The Man in the High Castle: 9 Characters Altering U.S. History (PHOTOS)

Aubry D'Arminio
The Man in the High Castle

Amazon Studios

The Reich Side of History

Imagine the United States in 1962, only without JFK as president. There are no Beatles. Or Elvis. Martin Luther King Jr. doesn’t exist, and neither does freedom. The Man in the High Castle pictures America if Germany and Japan had won World War II and divvied up the country like a sheet cake. In the Nazi-run East, the living is easy—if you’re white and Christian. In the Japanese-ruled West, Americans are second-class citizens subject to the whims of the imperial police. But now the U.S. Resistance has mysterious newsreel footage that appears to show the Allies winning the war. And the Reich is terrified—beginning a deadly drama connecting nine souls with the ability to change everything. “History is shaped by individuals,” executive producer Frank Spotnitz says. “If the right person isn’t there, certain things aren’t going to happen.”

Before the series streams, meet the characters involved on all sides of the fight to change history.

The Man in the High Castle - Alexa Davalos

Amazon Studios

Juliana Crain (Alexa Davalos)

American aikido student Juliana bravely takes over for her murdered sister, who was smuggling the outlawed newsreel from San Francisco to Resistance leaders in the Rocky Mountains. “Seeing the footage completely flips her on her head,” Davalos says. “Suddenly, she doesn’t know what’s real and what isn’t. And she must question everything.”

The Man in the High Castle - Luke Kleintank

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Joe Blake (Luke Kleintank)

The undercover Nazi agent (with severe daddy issues) goes soft after meeting Juliana. Or is it part of his act? “You just don’t know where Joe stands,” Kleintank says. “He doesn’t know either. He’s the most mysterious, secretive guy on the show. There are bombs dropped about Joe that are going to make you hate rooting for him, but you won’t be able to stop yourself.”

The Man in the High Castle - Rufus Sewell

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Obergruppenführer John Smith (Rufus Sewell)

The Reich’s top dog in NYC (and Joe’s mentor) is also your average Long Island family man. “He embodies everything we know to be the evil of Nazism,” Sewell says. “But from Smith’s perspective and his family’s, he’s a modern All-American Nazi hero. It’s very comforting to think only Germans can be Nazis, but this is not true.”

The Man in the High Castle - Rupert Evans

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Frank Frink (Rupert Evans)

Juliana’s decision to help the Resistance sends the Japanese police after her timid boyfriend, Frank, and his family, who are concealing their Jewish ancestry. “Instead of hiding and fitting in,” Evans says, “Frank realizes he now has to find a way of standing up and making hard choices that may not be to the liking of the authorities but are ultimately important to him.”

The Man in the High Castle - Brennan Brown

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Robert Childan (Brennan Brown)

The American antiques dealer becomes an unwilling player when he sells three rare bullets to Frank. “Childan is a mass of contradiction,” Brown says. “He loves the Japanese and wants to be Japanese. He tries to emulate them in every way he can. He thinks they are incredibly superior, but then he also hates the Japanese. And hates himself for loving them.”

The Man in the High Castle - Joel de la Fuente

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Inspector Kido (Joel de la Fuente)

We meet Japanese policeman Kido kicking the corpse of Juliana’s sister. And then he tortures Frank. But there’s a method to Kido’s madness. “He’s responsible for all Japanese lives on the West Coast. The buck stops with him,” de la Fuente explains. “Certain things have to be done to make sure everyone can sleep at night. It sounds almost perverse.”

The Man in the High Castle - Carsten Norgaard

Amazon Studios

Rudolph Wegener (Carsten Norgaard)

Disguised as a Swedish textiles trader, the high-ranking German officer travels to San Francisco to warn Japanese officials about a Nazi plan to bomb the seaboard. “He is a complex and deeply flawed man who’s done terrible things and made a mess of his family,” describes Norgaard. “His guilt weighs heavy, and this is his attempt at atonement.”

The Man in the High Castle - DJ Qualls

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Ed McCarthy (DJ Qualls)

This metalworker only seems happy-go-lucky. His grandfather lost everything when the Japanese took California, and Ed is determined not to see his childhood friends, Frank and Juliana, destroyed as well. “Ed loves completely selflessly,” Qualls says. “He would rather get killed than see someone he cares for killed. He couldn’t live otherwise.”

The Man in the High Castle - Cary-Hiroyukie Tagawa

Amazon Studios

Nabusuke Tagomi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa)

The soulful Japanese trade minister—and Wegener’s contact in San Francisco—becomes intertwined with Juliana when he hires her as a tea lady. “Tagomi keeps everything inside, which can be very lonely,” Tagawa says. “He becomes caught in circumstances that are not easy, but he has an undying commitment to truth with a capital T.”

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The Man in the High Castle, Series premiere, Friday, Nov. 20, Amazon Prime