Warning: The following contains spoilers for Don’t Look Up.
Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up packs a lot of talented actors into one film, all of whom get to play characters who handle climate crises in very different ways. Just about every personality type is shown in detail throughout McKay’s epic political satire, to the point that at least one character can be assigned to each astrological sign on the zodiac calendar.
From Meryl Streep’s money-hungry and incompetent president to Jennifer Lawrence’s spit-on and laughed-at astronomer, the movie goes a long way to show that there are really only two ways to deal with a climate crisis. You unify and actually deal with it, or you don’t.
Aries: Peter Isherwell (Mark Rylance)
The Aries has courage and determination in spades but suffers from impulsive and aggressive urges. They’re impatient and moody yet can also display optimism with ease.
Tech billionaire and major campaign donor Peter Isherwell has determination in spades but it’s self-interest disguised as innovation. He displays optimism every chance he gets, but it’s easy to see through considering he displays it at even the worst of times.
Taurus: Brie Evantee (Cate Blanchett)
The Taurus, an Earth sign, is the ever-reliable friend. However, they’re also stubborn and uncompromising in their views, so friends should know what they’re getting. They take to music and romance but balk at even the mention of the unexpected.
The Daily Rip co-host Brie Evantee is a romantic, but her definition of romance is extremely hollow. She uses people and finds it funny when it all blows up. She also seems very comfortable with power, displaying little internal conflict when choosing between Dr. Mindy’s truth and her work’s lies.
Gemini: Yule (Timothée Chalamet)
Geminis are a nervous sort, with proclivities for affection and learning. They revel in the world of music and books yet ironically dislike solitude. They’re adaptable social butterflies who are nonetheless indecisive and unreliable.
A late addition to the film and romantic interest to Kate Dibiasky, Yule is both affectionate and prone to artistry. He’s a better match for her than pseudo-journalist Phillip (Himesh Patel) who broke up with her in the most vicious way possible.
Cancer: June Mindy (Melanie Lynskey)
Cancers, members of the Water sign, are sharply intuitive. They’re also prone to carrying around a big heart, which they wear on their sleeve. This can be positive or negative, as a Cancer is also a moody pessimist with a suspicious nature.
June Mindy, Dr. Mindy’s wife, is certainly intuitive. She knows something is up with her husband and she’s right. Even still, with the end neigh, she allows her husband back into their home so he can die with his family.
Leo: Riley Bina (Ariana Grande)
Creative and filled with passion, Leos are also prone to extreme arrogance. This Fire sign can’t stand to be ignored and prefers their own version of reality, but they favor admiration and spending time with friends.
Another minor character played by an A-lister, Ariana Grande’s Riley Bina is a singer in the middle of an ugly break-up. Creative in her work and passionate in her relationship, Bina (and Scott Mescudi’s DJ Chello) is also too arrogant to put her personal life aside in favor of climate news coverage.
Virgo: Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio)
A Virgo will be one of the more loyal members of a group. They’ll also be of incredible use considering they’re analytical and hard workers. However, they’re also very critical of not just themselves but other people, as well. This over-worrying can lead to them being somewhat unpleasant presences.
Dr. Randall Mindy looks out for his friends and family, but his self-critical nature can make him a nervous hassle to bring into a meeting. It also led to him getting easily pulled into directions he might not have wanted to go at first.
Libra: Dr. Teddy Oglethorpe (Rob Morgan)
This Air sign has a way with the group dynamic. They’re prone to diplomacy, have a cooperative nature, and believe in a level playing field. However, they’re also not one for confrontation, which leads to issues down the line.
Every other gripping movie about Earth destroying comets has its professional who tries to appeal to public reason. Usually, they fail, and Dr. Teddy Oglethorpe is no exception. It’s not for a lack of trying, considering he’s dealing with an apathetic public and an oblivious administration.
Scorpio: Jason Orlean (Jonah Hill)
Scorpios have a way of walking the line between violent and brave. They’re not prone to trust, but they are prone to jealousy. They’ll show their medal via resourcefulness and passion, but they’re clingy.
If Adam McKay’s best film was casting-based, Don’t Look Up would probably win. Jonah Hill makes for an excellent addition as White House Chief of Staff and momma’s boy Jason Orlean. He can talk a lot of brave talk but is really nothing more than a sinister brat. Jason is also clingy, particularly in regards to his mother (whom he sexualizes, saying “If she wasn’t my mother…”).
Sagittarius: Benedict Drask (Ron Perlman)
The Sagittarius has a generous spirit, but this leads to them promising more than they’re capable of delivering. They also have no filter, saying whatever comes to mind figuring impunity. They embrace freedom and travel while shivering at the thought of constraint.
Ron Perlman’s Benedict Drask isn’t in much of Don’t Look Up, but he makes his personality loud and clear even with limited screentime. Mostly, this is done via filterless, racist speech (for instance when he is live-streamed to viewers across the globe).
Capricorn: Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence)
Among the more responsible signs, the Capricorn is also somewhat of a know-it-all. They’re condescending, pessimistic, and, when things do go wrong, they’re unforgiving to those who initiated the poor result.
Perhaps one of Jennifer Lawrence’s best roles, Kate Dibiasky is uncompromising in her desire to assist the public. They’re being lied to by an administration that doesn’t care about anything outside of power. So, when Dr. Mindy joins up with the administration, her attitude towards him drastically changes.
Aquarius: Jack Bremmer (Tyler Perry)
This Air sign has a distaste for genuine, honest emotional expression. They love to just have fun but can also dive into intellectual conversations. They’re independent thinkers with a humanitarian nature.
While Don’t Look Up may be recognized as one of Tyler Perry’s best movies, Jack Bremmer isn’t featured to a great extent. Even still, as the co-host of The Daily Rip, Bremmer speaks a lot all the while saying very little. He openly admits to preferring lighthearted nonsense to actual communication. Only one of those two approaches is worthwhile when informing the public about the incoming doomsday.
Pisces: President Orlean (Meryl Streep)
The final sign on the calendar, Pisces tends to be in constant fear with a pre-disposition for trust. They’re also conceited know-it-alls with abhorrence for being proven wrong. Pisces also tend to find the past coming back to destroy them.
President Orlean is always afraid of losing power. She’s the type of president who will ignore a crisis until there’s a personal crisis to divert attention from. President Orlean is again a Pisces in that her past comes back to haunt her. She bailed on Earth, leaving its population to die, only to immediately be killed by a giant bird.
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