Screw cast: who stars in Channel 4 prison drama with Riley Carter and Jamie-Lee O’Donnell?

Screw stars Nina Sosanya, Jamie-Lee O’Donnell, and Riley Carter amongst others

Channel 4 series Screw is a drama about life in prison, told specifically from the perspective of the prison officers rather than the inmates.

The six-part series has been airing weekly on Channel 4 on Thursday nights, and is also currently available as a box-set on All4.

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Here’s everything you need to know about the cast of Screw.

Nina Sosanya as Leigh Henry

Nina Sosanya in Screw (Credit: Anne Binckebanck/Channel 4)

How did Nina Sosanya describe Leigh? “[Leigh] runs her wing like the captain of a ship, according to her own beliefs and rules, and doesn’t particularly trust anybody else to do the job as well as well as she can.”

“She finds it easier to relate to the prisoners than the staff members, and this causes incidents. She’s quite unpredictable and enigmatic, but she’s compassionate and trying to do the best she can within a broken system.”

Where do I know Nina Sosanya from? Basically everywhere – Sosanya has been a prolific actor for decades now, having starred in Love Actually, Killing Eve, His Dark Materials, Good Omens, and Doctor Who. Most recently, she’s appeared in Little Birds and Staged.

If I liked her performance here, what should I watch next? Nina Sosanya is one of those actors where you could open her Wikipedia page, close your eyes and pick a role at random and there’s a high chance it’ll be something well-worth watching. Legal drama Silk might be of interest as a counterpart to Screw, though, given both are concerned with the legal system.

Jamie-Lee O’Donnell as Rose Gill

Jamie-Lee O’Donnel as Rose in Screw (Credit: Anne Binckebanck/Channel 4)

How did Jamie-Lee O’Donnell describe Rose? “Prison isn’t what she’s expecting. I don’t think she’s intimidated by it either, but she builds different relationships with different people, including some people she never would really speak to on the outside – people who remind her of home.”

“It’s a new world for her, just as it will be for a lot of people watching the show. After those first impressions, we get to sit back and watch how things really are. It’ll be an eye-opener.”

Where do I know Jamie-Lee O’Donnell from? You’ll likely know O’Donnell from what is still her most famous role to date – Michelle in Derry Girls. The much-loved Channel 4 sitcom is set to return for its third and final series soon, promised to arrive “in early 2022”.

If I liked her performance here, what should I watch next? It’s never a bad idea to just rewatch Derry Girls, obviously, but O’Donnell received a lot of positive reviews for her lead role in the series 6Degrees.

Laura Checkley as Jackie

Laura Checkley as Jackie (Credit: Anne Binckebanck/Channel 4)

How did Laura Checkley describe Jackie? “She’s no-nonsense, but doesn’t take life too seriously. She’s a good mum and a good mate with a big heart, but you don’t want to push her because she’s no mug. She likes to think of herself as the mum of the prison, but she believes in boundaries and discipline.”

Where do I know Laura Checkley from? Laura Checkley has appeared in The Detectorists and King Gary, as well as the film Military Wives. She’s also recently starred in In My Skin and Brassic.

Stephen Wight as Gary

Stephen Wight in Screw (Credit: Anne Binckebanck/Channel 4)

How did Stephen Wight describe Gary? “On the surface he can seem a very simple man, but I found him incredibly complex. He is a no-nonsense, working-class, angry, white man, but underneath all of that, there is a good heart.”

“He’s fiercely loyal to his colleagues and sees them as an extended family, but he keeps his life inside and outside prison very separate.”

Where do I know Stephen Wight from? He’s best known for his role in I May Destroy You, where he played Michaela Coel’s character’s flatmate Ben; otherwise, you might recognise Wight from his roles in Ashes to Ashes, Manhunt, or Peterloo.

Faraz Ayub as Ali

Faraz Ayub, centre (Credit: Anne Binckebanck/Channel 4)

How did Faraz Ayub describe Ali? “He likes to see the good in everyone and everything. That makes him a bit naive sometimes, because it extends to the prisoners as well. He’s a loyal, decent person, he’s honest and gets along with everyone.”

Where do I know Faraz Ayub from? Ayub has previously appeared in Line of Duty and Bodyguard, as well as Ackley Bridge, The Capture, Innocence, and Silent Witness.

Ron Donachie as Don

Ron Donachie in Screw, left (Credit: Anne Binckebanck/Channel 4)

How did Ron Donachie describe Don? “He’s far and away the oldest of the central team of warders, in his mid-sixties and old enough to be everybody’s dad. He’s an ex-soldier and I suppose he represents what people see as a more traditional form of prison officer than is actually the case these days.”

“He’s been very good at his job and still is, within the limits of his age and physicality, but he’s tired now, too old for the job but still having to work until he’s 68. He finds it very demanding, and he’s just trying to get across the line to his pension.”

Where do I know Ron Donachie from? You’ll recognise Donachie from his roles in Game of Thrones and Titanic.

Riley Carter as Troy Walker

Jamie-Lee O’Donnell and Riley Carter (Credit: Anne Binckebanck/Channel 4)

Who is Troy Walker? Troy Walker is one of the inmates in Long Marsh prison, and the focus of the second episode of Screw in particular. Walker is a trans man, and Screw touches on some of the quite awful ways trans prisoners are treated (distinct from the awful ways prisoners are treated anyway, that is).

Where do I know Riley Carter from? You’ll likely recognise Carter from the role that made him famous – as Kyle Slater in Eastenders.

Who writes and directs the series?

Screw was written by Rob Williams, who has previously worked as an art teacher in prisons. It’s that experience which inspired Screw. His next series is Suspicion on Apple TV+, which stars Uma Thurman.

The series was directed by Tom Vaughn (Doctor Foster) and Jordan Hogg (Ackley Bridge).

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