It’s a special time for Ana Ortiz…
The 50-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress has landed a recurring role on the second season of Netflix’s Emmy-nominated comedy series Special, created by and starring Ryan O’Connell.
Ortiz joins a roster of cast newcomers that includes Charlie Barnett, Max Jenkins, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Lauren Weedman, newcomer Buck Andrews, Anjali Bhimani, Ajay Mehta and Karan Soni.
Additionally, Leslie Jordan (Will & Grace) will appear in a guest-starring role.
Based on O’Connell’s part-memoir, part-manifesto I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves, Special hails from Warner Bros. Television, Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak’s That’s Wonderful Productions, Campfire and Stage 13.
The semi-autobiographical centers on a gay man with mild cerebral palsy, played by O’Connell, who decides to rewrite his identity as an accident victim and finally go after the life he wants. O’Connell also writes the series and executive produces.
The Season 2 logline: “Ryan really needs to get his shit together. It’s been two months and he still hasn’t spoken to Karen since their fight and he has a gnarly case of writer’s block that’s getting him in hot water with Olivia. Enter Tanner, a fun, flirty dance instructor who charms Ryan despite not being totally available. When his writer’s block eventually lifts, he’s inspired to write a longform piece about disability. From there, he begins a journey of self-discovery that creates unexpected complications in his relationship with Tanner. Meanwhile, Kim lets her guard down when she meets Harrison, a sensitive tech mogul with a humble background – but her insecurities and jealous tendencies continue to hamper her personal life and threaten to push Harrison away. With her spiraling credit card debt driving Kim even further towards rock bottom, she makes a hard choice to regain control of her finances and personal life. Since taking care of Ryan was her life’s purpose until their fight, Karen realizes that she needs to take an active approach to create a fulfilling life for herself – beyond just taking care of her ailing mother. Will she be content with continuing to clean up everyone else’s messes, or will Karen be able to lean into her newfound independence and create a life that centers around her own desires for once? This season is about our primary characters—Ryan, Karen and Kim—coming into their power and realizing they all deserve big gorgeous lives—whether society agrees or not, bitch!”
Ortiz plays Susan, Phil’s new girlfriend. Charming and outgoing, she empathizes with Karen’s struggle to parent Ryan, as she also has a strained relationship with her child.
In addition to O’Connell, Jessica Hecht and Punam Patel return as series regulars. Marla Mindelle, Gina Hughes and Patrick Fabian return as guest stars this season.
Special is created, written and executive produced by O’Connell.
Craig Johnson will direct episodes 205-208.