The Greatest Showman’s Main Characters Ranked, By Likability


The Greatest Showman certainly proved to be a very popular musical, as the story of P.T. Barnum was brought to life in a fittingly exuberant fashion. With an incredible ensemble cast, a very interesting soundtrack, and plenty of emotional moments to go along with it, this movie really delivered and left everyone with the incredibly catchy songs stuck in their heads.

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The characters within this movie all have major personalities, with the different performers all having different skills that make them stand out. The vibrant characters (brought to life by brilliant performances from stars like Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, and Zendaya) are one of the big reasons this movie connected with people so much, but not all of them were likable people.

Jenny Lind

Rebecca Ferguson as Jenny Lind in Greatest Showman

Jenny Lind is stuck in quite a hard place within this story, and unfortunately, her behavior leads to her being the least likable of all the characters. The impressive singer totally changes the fortunes of P.T. Barnum and his show, however, she takes them all into a world where they don’t belong.

Jenny clearly falls in love with P.T. and to a degree, that is down to him for leading her on at points. However, when he tries to do the right thing and not cheat on his wife, Jenny acts out and kisses him on stage, causing chaos in his life, which instantly makes her unlikeable for the audience.

James Gordon Bennett

James Gordon Bennett in The Greatest Showman

James Gordon Bennett is the journalist in this movie who comes to review everything that P.T. Barnum does, and he is truly his biggest critic. P.T. is desperate to impress James to get a good review in the New York Herald, but it isn’t until Jenny joins the show that he truly connects with him.

James is quite harsh at points towards P.T. and the entertainment he provides. However, it’s clear at the end that he has a level of respect for him, and he shows a slightly softer side to his personality. But that comes a little too late, as he is quite unlikeable for most of the movie, simply because he’s against everything that is happening.

Lord Of Leeds

Lord Of Leeds

The characters that make up P.T. Barnum’s circus acts are certainly varied in terms of their personalities and skills, but the Lord of Leeds is one of the strongest characters. He stands out from most of the group as he is quite an emotional character, but also someone who is there to comfort others.

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He brings a lot of positivity and energy when the group finally accepts who they are and relishes in it, and that is a lot of fun to see, making him a very likable character in the process.

Helen & Caroline Barnum

Caroline and Helen Barnum in The Greatest Showman

Helen and Caroline are the two children of Charity and P.T. Barnum, and while they’re not highlighted quite as much as other characters within the movie, they’re certainly very likable. They don’t get to showcase their individual personalities too much, but when they do it’s clear they both have a great mix of their mother and father.

They each bring a fun energy to the movie when they appear, and they prove themselves to be hardworking, wanting to help their father as much as possible when he is struggling. They have great imaginations as well as an infectious energy and lust for life which makes them a lot of fun.

Charles Stratton

Charles Stratton in The Greatest Showman

Charles Stratton is a member of P.T. Barnum’s circus, and he is a very popular member of the group with the other characters within the movie. He is a little person performer who dreams of being a soldier, and P.T. makes that become reality for him with his on-stage character of General Tom Thumb.

Charles is a fun character who isn’t afraid to voice his opinion, which helps to make him stand out amongst the other stars. He is someone who clearly loves to perform, and his happiness is certainly infectious throughout the movie.

Charity Hallett-Barnum

Michelle Williams as Charity in Greatest Showman

Charity Hallett-Barnum is the love of P.T. Barnum’s life and someone who plays a big role in the movie. She supports all of his dreams and opts to have a life with him, despite the fact that he struggles for a job and that she comes from a very wealthy family.

Charity clearly puts her heart into everything she does, and she certainly ends up heartbroken when images of her husband and July surface in the newspapers. However, she sees the best in him and understands, showing compassion and kindness throughout the movie, which makes her very likable for the audience.

Phillip Carlyle

Zac Efron in The Greatest Showman

Phillip Carlyle first comes across as quite an arrogant person due to his background in life. However, as he begins to learn about the performers that work with P.T. Barnum, he quickly ends up falling in love with the life of showbusiness and the kindness within him begins to shine.

RELATED: Which Musical Is Better, Hamilton Or The Greatest Showman?

While he makes a big mistake in being embarrassed to show his love for Anne early on, he quickly puts that right and their love story is one of the highlights of the movie. Zac Efron infuses this character with love and passion, which radiates from his performance and helped make this character a real triumph and one of the actor’s best roles.

P.T. Barnum

The Greatest Showman pt barnum

The lead role of the movie is played by Hugh Jackman, who brings all of his natural charisma to this performance. P.T. Barnum certainly has his flaws, often being too work obsessive and at times suffering from being selfish, which hurts his family and his performers.

However, at his core, P.T. is an incredibly nice person, who sees something in others when they don’t even see it in themselves. He has a zest for life and a desire to achieve big things to provide for his family, and ultimately, that energy and positivity make him very likable.

Anne Wheeler

Zendaya brought a beautiful performance to this movie, helping to make Anne Wheeler one of the most popular Greatest Showman characters in the process. She’s one of the lead performers and in the circus, her acrobat skills are certainly very impressive.

Her romantic storyline with Phillip Carlyle is one of the most emotional aspects of the movie, and while he’s initially hesitant to proudly date her, Anne is very confident with who she is. Seeing her get hurt by Phillip’s decision is one of the saddest moments of the story, but she certainly ends up shining alongside him at the end.

Lettie Lutz

Lettie Lutz in The Greatest Showman

Lettie Lutz was the real scene-stealer of The Greatest Showman, with her character exemplifying all of the heart and emotion which carried the story. Better known as ‘The Bearded Lady,’ Lettie is someone who has a great story arc, starting out with little confidence and lots of self-doubt due to her appearance.

However, Lettie’s rise in self-belief is something that audiences really loved, with her character getting one of the musical’s most iconic numbers as well. The movie is all about not judging people on their appearance, and Lettie’s character is the best way that this principle is highlighted.

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