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Till Cast and Character Guide

Before reading below, we have some small but important disclaimers for you. Firstly, given that Till (2022) is based on a true story, some plot details will likely be given in the following character descriptions. Secondly, and most importantly, the following article contains descriptions of sensitive topics including torture, hate crimes, and lynching, which may be disturbing for some readers.

In 1955, a starry-eyed black teenager visited his family in Money, Mississippi, ecstatic to be able to explore the countryside along with his cousins. Though his mother was a bit concerned that her son may be a bit naive about how the world viewed people who looked like him in that period of time, his child-like optimism told him that this vacation would open up an entirely new world of opportunities for him. This young man was named Emmett Till, and what happened to him that Summer is a horrific tragedy that neither Emmett nor his mother Mamie Till-Mobley could have possibly predicted.


After being falsely accused of flirting with a white woman, Emmett was kidnaped, tortured, and lynched by the woman’s husband and his brother-in-law. It’s a shockingly barbaric tragedy that robbed a young man of his promising adult life, and this was something that was all too common in the American South while the civil rights movement began to gain momentum. This event also understandably made a major impact on Mamie Till-Mobley. Losing her son to a senseless act of violence and hatred led her to seek justice for Emmet and begin a culturally important career in civil rights activism.

Having premiered on October 14, the story of the Till family can now be seen on the big screen in Till (2022), directed by Chinonye Chukwu (Clemency). Chukwu is also directing an impressive cast of actors who will be portraying the historical events that the film is based on. To find out who, simply read below.

Related:‘Till’ Review: Danielle Deadwyler Gives a Powerhouse Performance in Emotional True Story

Danielle Deadwyler as Mamie Till-Mobley

As early reviews for Till start to pour in, one of the biggest positives from the consensus is Danielle Deadwyler‘s (The Harder They Fall) performance in the lead role of Mamie Till-Mobley. Mamie Till-Mobley became an activist not by choice, but through a sense of justice and public duty to her late son. Prior to the horrific lynching of Emmet, Mamie and her son lived a relatively normal life. She largely raised Emmet as a single mother, as his father, Louis Till, was killed in his military service, but under rather mysterious circumstances. Though she was often protective of her son and repeatedly encouraged him to be cautious in his surroundings, she also knew that Emmet would have to see the rest of the world eventually and agreed to let him spend his summer vacation with his cousins in Mississippi. Deadwyler reportedly received a standing ovation on set due to her powerful performance.

The revelation that Emmet had been killed in a hate crime was understandably horrific for Mamie and her family, but Mamie knew right away that something had to be done to prevent future instances of this happening in the future. One of her first ventures into activism was with her son’s funeral service. Emmet’s body was heavily disfigured after his murder, yet Mamie insisted that the service be an open casket funeral, so people would see the true horrors that such an event inflicts on a person. Mamie’s activism for justice for her son and other black individuals in America also made her a target for segregationists, and her son’s character was called into question when the senator of Mississippi revealed that Louis Till was executed for alleged rape while on duty. Though this political attack adversely affected the criminal case for Emmet’s murder, it did little to sway Mamie from her activism, who would ultimately become a teacher to continue educating the public.

Jalyn Hall (The House with a Clock in Its Walls) takes on a remarkably challenging role at a pretty young age with the role of Emmett Till. Emmett was remembered by his family as a remarkably pleasant young man, whose optimistic attitude was a breath of fresh air in a time when racism was rampant. Emmett’s mother Mamie worried that his optimism could also be interpreted as naïveté, as Emmett may not be prepared for the adversity that a young black man could face in the 1950s south. Still, Emmett was ecstatic to spend the summer with his cousins and see another part of the country. The last time Emmett saw his mother was on the train to Mississippi, where the young man thought that he would have an amazing Summer vacation, only to have his life unceremoniously taken from him in an act of unbridled hatred.

Related:‘Till’ Trailer Explores the Horrors of Racial Segregation in the United States

Mamie Till-Mobley’s parents and Emmet Till’s grandparents are played by Do the Right Thing (1989) star Frankie Faison and Academy-Award winner Whoopi Goldberg (Ghost). John Carthan and Alma Carthan were together up until Mamie was twelve years old when the couple separated. In the years that followed, Mamie and John became estranged, and her mother was strict and encouraged Mamie to heavily focus on her schoolwork. That’s not to say that her parents didn’t care for her, far from it in fact. John and Alma loved both her and their grandson, Emmett, and were right by Mamie’s side when she was fighting for justice and mourning her son.

Sean Patrick Thomas (Barbershop) plays Gene Mobley, Mamie’s third and final husband. Gene Mobley was one of his girlfriend’s greatest supporters in her campaign, marrying Mamie a year after Emmet’s death in 1956. Though Mamie’s previous marriages were short-lived, Mamie and Gene remained together for forty-four years up until Gene’s passing in 2000.

The woman who ultimately put these horrific events in motion, Carolyn Bryant will be played by Haley Bennett (Swallow). Emmett Till walked into Bryant’s shop one day ready to make a standard purchase. Nothing out of the ordinary, until Carolyn made the extreme accusation that Emmett sexually harassed her in her place of business. It was this accusation that led to her husband and brother-in-law performing the lynching of Emmett, but decades after the event took place, Carolyn Bryant admitted that the claim was entirely false. Just earlier this year there was a possibility that Carolyn could have been indicted for her false accusation, but a grand jury declined to press charges.

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