The unlikely creative trio at the heart of The Curse certainly boosted audience curiosity in Showtime’s genre-bending peak behind the curtain of the fictional HGTV show Flipanthropy. Here’s who Emma Stone, Nathan Fielder, and Benny Safdie play in the series.
All Major Actors & Cast Members in The Curse
Emma Stone as Whitney Siegel
The Netflix limited series Maniac and The Curse mark two of Emma Stone’s first major forays into episodic television. She helms the Showtime series as Whitney Siegel, an innovator of eco-friendly mirror homes and the primary creative force behind Flipanthropy. Whitney epitomizes The Curse‘s central exploration of performative altruism.
The Curse‘s opening gambit exposes a plethora of incongruities between who Whitney proclaims to be and reality. One way Whitney attempts to curate her image is by unmarrying her public image from that of her wealthy slumlord parents. The first two episodes of the series see Whitney and her husband, Asher, attempt to bury an interview that harps on her family’s properties and likewise features a scene of her deleting any Instagram comments implying that her mirror homes are a stolen design. Despite these acts of curation, Whitney is presented as a character who truly buys into the same idealized image of herself that she’s selling to HGTV.
Nathan Fielder as Asher Siegel
The cult-like following Nathan Fielder has attracted from hybrid-scripted series, like Nathan for You and The Rehearsal, guaranteed that a loyal audience would tune in to witness his reliably uncomfortable antics in The Curse. In addition to portraying Asher Siegel, Fielder co-created The Curse and further lends his distinctive voice to the series as a writer, director, and executive producer.
Each of The Curse‘s three central characters offer a new lens under which to explore the show’s themes, with Asher’s moral motivations seeming to stem from a need for Whitney’s validation. Dougie, who’s known Asher since childhood, described him as somewhat emotionless and compared him to Data from Star Trek. Dougie cited Whitney as the catalyst for Asher’s newfound altruism, which implies that he models his behavior to best appeal to her. A perpetual sense of inadequacy from Asher’s side of the relationship manifests in both memorable visual moments, such as Fielder sporting a prosthetic micropenis, and emotional ones, such as his pleading and melodramatic response to her pregnancy.
Benny Safdie as Dougie Schecter
Though he’s appeared on-screen as an actor in projects like Oppenheimer, Benny Safdie’s earned acclaim as both a writer and director on films such as Uncut Gems and Good Time. The Curse‘s co-creator often works alongside his brother, and the Showtime series has proven no exception, with Josh Safdie joining all three members of the series’ core cast as an executive producer.
On-screen, Safdie portrays the dubious Dougie Schecter, a childhood acquaintance of Asher’s and Flipanthropy‘s producer. While Dougie generally shows less qualms about his unethical activity than his colleagues, he has undergone some elaborate mental gymnastics to genuinely alleviate himself of any blame for the drunk driving accident that killed his wife. From forging tears for television to hitting on his friend’s wife, Dougie wears his scumbag heart much stronger on his sleeve than his cursed counterparts.
The Curse’s Supporting Cast
While watching The Curse, it’s easy to feel sympathy toward the citizens of Española, New Mexico, forced to deal with Flipanthropy‘s production, and a large part of that is thanks to the bevy of talented actors bouncing off Stone, Fielder, and Safdie’s intentionally uncomfortable performances. The full cast of The Curse includes:
- Emma Stone – Whitney Siegel
- Nathan Fielder – Asher Siegel
- Benny Safdie – Dougie Schecter
- Corbin Bernsen – Paul (Whitney’s Father)
- Constance Shulman – Elizabeth (Whitney’s Mother)
- Hikmah Warsame – Nala (who delivers the titular curse)
- Barkhad Abdi – Abshir
- Dahabo Ahmed – Hani
- Christopher D. Calderon – Fernando
- Alexander Poncio – Vic
- Nizhonniya Austin – Cara
- Gary Farmer – James Toledo