The who's who of the heist

18 Jun 2018
It’s been a long wait for fans of the Ocean franchise, but this year, Ocean is indeed back – Debbie Ocean, that is. Danny Ocean’s sister (Sandra Bullock) has all the charm and cunning of her (in)famous sibling, and after a lengthy stint in a jail cell, she’s got her eye on $150 million in diamonds.
But in true Ocean fashion, she won’t be going it alone; sharing is caring, after all, and Debbie’s done her research. She’ll be joined by a whole host of skilled women, who of course bring something particular to the table.

Anyway, what’s a heist without friends?

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DEBBIE OCEAN (SANDRA BULLOCK)

Debbie Ocean, the mastermind of the heist, has spent the last five years behind bars, which has been valuable thinking time. Although, Debbie isn’t especially interested in righting her wrongs; she’s more interested in outdoing them. She’s plotting for the greatest heist of her life, and she’ll do it right under the world’s nose: at the New York Met Gala.

“It’s in her blood,” says Bullock of her character, “She’s a thief from a family of thieves. It’s what she loves and it’s what she’s good at. For Debbie, it’s the thrill of the steal and seeing if you can get away with it.”

Well, we’ll have to see if she gets away with it this time then...

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Sandra Bullock as Debbie Ocean
LOU (CATE BLANCHETT)

Lou’s been living on the down-low for the last few years, running a nightclub, putting her life of crime behind her. But maybe she’ll have to bring it to the front again, because her old partner in crime has a plan that’s a little too good to turn down.

“Debbie needs a sure hand, someone she can rely on,” says Blanchett, “And they’ve got a long history together.” Lou might need some coaxing back into the game, but as all the players know, everyone needs a little adrenaline kick now and then.

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Cate Blanchett as Lou
ROSE WEIL (HELENA BONHAM CARTER)

The New York Met Gala is the epoch of the fashion world, so it’s good to have a bit of inside knowledge going in. That will be coming from Rose Weil: once a designer for the rich and famous… now a few million dollars in debt.

“She desperately needs money, and they need a fashion designer,” says Bonham Carter, “So maybe they can benefit from another.”

Fun fact: Bonham Carter spent days in the costume department getting ready for her role: “I wanted to look as if I could make a frock,” she says.

Helena Bonham Carter as Rose Weil
AMITA (MINDY KALING)

At the very heart of the heist is of course $150 million dollars in diamonds, so having a jeweller on board can’t hurt. And there’s one who fits the bill perfectly: stuck living with an overbearing mum, Amita is in need of a fasttrack route to financial independence, and of course a little rebelling.

“[She’s] is dying to be bad,” says Kaling, “She’s been on good behaviour her entire life and is eager to unleash her devilish side.” This certainly looks like the right opportunity.

Mindy Kaling as Amita
TAMMY (SARAH PAULSON)

Like Lou, Tammy has known a life of crime – and traded it in for a suburban family life. Or maybe not quite: if you were to look in her garage, you’d find she has a pretty major case of sticky fingers.

“I think there is something very thrilling to Tammy about being a mom but having this secret life,” says Paulson. So Debbie’s offer comes as salvation: “She’s super happy to be out of the house,” Paulson adds. And into the frying pan? Hopefully not…

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Sarah Paulson as Tammy
NINE BALL (RIHANNA)

Rihanna has taken the music scene by storm, but now she’s capturing our attention on the big screen. In Ocean’s 8 she plays Nine Ball, the best hacker on the east coast, and the team’s only hope of cracking the Met’s ultra-sophisticated security system.

There’s not much we know for sure about Nine Ball – real name Eight Ball (so she says). But then, that’s probably how she likes it.

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Rihanna as Nine Ball
CONSTANCE (AWKWAFINA)

Constance comes on personal recommendation to Debbie from Lou – a high honour, no doubt. She’s a young street hustler from Queens played by rising star Awkwafina, who immediately felt an affinity with the character.

“They find Constance in Elmhurst, a neighbourhood close to where I grew up,” says Awkwafina. “She is New York to the bone and I am, too.”

And as for Constance’s dubious career – well, Awkwafina says she learnt a little sleight-of-hand magic herself for the role.

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Awkwafina as Constance
DAPHNE KLUGER (ANNE HATHAWAY)

The $150 million diamonds everyone’s got their eyes on will be hanging around the neck of Daphne Kluger, a world famous actress at a world famous event, with all cameras trained on her.

Hathaway – a world famous actress herself – enjoyed getting into the character. “It was so much fun becoming someone who occupies a world I know so well, but hopefully isn’t anything like me,” she laughs. “Daphne is a bit wild and over the top.”

Is she a match for seven criminal masterminds?

“She’s a lot smarter than people realise,” says Hathaway.

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Anne Hathaway as Daphne Kluger
See for yourself, as Ocean’s 8 is in cinemas now!

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