The Greatest Beer Run Ever Cast & Character Guide

The Greatest Beer Run Ever, a biographical war comedy from Apple Original Films, boasts a cast of characters based on real people and played by several familiar faces. Oscar-winner Peter Farrelly is the movie's writer and director, and it marks his first feature since Green Book, which was named Best Picture at the 2019 Academy Awards.

Based on a true story, The Greatest Beer Run Ever follows John "Chickie" Donohue, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran working as a merchant seaman during the Vietnam War. He doesn't wish to fight in the conflict, but he wants to show his old friends serving in Vietnam that people back home support them. He hatches a plan to visit several U.S. army bases to boost morale and deliver beer. What was a well-intended adventure soon turns dangerous as Chickie faces the realities of the war.


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Early reviews for The Greatest Beer Run Ever have been mixed. Peter Farrelly's script has been criticized for its unbalanced and lighthearted take on the Vietnam War while its leading performances have been praised, with Zac Efron considered a potential Oscar nominee. Here's a guide to the real-life character Efron plays and the rest of the cast who stars in The Greatest Beer Run Ever.

Zac Efron As John "Chickie" Donohue

Zac Efron as John

Best known for his roles in the ensemble casts of High School Musical and The Greatest Showman, Zac Efron leads The Greatest Beer Run Ever as John "Chickie" Donohue. In the late 1960s, the real-life Chickie set out to deliver beer to U.S. troops fighting in the Vietnam War after realizing that the ongoing anti-war demonstrations back home were hurting morale. Chickie arrived in Vietnam in 1968 and made his way across the country, stopping at bases where his friends and neighbors were stationed.

Russell Crowe As Arthur Coates

Russell Crowe and Zac Efron in The Greatest Beer Run Ever

Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe, who recently portrayed the Greek god Zeus in Thor: Love and Thunder, plays one of the few fictional characters cast in The Greatest Beer Runs. His role of Arthur Coates, a war reporter in Vietnam, is based on Chickie's interactions with several journalists who reported on his adventure.

Bill Murray As The Colonel

Billy Murray as The Colonel in The Greatest Beer Run Ever

Comedy icon Bill Murray has a small but important role among the cast of The Greatest Beer Run Ever as The Colonel. This character is based on George Lynch, a bartender at Doc Fiddler's, Chickie's local bar. Lynch was disgusted at the idea of U.S. troops seeing anti-war protests and wanted to show them some appreciation. A throwaway remark about going out to Vietnam to give each soldier a beer inspired Chickie to do just that.

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The Greatest Beer Run Ever Supporting Cast & Characters

The Greatest Beer Run Supporting Cast

Archie Renaux as Tommy Collins - Chickie's childhood friend, both among the cast of characters in The Greatest Beer Run Ever and in real life. Played by Archie Renaux, best known for his role as Mal in Shadow and Bone, Tommy Collins served in the 127th Military Police Company during the Vietnam War and was the first U.S. soldier to receive one of Chickie's beers in early 1968.

Jake Picking as Rick Duggan - Also based on a real person, Rick Duggan was another one of the troops visited by Chickie. Stationed in Shau Valley, Duggan was not happy to see Chickie as he felt the beer run was making a joke of war. Duggan is played in the movie by Jake Picking, who appeared as the character called "Harvard" in Top Gun: Maverick.

Ruby Ashbourne Serkis as Christine Donohue - Chickie's sister. During the events of The Greatest Beer Run Ever, Christine Donohue protested against the war in Vietnam. Chickie did not take kindly to this as he believed it was disrespectful to the American troops. Ruby Ashbourne Serkis, the daughter of actors Andy Serkis and Lorraine Ashbourne, previously played Celia Wilson in Netflix's The Serpent.