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Russian Doll Cast & Character Guide

Russian Doll Cast and Character Guide

Netflix's new black comedy, Russian Doll, stars Natasha Lyonne as Nadia, a woman who keeps dying over and over again - but there are a lot of other familiar faces in the cast. The show was created by Lyonne, along with Parks and Recreation's Amy Poehler and Heathers' Leslye Headland. All three women serve as executive producers, while Lyonne and Headland share the writing credits for the eight-part series.

Lyonne plays Nadia, a game developer, who keeps dying on or shortly after her 36th birthday. Every time she dies, she promptly goes back in time to find herself in the bathroom at her birthday party. As the title would suggest, the show is multi-layered, following Nadia through many time loops as she tries to unravel the mystery of what's happening to her so that she can get through her birthday alive.

Read More: Screen Rant's Review of Russian Doll

Russian Doll's cast is largely made up of lesser-known actors, and several of Lyonne's co-stars from Orange is the New Black crop up as the people in Nadia's life. Here's a spoiler-free guide to the cast and characters of Russian Doll.

Natasha Lyonne and Greta Lee in Russian Doll

Natasha Lyonne is Nadia: Nadia works as a game developer, and she keeps dying on her birthday. Lyonne will be a familiar face to most, after starring as Nicky Nichols in Orange is the New Black, which is also on Netflix. In addition to playing the lead, she also co-created Russian Doll with Poehler and Headland and directed the season finale.

Charlie Barnett is Alan: Alan is a stranger to Nadia, who is drawn into her story when she realizes that he is also experiencing a cycle of deaths and rewinds. Barnett starred in Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., and Secrets and Lies, among others.

Greta Lee is Maxine: Maxine is an artist friend of Nadia's, and she is hosting the party Nadia keeps dying at in her apartment. As well as that, the party is also the place where Nadia's new lives subsequently start, so expect much confusion from Maxine over this. You may recognize Lee from the web series K-Town, or from her roles in Wayward Pines, Inside Amy Schumer, and Chance.

Rebecca Henderson is Lizzy: Maxine's casual girlfriend, who is also at the party that Nadia keeps coming back to. Henderson provides the voices of both Karen and Michelle in the Grand Theft Auto games. You may also recognize her from Westworld. She appeared in one episode of Orange is the New Black, which also starred Natasha Lyonne and Dascha Polanco.

Yul Vazquez is John: Nadia's ex-boyfriend, whom she broke up with six months previously. John was married when they were dating, and his relationship with Nadia ended his marriage. Vazquez is best known for his film roles, specifically in Captain Phillips, Bad Boys II, and American Gangster.

Elizabeth Ashley in Russian Doll

Jeremy Bobb is Mike: A somewhat sleazy college professor whom Nadia meets at her birthday party, and who ends up playing a key role in her story. Bobb's previous credits include roles in House of Cards, Hostages, and Godless.

Elizabeth Ashley is Ruth: It's never made explicit whether Ruth is related to Nadia, or whether she's just a caregiver. Though she could be Nadia's grandmother, it's also possible that she's Nadia's mother's psychiatrist, or perhaps a family friend. Regardless, Ruth ended up raising Nadia after her mother's death. Ashley has a long list of credits to her name, including Ocean's Eight, All My Children, and Stagecoach. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in The Carpetbaggers, in 1964.

Chloë Sevigny is Nadia's Mother: In a series of flashbacks, Sevigny plays Nadia's mother, who struggled with mental illness and died young. In real life, Sevigny and Lyonne are best friends. Sevigny was Oscar-nominated for her role in the 1999 movie, Boys Don't Cry. She's also appeared in American Horror Story, Big Love, and Bloodline. 

Dascha Polanco is Beatrice: Alan's girlfriend, to whom he has been planning to propose, but who has grown increasingly dissatisfied with their relationship. Dascha Polanco is one of Lyonne's co-stars in Orange is the New Black. As well as playing Daya Diaz for 5 years, she has also appeared in American Crime Story. 

Ritesh Rajan is Ferran: A mutual friend of Nadia and Alan's who works behind the counter at a local deli. Rajan's previous credits include Twentyfiveish and Stitchers.

More: Russian Doll's Ending Explained

Russian Doll is now available on Netflix.

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