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The Ipcress File cast and character guide: Who plays what role in AMC+ spy series

The leading cast of AMC+'s The Ipcress File (Image via AMC+)
The leading cast of AMC+'s The Ipcress File (Image via AMC+)

The charming smuggler-turned-spy Harry Palmer is set to make his way to AMC+ with The Ipcress File next week.

Directed by James Watkins and written by John Hodge, the series is set in 1963 Berlin, where former British Army sergeant Harry Palmer finds himself in prison after getting caught smuggling. But when the British secret services come knocking, his knowledge of Berlin's underworld comes in handy.

The Ipcress File is a loose adaptation of the 1962 novel by Len Deighton of the same name and is influenced by the 1965 film.


The Ipcress File: Ensemble cast, synopsis, and trailer

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The Ipcress File is set to debut on AMC+ from May 19. The series was first released in March on ITV, with weekly episodes. It consists of six episodes, and the trailer for the same featured a glimpse into a spy's life.

The synopsis for the miniseries reads:

"As the Cold War rages, ex-smuggler turned reluctant spy Harry Palmer finds himself at the centre of a dangerous undercover mission, on which he must use his links to find a missing British nuclear scientist."

The series is executively produced by Will Clarke, Alexander Deighton, Andrew Eaton, John Hodge, Sanford Lieberson, Andy Mayson, Hilary Saltzman, Steven Saltzman, and James Watkins.

Here's a look at the leading cast of AMC+'s Cold War spy thriller.


Joe Cole as Harry Palmer

English actor Joe Cole is best known for his work on Skins, Offender, Peaky Blinders, Secret in Their Eyes, Green Room, Prayer Before Dawn, Black Mirror, Gangs of London, and Against the Ice, among several other projects.

He will be seen portraying Harry Palmer in AMC's The Ipcress File. His character is a former British officer caught smuggling and was sentenced to prison. He was given a second chance and served his country by joining a highly secretive British intelligence service, War Office Operational Communications (Provisional), or the WOOC(P).


Lucy Boynton as Jean Courtney

Lucy Boynton is a British-American actress who is best known for Miss Potter, Sense and Sensibility, Law & Order: UK, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, Don't Knock Twice, Rebel in the Rye, Murder on the Orient Express, Bohemian Rhapsody, Modern Love, The Politician, and several other projects.

She will be seen portraying Jean Courtney in The Ipcress File. Her character is another seasoned agent of WOOC(P), who her male members often underestimate in the organization. She worked closely with Harry Palmer, constantly proving herself to be a better spy than him.


Tom Hollander as Major Dalby

English actor Tom Hollander is best known for About Time, Pirates of the Caribbean, In the Loop, Enigma, Pride & Prejudice, Hanna, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Lost Prince, Doctor Thorne, The Promise, The King's Man, and several other projects. His accolades include a BAFTA Television Award, an Ian Charleson Award, and nominations for an Olivier Award for Best Actor and a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play.

He will be seen portraying Major Dalby in AMC's The Ipcress File. His character is the one who recruits Harry Palmer for the mission. He has ties to the British military and the secret intelligence service WOOC(P). Although he was the antagonist in the film, he will be seen as the good guy in the series.


Ashley Thomas as Paul Maddox

Ashley Thomas is an English actor and rapper. His best works include Brotherhood, 100 Streets, NYPD Blue, Black Mirror, 24: Legacy, Salvation, The Interceptor, The Night Of, and Top Boy, among several other projects. As a rapper, he released the studio album Catch Me If You Can, and several EPs, The Great Escape EP, The Crunchie Mixtape, The Fantasy Mixtape, and more.

He will be seen portraying Paul Maddox in The Ipcress File. His character is a senior agent with the CIA who's keeping an eye on the actions of Harry Palmer.


Other cast members of the series include Joshua James, Anastasia Hille, David Dencik, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Paul Higgins, Matthew Steer, Tamla Kari, Anna Geislerová, Corey Johnson, Mark Quartley, Chris Lew Kum Hoi, and Nora-Jane Noone.

Catch The Ipcress File streaming on AMC+ from May 19.

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Edited by Suchitra
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