MJ Rodriguez to Star Opposite Maya Rudolph in Apple TV+ Untitled Comedy Series

MJ Rodriguez is taking a bite of the Apple(TV+)

The 30-year-old part-Puerto Rican actress, currently appearing in the third and final season of FX’s Pose, will star alongside Maya Rudolph in Apple TV+’s untitled half-hour comedy series created by Emmy winners Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard.

MJ Rodriguez

Created and written by Yang and Hubbard, the series follows Molly (Rudolph), a woman whose seemingly perfect life is upended after her husband leaves her with nothing but $87 billion.

Rodriguez will play Sofia, the hard-working executive director of the non-profit funded by her absentee billionaire boss, Molly.

Yang and Hubbard executive produce alongside Rudolph through her production company, Animal Pictures, with the company’s Natasha Lyonne and Danielle Renfrew Behrens also executive producing.

Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, will serve as the studio.

Rodriguez stars as housemother Blanca in Ryan Murphy’s Emmy-nominated and Golden Globe and Peabody Award-winning series Pose.

Rodriguez made history in becoming the first trans woman to win Best Actress in Television for her role in Pose at the 2019 Imagen Awards. She was most recently nominated for a Critics Choice Television Award and an MTV Movie + TV Award, and she won two Gold Derby Awards for her performance as well.

On the film side, Rodriguez starred in indie film Saturday Church, which earned her a Tribeca Film Festival nomination for best actress.

Her other television credits include Nurse Jackie and Marvel’s Luke Cage

FX Releases Trailer for Third & Final Season of Mj Rodriguez’s “Pose”

It’s a last hurrah for Mj Rodriguez

FX has released the first trailer for the third and final season of its groundbreaking series Pose, starring the 30-year-old part-Puerto Rican actress/singer.MJ Rodriguez

In less than two minutes, the clip serves up a lot of drama, tears, laughter, hope, love and sickening looks.

At the beginning of the trailer we see Emmy-winner Billy Porter reflect on ballroom culture and how it has changed and how it brought him so much life.

“Your life matters,” Rodriguez’s Blanca Rodriguez-Evangelista tells him — a statement that has been a mantra of the entire series, which was created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Steven Canals.

Blanca now works at a hospital and the entire Pose crew talks about the legacy they want to leave behind and in turn.

“We are just gonna be ourselves and that’s it,” says Indya Moore’s Angel.

Set to the tune of Aretha Franklin’s “A Deeper Love,” the clip features glimpses of scenes from the final season, which includes Porter, Rodriguez, Moore, Dominique Jackson, Ryan Jamaal Swain, Hailie Sahar, Angel Bismark Curiel, Dyllón Burnside, and Sandra Bernhard.

From AIDS activism to moments of heartwarming familial love to ballroom fierceness, the final season is set to bring it and we are here for it.

The final season of Pose debuts May 2.

Guillermo Díaz to Take Part in Virtual Benefit Reading of Larry Kramer’s “The Normal Heart”

It’s a new normal for Guillermo Díaz.

The 46-year-old Cuban-American actor is among the all-star cast for a virtual benefit reading of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart, which will be directed by Paris Barclay.

Guillermo Diaz

The May 8 reading, which aims to raise funds for ONE Archives Foundation and Invisible Histories Project, will include a special introduction by Martin Sheen.

Sterling K. Brown, Laverne Cox, Jeremy Pope and Jake Borelli are among the cast; Ryan O’Connell; Daniel Newman; Jay Hayden and Danielle Savr.

The reading, according to producers, will mark the first performance of Kramer’s Tony Award-winning play to be performed by a predominately BIPOC and LGBTQ cast.

“When I was approached by ONE Archives Foundation to direct a virtual reading of The Normal Heart, I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” said Barclay. “I lived in New York through the 1980s, saw the original production with Brad Davis, and have never forgotten the experience. And through today’s lens, the story of a marginalized people pushed to activism by the onslaught of an epidemic clearly was worth telling again.”

Funds raised from this event will support ONE Archives Foundation’s LGBTQ education initiatives, including K-12 lesson plans on HIV/AIDS, teacher trainings, youth engagement, and ONE Archives Foundation’s exhibitions.

The benefit also supports Invisible Histories Project’s efforts to preserve the legacy of HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ activists through archiving, inclusion training, exhibitions, and programs about Southern LGBTQ history.

The Normal Heart chronicles the early days of the HIV/AIDS crisis in New York City, based on Kramer’s cofounding the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in 1982.

The play premiered Off Broadway at New York’s Public Theater in 1985, and was staged on Broadway by director Joel Grey and starring Joe Mantello in 2011, winning a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. Ryan Murphy directed a 2014 film adaptation for HBO.

Tickets go on sale on April 8 here. The reading is scheduled for Saturday, May 8 at 5:00 pm ET.

Ariana DeBose to Star in the Space Thriller “ISS”

Ariana DeBose has landed an out of this world role…

The 30-year-old half-Afro-Puerto Rican actress/singer has been cast in ISS, the space thriller from LD Entertainment and director Gabriela Cowperthwaite.

Ariana DeBose

DeBose joins previously announced stars Chris Messina and Pilou Asbaek, as well as John Gallagher Jr., Costa Ronin, and Masha Mashkova.

