Sunny cast — who’s who in the darkly comic thriller

Sunny cast is led Rashida Jones, who stars as Suzie.
Sunny season 1 is led Rashida Jones, who stars as Suzie. (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Rashida Jones leads the cast of Sunny season 1 as sardonic, grief-stricken Suzie Sakamoto in Apple TV Plus’s new drama.

At times of bad tidings cards and flowers are the traditional expressions of condolence. In this stylish and darkly comic thriller, however, Japanese-based American Suzie is gifted a personalized robot called Sunny when her husband and son go missing after a mysterious plane crash. 

Set in Kayto in the near-future, the chipper little bot is cheese to Suzie’s sarcastic chalk, as they team up to investigate her spouse Masa’s secretive work at dystopian company ImaTech and get drawn into a dangerous criminal underworld in the process…   

Here’s our guide to who’s who in Sunny season 1…

Sunny cast — who’s who

Set in the near future and based on the novel The Dark Manual by Colin O’Sullivan, the opening episodes of Sunny introduce Suzie (Rashida Jones), as she comes to the devastating realization that her spouse Masa (Hidetoshi Nishijima) and child Zen (Fares Belkheir) are presumed dead. 

Shortly afterwards, Masa’s enigmatic colleague Yuki (Jun Kunimura) turns up with Sunny (voiced by Joanna Sotomura), a sinister ‘homebot’ that her husband programmed especially for her... Which is news to Suzie, who was under the impression that Masa worked in refrigeration! 

Suzie is initially hostile towards the chirpy bot, until she begins wondering what other secrets her husband was keeping. Tentatively they form an offbeat bond, as they investigate Masa’s work, the dystopian company he worked for, and rumours of robots killing people, meeting a host of characters along the way…


Sunny episode 2

Welcome to the future. Rashida Jones as Suzie, kicking back, drinking wine and watching TV with Sunny the robot.  (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

The former maths teacher is at odds with the world as she searches for answers about the disappearance of her husband and son.

“At worst Suzie’s a misanthrope and at best she’s a unique person who battles with internal strife,” explains actor and screenwriter Rashida, the daughter of musician Quincy Jones and Twin Peaks actress Peggy Lipton. “In creating her family, Suzie finally found her people but quickly lost them…’ 

Rashida’s credits include Boston Public, The Office (US), Parks and Recreation, Angie Tribeca, Silo and In the Blink of an Eye


Sunny episode 2

(Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Through flashbacks, it's revealed Masa is a brilliant but demanding designer at ImaTech, the dystopian company he was employed by. But as wife Suzie investigates his work and rumors of killer robots, she wonders if she knew the real Masa? 

“Masa is immersed in loneliness,” teases Hidetosha. “This is a tense suspense mystery, but also a story of love and self-sacrifice between humans - and even between human and non-human!”

Hidetoshi’s credits include Dolls, While the Women Are Sleeping, Cut and Drive My Car. 


A still from Apple TV Plus' Sunny episode 1

Judy Ongg plays Masa's secret-keeping mum, Noriko. (Image credit: Apple)

Masa’s mum and Suzie’s disapproving mother-in-law, Noriko embraces tradition as she tries to cope with her losses - while hiding deeply buried secrets!

“She’s a very traditional Kyoto lady and she didn’t want her son to marry Suzie,” explains Judy. “After the plane crash, she tries to connect with Suzie but Sunny comes between them.”

Singer and woodblock artist Judy made her film debut at the age of 11 in the U.S.-Japan co-production Otsunami. She subsequently appeared in numerous TV dramas, films and theatre productions. The Roosevelt Game, Doctor X and Money Wars are among her TV credits.


A still from Apple TV Plus' Sunny episode 1

Hollywood star Jun Kunimura plays Yuki.  (Image credit: Apple)

This shadowy figure claims to be a co-worker of Masa’s and insists Suzie must accept Sunny into her life…

“He’s a roboticist who thinks very scientifically and works at Imatech with Masa,” says Jun. “As the series progresses you get to know more about their relationship, but I can’t tell you about how they know each other - there’s more to find out!”

Jun’s credits include Black Rain, Kill Bill: Volume 1 and Volume 2, Hard Boiled, Why Don’t You Play in Hell?, The Wailing and Kate.  


annie the clumsy in Sunny episode 1 on Apple TV Plus.

Mixing it up. Annie the Clumsy as Mixxy.  (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

The street-smart bartender's chance encounter with Suzie leads to an unexpected friendship - and a rivalry.

