Mj Rodriguez to Appear in HBO’s “Between the World and Me,” an Adaptation of the Apollo Theater Show Based on Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Novel

It’s a whole new World for Mj Rodriguez.

The 29-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress/singer has been cast in Between the World and Me, HBO’s adaptation of the stage show based on Ta-Nehisi CoatesNew York Times bestseller.

MJ Rodriguez

Rodriguez joins a lineup of cast additions that includes Jharrel Jerome, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Janet Mock, Jason Moran, Wendell Pierce, Kendrick Sampson, Yara Shahidi and Michelle Wilson.

They join previously announced cast members Angela Bassett, Alicia Garza, Joe Morton, Phylicia Rashad, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Courtney B. Vance, Pauletta Washington, Susan Kelechi Watson and Oprah Winfrey.

Originally adapted and staged by the Apollo Theater in 2018, the special will combine elements of that production, including readings from Coates’ book, and will again be directed by award-winning director and Apollo Theater executive producer Kamilah Forbes.

It will also incorporate documentary footage from the actors’ home life, archival footage and animation.

The book, first published in 2015 by One World, is written as a letter to Coates’ teenage son and recounts the author’s experiences growing up in Baltimore’s inner city and his growing fear of daily violence against the Black community. The narrative explores Coates’ notion that American society structurally supports white supremacy.

The special, which is currently in production under COVID-19 guidelines, debuts this fall on HBO and will also be available to stream on HBO Max.

Rodriguez rose to acclaim on FX’s series Pose. Her other credits include television appearances on Luke Cage, The Carrie Diaries and Nurse Jackie.

In November 2019, Rodriguez landed a contract with Olay Body, becoming the first Latina trans woman to enter a partnership with the company.

Jharrel Jerome Makes History with Emmy Win

Jharrel Jerome has etched his name in the Emmy history books…

The 21-year-old Dominican American actor’s Emmy Awards win has earned him two places in the record books. 

Jharrel Jerome

The star of Netflix’s When They See Usmade history as the youngest person to win an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie as well as the first Afro-Latino to win for acting.

“It’s a blessing and I hope this is a step forward for Dominicans, for Latinos, for Afro Latinos. It’s about time we’re here,” said Jerome backstage reflecting on his win. After learning that he was also the youngest to win in history backstage, “well damn, that’s incredible.. kids are smart too,” he quipped.

Jerome earned the trophy for his portrayal of exonerated five member Korey Wise, who, as an adolescent, was wrongfully convicted of a crime, which led to a 14-year incarnation stint.

On the Academy continuing to recognize dark narratives in regards to Black stories, “Unfortunately, I think our strongest stories are the stories of pain considering that’s what we go through on a daily basis. It is unfortunate that comedies or light pieces of work aren’t as praised and aren’t sent to the award season,” said Jerome. “The truth is our pain needs to be told. So if it has to be for the next 20 years where we are just painfully telling our stories until we can move on then I guess it has to be.”