Characters: RENT

    open/close all folders 

Mark Cohen
Originally played by Anthony Rapp

  • How We Got Here: Inverted by Halloween. "How did we get here, how the hell..."
  • Iconic Item: His black and white scarf, and red and blue jumper.
  • Le Film Artistique: Mark's raison d'être.
  • Man Hug: With Roger on several occasions, most notably at the end of "What You Own" (only in the movie, they don't actually see each other in the show).
  • Stepford Smiler: While he's always attempting to be Roger's happy, supportive best friend, the song "Halloween" marks him (pun intended) as someone contemplative, mournful, and terrified of the reality of his situation. And when I capture it on film, will it mean that it's the end and I'm alone?

Roger Davis
Originally played by Adam Pascal

Mimi Márquez
Originally played by Daphne Rubin-Vega (Rosario Dawson in The Movie)

  • Ambiguously Brown: Mimi is said to be Latina, but she's also been played by actresses who are half-black, white, etc - and more than one fully-black (and dark-skinned) actress has played her as well.
  • Bad Girl Song: "Out Tonight" is made of this.
  • Dawson Casting: "I'm nineteen, but I'm old for my age!" Though, since many of the other characters are only mid-twenties, the potential exists for them as well.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Only in the Dutch production.
  • Disney Death: She's saved through The Power of Rock... alongside a heavy dose of Fridge Logic/slight Mind Screw.
  • Expy: Of, well, Mimi, the seamstress, from La Bohème.
  • Fanservice: The only reason why in the film, "Out Tonight" is performed while Mimi is at work instead of at her apartment like in the play.

Tom Collins
Originally played by Jesse L. Martin

Angel Dumott-Schunard
Originally played by Wilson Jermaine Heredia

  • Ambiguous Gender: Literally speaking, as opposed to "ambiguous sex." Usually referred to with female pronouns, but doesn't seem to mind masculine ones.

Maureen Johnson
Originally played by Idina Menzel

  • Large Ham: Oh GOD yes, "Over the Moon" is all about showing off just how hammy she can be. She even breaks the fourth wall and gets the audience (Yes, YOU, the audience members) to moo with her.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: To Joanne. Was probably this for Mark, as well.
  • The Masochism Tango: The tango...Maureen.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Maureen is easily the least serious character in this musical, and has one of the funniest songs as well.
  • Sidekick Song: "Over the Moon"
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: As she states in "Take Me Or Leave Me" to justify how she acts.

Joanne Jefferson
Originally played by Fredi Walker (Traci Thoms in The Movie)

  • Closer to Earth: Compared to the rest of her circle of friends, she is the only one with a high-paying, steady, professional career, and is basically the only thing keeping Maureen and Mark from imploding.
  • Expy: To a lesser extent than the other characters, but she does vaguely parallel Alcindoro from La Bohème.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Though mostly because being with Maureen forces her to be extra paranoid whenever it looks like she may be flirting with someone.
  • Out of Focus: She is the only one of the eight primary characters who doesn't get her own solo in the film, which was rectified by giving her the solo in "Seasons of Love".

Benjamin "Benny" Coffin III
Originally played by Taye Diggs

  • Anti-Villain: He has good intentions to help the neighborhood, but they include displacing an entire tent city of homeless people who have no where else to go, and he's basically a jerk to his friends.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: At least, the rest of the gang sees him as this. Going back on your word about not charging your friends rent proably had something to do with that.
  • Evil Former Friend: As above.
  • Expy: Of Benoit, the landlord, from La Bohème.
  • Friendly Enemy/Vitriolic Best Buds: With Collins, at least.
  • I Lied: When he became their landlord he told Mark and Roger that they could stay in the building for free, and then he goes back on his word. When confroted about this he claims he just "let it slide".
  • The Idealist: He used to be this. Roger asks "What happened to Benny? What happened to his heart and the ideals he once pursued?"
  • Landlord: Negative version. He told Roger and Mark that he wouldn't charge them rent and that they could stay in their building for free, then he shows up on Christmas Day to demand the entire year's worth of rent even though he knows full well they don't have it.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In-Universe, upon his marriage to Alison.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He sees what he's doing as being in the best long term interests of the neighborhood.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Has an on-again off-again affair with Mimi despite being married.