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‘The Strays’ Cast And Character Guide, Explained: Everything About The Major Characters

Is it wrong to ask more? There is no correct answer to the question. For someone struggling with the basic necessities (food, cloth, shelter, and safety), it is definitely not wrong to ask for more. But if you are already entitled, there should be a limit to what you want. However, when we try to evaluate the question from a more psychological basis, the “more” becomes relative. Director Nathaniel Martello-White’s recent film “The Strays” takes us on a ride that deeply scars us and makes us question the right and wrong as we try to live by. It also deeply questions the role of a mother and, of course, points out how the world superficially thinks to have eradicated age-old racism. This wonderfully crafted film brings out the consequences of greed and covetousness and teaches a valuable lesson. Without further delay, here is everything you need to know about the character of “The Stray.”

Spoilers Ahead


Ashley Madekwe As Nave Or Cheryl

We see two sides of Madekwe. The films open with a desperate and frustrated woman wanting to break free from her everyday life and to want more than what she was having then. She is a potential woman who has achieved the award of “Salesman of the Year” three times in a row. Cheryl was complaining about her life to her sister. Her sister kept telling her to stop living off credit cards for a lavish lifestyle and asked Cheryl to meet her in the evening. However, we see an exasperated Cheryl packing a bag with all her essentials, writing a note, and leaving without her phone. Before she left, there were constant calls from her partner, Michael. This little introduction with Cheryl will give you an idea about the type of person Cheryl is. She is an independent woman who doesn’t want to be bogged down with petty needs; she wants the best, and somewhere, you might also feel she is a little insecure about being black.

Next, we see Cheryl as Nave, a successful woman, and mother of two. She lives in a beautiful home where she has made everything she wanted. Her husband is white, and she lives in a society where there are no other black people. However, Nave likes and lives a fake life. She pretends to be one of the white people and tries to constantly change how she looks. Alopecia is common among black women; she hides it with wicks and has taken it to fakeness to such a degree that even in bed with her husband, she would not take it off. With such a concern, Nave sees flashes of the past coming to intrude on her life in the present. Nave, who had appeared as Cheryl before, looked like she was a flight risk.

As we learn now, she is not independent; she is basically selfish and self-centered. She left two of her kids from her first marriage only to marry someone white and wealthier, which would give her the life of her dreams. However, she said that her former husband, Michael, had left her with no other choice and that she thought her children would be safe with their aunt (Nave’s sister). When her children from her first marriage appear, she tries to drive them off, even offering them money. The false act of caring to love comes naturally to Nave. She can fake a smile and lie in a heartbeat in the most impossible situations. In the end, we see her flee again, even when her new husband and four of her children are facing a threat that she has brought. Also, we see the innate racism she has. Being a black woman herself, she basically wants nothing and no one from the community to reach her. Furthermore, we have also witnessed the violent side of Nave, as we see her strike her son Sebastian for coming home late.


Bukky Bakray As Abigail Or Dione

Abigail is the second child of Nave’s first husband. A child she claimed not to have wanted. Being abandoned at a very young age, she never knew the love of a mother and desperately wanted Nave to take her in. Abigail was also immensely jealous of her half-sister Mary, for she could see that Nave loved her the most for being the younger one. When Abigail follows Nave’s new family, she gets along well with her half-sister, but their mother’s past actions trigger her more than she can handle. Finally, we see her wanting to play and have a family birthday, which she hadn’t had in the last seventeen years.


Jorden Myrie As Marvin

Nave’s eldest son, with her first husband, Marvin, is a black man who is pissed with his mother for leaving him and his sister. Marvin is a man who is proud of his origins. He looks out for his half-brother Sebastian (Nave’s son from her second marriage) in his private school, where he began working as a janitor. Marvin teaches his half-brother to smoke cigarettes and weed. But Marvin has a darker side; he makes his half-brother break the bone of his bully after their basketball match. He also forced his half-brother, who was high on weed, to look down from the top of the building to know if he would survive the fall. Finally, toward the end of the film, we see the destructive and violent side of Marvin. He was a bully and brutally tortured and killed Nave’s current husband. But, all his pent-up emotions, which came out as a result of the abandonment issue, made him a bad person, for his mother was unbothered all over again. 


Justin Salinger As Ian

Nave’s new husband is a white man who loves his family. He wants to live by the rules of society, which means avoiding the “black community” as a whole and only pretending to be close to them. He never questioned Nave’s past, probably because he didn’t want to be on the wrong foot with a black woman. But finally, when the truth was unfolding, he wasn’t so sure if he should be in a mess. Finally, we see him wanting divorce when Marvi and Abigail come intruding and wrecking their home. But Ian wanted to play along, hoping he could change the heart of Jorden, but sadly met with an unpleasant ending.

“The Strays” is a nerve-wracking film that shows how good people turn evil and how evil always finds a way to escape. Greed is again proven to be a cardinal sin; it ruins lives around it, and covetousness and revenge never brings any satisfaction. Furthermore, the characters show how living fake lives often drifts you away from reality, making you vulnerable as a person in the scary world. 


See more: ‘Knock At The Cabin’ Cast And Character Guide, Explained: Everything About The Major Characters


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