Meet The Cast of Raising Dion

Raising Dion

Being a superhero is rewarding. You get to be the one everyone looks up to and admires. Sure there’s a lot of pressure and usually a more than fair dose of tragedy, but it only makes you stronger. Plus, you look stunning in tights. Being a teen superhero is confusing and frustrating. It’s the crucible that forges the adult awesomeness you’ll become. However, being a child who has superpowers is a very different animal. The cast of Raising Dion tackles this issue with aplomb. We want to introduce you to the cast of this surreal and yet somehow so-real show. Meet the cast of Raising Dion. The young actors cast on this show are nothing short of brilliant. Someone deserves an Emmy, but Best Casting Director isn’t a category, unfortunately. Christine Kromer should undoubtedly be on the shortlist for an Artios Award for this show.

Ja’Siah Young as Dion

Being a young boy who’s just moved somewhere new and has almost no friends isn’t easy. However, being an incredibly talented eight-year-old boy who’s playing that role is even more difficult. Ja’Siah Young does an outstanding job of being Dion. A boy on the verge of phenomenal powers with no control and a clueless, but smart and loving mother is a brilliant breakout role for such a talented young man. This isn’t his first rodeo, though. Ja’Siah started acting early. His first role was on Billy on the street (2015).

Sammi Haney as Esperanza

There are never enough representations of differently-abled children. Sammi isn’t about to let that stop her. This feisty little girl wants to be an actress or a dump truck driver, so she’s halfway there. We have nothing but respect for the self-assigned best friend of young Dion. She knows what it’s like to be ignored and belittled, which is exactly what Dion is going through, though he doesn’t see it at first.

Gavin Munn as Jonathan

Much like Ja’Siah, Gavin has been acting for quite some time. He started at the age of four, and for someone of any age, he started big. One of Gavin’s first roles was in Dirty Grandpa, where he did a scene with Zac Efron. Gavin Munn plays a great bad-boy who’s just trying to fit in with his crowd. Sadly, in Raising Dion, ‘his crowd’ are also the kids picking on Dion. Without strife, there can be no triumph, and young Gavin brings all his experience and talent to the table to pull off a mean kid wonderfully.

As ensemble’s go, we could not have asked for better. Playing beside such incredibly talented child actors takes a real gift. The right cast can make all the difference, and these actors and actresses deliver the goods in every episode. Any show about a child that isn’t geared toward a young viewing audience is dicey. Things can quickly get too dark and macabre, or flip the other direction and seem juvenile and overly lighthearted. The adult cast on Raising Dion manages to strike the right balance. They allow the show to be about Dion and the people who love him without overshadowing Ja’Siah and the other child actors or pandering to them.

Alisha Wainwright as Nicole

The kids in Raising Dion aren’t the only ones who can steal a scene. Alisha Wainwright, who plays Dion’s single mother, is gorgeous and more talented than anyone needs to be. As the recently widowed mother of a struggling boy who has powers she can barely comprehend, Alisha brings heart and gut-wrenching emotion to virtually every scene. When she freaks out or cries or gets angry at a racist school principal, you’re right there with her. Her presence is perfect, and her charisma undeniable. You’d think she did nothing but act her entire life, but this savvy and stunning lady actually studied Botany at the University of Florida.

Michael B. Jordan as Mark

Michael B. Jordan both produces and has a supporting role in Raising Dion. As Dion’s deceased father, he appears a couple of times in flashbacks. Some actors get typecast and have a limited range, but not Michael. We adored him as the cold-hearted Killmonger in Black Panther, but he’s just as good in the role of Mark. He plays a scientist with secrets who is a loving husband and a doting father. As an inventor and storm chaser, his enthusiasm is infectious. Fun fact about this actor/producer- He is not named for, nor related to the other Michael Jordan. That’s right; he earned his fame the hard way.

Jason Ritter as Pat

We’ve been watching Jason Ritter for years. He’s starred in such great shows as The Good Doctor and The Bates Motel. However, in Raising Dion, he plays a very different sort of character. Pat is Dion’s godfather, a quintessential nerd who worked with Mark before he died and was his best friend. Though he does all he can to help Dion and Nicole, there’s real tension in this sidelined and friend-zoned supporting character. We love how well he plays a tortured, and sad man who does everything he can to (successfully) hide his own problems and needs to be there for the main characters.

Jazmyn Simon as Kat

Jazmyn Simon makes a great doctor, and she’s a good sister in spite of her misunderstanding and skepticism about what’s happening with Dion and Nicole. The frustrated and overworked sister just wants to help and make things better for her somewhat flakey younger sibling. She’s understandably tired of the drama and all the weird behavior. Jazmyn is well known for her role on Ballers, and her dynamic, outspoken political positions.

Donald Paul as Anthony Fry

This Florida raised, Maryland, and New York educated actor does a stellar job as Dion’s smart and savvy science-loving teacher with a heart of gold. He does what he can to help the kid out in spite of a seriously racist principal who wants nothing more than to kick him out of the mostly white school he attends.

Final Thoughts

This fantastic show is based on the comics of Dennis Liu, but it’s so believable at times that it could be an autobiography. The struggles and drama involved in raising, or being a young super-powered kid is a unique narrative that we could not enjoy it more if we tried. Hopefully, there will be more seasons for this brilliant show and its amazing cast of characters. Sadly we don’t know yet if Netflix will give this show the green light for another season. We’ll keep our ears to the ground, and our fingers crossed. Meanwhile, let us know which character you like best in the comments below.

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