Who’s Who in Netflix’s Reborn LGBTQ Series Tales of the City

Written by | Entertainment, Screen

Murray Bartlett as Mouse and Laura Linney as Mary Ann

Murray Bartlett as Mouse and Laura Linney as Mary Ann courtesy Netflix

Netflix is bringing viewers back to the wonderfully queer world of Armistead Maupin’s San Francisco with a new installment of Tales of the City. Perhaps you’ve read all nine books in the series. Maybe you are familiar with it from its three previous television incarnations. Or you might be new to Barbary Lane altogether. Whatever the case, we thought you’d appreciate a quick primer on who’s who – both old and new – in recently released preview photos.

Mary Ann and Anna

Laura Linney as Mary Ann and Olympia Dukakis as Anna

Laura Linney as Mary Ann and Olympia Dukakis as Anna courtesy Netflix

Laura Linney plays Mary Ann Singleton. Mary Ann was the wide-eyed young girl who visited San Francisco at the beginning of the Tales series and decided to stay. She quickly found a chosen family among the residents of 28 Barbary Lane and their colorful acquaintances. In addition to the earlier Tales of the City series, Linney’s TV credits include Showtime’s cancer dramedy The Big C and Netflix’s lakeside money-laundering drama Ozark.

Olympia Dukakis plays Anna Madrigal. Anna plays landlady and surrogate mother to the folks at Barbary Lane. She famously loves weed, and it is revealed over the course of the series that she’s trans. Dukakis is reprising her role from the other incarnations of Tales, though she may be best known for iconic film roles in Steel Magnolias and Moonstruck.

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Shawna and Claire

Ellen Page as Shawna and Claire played by Zosia Mamet

Ellen Page as Shawna and Claire played by Zosia Mamet courtesy Netflix

Ellen Page plays Shawna Hawkins. Shawna is is the daughter of Mary Ann and her ex-husband. In the new Tales, mother and daughter are reunited in San Francisco after Mary Ann flees a mid-life crisis in Connecticut. Page became a household name after starring as a pregnant teen in the title role of 2007’s Juno, and recently appeared in the Netflix sci-fi/fantasy series Umbrella Academy. She is also an outspoken LGBTQ activist and briefly hosted Viceland’s queer-themed travel show Gaycation.

Zosia Mamet plays documentarian Claire Duncan. The surprising romantic chemistry between Claire and Shawna will be among the relationships explored in the latest iteration of Tales. Mamet is best known for her indelible performance as high-strung Shoshanna on HBO’s Girls.

Mouse and Ben

Murray Bartlett as Mouse and his boyfriend Ben played by Charlie Barnett

Murray Bartlett as Mouse and his boyfriend Ben played by Charlie Barnett courtesy Netflix

Murray Bartlett plays Michael “Mouse” Tolliver. Mouse is Tales’ beloved, central gay character – a longtime Barbary Lane resident and Mary Ann’s best friend. He has previously been played by Marcus D’Amico and Paul Hopkins. Bartlett has worked extensively in television and film, but you probably know him from another famously queer show set in San Francisco; he played mustachioed hunk Dom on HBO’s Looking.

Charlie Barnett plays Ben Marshall. Ben is Mouse’s boyfriend in the new series of Tales. You may recognize this actor from a variety of TV roles. Among them, he played a firefighter on NBC’s Chicago Fire, and if you’ve watched Netflix’s incredible Russian Doll, you probably have the image of him brushing his teeth in a towel emblazoned onto your brain.

Jake and Margot

May Hong as Margot with boyfriend Jake played by Josiah Victoria Garcia

May Hong as Margot with boyfriend Jake played by Josiah Victoria Garcia courtesy Netflix

Josiah Victoria Garcia plays Jake Rodriguez. Jake is a trans man and caregiver for Anna. May Hong plays his girlfriend Margot, and the couple are more recent arrivals in the world of Barbary Lane. Both Garcia and Hong are relative newcomers, though you may remember Hong from appearances on Comedy Central’s Broad City and HBO’s High Maintenance.

This is just a taste of the fantastic cast of Tales of the City, which also includes Caldwell Tidicue. You may know him better as Bob the Drag Queen, who plays Ida Best, the manager at a local burlesque club.

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Last modified: March 21, 2019