Based on characters from Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist, The Artful Dodger is a historical drama series that premiered on Hulu and Disney+ on November 29, 2023. Set in Australia during the 1850s, the story follows Jack Dawkins, a.k.a. the Artful Dodger, a notorious British thief who attempts to make over his image by becoming a surgeon. When Jack’s former associate Norbert Fagin arrives and pushes Jack back into a life of crime, the Artful Dodger must negotiate his newfound medical role and his old pickpocketing tricks.
Headlined by the talented Thomas Brodie-Sangster, The Artful Dodger boasts a tremendous cast of international actors that many fans will be familiar with from a spate of past projects. Beyond Brodie-Sangster, the period drama also features famous Harry Potter actors, acclaimed stand-up comedians, popular TV stars, and more. As such, it’s time to check out the cast and characters featured in The Artful Dodger.
The Artful Dodger
- Release Date
- November 29, 2023
10 Thomas Brodie-Sangster as The Artful Dodger, Jack Dawkins
As stated, Thomas Brodie-Sangster takes on the series lead, Jack Dawkins. Also known as The Artful Dodger, Jack is an infamous British thief who ventures to Australia during the 1850s to escape legal jeopardy. In Australia, Jack forges a new life, becomes a dedicated medical surgeon, and earns a well-respected reputation. Alas, when his old criminal accomplice, Fagin, arrives and insists on rekindling their criminal behavior, Jack is torn between his old and new lifestyles.
Brodie-Sangster is a highly accomplished English actor who famously got his start as a child actor before playing young Sam in the classic holiday romantic comedy, Love Actually. If fans don’t recognize Brodie-Sangster from his recurring stint as Newt in the Maze Runner franchise, chances are they will remember his outstanding performance as Benny Watts in the Netflix hit series, The Queen’s Gambit.
9 David Thewlis as Norbert Fagin
The incomparable David Thewlis portrays Norbert Fagin in The Artful Dodger. Fagin is an elderly British criminal mastermind who recruits children on the street, teaches them how to steal items from innocent victims, and exchanges the stolen goods for shelter. When Fagin finds his old acquaintance Jack Dawkins in Australia, he urges the new doctor to embrace a life of crime once again and exploit the local citizens.
One of the most acclaimed British actors of his generation, Thewlis’ versatility has shone through on the big and small screen time and again. While his best performance arguably belongs to Mike Leigh’s Naked, Thewlis is most famous for playing Remus Lupin in the landmark Harry Potter franchise. Thewlis’ diverse talents also include exquisite character work in FX’s Fargo, blockbusters such as Justice League, and vocal performances in Human Resources and Big Mouth.
8 Maia Mitchell as Lady Belle Fox
Maia Mitchell plays Lady Belle Fox in the historical period drama. Belle is a young Australian woman who aspires to become a medical surgeon. However, as the daughter of the local Governor Edmund Fox, achieving her goal is much harder than it normally would be otherwise. Belle’s desire to become a doctor is spurred on by the arrival of Jack, and the two become closer and share romantic chemistry as the series unfolds.
Mitchell is a fast-rising Australian actor and singer who continues to increase her profile in movies and television. While perhaps best known for portraying Callie Adams Foster in The Fosters and its spinoff, Good Trouble, Mitchell has also starred in everything from the 2017 coming-of-age movieHot Summer Nights to Sitting in Bars with Cake. Following The Artful Dodger, Mitchell can be seen alongside Eric Dane next in the upcoming thriller, Family Secrets.
7 Damon Herriman as Captain Lucien Gaines
Damon Herriman plays Captain Lucien Gaines. Lucien is the head of the police force in the Australian colony where the story takes place. Upon Jack’s arrival, Gaines becomes suspicious of the charismatic new doctor in town. When Fagin shows up and begins stirring up criminal endeavors, Lucien begins investigating the pair of pickpockets. At home, Lucien spends time with his wife, Peggy Gaines.
Herriman is an Australian writer, director, and actor with over 100 credits in his decorated career. Although his most prominent roles include playing Dewey Crowe in the popular neo-western crime series, Justified, and Freddy in Mr. InBetween, Herriman has worked with everyone from Quentin Tarantino in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood to Jennifer Kent in The Nightingale.
6 Lucy-Rose Leonard as Lady Fanny Fox
Australian actress Lucy-Rose Leonard portrays Lady Fanny Fox in The Artful Dodger. Fanny is the daughter of Governor Edmund Fox and the younger sister of Lady Belle Fox. Whereas Belle is a serious career-driven young woman focused on becoming a doctor, Fanny is a much more lively and exuberant romantic who aspires to find true love and a husband to marry.
