Ana Villafañe to Star in Apple’s Drama “Bad Monkey”

Ana Villafañe isn’t afraid to monkey around…

The 32-year-old Cuban and Salvadoran American actress/singer has joined the cast of Apple’s drama Bad Monkey, written and executive produced Bill Lawrence.

Ana Villafañe

Villafañe, best known for her portrayal of Latina icon Gloria Estefan in the Broadway musical On Your Feet!, joins an ensemble cast that Rob Delaney, newcomer Ahmed Elhaj and Arturo Luis Soria as series regulars, joining Vince Vaughn, who also serves as executive producer, Michelle Monaghan, Jodie Turner-Smith and Meredith Hagner.

Based on Carl Hiaasen’s popular 2013 novel, Bad Monkey tells the story of Andrew Yancy (Vaughn), a one-time detective demoted to restaurant inspector in Southern Florida. A severed arm found by a tourist out fishing pulls Yancy into the world of greed and corruption that decimates the land and environment in both Florida and the Bahamas. And yes, there’s a monkey.

Villafañe plays Rosa, a Miami medical examiner who is starting to realize she may not be cut out for her job, so is happy to ditch work and help Yancy try to figure out the story of the severed arm he brings into her lab.

Soria portrays Rogelio, a good Key West police detective who comes to his best friend and ex-partner, Andrew Yancy, with a life-changing assignment. It further complicates things that Rogelio’s husband is also Yancy’s attorney.

Villafañe was most recently seen in a recurring role on the final season of Younger. Her other previous credits include a heavily recurring role on NBC’s New Amsterdam. She was most recently seen in a starring role in the Broadway production of Chicago.

Soria’s guest star/recurring roles include Insatiable and The Blacklist.

Rosanny Zayas to Star in Netflix’s Psychological Thriller Limited Series “Echoes”

Rosanny Zayas is making (sound) waves

The Afro-Latina actress will star as a series regular in Echoes, Netflix’s psychological thriller limited series from 13 Reasons Why showrunner Brian Yorkey.

Rosanny Zayas

Zayas joins a cast that includes Tony Award winner Ali Stroker, Karen Robinson, Michelle Monaghan, Matt Bomer and Daniel Sunjata.

Created and written by Vanessa Gazy, Echoes is a mystery thriller about identical twins Leni and Gina, both portrayed by Monaghan, who share a dangerous secret. Since they were children, Leni and Gina secretly have swapped lives, culminating in a double life as adults: They share two homes, two husbands and a child, but everything in their perfectly choreographed world is thrown into disarray when one of the sisters goes missing.

Zayas is Deputy Paula Martinez. She has enjoyed her first year working in the sleepy town of Mt. Echo where the crimes are as mild as the weather. But when her new friend Leni disappears, the true character of Mt. Echo reveals itself—and she finds herself caught in the middle.

Zayas currently stars on Season 2 of Showtime’s The L Word: Generation Q. She will next be seen in Sam Esmail’s limited series Angelyne for Peacock and UCP. She previously recurred on Orange Is The New Black, Modern Persuasion, The Code and Instinct

Netflix Releases Trailer for John Ortiz’s Geo-Political Thriller Series “Messiah”

John Ortizis ready to preach…

Netflix has set January 1 for the premiere of Messiah, starring the 51-year-old Puerto Rican actor.

John Ortiz

The suspense geo-political thriller series, which has teased with the release of a new trailer, also stars Michelle MonaghanMehdi DehbiTomer SisleyMelinda Page HamiltonStefania LaVie OwenSayyid El AlamiJane AdamsWil TravalFares Landoulsi,Dermot Mulroneyand Beau Bridges.

“He’s come out of nowhere and we don’t know who he is.” So begins the trailer for Messiah, which lays out CIA officer Eva Geller’s (Monaghan) quest to determine the identity of this mysterious man, whose followers believe he’s performing miracles. Geller must race to determine whether he really is a divine entity or a deceptive con artist capable of dismantling the world’s geopolitical order. As the story unfolds, multiple perspectives are interwoven including that of an Israeli intelligence officer (Sisley), a Texas preacher (Ortiz) and his daughter (Owen), a Palestinian refugee (El Alami) and the journalist (Adams) who covers the story.

Messiah is created by Michael Petroni, directed by James McTeigueand Kate Woods, and executive produced by Petroni, McTeigue, Andrew DeaneMark Burnettand Roma Downey.Ortiz’s recent credits include the films Ad AstraBumblebee and Peppermint, as well as television appearances on Mayans MCThe Guest 

Blue Fox Entertainment Secures Worldwide Rights to Alfred Molina’s “Saint Judy”

Alfred Molina’s Saintwill go marching in around the world…

Blue Fox Entertainment has secured the worldwide rights to Saint Judy, a biopic centered on immigration attorney Judy Wood starring the 65-year-old half-Spanish actor.

Alfred Molina

Directed by Sean Hanish, the film stars Michelle Monaghan, Leem Lubany, Common, Molina, Alfre Woodard, Peter Krause, Gabriel Bateman, Ben Schnetzer, Mykelti Williamson, Waleed Zuaiter, Kevin Chapman and Aimee Garcia.

