A near legendary actor, Peter O'Toole has been nominated for 7 Oscars. The Honorary Oscar he received in 2003 cited his "remarkable talents" which "have provided cinema history with some of its most memorable characters," including T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), King Henry II (Becket, The Lion in Winter), Michael James (What's New, Pussycat), Arthur Chipping (Goodbye, Mr. Chips), Don Quixote (Man of La Mancha) and Eli Cross (The Stunt Man).
A minister's son, David Tennant graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He has acted extensively on the stage, frequently in Shakespeare; in 2003 he won a Laurence Olivier Theatre Award nomination for his role in Lobby Hero. Recent film performances have included the role of Barty Crouch Junior in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; television roles have included D.I. Carlisle in the BBC's Blackpool and a vicar in He Knew He was Right. He took over the role of Doctor Who (from Christopher Eccleston) in 2005; the cult program promptly took home three awards at the 2005 BAFTA awards, including Best Drama Series.
Edith, a servant girl
Sydney native Rose Byrne has been acting since the age of 12, appearing frequently on television in Australia. Her first major film role was as handmaiden to Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman) in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. More recent films include Troy, Wicker Park and Marie Antoinette.
Casanova's mother, an actress
Irish actress Dervla Kirwan began her acting career on the BBC drama Troubles. She works frequently on stage as well as on television; she has received two UK National Television Award nominations as "Most Popular Actress" for her role in Ballykissangel, winning once. She has two children with Rupert Penry-Jones, who plays the Duke of Grimani in Casanova.
A no-nonsense Scot, Laura Fraser knew she wanted to act by the age of 10, having been inspired by her father, owner of a building company, who wrote shows for her school. She has been a professional actress since she was 18 and spent a year at the Royal Scottish Academy for Music and Drama.
Fraser played Emily in He Knew He Was Right and appeared in the television film Iron Jawed Angels with Hilary Swank. She has also been seen in the films Vanilla Sky, A Knight's Tale and Land of the Blind with Ralph Fiennes, Tom Hollander, Marc Warren and Harry Eden.
The Duke of Grimani
Both of Londoner Rupert Penry-Jones' parents are actors; he appeared with his mother, Angela Thorne, in the 1995 film Cold Comfort Farm. Penry-Jones attended the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. played the prince in Masterpiece Theatre's The Prince of Hearts, and has been seen in the films Hilary and Jackie, The Four Feathers and Match Point.
Rocco, loyal servant
Shaun Parkes has been seen in the films The Mummy Returns, Human Traffic, Things to Do Before You're 30 and Colour Me Kubrick. His television appearances includes roles in Doctor Who and Casualty.
Bellino, a castrato
Londoner Nina Sosanya attended the Northern School of Contemporary Dance; she is an accomplished mezzo-soprano and also plays the saxophone. Her theatre credits include roles in As You Like It and The White Devil (for the Royal Shakespeare Company) and Fix Up at the National Theatre (Cottesloe). She played Annie in the film Love Actually and has appeared previously on Masterpiece Theatre in The Jury and Prime Suspect 2.
Duke of Villars
Londoner Matt Lucas is primarily known as a comedian though he studied drama at Bristol University and has performed with the National Youth Theatre. He has received several BAFTA nominations and won Best Comedy Performance for Little Britain, a comedy sketch show he helped create, in 2003. He played Cousin Tom in the 2004 zombie film Shaun of the Dead.