Polly Walker (Clarice Willow) will be Lady Portia Featherington in BRIDGERTON, a period drama based on the series of historical romance novels by Julia Quinn. Set in Regency England (1811-1820), the first season will include characters from books I, II, and IV. Lady Featherington is described as a cunning and ruthless mother determined to make advantageous matches for each of her daughters. Ann Donahue, writing for IndieWire, put it this way: “Domineering and tasteless Lady Portia needs to get her daughters married off, stat — and her air of desperation permeates the ton. It is a classic Austen character as reimagined by Quinn; she would be pitied if she weren’t so mean.” Julie Andrews will appear in the series as anonymous gossip writer Lady Whistledown. BRIDGERTON will be showrunner Shondra Rhimes’ first series for Netflix, and will premiere in 2020. (No specific date has been announced.)
Alessandra Torresani (Zoe Graystone) will be Lois in WOMEN IS LOSERS, a film loosely based on the life of writer/director Lissette Feliciano‘s mother. Lorenza Izzo stars as Celina, a teen who decides to keep her baby after a friend dies during an abortion attempt. Celina’s best friend is Minerva (Liza Weil). In a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter Feliciano described that friendship: “Minerva and Celina will show us what happens when we reconnect the dialogue between women,” she said. “Liza and Lorenza are going to breathe so much truth into that connection. I can’t wait for the audience to experience what a healthy relationship between women looks like.” WOMEN IS LOSERS has completed filming in San Francisco.
Torresani also hosts EMOTIONAL SUPPORT, a funny and revealing podcast about mental health. Each episode has celebrity guests, a little bit of comedy, and a lot of emotions. Most importantly, It is a safe space to be stigma free. The most recent episode is a two parter with Torresani and David Haggerty discussing seasonal depression, and their own overwhelming holiday moments. (Below is part one.)
Magda Apanowicz (Lacy Rand) is Angela in VOLITION, which stars Adrian Glynn McMorran as James Odin, whose parents were killed in a car accident when he was seven. Odin, who is clairvoyant, predicted the accident and tried to prevent it, but no one believed him. Twenty years later, James accidentally stumbles across a series of events that will lead to his death, and with the help of Angela (a recently acquired friend) must try to alter his future. Kat Hughes reviewed the film for The Hollywood News: “The story is the key to Volition‘s success,” she said. “Sibling duo Tony Dean Smith (who also directs) and Ryan W. Smith have clearly spent a lot of time and effort trying to achieve the perfect balance of several elements. All of their hard work pays off, and it’s a very special moment once the penny drops as to what is really going on.” VOLITION won awards for Best Science Fiction Feature, Best Cinematography, and Best Sound at the 2019 NYC Horror Film Festival. YouTube has a trailer.
Alison Araya (Isabelle Adama) will be Laura Santos in the first episode of Amy Lippman‘s reboot of PARTY OF FIVE. In the new series, the Acosta family must figure out how to survive after their parents are suddenly deported back to Mexico. (In the 1994 version, the parents were killed in a car crash.) The Acosta siblings are: aspiring musician Emilio (Brandon Larracuente), straight-A student Lucia (Emily Tosta), Beto (Niko Guardado) who suffers from a lack of self-esteem, and the precocious Valentina (Elle Paris Legaspi). Filmed in Santa Clarita, California, the ten-episode series will premiere on Freeform on 8 January. An extended sneak-peek is available on YouTube.
Araya will also be Aunt Victoria in the first episode of JULIE AND THE PHANTOMS, a remake of the award-winning 2011 Brazilian children’s series. In the new version, 15-year-old Julie is at the end of a bad year. Her spectacular talent for music is dormant because her mother died and she hasn’t recovered from that. Because her garage is the place where they once rehearsed, long-deceased members of a high-concept band called Sunset Curve appear to her there, and rekindle her interest in music. Written by Tiffany Paulsen and Elise Primavera, the nine-episode series is currently filming in Vancouver.
Paula Malcomson (Amanda Graystone) is a somewhat mysterious character named Renee in the fifth episode of WATCHMEN. The episode, titled “Little Fear of Lightning”, tells the origin story of Looking Glass. WATCHMEN the series is set in Tulsa, Oklahoma 34 years after the events of the graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon, and can be purchased from YouTube or streamed on HBO NOW. As to the possibility of a second season, showrunner Damon Lindelof told Entertainment Weekly: “If I was going to do another season of Watchmen, I would need to have a really cool idea and a justification for doing it. I don’t have either of those things right now. It doesn’t mean that they won’t come at some future point. I just finished the show four weeks ago. My antenna is up, but it’s like only getting static. I can’t say that there will definitely not be a second season and I can’t say there definitely will be. That’s kind of where my head’s at.”
Malcomson is also Trixie in DEADWOOD: THE MOVIE, which is a continuation of the 2006 HBO TV series set thirteen years later during the celebration of South Dakota’s statehood. Malcomson played Trixie in the TV series as well, and in an interview with VULTURE MAGAZINE, she was asked what had changed for the character between the TV series’ final season and the film. “Well, she’s become a business owner,” Malcomson said. “Really a co-owner of a hotel. She and Sol are living in it and working in it together. And she gets to have a baby! I got to have a baby on my very first day of shooting!” DEADWOOD THE MOVIE was nominated for eight primetime Emmys, and can be streamed on HBO GO, or purchased from Amazon.