The cast of Freaks and Geeks is full of zany, unique characters brought to life by young actors who would all go on to become huge stars. Created by Paul Feig, who went on to direct Bridesmaids, Freaks and Geeks follows two different groups of social outcasts as they navigate the cutthroat hierarchy of their high school. The series earned widespread acclaim for reflecting the adolescent experience a lot more accurately than the average teen drama. Sadly, Freaks and Geeks struggled in the ratings and only lasted for one season, but it remains a beloved cult classic to this day.
Almost everybody in the main cast of Freaks and Geeks went on to become a big name in Hollywood. Linda Cardellini has a prominent role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Martin Starr gave a scene-stealing turn in Silicon Valley, and Busy Philipps is a beloved TV personality. Executive producer Judd Apatow went on to launch the movie careers of many cast members from Freaks and Geeks. He shepherded the debut screenplays of Seth Rogen and Jason Segel and cast James Franco in a subversively comedic role in Pineapple Express at the height of his Spider-Man fame.
Linda Cardellini As Lindsay Weir
Linda Cardellini plays Lindsay Weir, the central protagonist of Freaks and Geeks. Lindsay is introduced as a precocious, hard-working student before falling in with the “freaks” in an attempt to redefine herself. After her grandmother’s death, Lindsay became less interested in her studies and more interested in rebellion. She was initially intimidated by the freaks, but eventually felt like one of them. Cardellini went on to play Velma in the live-action Scooby-Doo movies and Hawkeye’s wife and former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Laura Barton, in the MCU. Her subsequent TV roles include Samantha Taggart in ER, Meg Rayburn in Bloodline, and Judy Hale in Dead to Me.
John Francis Daley As Sam Weir
John Francis Daley plays Lindsay’s younger brother, Sam Weir. Sam is shorter than a lot of other kids his age, which makes him shy and introverted. He’s not very popular at school, but he’s best of friends with his fellow “geeks.” Daley later returned to television to play FBI criminal profiler Dr. Lance Sweets in Bones. He’s also stepped behind the camera with his creative partner Jonathan Goldstein. Daley and Goldstein have co-directed the movies Vacation, Game Night, and Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, and worked on the scripts for Horrible Bosses and Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Jason Segel As Nick Andopolis
Nick Andopolis, the kindest and most sensitive of the freaks, is played by movie star Jason Segel. Nick is a former basketball player who followed his passion for music after getting kicked off the team for marijuana possession. He and Lindsay dated, but she found him to be too clingy and overbearing. Segel went on to play Marshall Eriksen in How I Met Your Mother. He wrote and starred in the romantic comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall and earned widespread acclaim for his performance as David Foster Wallace in The End of the Tour.
Busy Philipps As Kim Kelly
Daniel’s on-and-off girlfriend, Kim Kelly, was played by Busy Philipps. Kim is the subject of rumors around the school, arguing with Daniel, and getting into fights. Kim was initially cold and dismissive towards Lindsay, but she eventually embraced her friendship. Philipps is also known for playing Audrey Liddell in Dawson’s Creek and Laurie Keller in Cougar Town. She also hosted her own talk show, Busy Tonight, which ran for over 100 episodes.
James Franco As Daniel Desario
Playing the unintelligent Daniel Desario on Freaks & Geeks is James Franco. He is the leader of the freaks who hides the fact that he’s 18 years old and has been held back two grades at school. Daniel is cool and charismatic, but he’s also known for being selfish and unreliable. Franco graduated from TV actor to movie star with his role as Peter Parker’s best friend Harry Osborn in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. He’s since appeared in Milk, Spring Breakers, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and earned an Academy Award nomination for his role in 127 Hours.
Seth Rogen As Ken Miller
Seth Rogen plays Ken Miller, the most sardonic of the freaks. Ken is stubborn, abrasive, and always looking for a fight. This is at odds with the chill, laidback on-screen persona that would go on to define Rogen’s movie career. Rogen reunited with Apatow to appear in such hit comedies as The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and Funny People. Rogen and his childhood friend Evan Goldberg co-wrote movies like Superbad, Pineapple Express, and This is the End (which they also directed). Rogen has also played dramatic roles in Sarah Polley’s Take This Waltz, Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs, and Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans.
Martin Starr As Bill Haverchuck
Martin Starr plays the geekiest of the geeks, Bill Haverchuck. Whereas Sam is shorter than most of the other kids, Bill is taller than most of the other kids. Bill is hilarious in a dry and understated way, but doesn’t have the confidence to take advantage of it. Starr has brought that deadpan hilarity to his later roles as Roman DeBeers in Party Down, the quotable Bertram Gilfoyle in Silicon Valley, and Peter Parker’s teacher Mr. Harrington in the MCU’s Spider-Man trilogy. He also plays the more dramatic role of Lawrence “Bohdi” Geigerman in Tulsa King.
Samm Levine As Neal Schweiber
Samm Levine plays Neal Schweiber, by far the most confident and outgoing of the geeks. Neal is a self-proclaimed ladies’ man and comedic genius with a futile crush on Lindsay. He’s in denial about the fact that he’s just as geeky as Sam and Bill and considers himself to be the cool one. Levine is known for playing PFC Hirschberg, a member of the titular unit in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, and Arty in the Wet Hot American Summer franchise. He was also the sidekick and fill-in host on the online talk show Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show.
Freaks And Geeks Supporting Cast & Characters
Becky Ann Baker as Jean Weir: Lindsay and Sam’s sweet, selfless mother, Jean Weir, is played by Becky Ann Baker. Baker later played Hannah’s mother Loreen Horvath in Girls, a role that earned her two Critics’ Choice Award nominations and an Emmy nomination.
Joe Flaherty as Harold Weir: Lindsay and Sam’s strict yet compassionate father, Harold “Fiscal” Weir, is played by Joe Flaherty. Flaherty is best known for his work on the iconic sketch comedy series SCTV and his role as a golf heckler in Happy Gilmore.
Thomas F. Wilson as Coach Ben Fredricks: The geeks’ gruff gym teacher, Coach Fredricks, is played by Thomas F. Wilson. Wilson is best known for playing Biff Tannen and his ancestors and descendants in the Back to the Future trilogy.
Sarah Hagan as Millie Kentner: Millie Kentner, Lindsay’s religious best friend before she started hanging out with the freaks, is played by Sarah Hagan. Hagan later played Amanda in 10 iconic episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Dave “Gruber” Allen as Jeff Rosso: Dave “Gruber” Allen plays Jeff Rosso, the hippie guidance counselor that the characters confide in. Allen later played Mr. Kwest on Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide and a town troubadour in Gilmore Girls.
Natasha Melnick as Cindy Sanders: Cindy, a popular cheerleader, is Sam’s friend and crush for most of the first season of Freaks and Geeks, and eventually his girlfriend. She’s played by Natasha Melnick, who went on to voice Meg’s friend Ruth in Family Guy.
MORE: 10 Best Freaks and Geeks Quotes That Are Still Relatable Today