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Characters / Heat

Character Sheet depecting the main traits of the characters from Heat. Needs Wiki Magic Love.

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    Los Angeles Police Department 

Lt. Vincent Hanna

Played by: Al Pacino

An experienced LAPD lieutenant that becomes obsessed with finding Neil McCauley

Det. Sammy Casals

Played by: Wes Studi

One of Hanna's team members. He always informs Vincent about the latest news.

Sgt. Drucker

Det. Mike Bosko

Played by: Ted Levine

Danny Schwartz

Played by: Jerry Trimble

    Neil's Crew 

Neil McCauley

Played by: Robert De Niro

"Don't let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner."

A criminal mastermind and thief from Los Angeles.
  • Affably Evil: A ruthless bank robber who's not above polite conversation even with people he says he would murder if he had to, as witnessed by his genial encounter with Vincent.
  • Arc Words: The quote above. He learned that from a fellow inmate and considers it a valuable lesson. To the point he had to leave Eady and escape from Vincent.
  • Bank Robbery: The last job he plans with his gang.
  • Beard of Evil: The movie's a bit more complex than straightforward good vs. evil, but symbolically it's no coincidence that the violent Noble Demon bank robber sports a natty little goatee.
  • Everyone Has Standards: He is disgusted with and furious at Waingro for killing the guards during the armored car robbery when it isn't necessary.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Neil is the melancholic of his team.
  • Gentleman Thief: A Deconstructed Character Archetype. He has the charm and all the connections, but he's a painfully lonely man, and won't get close to anyone for fear that the cops will be right around the corner.
  • Honor Among Thieves: Despite some bad habits, his team of robbers usually watch out for each other. Except for Waingro, who is too inhuman to count.
  • One Last Job: He plans himself one last bank heist before his retirement.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Hanna's red.
  • The Stoic: Unlike his chaser, Vincent, he doesn't chew up the scenery and is cold and calculating, though he has a few Berserk Buttons like Waingro or Charlene meeting with her lover.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: He makes sure that Waingro is really dead by giving him a Boom, Headshot after shooting him in the heart.
  • Villain Protagonist: A bank robber who is a main character, but he has an equal role with Lt. Hanna, the cop trying to catch him.

Chris Shiherlis

Played by: Val Kilmer

Neil's most trusted man. He is also in trouble with gambling and drug addiction, which trembles his marriage with Charlene.

Michael Cheritto

Played by: Tom Sizemore

A veteran acquaintance of Neil.


Played by: Danny Trejo

Another of Neil's main team members.


Played by: Kevin Gage

A vicious criminal with killer tendencies that joins up with Neil for one heist job.
  • Alone with the Psycho: All the prostitutes that spent time with him and got killed.
  • Asshole Victim: His dirty tendencies and lack of honesty won't leave any remorse for his death at the hands of Neil.
  • Beard of Evil: He has a large mustache and less standards than Neil.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: He teams up with Van Zant to spoil Neil's plans.
  • Boom, Headshot: Neil shoots him in the head to make sure he is really dead if he ever had a heart.
  • Dirty Coward: He acts pretty tough whenever he's threatening and killing people who can't fight back, but when Neil has him cornered he's a whimpering mess.
  • Psycho for Hire: First time by Neil, though he pushed his Berserk Button for killing one of the van's guards. Second time by Roger Van Zant as both shared a common enemy in Neil.
  • Serial Killer: A coroner says that his prostitute killings are going serial.
  • Smug Snake: He clearly thinks he's a badass, but in reality he has no guts or brains.
  • The Sociopath: He doesn't seem to have any feelings for anyone.


Justine Hanna

Played by: Diane Venora

Vincent's third wife. While she still loves him, she is growing a bit tired of Vincent's workaholism.

Lauren Gustafson

Played by: Natalie Portman

Justine's daughter from her other marriage and Vincent's stepdaughter. She's driven to depression because of her father's neglection.
  • Driven to Suicide: Vincent found her in his hotel room's bath with some cuts in a wrist and a leg. She survived just in time.
  • Parental Neglect: By her natural father, which drives her to the aforementioned.

Charlene Shiherlis

Played by: Ashley Judd

Chris' wife who is getting tired of his difficult life. She has a little son with him named Dominic.

    Neil's Associates 


Played by: Jon Voight

An old associate of Neil that provides him with key information for his schemes.

Donald Breedan

Played by: Dennis Haysbert

A young man on parole that works in a restaurant with a nasty boss.
  • Black Dude Dies First: For Neil's team. He dies before Cheritto.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: He is presented as a man on parole with a new job at a restaurant with no clear signs of relation to the plot. But after Trejo leaves because he is supposed to be chased by the police, Neil, who met him at prison, finds him in the restaurant and proposes him to be the runaway driver.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Breedan gets character presence and importance on the same level as Neil, Vincent or Chris. Then, he's suddenly shot and killed driving the car after the bank heist.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: Gets shot in the head by Hanna, Casals and Drucker. All at once. And keep in mind that Drucker has a shotgun.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: After getting out of prison, he's working a dead end job with a Bad Boss. Then he gets brought back into the criminal life when Neil needs a getaway driver. This leads to him getting shot in the head while driving his new comrades away from a bank.

    Roger Van Zant 

Roger Van Zant

Played by: William Fichtner

A money launderer who holds a grudge on Neil for robbing him and re-selling his stolen bonds to him.
  • Asshole Victim: He tried to mess up with Neil only for the master thief to shoot him in the chest.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: He teams up with Waingro to spoil Neil's plans.
  • It's Personal: He backfires Neil with a killing attempt and fake money for trying to re-sell his own bonds to him. Then it backfires him horribly.

Hugh Benny

Played by: Henry Rollins

Van Zant's bodyguard and the one who informs the police that Neil was planning a bank heist.



Played by: Amy Brennaman

A graphic designer and Neil's love interest.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Averted. She didn't know Neil was a criminal and master thief, and is quite shocked after learning the truth.
  • Break the Cutie: She was shocked when the news talked about the bank heist and Neil's involvement in it though she gave him a chance. Then the poor girl is completely speechless when Neil abandons her when Vincent chases him.
  • Love Interest: For Neil.
  • May-December Romance: She is quite a deal younger than Neil.
  • Stalker with a Crush: She tells Neil that she saw him various times in the bookshop where she works.

Alan Marciano

Played by: Hank Azaria

Charlene's lover from Las Vegas.
  • Jerkass: Living with Chris is a hell for Charlene. But with Alan? He insults her and he clearly only wanted her for sex.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Along with the Torena brothers and Vincent's Large Ham, he also provides the funniest moments of the film.