Fairly new to the scene, Leonard has amassed a handful of credits since her career commenced in a 2015 episode of the long-running Australian soap opera, Neighbours. Aside from a few short films, Leonard is also known for playing Nikki in the Australian romantic comedy, Crazy About You. In 2024, Leonard can be seen opposite Russell Crowe and Karen Gillan in the crime thriller, Sleeping Dogs.
5 Damien Garvey as Governor Edmund Fox
Damien Garvey plays the aforementioned Governor Edmund Fox. In addition to presiding over the Australian colony as the official political leader, Governor Fox is determined to find upstanding suitors for his daughters, Belle and Fanny. However, with each young woman harboring their independent views of love, the task proves much more difficult than Edmund expected.
Garvey is an accomplished Australian actor who brings a wealth of TV experience to the show. For instance, Garvey played a 32-episode arc as Cal McGregor in the Australian musical drama, Rake. Garvey also played Kevin Yarborough in the hit HBO mystery series, The Leftovers, and recently wrapped another 16-episode stint opposite Guy Pearce in the crime series, Jack Irish.
4 Tim Minchin as Darius Cracksworth
Tim Minchin plays Darius Cracksworth in The Artful Dodger. Darius is a sordid fellow in the Australian colony where the story takes place and proves to be sort of a criminal foil for Jack. For example, Darius attempts to swindle Jack during a card game as the series begins, setting up a rivalry of wits between the two characters. Meanwhile, Darius also spends his time with his family member, Marianne Cracksworth.
While Minchin is likely best known for his unique brand of musical stand-up comedy, the multi-talented Australian performer has appeared in everything from Robin Hood to Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway. In terms of television, Minchin is best known for playing recurring characters in Californication, Squinters, Upright,No Activity, The Secret River, and Orange is the New Brown.
3 Nicholas Burton as Dr. Rainsford Sneed
Nicholas Burton depicts Dr. Rainsford Sneed in the Hulu-Disney+ original. Dr. Sneed is the local physician in the colony where the story is set. At first, Dr. Sneed appears to be kind and helpful when he’s shown assisting Jack during a medical amputation. Over time, it becomes clear that Sneed is both skeptical and threatened by Jack’s arrival and does his best to undermine Jack’s efforts to become a surgeon.
Burton is an up-and-coming Australian actor who has begun to hit his performative stride in recent years. After starring opposite Toni Collette in the Netflix mystery series, Pieces of Her, Burton has made appearances in such shows as Barons, Safe Home, and Paper Dolls. Burton can also be seen in the 2023 Australian drama, Companion.
2 Susie Porter as Lady Jane Fox
Susie Porter portrays Lady Jane Fox in The Artful Dodger. Jane is the wife of Governor Edmund Fox and the mother of Lady Belle and Lady Fanny. Despite her standing during the patriarchal oppression of the 1850s, Lady Jane is strong-willed, independent-minded, and wields political power over her husband’s governorship. As the series unfolds, Lady Jane also tries to secure a happy romantic future for her daughters.
With over 70 credits to her name, Porter is an Australian actor who’s amassed an eclectic filmography. Porter’s most famous TV credits include East West 101, No Escape, and Wentworth, while her best-known movies include Gold, Cargo, and the vastly underrated action-horror-thrillerHounds of Love. In addition to The Artful Dodger, Porter has five upcoming projects in various stages of production.
1 Vivienne Awosoga as Hetty Baggett
Vivienne Awosoga plays Hetty Baggett in the show. Hetty is a nurse who befriends Jack and works closely with him in Australia’s Royal Hospital. As Jack feigns his new profession and learns the ropes on the job, Hetty helps him in various medical situations. As such, Hetty is far more helpful than the skeptical Professor McGregor, who does not believe in Jack’s skills as a surgeon.
Awosoga is an Australian actor who shares many previous credits with her Artful Dodger costars. For instance, Awosogo starred in Wentworth opposite Susie Porter, in Barons alongside Nicholas Burton, and in Peter Rabit 2 along with Tim Minchin. While Awosoga can also be seen in After the Verdict and The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, her previous experience with the cast members in The Artful Dodger is sure to bolster the chemistry of the period drama.
Stream The Artful Dodger on Hulu or Disney+ and watch our interview with David Thewlis and Damon Herriman below: