‘Elf’ Movie Characters and Cast and Where They Are Now

In 2003, Elf became a holiday sensation. Doubtful. If you haven’t seen this charming Christmas tale, Buddy (Will Ferrell) is a grown man who was raised by Santa (Ed Asner) and his elves in the North Pole after sneaking into Santa’s toy sack as a newborn. Buddy is determined to find his father, Emily (Mary Steenburgen), and Michael (Daniel Tay) and bring them Christmas cheer. Buggy meets and befriends a diverse cast of personalities and finds himself in some sticky situations (escalators…enough said). The film was directed by Jon Favreau and written by David Berenbaum. With each watch, it becomes one of the most adored and funny Christmas movies ever.. It’s time to see who plays who in Elf and what the cast has been up to since visiting Santa.

BFF (Will Ferrell)

His Etch-A-Sketch skills are unmatched. Buddy the Elf is the most festive and merry person ever. He has a sweet tooth and is determined to meet his biological father, Walter. His overzealousness and naivete first annoy his biological family, but his Christmas spirit eventually wins them over. The bathroom, not the kitchen, could be a better place for him to change out of his yellow tights. Oh, and a radiator needs to be explained to him.

Will Ferrell- in elf

Ferrell’s career has soared since Elf. His credits include the Anchorman franchise, Kicking & Screaming, Step Brothers, The Other Guys, Daddy’s Home, and the musical Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga starring Rachel McAdams. Not to mention his part as Deangelo Vickers, Michael Scott’s calorie-counting substitute on The Office. He’s currently in The Shrink Next Door on AppleTV+ with Kathryn Hahn and Paul Rudd, and he’s got a bunch of weird projects coming up like Stray, a stray dog comedy with Will Forte and Jamie Foxx, Spirited, a musical version of A Christmas Carol with Ryan Reynolds and Octavia Spencer, and Fruitcake, a bakery heist movie with Julianne Moore that you probably didn’t need until now.

Elf Papa (Bob Newhart)

Bob Newhart, the film’s narrator, and Buddy’s adoptive father, is the perfect choice as Papa Elf. Papa Elf reared Buddy since he was a newborn, and he knew he was…special. The idea of a human going to school with elves and learning to make toys was unusual, and Papa Elf feared for Buddy’s future. And it hurt like hell when Buddy sat on his lap.

Bob Newhart - Papa Elf

Bob Newhart, 92, is still going strong. In 2013, he received an Emmy for his role as Professor Proton on The Big Bang Theory. Young Sheldon, the Sheldon Cooper prequel series, has featured him on multiple episodes.

St. Nick (Ed Asner)

When Buddy climbed out of his toy bag, Santa was puzzled. He had a lot on his plate (besides cookies). The only option was to give Buddy to Papa Elf to be nurtured as an elf. Santa knows what to anticipate when Buddy enters the Big Apple as an adult. And Buddy saves Christmas by boosting Santa’s sleigh’s Clausometer.

Ed Asner-

Ed Asner is well known for his role as Lou Grant in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its dramatized spin-off Lou Grant. His stellar career includes roles in Roots, Up, Cobra Kai, Dead to Me, Modern Family, and The Premise. He died on 29 August at the age of 91.

Walter Hobbs (James Caan)

Walter Hobbs is a grumpy New York City children’s publisher and Buddy’s biological father. He adores his wife Emily and kid Michael, but he despises Christmas. Walter is a recurring Naughty Lister (much to Buddy’s chagrin). Maybe he needs Buddy as much as he needs Buddy.


James Caan’s role in The Godfather earned him an Oscar nomination. Issacson’s other films include “Get Smart,” “Magic City,” “Mercy,” and “Cloudy with a Chance of He’ll be seen in Francis Ford Coppola’s next picture Megalopolis, alongside Cate Blanchett, Oscar Isaac, and Michelle Pfeiffer.

M. Finch (Peter Dinklage)

Miles Finch, a best-selling author of children’s novels, wants to work with Walter’s publishing company. When Buddy inadvertently interrupts a crucial meeting with a potential client, things spiral out of control. Miles is enraged that Buddy disrupted the conference and humiliated when Buddy misidentifies him as an elf from the North Pole. (It’s important to note Miles’ dwarfism for context.) Buddy innocently quizzes Miles about the North Pole and labels him an “elf.” Miles leaves Buddy in a lot of sorrow and anguish after this stressful misunderstanding.

Peter - Dinklage

Peter Dinklage, best known as Tyrion Lannister in HBO’s mega-hit series Game of Thrones, gives layers of intricacy to every job. I Care A Lot and X-Men: Days of Future Past are among his credits. His future films include Brothers, Hitpig, American Dreamer, and The Toxic Avenger alongside Kevin Bacon and Elijah Wood.

Jovy (Zooey Deschanel)

Who is Jovie? Buddy’s first sighting of a star. Jovie, a disgruntled Gimbels employee, would rather be doing anything besides assembling the store’s Christmas tree. “Are you enjoying the view?” she sarcastically asks a wide-eyed Buddy. That she had a “affinity for elven culture” enchanted Buddy. It would take a lot to get Jovie to appreciate Christmas, but Buddy was up for the task.

Zooey Deschanel

Zooey Deschanel is most recognized for her role as Jess Day in New Girl alongside Jake Johnson, Hannah Simone, Lamorne Morris, and Max Greenfield. She’s also starred in (500) Days of Summer, Trolls, Yes Man, and Our Idiot Brother, and will star in Dreamin’ Wild with Casey Affleck and Walton Goggins. Deschanel has been a member of She & Him since 2008.

Deb (Amy Sedaris)

When Deb meets Buddy in his elf suit, she thinks he’s a (very) in-character actor who’s been sent to the office as a Christmas gram for Walter. She has no idea Buddy isn’t playing and truly wants to meet and spend time with his father at work. Deb is really interested in Buddy and does her best to help him adjust to office life.

Amy Sedaris-

Amy Sedaris has a distinct voice in humor. Her credits include The Mandalorian, Sex and the City, BoJack Horseman, Broad City, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. She co-stars in the cult comedy series At Home with Amy Sedaris with Michael Shannon, Justin Theroux, Rose Byrne, and Susan Sarandon, among others.

Emily Hobbs (Mary Steenburgen)

Emily is Walter’s lovely wife and Buddy’s tolerant stepmother. She doesn’t understand Buddy’s sweet eating habits or excessive Christmas décor, but she loves him nevertheless.

Mary-Steenburgen-elf-Emily Hobbs

Mary Steenbrugen won an Oscar for her role in Melvin and Howard (1980). Her roles in The Last Man on Earth, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Bless the Harts, and most recently Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist have kept us chuckling. Last year she starred in Happiest Season with Aubrey Plaza, Victor Garber, Kristen Stewart, and Daniel Levy as overbearing mother Tipper. Actress in Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley

Mike Hobbs (Daniel Tay)

Michael, Walter and Emily’s son, is horrified by his half-brother Buddy. It’s not often that a mature man in an elf suit claims to be your father. But Buddy’s joie de vivre and passion for life Christmas is a welcome change for Michael, who is used to his father’s mediocrity. Meanwhile, Michael helps Buddy prepare for his important (and first) date by flinging snowballs at bullies. Daniel Tay has only 8 acting credits and hasn’t appeared since 2017.

Daniel Tay-

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Olivia Wilson
Olivia Wilsonhttps://www.tvacute.com/
Olivia Wilson is the senior news writer for TV Acute. She spends too much money on collectables and is enamored with movies, comics, and television series. She loves binge-watching and can spend hours talking about movies and TV shows. She can immerse herself into a good story no matter the genre or form and only come out from it when she's had her fill. When she's not writing, she's probably cooking or exploring new places. You can follow her daily exploits on Twitter and Facebook.

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