From the mind behind TBS’s People on Earth, David Jenkins is set to release a new comedy on HBO comes called Our Flag Means Death. Set on the high seas during the Golden Age of Piracy, the show follows the swashbuckling and inept crew of the Revenge, which is captained by Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby).
Darby is joined by a vast cast of actors along with numerous star-studded guests, such as Leslie Jones and Nick Kroll. But with so many other familiar faces cropping up among the crew, there are a few fans that are curious as to what other projects they’ve been involved in.
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Con O’Neill – Izzy Hands
Izzy Hands, played by English actor, Con O’Neill, is a character rightfully named as he acts as the right-hand man to the legendary pirate, Blackbeard. So far in the first half of the season, Hands and his adept brutality have served as an important foil to the inexperienced Captain Bonnet.
Like O’Neill, Hands is similarly experienced, with an extensive career in front of the camera and on stage. He has appeared on both Broadway and the West End for the musical Blood Brothers and even nabbed a Lawrence Olivier Award. Currently, viewers can also see him in the blockbuster smash, The Batman, as Gotham Police Chief Mackenzie Bock, who is no fan of the caped crusader.
Ewen Bremmer – Buttons
Among the crew of the Revenge is Buttons, a grizzled pirate often seen at the helm. Like his fellow scoundrels, he is a very peculiar character. He has been shaped by his years on the seas, and despite a growing mutiny amongst the crew, Buttons remains remarkably loyal to Captain Bonnet.
Buttons is played by English actor, Ewen Bremmer, who is probably best known as the memorable character, Spud in Trainspotting and its sequel, T2 Trainspotting. Bremmer also played one of Wonder Woman’s commandos during World War I in Wonder Woman.
Joel Fry – Frenchie
Joel Fry takes on the role of Frenchie, an English crewmate in Our Flag Meets Death. Frenchie is the muse per se of the Revenge, often playing his lute and singing disturbingly descriptive songs of death. He is one of the crewmates least in tune with Stede Bonet’s gentlemanly style of pirating.
Fry is, of course, recognized for a different HBO show, Game of Thrones, where he played Hizdahr zo Loraq – a hopeful, but ill-fated suitor to Danaerys Targaryen. Viewers can also see him in Cruella as Jasper – the role Hugh Lorie played in 101 Dalmatians.
Kristian Nairn – Wee John
Game of Thrones
One crewmember of the Revenge is a large man classically named Wee John. Played by Kristian Nairn, Wee John – possibly modeled after Little John from Robin Hood tales – serves as the muscle amongst Bonnet’s crew (but, unlike Little John, he is not supremely loyal to his captain). Nevertheless, his joy for sewing the ship’s flag and the bedtime stories has perturbed any pure actions of mutiny.
Nairn is beloved from his time on Game of Thrones as Hodor, Bran’s brave companion. His sacrifice in season 6 is still remembered as one of the most heart-wrenching deaths in the show, and he made such a huge impact on fans despite only saying “Hodor.”
Matthew Maher – The Dread Black Pete
The Dread Black Pete catalyzes the growing rebellion against Stede Bonnet. He desires a more traditional pirate’s life, and his crewmates would probably take him more seriously if he wouldn’t exaggerate his tales or credentials. Pete claims to have once crewed for Blackbeard, and now that Bonnet and Blackbeard have teamed up, perhaps viewers will soon learn the truth.
Matthew Maher, who plays the pirate, has also popped up in other tv shows and movies. He had a recurring role in season 4 of Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle and was Norex, a skrull scientist in Captain Marvel.
Nathan Foad – Lucius
An unexpected delight in Our Flag Means Death comes in the way of Nathan Foad’s Lucius. He is charmingly funny as he aids Captain Bonnet in his duties as the ship’s scribe – being the only crewmember who can read or write. Lucius is also a welcome inclusion to the crew as he is one of the few LGBTQ+ characters on the show, with a budding sexual relationship with Black Pete and possibly other crewmates.
Foad is a relative newcomer on camera, though he did appear in an episode of Bloods alongside his castmate, Samson Kayo. He has also written on several tv shows, including Newark, Newark, of which he also served as producer.
