I.S.S. Cast & Character Guide

Summary

  • I.S.S. is a sci-fi thriller that revolves around a group of American and Russian astronauts on the International Space Station during a nuclear war.
  • The film is impressive because it was entirely shot in zero gravity using harnesses and pulleys, creating a realistic space experience.
  • The talented cast, including Ariana DeBose, Chris Messina, John Gallagher Jr., Masha Mashkova, Costa Ronin, and Pilou Asbæk, bring depth and realism to their characters.


Warning: This article contains spoilers for I.S.S.

The sci-fi thriller I.S.S. includes a small but accomplished cast that plays the Russians and Americans aboard the International Space Station. The indie-budget film I.S.S. tells the story of three American astronauts and three Russian astronauts who get orders to take control of the International Space Station after a nuclear war breaks out between the two countries on Earth. The group, who behaved like a family up until the war, must decide whether they will betray their fellow scientists in the name of nationalism.

While I.S.S. didn’t film in the International Space Station, the movie is notable because it’s entirely zero gravity, an impressive feat accomplished with harnesses and pulleys. Additionally, the movie is limited to six characters, all of whom play a main role in the plot. There is messaging from one person on the ground on each side, but they never appear. As such, the characters drive the plot just as much as the tension and action. Luckily, I.S.S. pulled together a cast full of extremely talented, well-established actors who made the characters sympathetic and realistic.


Ariana DeBose as Dr. Kira Foster

Actor: Ariana DeBose was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, and made her TV debut competing on So You Think You Can Dance in 2009. Two years later, she got her first Broadway role playing Nautica in Bring It On: The Musical. DeBose got her big break in Hollywood playing Daphne in the dramatic thriller Seaside. In 2022, Ariana DeBose won an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role as Anita in the West Side Story cast.

Notable Movies & TV Shows: Seaside (2018), The Prom (2020), West Side Story (2021), Westworld (2022), Schmigadoon! (2021-2023), Wish (2023)

Character: In I.S.S., Ariana DeBose plays Dr. Kira Foster, a former American marine and biologist working on testing replacement organs on rats. Unlike the others, she doesn’t want to betray the Russians.

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Chris Messina As Gordon Barrett

Gordon looks over his shoulder while visibly upset in I.S.S.

Actor: Chris Messina was born in New York City, New York, and began acting on screen in 1998. After playing many small parts in movies and TV shows, Messina got his big break playing Ted Fairwell in Six Feet Under in 2005. Since then, the actor has been consistently performing, primarily in movies and on the show The Mindy Project.

Notable Movies & TV Shows: Six Feet Below (2005), Away We Go (2009), Argo (2012), Ruby Sparks (2012), The Mindy Project (2012-2017), Based On A True Story (2023)

Character: Throughout I.S.S., Gordon is an American astronaut who develops a romantic relationship with the Russian astronaut Nika.

John Gallagher Jr. As Christian Campbell

Christian looks over his shoulder suspiciously in I.S.S.

Actor: John Gallagher Jr. was born in Wilmington, Delaware, and got his first role playing Gary in the TV movie The Flamingo Rising. After multiple one-off roles in TV shows, Gallagher got his big playing Jim Harper in the TV drama The Newsroom from 2012 to 2014. Since then, the actor has taken on many big roles in both movies and TV.

Notable Movies & TV Shows: The Newsroom (2012-2014), Short Term 12 (2013), Hush (2016), 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016), Gaslight (2019), Underwater (2020), Which Brings Me To You (2024)

Character: In I.S.S., John Gallagher plays Christian Campell, an astronaut who immediately turns on the Russian astronauts after getting orders to capture the International Space Station.

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Masha Mashkova As Weronika “Nika” Vetrov

Nika looks worried while leaning over in I.S.S.

Actor: Masha Mashkova was born in Novosibirsk, USSR (now Russia), and got her first role playing an unnamed character in a Russian movie called Malenkaya Printsessa. Mashkova has had two previous stage names – Mariya Mashkova and Maria Mashkova. The actress mostly acted in Russian films and TV shows. Her first big Hollywood production was playing Masha in Masha From Russia in 2018 to 2019.

Notable Movies & TV Shows: Goryachie Novosti (2009), Mafia: Game of Survival (2016), Masha from Russia (2018-2019), For All Man Kind (2023)

Character: Throughout I.S.S., Masha Mashkova plays Weronika “Nika” Vetrov, a sweet Russian astronaut who develops a romance with American astronaut Gordon.

Costa Ronin As Nicholai Pulov

Nicholai looks over his shoulder while wearing a headset in I.S.S.

Actor: Costa Ronin was born in Kaliningrad, USSR (now Russia), and got his first role acting as Russian Correspondent in a New Zealand movie called Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America. Ronin has acted in New Zealand, Australia, and the United States. His biggest role to date is playing Oleg Burov in the TV series The Americans.

Notable Movies & TV Shows: The Americans (2014-2018), Homeland (2018-2020), Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019), The Endgame (2022)

Character: During I.S.S., Costa Ronin plays Nicholai Pulov, the leader of the Russian astronauts who first turns on the American astronauts after receiving the orders to take the International Space Station.

Pilou Asbæk As Alexey Pulov

Alexey looks focused in I.S.S.

Actor: Pilou Asbæk was born in Copenhagen Denmark, and got his first role playing Teis in the Danish movie Worlds Apart in 2008 after graduating from The Danish National School of Performing Arts. He got his first major role as Rune in the prison drama Lindholm & Noer for which he won Best Actor at The Danish Critic Association Award.

Notable Movies & TV Shows: A Hijacking (2012), 1864 (2014), Game of Thrones (2016-2019), Ghost in the Shell (2017), Overlord (2018), Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023)

Character: In I.S.S., Pilou Asbæk plays Alexey Pulov, a Russian astronaut and biologist who doesn’t speak often but is deeply compassionate towards others. Rather than hurting the Americans, he wants to work together to stay alive.

ISS Movie Poster

I.S.S.

Release Date
January 19, 2024

Director
Gabriela Cowperthwaite

Cast
Ariana DeBose , Chris Messina , Pilou Asbæk , John Gallagher Jr. , Costa Ronin , Maria Mashkova

Runtime
95 Minutes

Writers
Nick Shafir

Studio(s)
LD Entertainment

Distributor(s)
Bleecker Street