and length.
The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans
Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.