“She’s an aspiring mixologist who goes with the flow but is good at thinking on her feet,” explains Annie. “She wants to be Suzie’s Sherlock Holmes and is jealous of Sunny because she doesn’t trust robots…”

Singer and songwriter Annie the Clumsy produces a YouTube show called the Annie the Clumsy Show. Sunny marks her TV debut.


Actor and musician YOU portrays tough and terrifying Yakuza boss Hime on a quest for power and control. Her credits include Nobody Knows, Still Walking, Tokyo Tower and 9 Border. 


The robot 'Sunny' from Apple TV Plus show Sunny.

Sunny by name... Sunny by nature? (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

This upbeat little bot is eager to help Suzie and fill the void in her life - but is the machine a friend or foe? Here Joanna tells us about bringing Sunny to life…

“I love Sunny’s optimism, she’s bright, excitable and wants to understand Suzie’s needs,” explains Joanna, who provides the robot’s voice and facial expressions. 

“Filming was a really unique process. I would get rigged up with a helmet that has a camera and a monitor, they would wheel robot Sunny out, and then we would do the scenes. So, I move my head, she moves her head, I blink, she blinks, I talk and she talks. I was usually tucked away while the actors reacted to the physical version. We also had an incredible team of roboticists and puppeteers who brought Sunny to life. It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience to play a robot!’

Joanna’s credits include Barry, I Love That For You, The Good Place, Headless: A Sleepy Hollow Story, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Interview with Rashida Jones — Sunny season 1

What attracted you to this project?

“So many things—  I hadn’t been the lead of a drama before and doing a mystery-thriller was very new for me. I love how showrunner Katie Robbins (The Affair) has created this whole rich, magical world. It's original, weird and dark!”

What appealed to you about playing Suzie?

“I like that she’s different from me. I'm a rule follower and Suzie is very much not! She’s a loner and a little ornery. She acts as if she doesn’t care about anything. I like this idea of somebody who has decided that her way of moving through the world is to just knock everything over and not follow the rules.”

Why do Suzie’s feelings towards her homebot change as the show unfolds?

“Suzie’s ultimately a very sensitive person who needs connection. Losing Masa and Zen forces her to have a friendship with Sunny. This forces her out into the world to solve the mystery of the people she loves. She’s created a lot of defenses, but under the veneer, there’s vulnerability and when she actually does give herself over to Sunny and let herself really grieve, it feels very connected.”

The series is set in Japan. Was it an interesting experience filming there?

“I fell madly in love with Japan! We shot in Kyoto and Tokyo, which is not ideal in the summer as it was very hot — 100 degrees and 100% humidity! It was a challenging shoot but it was very much worth it, as Japan is a character in the series.”

See our guide for more filming location details in Sunny season 1

Do you remember your first encounter with the animatronic version of Sunny?

“Yes, we had a little meet and greet in the robot studio, and it was cool, but not what I expected; she was a little bigger and a little bit more muscular, yet really cute. I immediately felt affectionate towards her and I was very easily manipulated into believing this thing was a sentient being - I even asked for a hug!”

Joanna Sotomura, who voices Sunny and provides her countenance using motion capture cameras, performed opposite you in real time. How did that work?

“Joanna was in a tent [on set] with a helmet on [with a camera attached] and did all of these facial expressions that were captured for the actual robot. It meant I was acting with a proxy of Sunny, but I could clearly see Joanna’s expressions through Sunny.”

Did you get to know your other co-stars too?

“Yes, although I was starstruck when I first met Hidetoshi [Masa] because I'd just watched his movie Drive My Car and he was so good in it. But he was pretty goofy with me right away and we connected and liked each other really quickly. 

“Judy Ongg [Noriko] is a national treasure in Japan who has been working since she was young, but you wouldn’t know it because she’s humble, such a hard worker and hilarious! 

“Annie the Clumsy [Mixxy] is an absolutely lovely person and a huge talent. She’d never really been on camera before and was acting with a robot in her second language - I was so impressed!”

What do you hope audiences take away from the series?

“That they find it gripping, relatable, and they're invested, intrigued and want to see more. I also hope they find themselves feeling really conflicted about Sunny!”

When and where can I watch Sunny season 1?

The first two episodes of Sunny season 1 are available to watch on Apple TV Plus from Wednesday, July 10. New episodes then air weekly. 

Elaine Reilly
Writer for TV Times, What’s On TV, TV & Satellite Week and What To Watch

With twenty years of experience as an entertainment journalist, Elaine writes for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and covering a variety of programs from gardening and wildlife to documentaries and drama.


As well as active involvement in the WTW family’s social media accounts, she has been known to get chatty on the red carpet and wander into the odd podcast. 

After a day of previewing TV, writing about TV and interviewing TV stars, Elaine likes nothing than to relax… by watching TV.