Heat cast: All actors & characters in 1995 movie

Olly Smith
Heat 1995 cast Robert De Niro Val Kilmer

Here is your full guide to the cast of Heat, the 1995 crime thriller that is currently available to stream on Netflix.

Michael Mann’s trademark powerful lighting and stark realism made him a strong director in the 1980s, working with acclaimed actors such as Ian McKellen, Brian Cox, Daniel Day-Lewis, James Belushi, and James Caan.

With news about Heat 2 moving forward at Warner Bros., now is the perfect time to dip into the original 1995 classic that pitted two men on opposite sides of the law against each other.

But you might be wondering: who’s in the Heat 1995 cast? Are there any cameos from then-unknowns who went on to be big stars? We’ve broken down all of the major roles in the cast of Heat including the actors and the characters they play.


Heat 1995 full cast: Every actor and character

Heat is set in Los Angeles in the mid-nineties. Neil McCauley is a professional thief who robs banks, armored cars, and takes part in other criminal activities with his crew. 

Meanwhile, Lt. Vincent Hanna is an LAPD lieutenant in charge of investigating and capturing McCauley’s gang. As the film progresses, we see the effects this has on the two men’s personal lives and relationships.

Vincent Hanna: Al Pacino

Heat 1995 cast list Al Pacino

Al Pacino stars as Vincent Hanna. He’s a tough cop who made a reputation for himself taking down major criminals in Chicago. Although he loves his job and does it well, he is deeply unsatisfied with his personal life, having marital problems with his third wife as well as being distanced from his teenage daughter.

Pacino is best known for his roles in The Godfather, Dog Day Afternoon, and Scarface.

Neil McCauley: Robert De Niro

Heat 1995 cast list Robert De Niro

Robert De Niro stars as Neil McCauley, a career criminal who tries to stay one step ahead of Hanna while continuing his criminal activities. He is the leader of his crew and a real professional at what he does, even if that means stepping on a few toes.

One thing that made Heat so notable at the time was that it was the first time De Niro and Pacino appeared on screen together. De Niro had previously starred in groundbreaking roles in The Godfather: Part 2, Raging Bull, and Taxi Driver.

Chris Shiherlis: Val Kilmer

Heat 1995 cast list Val Kilmer

Val Kilmer stars as Chris Shiherlis, another member of McCauley’s crew who takes part in the gang’s criminal activities. He is a younger member of the crew, and that inexperience comes across in his behavior.

Kilmer is best known for his role in Top Gun, a role he reprised in last year’s Top Gun: Maverick. He also played Batman in Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever.

Nate: Jon Voight

Heat 1995 cast list Jon Voight

Jon Voight appears in Nate in the Heat cast. He is an ally to McCauley, acting as a fence for many of the goods the crew steals. Michael Mann has cited ex-con and actor Eddie Bunker as inspiration for the character, who went on to play Mr. Blue in Reservoir Dogs.

Voight is most famous for his roles in Midnight Cowboy and Deliverance. He has also had notable roles in Mission Impossible, Transformers, and the National Treasure films.

Michael Cheritto: Tom Sizemore

Heat 1995 cast list Tom Sizemore

Tom Sizemore stars as Michael Cheritto, another member of McCauley’s gang. He enjoys the action of each job he does, and has made money from thievery his entire life.

Sizemore has had notable roles in Witness Protection, True Romance, and Saving Private Ryan. He also memorably appeared in Twin Peaks: The Return.

More Heat Cast Members

There are some big names that you may have forgotten appeared in smaller roles in Heat.

Lauren Gustafson: Natalie Portman

Heat 1995 cast list Natalie Portman

Fresh off the back of her role in Léon: The Professional, a young Natalie Portman appears as Hanna’s daughter. Although she doesn’t get a lot of screen time, the character is shown to be a major influence on Hanna’s current attitude towards life, as he struggles to connect with her amidst her struggles with her mental health.

Portman would go on to star in more prolific roles in films such as Black Swan, V For Vendetta, the Star Wars prequels, and the MCU Thor movies.

Waingro: Kevin Gage

Heat 1995 cast list Kevin Gage

Kevin Gage stars as Waingro, a trigger-happy member of McCauley’s crew who is ostracised from the group for unprofessional behaviour.

Gage later had notable roles in G.I. Jane and Strangeland.

Alan Marciano: Hank Azaria

Heat 1995 cast list Hank Azaria

Hank Azaria appears in a smaller role as Alan Marciano, a man who becomes involved in the conflict between McCauley and Hanna. Despite the small presence on-screen, Azaria’s reaction to Pacino’s acting is easily one of the best parts of the film.

But as is the case with a lot of Michael Mann films, Heat’s cast list is filled with smaller cameos and roles that may surprise you on a first-time viewing. We recommend keeping IMDb open while you watch!

Heat is available to stream now on Netflix. You can check out what else is coming up on the streamer in May 2023 here.

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About The Author

Olly is Dexerto's Evergreen Editor, managing guides and evergreen articles on the website. Olly has almost a decade of experience in covering entertainment, primarily video games and TV/film. Their keen interests lie in stealth games, shooters, Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, Studio Ghibli and handheld gaming. You can contact Olly at olly.smith@dexerto.com.