Neil Gaiman reveals how one simple tweet got a key ‘Sandman’ star their role

The-Sandman
via Netflix

One of the best parts of Netflix’s The Sandman is how it has an absolute dream of a cast, with the show-makers choosing the perfect people to bring these well-loved comic book characters to life. It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Tom Sturridge as Morpheus now, for example, and Kirby Howell-Baptiste and Jenna Coleman well and truly proved the doubters wrong with their portrayals of Death and Johanna Constantine, respectively.

Another standout is Mason Alexander Park as Desire, Dream and Death’s scheming sibling who eats up any scene they are in — which is not enough, frankly. Parker is such spot-on casting that it’s wild to think they landed this role thanks to one off-the-cuff tweet back in 2020.

The Netflix Twitter account recently shared the tidbit that Park sent Gaiman a DM on Twitter, which started the ball rolling on their casting process. The co-executive producer confirmed this was half-right, admitting that it was a tweet, not a DM they sent.

Gaiman then helpfully shared a screenshot of the historic tweet in question, a reply to a comment he made about watching the first day’s footage of Sandman in October 2020. Park wrote, “Will Desire be making an appearance [in] S1? And if so, please tell me you haven’t found them yet/are still auditioning.” Just to ram home how much they were interested, Park attached a GIF of Sarah Paulson saying “I am begging you from my soul.”

In retrospect, this is a hilariously in-character way for Park to land the role of Desire as they wanted the part so they reached out and grabbed it. Luckily for them, Desire appears in the second half of the season, so the role was still uncast when they got Gaiman’s attention with this tweet. If the writer had simply missed this reply, though, the show could’ve been very different. And probably much less fun.

The Sandman‘s 10-part first season is streaming now. Netflix has yet to make a public decision about a second season.