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SYFY WIRE Poker Face

'Poker Face': A guide to the Peacock show's many awesome guest stars

An episodic mystery procedural means it's time for celebrity guests.

By Matthew Jackson
Center: Natasha Lyonne as Charlie Cale; (top row l-r) Lil Rel Howery as Taffy, Benjamin Bratt as Cliff Legrand; (bottom row l-r) Chloë Sevigny as Ruby Ruin, Adrien Brody as Sterling Frost Jr.

With Poker Face, creator Rian Johnson hopes to revive a certain kind of episodic mystery series, the kind he loved as a kid in the vein of Columbo. If you know anything about those kinds of show, you know there are certain expectations, and one of them is guest stars.

Telling a new story with each passing episode is a great excuse to bring in a famous face or two every single week, and Poker Face took full advantage of that format, casting a parade of Season 1 guests ranging from legends to recognizable up-and-coming faces to, of course, a couple of Rian Johnson good luck charms.

So, as if you need another excuse to check out Poker Face when it premieres this Thursday on Peacock, we've rounded up all the biggest names who'll be dropping by throughout the first season, just to let you know which familiar faces to look out for. 

RELATED: Critics say Rian Johnson's Peacock series ‘Poker Face’ is one of most clever, brilliant shows of 2023

Benjamin Bratt

Pictured: (l-r) Natasha Lyonne as Charlie Cale, Benjamin Bratt as Cliff Legrand in POKER FACE Season 1 Episode 10

Fresh off his time on the HBO series DMZDemolition ManMiss Congeniality, and Traffic star Benjamin Bratt will show up in a recurring guest role on Poker Face. As the trailers have shown, Bratt's Cliff Legrand will spend a good bit of time with Natasha Lyonne's Charlie Cale, showing up in several episodes during the show's run. 

Adrien Brody

Pictured: Adrien Brody as Sterling Frost Jr. in POKER FACE Season 1 Episode 1

When Poker Face kicks off its first season Thursday night, you'll find an Oscar winner along for the ride in the very first episode, as Chapelwaite and Predators star Adrien Brody shows up in a major Episode 1 role as Sterling Frost Jr. 

Noah Segan

No Rian Johnson project would be complete without a visit from longtime friend and collaborator Noah Segan, and Poker Face is no different. The director and star of Blood Relatives (and Glass Onion scene-stealer), will show up in the very first episode to start the series off right.

Hong Chau

Hong Chau

Fresh off her Oscar nomination for The Whale, Chau (whose 2022 work also included the excellent The Menu) will pop up in Poker Face's second episode. 

John Ratzenberger

Pictured: John Ratzenberger as Abe in POKER FACE Season 1 Episode 2

One of America's all-time favorite character actor, Cheers legend and Pixar voice mainstay John Ratzenberger will also be a player in the second episode of Poker Face

Lil Rel Howery

Pictured: Lil Rel Howery as Taffy in POKER FACE Season 1 Episode 3

You know Lil Rel Howery as a tireless scene stealer who's popped up in everything from Get Out to his own sitcom, Rel. Now, he'll be trying to steal some scenes in Poker Face

Chloe Sevigny

Pictured: (l-r) John Darnielle as Al, Chloë Sevigny as Ruby Ruin as Ruby, G.K. Umeh as Eskie in POKER FACE Season 1 Episode 4

Lyonne's Russian Doll co-star, Oscar nominee Chloe Sevigny will pop up in Poker Face with what looks like one of the flashiest guest roles in the series, appearing as a singer dubbed "Ruby Ruin." 

John Darnielle

While he's not known as an actor, any fan of The Mountain Goats is likely to recognize singer, songwriter, author, and all-around genius John Darnielle when he pops up in Poker Face

Judith Light

A legend of stage and screen, Tony winner Judith Light will lend her talents to Poker Face, fresh off a 2022 that included roles in The Menu, Julia, and American Horror Stories

S. Epatha Merkerson

The Golden Globe and Emmy-winning Merkerson is an NBC procedural legend thanks to her roles on Law & Order and within the One Chicago universe, and now she'll add a Poker Face guest spot to her long list of credits.

K. Callan

Callan might not be a name you know, but if you're a Rian Johnson fan, you've definitely seen her before. She popped up in Knives Out as Great Nana Thrombey, and she'll be back in Poker Face

Simon Helberg

The Big Bang Theory's own Simon Helberg will show up in Poker Face in a role that allows him not one, but two guest starring spots in the 10-episode run.

Ellen Barkin

An Emmy-winning, Oscar-nominated powerhouse who might be best known right now for her work in the series Animal Kingdom, Barkin will pop up in the back half of Poker Face's first season.

Tim Meadows

A Saturday Night Live legend who's stayed busy over the years with many, many guest roles, Tim Meadows will add Poker Face to his long list of credits this year.

Jameela Jamil

Jameela Jamil

First it was The Good Place, then it was She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. Now, Jameela Jamil sets out to conquer Poker Face

Tim Blake Nelson

Tim Blake Nelson as Wade Tillman in HBO's Watchmen

One of the finest character actors of his generation, Tim Blake Nelson is known for roles in everything from O Brother, Where Art Thou? to Watchmen to Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities. Now he'll pop up in the second half of Poker Face's first season, where he'll no doubt make an impression.

Nick Nolte

One of the most famous character actors...well, ever, Nick Nolte will bring his three-time Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe-winning talents to Poker Face, appearing near the end of the season in a role that's sure to be memorable.

Cherry Jones

A stage and screen legend with multiple Emmys and Tonys and credits including 24, Succession, and The Handmaid's Tale, Cherry Jones has added her name to the list of icons who'll show up on Poker Face

Luis Guzman

Fresh of his turn as Gomez Addams in Wednesday, Luis Guzman will bring his unmistakable presence to Poker Face near the end of Season 1. 

Tim Russ

Trekkies, keep your eyes peeled, because Tuvok himself is coming to Poker Face. The Voyager legend will appear in the second half of the first season. 

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Much like Noah Segan, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a mainstay in Rian Johnson projects dating all the way back to the director's first film, Brick. He'll be back near the end of Poker Face Season 1, so keep an eye out.

Stephanie Hsu

Stephanie Hsu's name is everywhere now thanks to an Oscar-nominated performance in Everything Everywhere All At Once, and now you can add Poker Face to the rising star's filmography.

Ron Perlman

Hellboy and Pacific Rim star Ron Perlman will bring his unmistakable presence to Poker Face for one episode. Look for him to show up near the end of the first season.

Clea DuVall

Lyonne's But I'm a Cheerleader co-star, whose other credits include The Faculty, The Handmaid's Tale, and much more will pop up at the end of Poker Face Season 1.

Rhea Perlman

Comedy legend Rhea Perlman, another Cheers veteran, will also show up at the tail end of Poker Face's first season.

The first four episodes of Poker Face hit Peacock on Thursday, Jan. 26 — with the remaining six scheduled to drop on a weekly basis after that. As of this writing, the show holds a perfect score of 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.