We're getting closer and closer to CBS All Access' The Stand. As we near the event, it seemed like the right time to give a little bit of a primer on the who's who of the series. If you haven't read the novel, it's, um... involved. Also highly recommended! But if you don't have time to squeeze in the lengthy novel into your schedule, here's a quick breakdown of the very basic ideas of each character. There are more in-depth profiles of them out there if you want to really dig in, but bear in mind that there's a chance we see some liberties with certain characters. Or at least we hope we see some liberties with some characters!
Stu Redman – James Marsden
Stu Redman is a simple man. Unfortunately for him, he’s one of the few members of the world that calls Arnette, Texas home. Though Stu has experienced great loss in his life, he remains a calm and centered protagonist throughout (most of) King’s novel. He’s not here to cause a fuss with anyone, and he’s usually the first to help de-escalate a situation. Given the whole disease that wipes out nearly the entirety of the United States thing, he’s a good man to have in your corner.
Frannie Goldsmith – Odessa Young
The Frannie Goldsmith we meet in Stephen King’s The Stand is an independent and sometimes stubborn woman who knows exactly what she wants. Frannie’s got a secret, but at the time of writing this it seems as if CBS All Access’ The Stand series is keeping that under wraps for a little bit. All the same, her extra baggage will both change her life and be an important plot point throughout the series.
Harold Lauder – Owen Teague
Poor young Harold Lauder is a victim of situation. Harold’s a bit odd, so he gets bullied more often than not. The thing is, your circumstances only justify so much of a certain kind of behavior. Sometimes Harold’s on your side. Others, well… other times he’s on Harold’s side. He’s a little bit of a wild card, Harold. You want to root for him, but his predictability can become a little bit frustrating after a while.
Nick Andros – Henry Zaga
Can you imagine surviving a disease like Captain Trips and navigating a complex new world while being both deaf and mute? How many people could you possibly communicate when the population’s taken from hundreds of millions to just hundreds? Nick Andros is a kind man who wants to do what’s right by those around him and get the job done. If you want to find out how he loses that eye, you’re just gonna have to tune in.
Larry Underwood – Jovan Adepo
"That Larry Underwood is a taker," they say. His momma said it, his girlfriends have said it, and sometimes late at night when he’s being real, real honest with himself he’ll say it too. Larry does mean well, which does amount to something. The young musician might have a selfish streak, but he’ll play an integral part in the new world as one of the last remaining survivors of Captain Trips.
Nadine Cross – Amber Heard
Nadine Cross has felt unwanted much of her life. So, while the plague was hard for her in many ways that it was for the others, at least she was no stranger to feeling alone. Once she was a school teacher, now she’s caregiver to a kiddo named Leo (but we’ll probably know him as Joe) and an eventual companion to Larry Underwood. Point of interest: she’ll have some curious connections to Randall Flagg, but that’s the only tease you’re getting from me!
Tom Cullen – Brad William Henke
One of Stephen King’s more, shall we say, problematic characters, Tom Cullen is a mentally handicapped man who is one of the unlikely survivors of Captain Trips. Obviously, we’re very likely to see CBS All Access’ iteration of The Stand present the character in a way that’s more socially acceptable to viewers today. While he may not think the way his cohorts do, Tom is quite cheery and desperately wants to be helpful. We see him become a companion to Nick Andros early on in his story.
Julie Lawry – Katherine McNamara
Careful with that Julie Lawry. She doesn’t have much of a role in King’s novel, but a short tenure doesn’t mean she’s not integral to the narrative. Julie will play a curious role in Nick Andros’ life – hopefully one where she’s of age this time – and will eventually answer Flagg’s call to come to Las Vegas where she'll find herself in all kinds of mischief.
Mother Abegail – Whoopi Goldberg
That might be Abegail Freemantle to you, depending on where your allegiances lie. Mother Abegail is up there in years – 108 to be exact – but damn can she cook. She’s also not half bad at bringing a revolution together. Fancying herself a bit of a prophet (and with all the evidence in the world to back it up) Mother Abegail is an integral part of the stories of Nick Androse, Ralph Brentner and Tom Cullen, as well as the community known as the Boulder Free Zone. Don’t worry, that likely won’t matter to you until we near the end of The Stand.
Randall Flagg – Alexander Skarsgärd
The Man in Black, The Dark Man, The Walkin’ Dude, Legion… Randall Flagg is known by many names throughout Stephen King’s novels – about 30 to be exact – but for The Stand purposes you’ll probably just know him as those first three and his “Christian” name. Ok, his Christian name is actually Walter. Just call him Randall Flagg, dangit! After 99% of the population is wiped out, Flagg puts out a call for the remaining heathens to join him in Las Vegas. Yes, he’s absolutely meant to sound like Mother Abegail’s antitheses here. The Walkin’ Dude’s usually pretty cheery, especially when the world’s crumbling around him, but he doesn’t take too kindly to being crossed.
Amelia Emberwing is the Entertainment Editor and lead critic here at What to Watch. She survives on a steady IV of caffeine, rants, pixie dust and fangirling, and will probably sass you. You can find her on Rotten Tomatoes as an individually approved critic. She's also a member of the Television Critics Association and GALECA.
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