Jack and Mel in 'Virgin River' Season 5.
Get To Know The Actors Behind Mel, Jack, & More Of Your Favorite Virgin River Characters

The cast is back and ready to deliver even more drama in Season 5.

The fifth season of Virgin River premieres on Sept. 7 on Netflix, and it looks like a doozy. A trailer for the new season hinted at a forest fire that could well destroy the entire town and a high-risk pregnancy that will have everyone upset. As ever with Virgin River, there are twists and turns for the townsfolk, but also love and romance and incredible scenery that make it a truly perfect comfort watch. Thanks in no small part to the returning cast members we have come to know and love over the past five seasons.

When Robyn Carr first wrote the Virgin River series of books, 20 of them in total, she did not specifically have any actors in mind to bring her characters to life. “Here’s the thing, I’m 67,” she told Entertainment Weekly in 2018. “They’re all Tom Selleck to me. I don’t know the young actors, and I can’t remember titles of songs or the names of young actors or actresses.”

So Virgin River showrunner Sue Tenney was able to go in without too many expectations from the author. And the casting team really, really nailed it. Here’s who plays your favorite characters on Virgin River.

Alexandra Breckenridge as Melinda Monroe


Alexandra Breckenridge plays Melinda Monroe, a nurse who moves to Virgin River after experiencing a devastating tragedy in her own life. Prior to playing Mel, Breckenridge was perhaps best known for her role on This Is Us as well as smaller parts on series like The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, and Dawson’s Creek (also shot in British Columbia). In real life, Breckenridge is married to Casey Hooper and the couple shares two children, son Jack and daughter Billie.

Martin Henderson as Jack Sheridan


Australian actor Martin Henderson plays brooding bar owner and all-around stand-up ex-military man Jack Sheridan. Virgin River fans know that Jack is Mel’s one true love, even if their love story doesn’t always follow the smoothest of courses. (we’re looking at you Charmaine). Henderson has been in movies like The Ring, Smokin’ Aces, and X, as well as having recurring roles on TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy. Henderson might play an expectant dad on Virgin River, but in real life he’s single and a proud dog dad.

Tim Matheson as Doc


In his role as the oft-cantankerous Doc on Virgin River, Tim Matheson has really strayed from his early days as an actor. He first became a household name for his role in National Lampoon’s Animal House opposite John Belushi, a very unDoc-like role, but eventually started to take on roles in shows like The West Wing and Hart of Dixie. He has a long career that spans five decades, three children, and now we get to enjoy his sparring with Hope McCrea on Virgin River.

Annette O’Toole as Hope McCrea


Hope McCrea was the person who brought Mel to Virgin River as the town’s mayor under somewhat false pretenses, and Annette O’Toole is the actress who really breathes life into that sassy character. Much like Matheson, O’Toole has been working in Hollywood for five decades. In fact, the two even worked together on the series The Virginian more than 50 years ago. O’Toole has been in movies like Superman 3, Cat People, and television series like Smallville and Grey’s Anatomy. I wonder if she and Martin Henderson crossed paths? O’Toole is married to Michael McKean, her co-star from A Mighty Wind, and is a mom of three.

Ben Hollingsworth as Dan Brady


Jack’s on-again, off-again friend Dan Brady, played by Ben Hollingsworth, is nothing if not complicated. Throughout his time on the series so far, he’s see-sawed between bad and good so many times, it’s tough to keep up. Hollingsworth, a Canadian actor known for his roles in television series like Cold Pursuit and Code Black, pulls it off beautifully. Maybe because he’s Canadian and working in his home country.

Lauren Hammersley as Charmaine Roberts


Lauren Hammersley, another Canadian actor, has the role of a lifetime as Charmaine Roberts. Throughout the past four seasons, Charmaine has evolved from Jack’s spurned ex-girlfriend to being pregnant with his twins to being pregnant with someone else’s twins to just being pregnant forever. We will not soon forget the most pregnant woman ever on television, but we do need to remember that she has been in other series like Orphan Black, Sullivan’s Crossing, and Mr. D to name a few.

Colin Lawrence as John “Preacher” Middleton


Jack’s right hand man in Jack’s Bar is fellow ex-military man John “Preacher” Middleton, played by Colin Lawrence, who is always there to cook up a great meal or frown at people who are breaking the rules. Those are his two favorite things. Lawrence has been on several television series including Riverdale, iZombie, and Battlestar Galactica. And yes, he’s also Canadian.

Zibby Allen as Brie Sheridan

Zibby Allen as Jack’s sister Brie.

Jack Sheridan’s younger sister Brie, played by Zibby Allen, really rocked the boat when she decided to start dating bad boy Dan Brady. But what’s a girl to do? There aren’t a whole lot of dating prospects in Virgin River. Strangely enough, Allen also had a recurring role on Grey’s Anatomy as “Nurse Zibby,” so she probably knew her TV brother beforehand. She is married to northern Irishman Adam Blair-Allen and has been since 2018. The pair split their time between Los Angeles, Vancouver, and Edinburgh. So further afield than Virgin River.

The cast of Virgin River will be back on our screens on Sept. 7 on Netflix. We cannot wait.