Rhys Darby – Stede Bonnet
Flight of the Conchords
Helming the new show as Stede Bonnet is New Zealand actor, Rhys Darby. Bonnet is a wealthy English aristocrat wishing to live out a fantasy as a pirate, though he lacks the stomach for it. Yet, with Blackbeard now to guide him, perhaps Bonnet can become a renowned and feared figure on the Sevens Seas.
Darby shines in Our Flag Means Death, and it should be no surprise given his impressive resume since he has starred in all sorts of movies or tv shows (from What We Do in the Shadows – with fellow leading castmate, Taika Waititi – to Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events). He is probably best recognized for playing the funny band producer Murray Hewitt in Flight of the Conchords.
Rory Kinnear – Nigel & Chauncey Badminton
No Time To Die
Introduced as a school bully from Bonnet’s youth, Nigel Badminton had risen to Captain in the British Navy (that is until he was accidentally killed by Bonnet). For a time, the memory of Nigel haunted Bonnet as he still saw him with a sword sticking out of his eye. It’s important to note that Nigel and his identical brother, Chauncey are played by Rory Kinnear.
Kinnear has made a name for himself and many viewers would likely recognize his face. He starred in the inaugural episode of Black Mirror as Prime Minister Michael Callow and most predominately, he has spent the past couple of years in the James Bond franchise (including recently in No Time to Die) as Bill Tanner, M’s Chief of Staff.
Samson Kayo – Oluwande
Oluwande is, by far, the most pragmatic and sensible member of Bonnet’s crew. He sees the sharks swimming around Stede per se and aids him in preventing future mutiny. Oluwunde also seems to be the crew’s confidant, knowing he can be trusted with secrets – though this puts him in a unique bind as to his infatuation with Vico Ortiz’s Bonifacia/Jim.
Samson Kayo plays Oluwande and is also currently starring in the British series, Bloods as Maleek, a paramedic in South London. Furthermore, he participated in Netflix’s hilarious mockumentary, Death to 2021 as a medical researcher.
Taika Waititi – Blackbeard
What We Do In The Shadows
As the other half of the dynamic duo, Taika Waititi stars as Edward Teach (aka Blackbeard). Manipulating all the legends and tales of grandeur surrounding such an iconic figure in history, Our Flag Means Death shows an alternative impression. Waititi imbues the character with a quirky wit that plays well off of Darby’s Bonnet.
Waititi has become a prevalent name in pop culture over the past decade or so. Of course, many know him as Korg and the director for Thor: Ragnarok and Thor: Love and Thunder. Outside the MCU, his films have garnered numerous awards and cult followings, including What We Do in the Shadows (which led to the tv show of the same name that he had a guest appearance in).
Vico Ortiz – Bonifacia/Jim
Rounding out the cast is Vico Ortiz as Bonaficia Jimenez, a fugitive in disguise as Jim after she killed one of Spanish Jackie’s (Leslie Jones) 19 husbands. With the help of Oluwande, she joined the crew of the Revenge and tried to hide among the men. Eventually, her fake beard and nose are ripped off and she is exposed, but she still continues on as Jim.
Vico Ortiz, a non-binary and Puerto Rican performer, takes on this interesting role in Our Flag Means Death. They received a Queerties Award nomination in 2021 for the digital series, These Thems and has had numerous guest spots and recurring roles in other tv shows, such as The Sex Lives of College Girls, American Horror Story: 1984, and Vida.
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About The Author Bradley Prom (39 Articles Published)
Bradley Prom is a writer and a University of Minnesota alum living in Los Angeles with a deep love for the movies, television shows, games, books, and stories that have inspired and provoked him throughout his life. He grew up on Star Wars, Justice League, Jurassic Park, Pokémon, Spider-Man, Harry Potter, and Avatar the Last Airbender – to name a few or seven. In adulthood, his passions and tastes have evolved to include other fantastical tales, reality tv, and comedy. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Bradley has a great appreciation for queerness in all forms throughout all facets of entertainment and modern culture. He hopes in developing his own stories and shows, he will help see such representation grow and evolve. // Twitter: @BradleyProm21 // Instagram: @bradleypromking