Underground: The Brave Characters Who Will Defy Slavery (PHOTOS)

Ashley Moran
Underground

WGN America

The Faces of Freedom

WGN America's Underground is rooted in the real Underground Railroad events of American history. The new series, set during the pre-Civil War years, follows a group of slaves determined to escape from a Georgia plantation and travel 600 miles to freedom. With Noah (Aldis Hodge) as their leader, the slaves are also aided by an abolitionist couple, The Hawkes. Creators Misha Green and Joe Pokaski teamed up with Grammy- and Oscar-winning musician John Legend to create modern music that will help tell a monumental part of U.S. history, with a powerful new perspective. Here are some of the characters on Underground who will defy their circumstances to fight for freedom.

WGN America

Noah (Aldis Hodge)

The tenacious blacksmith and field slave is resolved to lead his fellow slaves to freedom, even if it means traveling far on unknown and dangerous terrain. But no matter the price, he has the clever wit and perseverance to succeed—and survive.

WGN America

Rosalee (Jurnee Smollett-Bell)

A young and timid house slave, Rosalee's more sheltered life means she's never considered life beyond the plantation. But circumstances soon lead her to find courage to escape with Noah.

WGN America

Cato (Alano Miller)

Much like the ancient Roman generals named Cato, this well-dressed slave with the disfigured face is devious and deceptive. Despite his charming demeanor, even Cato's own people distrust and despise him.

Underground, CHRIS MELONI

WGN America

August Pullman (Christopher Meloni)

There's more to August than meets the eye. A gun-toting mystery man, he straddles the boundaries of doing what’s right versus doing what’s safe.

WGN America

Pearly Mae (Adina Porter)

The quick-witted mother and wife will be the one to leave clever clues in a song that helps the slaves find—and reach—freedom.

Underground, MYKELTI WILLIAMSON

WGN America

Moses (Mykelti Williamson)

Like his biblical counterpart, Moses is a man of God who struggles to interpret His plans. A fervent preacher, the plantation slave must determine whether or not God wants him and his family to take a big risk by running away.

WGN America

Ernestine (Amirah Vann)

As the head house slave, Ernestine (seen here delivering a baby) takes care of her fellow slaves, but she's also extremely determined to protect her own family.

WGN America

Zeke (Theodus Crane)

Big and brutish, Zeke (seen on the right) stands out for his build. But despite his external strength, the slave has a secret that threatens to weaken him internally.

WGN America

Henry (Renwick Dwight Scott II)

This teen (seen behind Cato) idolizes Noah and is determined to show his loyalty by joining the slave rebellion toward freedom.

WGN America

Sam (Johnny Ray Gill)

Rosalee's half-brother Sam is talented with his hands, as a carpenter who also hears the call of freedom.

William Still (Chris Chalk)

Based on a real historical figure, Still is an abolitionist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who becomes known as "The Father of the Underground Railroad" after leading more than 800 slaves to freedom.

Underground, Jessica De Gouw

WGN America

Elizabeth Hawkes (Jessica De Gouw)

She may come from life of privilege, but this socialite has morals and beliefs that are at odds with others in her class. She bravely fights alongside her husband, John (Marc Blucas), to live abolitionist ideals.

Underground, JESSICA DE GOUW, MARC BLUCAS

WGN America

John Hawkes (Marc Blucas)

Together with his wife, Elizabeth, John fights for the rights of plantation and house slaves. An abolitionist lawyer, John is determined to right the wrongs, even if it means breaking the law.

Underground, AMIRAH VANN, REED DIAMOND

WGN America

Tom Macon (Reed Diamond)

As the owner of the Macon plantation, Tom believes he's a "true man of the South" who will make an impressive politician.

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Underground, Series premiere, Wednesday, March 9, 10/9c, WGN America