The film follows Judy, a single mother in her mid-30’s, who single-handedly changed the U.S. law of asylum. In a landmark case, Ms. Wood represented an Afghan woman who fled her home country after being persecuted by the Taliban for opening a school for girls. Against all odds, Ms. Wood fought a tenacious battle both in and out of court, which culminated in arguments before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. By winning the case, she changed the Law of Asylum nationwide, allowing women to be designated a protected class – saving the lives of not only her client but thousands of other female refugees. 

Blue Fox will launch international sales at the Toronto Film Festivaland will release the film domestically early next year.

Dmitry Portnoy wrote the original screenplay.

The film was produced by Cannonball Production, with Molina serving as an executive producer.

Demi Lovato to Serve as Co-Host at This Year’s Global Citizen Festival

Demi Lovato is celebrating her global citizenship…

Global Citizen has announced several guest appearances for its annual Global Citizen Festival on September 23, including the 25-year-old part-Mexican American actress/singer.

Demi Lovato

Lovato will serve as a co-host, alongside Aaron Paul, Priyanka Chopra, Kal PennLupita Nyong’o, Nashville‘s Connie Britton and many more.

Hugh Jackman and actor/producer Deborra-lee Furness will serve as lead hosts.

Dianna Agron, Freida Pinto, Wendy WilliamsMark CubanBridget MoynahanDaymond JohnCamren BicondovaElaine Welteroth, Erin Richards, Latina supermodel Joan Smalls, Malin Akerman, Rachel BrosnahanMichelle Monaghan and Serge Ibaka will also serve as hosts for this year’s festival, taking place in New York City’s Central Park.

The social advocacy group hosts the free festival each year to raise awareness of its goal to end extreme poverty by 2030.

Fans can earn their tickets by taking part in Action Journeys, a series of challenges designed to promote social activism.

This year’s headliners include Stevie Wonder, Green Day, The Killers and The Lumineers, with featured performances by The ChainsmokersPharrell Williams, Big SeanAndra Day and Alessia Cara.

The one-day festival will also be broadcast live from Central Park on YouTube, Twitter and MSNBC.

To hear more from this year’s hosts and learn more about the festival, visit Global Citizen’s official site.

Plaza to Star in “The Driftless Area”

Aubrey Plaza is driftless in Hollywood…

The 29-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress/comedian and Parks and Recreation star has joined the cast of The Driftless Area, starring Anton Yelchin, Zooey Deschanel, John Hawkes and Frank Langella.

Aubrey Plaza

The film centers on the young love between a bartender and a mysterious woman. Their relationship is threatened after the bartender, Pierre, gets mixed up with a dangerous crook and his bag of stolen cash.

The Driftless Area, an adaptation of Tom Drury‘s novel of the same name, is currently shooting in Vancouver.

Zachary Sluser, who co-wrote the screenplay with Drury, is directing.

Plaza, who starred in 2012’s Safety Not Guaranteed, which earned her the Breakthrough Performer of the Year award at CinemaCon,and  2013’s The To-Do List, can next be seen in the upcoming A Many Splintered Thing opposite Chris Evans and Michelle Monaghan and Lionsgate’s Mortdecai, co-starring Johnny Depp, Ewan McGregor and Gwyneth Paltrow.

 

Both films are in postproduction.

Rodriguez’s “Fort Bliss” to be Released in U.S. Theaters in the Fall

Freddy Rodriguez’s latest project is headed to the big screen this fall…

Phase 4 Films has acquired the North American distribution rights to Fort Bliss, starring the 39-year-old Puerto Rican actor and former Six Feet Under star.

Freddy Rodriguez

The Claudia Myers-directed drama tells the story of a decorated U.S. Army medic and single mother who returns home after an extended tour of duty in Afghanistan to discover the bond with her 5-year-old son has been broken.

While struggling to reclaim her son’s affection, she must also reintegrate into life after war, haunted by harrowing memories from Afghanistan.

Fort Bliss not only explores the incredible sacrifices made every day by men and women in the armed services, but the price that’s paid by their families as well.

In addition to Rodriguez, who portrays Garver, the film, which was written by Myers, also stars Michelle Monaghan, Ron Livingston, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Gbenga Akkinagbe, Pablo Schreiber and John Savage.

Fort Bliss will be released in the fall.

Plaza Cast in “A Many Splintered Thing”

Aubrey Plaza has lined up her next motion picture project…

The 28-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress/comedian and Parks and Recreation star has been cast in the ensemble film A Many Splintered Thing.

Aubrey Plaza

Directed by Justin Reardon, the film will feature Luke Wilson, Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Topher Grace and Giovanni Ribisi.

In the vein of Amelie and (500) Days Of Summer, A Many Splintered Thing tells the story of a young man disillusioned by love who meets a breathtaking young woman at a charity dinner while pretending to be a philanthropist. Turns out that she’s engaged to a guy who doesn’t like her going on dates. Challenged by the chase, and egged on by his eclectic friends, he feigns a platonic relationship in order to keep seeing her as he tries to conquer her heart. Grace will play the poser’s best friend.

Earlier this year, Plaza earned a Young Hollywood Award for her breakthrough performance in Safety Not Guaranteed, her first starring role in a major film.

Production on A Many Splintered Thing begins November 3 in Los Angeles.