The Cast Of "The Watcher" Vs Their Real Life Counterparts

The Watcher is a Netflix original miniseries that dropped in October. The series is a fictionalized story about the scary true events surrounding the Broaddus family, who purchase their dream home, 657 Boulevard in June 2014, only to be threatened by disturbing letters from an unknown stalker signed —"The Watcher."

The story is truly creepy and you can read more about the facts that inspired the series here.

Here's what the cast looks like compared to the real-life characters they portrayed...

🚨Minor spoilers ahead!🚨

Naomi Watts plays Nora Brannock:

Naomi Watts as Nora Brannock in The Watcher

In the show, Nora meets an old friend who is a realtor and decides to buy 657 Boulevard, and it's fair to say she encounters first-hand many of the strange occurrences to come.

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Her character is based on real-life victim, Maria Broaddus:

Maria Broaddus

The real Maria Broaddus was raised in Westfield, and the dream house was a few blocks from her childhood home.

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Here's Bobby Cannavale as Dean Brannock:

Bobby Cannavale as Dean Brannock in The Watcher

In the show, Dean has to take out almost all of the family's savings to afford their dream home, and has his fair share of confrontations with his new neighbours.

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His character is inspired by the real-life husband, Derek Broaddus:

Derek Broaddus

The real-life Derek Broaddus grew up working-class in Maine. He later found his footing as a senior vice-president of an insurance company, with a salary large enough to afford the $1.3M dream house not long after his 40th birthday.

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Isabel Gravitt stars as Ellie Brannock:

Isabel Gravitt as Ellie Brannock in The Watcher

In the Netflix series, Ellie has her first strange encounter after hearing music from an empty room, and not long after moving in. Yikes!

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And Luke David Blumm plays her younger brother, Carter Brannock:

Luke David Blumm as Carter Brannock

In the mini-series, poor Carter has it a bit rough too! First, finding their neighbor in the home's dumbwaiter (creepy and weird), and later, finding his pet ferret dead.

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But, the real Broaddus children were all much younger at the time.

The real Broaddus family photograph

According to the true story, as detailed in Cut, the real children were much younger than their Netflix counterparts. When they first moved into the house, the kids were already debating which of the house’s fireplaces Santa Claus would use!

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Here's Richard Kind and Margo Martindale as Mitch and Maureen (Mo)

Mitch and Maureen (Mo) in the Watcher sitting on garden chairs

In the show, Mitch and Mo are two nosey neighbors who have their share of icy confrontations with the Brannocks, but let's face it, it doesn't end well for these two.

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Their characters are loosely based on the Broaddus family's apparent nosey neighbours:

Margo Martindale as Mo

It looks like a dash of creative liberty was taken when crafting the characters of Mitch and Mo. It sounds like the couple was built around the story of how Bill Woodward, the housepainter, saw the husband of the couple that lived behind 657 Boulevard sitting on lawn chairs, facing the Broaddus property instead of their own. Apparently, the couple had lived there for 47 years, but, luckily for their neighbors, they weren't a part of a cult like the show's narrative!

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Here's Terry Kinney as Jasper Winslow:

Terry Kinney as Jasper Winslow in The Watcher

In the series, Jasper is one of the slightly more weird characters. We first see him using the home's dumbwaiter, but apparently, the old owners were totally okay with this, so you know, it's fine...

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And Mia Farrow as Pearl Winslow:

Mia Farrow as Pearl Winslow in The Watcher

In the series, Pearl is head of the Preservation Society and an all-round nosey neighbor. She's a strange and suspicious figure who claims her Preservation Society is a normal homeowner's association dedicated to keeping the Boulevard's history intact. Okay then!

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And these two characters are loosely based on real-life neighbours Michael and Abby Langford:

Suspect stills of Michael Langford and Abby Langford

The Langford family were residents of Boulevard since the '60s and were all described as a bit odd. Brother and sister, Michael and Abby, were considered suspects in the case but accused the police of harassing their family.

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This is Michael Nouri as Roger Kaplan:

Michael Nouri as Roger Kaplan in The Watcher

In the series, local schoolteacher, Roger Kaplan, is another one of the neighboring suspects. It didn't help his case when it became apparent that Roger encouraged his students to write letters to houses they loved as a homework assignment!

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And this is Robert Kaplow who Nouri's character is based on:

Robert Kaplow giving a talk on his book

The real-life teacher Robert Kaplow, taught English at a high school near the Westfield area for 33 years. Kaplow is also a writer, known for Me and Orson Welles, which is filled with references to the Westfield area.

According to Cut, Kaplow had told a story to his students over the years about a particular house in Westfield and his obsession with it. A former student even stated that Kaplow had this idea to start writing letters to the house — not the occupants, but to the house, whilst another student said Kaplow once told them he had sent more than 50 letters to the house in question!

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Henry Hunter Hall here as Dakota:

Henry Hunter Hall as Dakota in The Watcher

A 19-year-old entrepreneur, Dakota, is hired to install alarms and cameras for the Brannocks, and is even hired to watch over the house at night. Lo and behold, he still finds himself as a suspect after it becomes apparent that his gaming tag is the titular "The Watcher".

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BUT the only real thing about his character is the gamer tag.

Henry Hunter Hall as Dakota in The Watcher

Real reports of the case include a suspect known as "The Gamer”, who was pulled into the case when a woman was stopped outside of the Broaddus’ home and told police that her boyfriend played “dark video games” as a character known as “The Watcher.”

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Joe Mantello takes on the role of John Graff:

Joe Mantello as John Gaff in The Watcher

In the show, the creepy character of John Gaff meets Dean and claims to be the building inspector. After their conversation takes a weird turn, Dean later learns there is no building inspector in their area with that name.

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And here's the real-life killer, John List, his character was based on:

Real life killer John List

In Westfield in1971, John List shot his wife, his mother, and his three children. Then he made a sandwich, closed his bank accounts, and disappeared for 18 years.

According to reports, John List laid the bodies of his family members on top of sleeping bags in the ballroom of the home, having composed a note to his pastor, stating that he feared his family, who were confronted with a world full of evil and poverty, would turn from God and he wanted to ensure their safe arrival in heaven.

18 years later, it turned out that List had changed his identity and moved to Colorado under an alias, before being captured and sentenced to five life terms in prison.

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This is Christopher McDonald as Detective Rourke Chamberland:

Christopher McDonald as Detective Rourke Chamberland in The Watcher

In the TV series, Detective Chamberland is first introduced when Dean and Nora go to the police, but he just believes the whole thing is a prank.

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And this is Noma Dumezweni as Theodora Birch:

Noma Dumezweni as Theodora Birch in The Watcher

Theodora Birch is the private detective hired by Dean who gets on the case to find out who is terrorizing the family.

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And this is Jennifer Coolidge as Karen Calhoun:

Jennifer Coolidge as Karen Calhoun in The Watcher

Karen is an old friend of Nora's and is the realtor from Darren Dunn Realty.

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And finally, this is Seth Gabel as Andrew Pierce:

Seth Gabel as Andrew Pierce in The Watcher

Previous owner, Andrew Pierce, meets with Dean and shares some enlightening and creepy stories about Mitch, Mo, and receiving Watcher letters himself!

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But all four characters do not actually have real-life counterparts

Typewriter being used by female hands

As fun as these characters are in the storyline of The Watcher series, there's no evidence to show that they were they based on real-life people, and were instead likely added for creative flair.

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Were you as surprised as I was to see how the cast looked compared to real life counterparts, along with just how many fictionalised characters the show added in?!