Nick Shafir wrote the screenplay, which was featured in the recent 2020 Black List. The plot follows six astronauts living aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and the actions they take after receiving distressing information from Earth that threatens their missions and their lives.

DeBose will play Kira Foster, a promising biological engineer and the newest arrival of six astronauts aboard the ISS.

Production is set to begin this month in Wilmington, NC.,

DeBose was most recently seen in Ryan Murphy’s all-star Netflix musicalThe Prom,

She also earned a Tony Award nomination in 2018 for her portrayal of Donna Summer in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical and was part of the Off Broadway cast of Hamilton.

Up next, she can be seen in the role of Anita for Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story remake.

First Trailer Released for Ryan Guzman’s Fox Series “9-1-1”

It’s one natural disaster after another for Ryan Guzman

The season 4 premiere of Fox‘s 9-1-1, starring the 33-year-old half Mexican American actor, in keeping with a show tradition, will start with a major mudslide that hits Los Angeles.

Ryan Guzman

The show’s last two season premieres have featured an earthquake and a tsunami to kick things off.

Now, a Los Angeles dam breaks apart, flooding the city from the Hollywood Hills down and causing a massive mudslide that takes out a major landmark and threatens lives in the city.

The Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Tim Minear procedural drama returns in January. It’s expected that the show will explore the issues surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, as well as other emergencies like the dam breaking.

Netflix Releases New Photos of Ariana DeBose’s Musical Film “The Prom”

Ariana DeBose is heading to the big dance

Netflix has released new photos for the film adaptation of the Tony Award-nominated musical The Prom, starring the 29-year-old Afro-Puerto Rican actress and Broadway star.

Ariana DeBose in The Prom

The film, directed by Ryan Murphy, will arrive on Netflix on December 11.

It stars Meryl Streep as Dee Dee Allen, Nicole Kidman as Angie Dickinson, James Corden as Barry Glickman, Andrew Rannells as Trent Oliver, DeBose as Alyssa Greene, Keegan-Michael Key as Mr. Hawkins, Kerry Washington as Mrs. Greene, Kevin Chamberlin as Sheldon Saperstein, and newcomer Jo Ellen Pellman as Emma Nolan.

Featuring a book by Chad Beguelin and Bob Martin and a score by Beguelin and Matthew Sklar, the musical tells the story of an Indiana high schooler barred from bringing her girlfriend to the prom—and the group of eccentric Broadway folk who infiltrate the town in an earnest, misguided attempt to fight the injustice.

The Prom opened on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre on November 15, 2018. The musical played 23 preview and 309 performances before closing August 11, 2019, earning seven Tony Award nominations.

The production, directed and choreographed by Tony winner Casey Nicholaw, starred Tony winner Beth Leavel, Tony nominees Christopher Sieber and Brooks AshmanskasCaitlin Kinnunen, Isabelle McCallaAngie Schworer, Micahel PottsJosh Lamon, and Courtenay Collins.

DeBose’s theater credits include Bring It On, Motown: The Musical, Pippin and Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.

Netflix’s “The Boys in the Band,” Starring Robin de Jesus, Added to Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival Lineup with Special Cast Conversation

Robin de Jesus is going Inside Out

The 30th annual Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival has announced its lineup for this year’s virtual edition, with the 36-year-old Puerto Rican actor/singer’s highly anticipated The Boys in the Band part of the roster.

Robin de Jesus, The Boys in the Band

de Jesus and his The Boys in the Band cast members will take part in an exclusive conversation about the film.

Based on the Tony Award-winning play, the new film also stars Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons. It’s directed by Joe Mantello and produced by Ryan Murphy.

The Boys in the Band debuts on September 30 and will be available for audiences to stream ahead of the conversation.

Meanwhile, some of the Latinx directed and/or Latino-related films that form part of the lineup include Adam Golub’s documentary Your Mother’s Comfort (Brazil), Gil Baroni’s narrative film Alice Junior (Brazil), Daniel Nolasco’s narrative film Dry Wind (Brazil), Clarisa Navas’ narrative film One In a Thousand (Argentina/Germany), Omar Zúñiga Hidalgo’s narrative film The Strong Ones (Chile) and StormMiguel Florez’s documentary The Whistle (USA).

The lineup for the 10-day festival will include drive-in and special events, as it showcases 150 films and nine episodic series. The fest was originally set for May, but was pushed to October 1-11 due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

“The queer community is no stranger to extraordinary situations. Who could have predicted a global pandemic would become the entry point to mobilize around new ideas, new connections and collaborations, to ensure we could still deliver the best and safest possible 30th anniversary,” added the festival’s director Andrew Murphy. “Film is really now the safest way to travel, and this year’s lineup provides a unique opportunity to escape into the many complicated queer worlds via the brilliant minds of our filmmakers, icons, and peers.”

Films will be in competition for jury and audience awards and for the first time award winners will be revealed on opening weekend, giving audiences the opportunity to view the winning films throughout the entire festival.

Click here to see the entire lineup.

Netflix Releases Trailer for Robin de Jesús’ “The Boys in the Band”

Robin de Jesús is playing with the Band

Netflix has released the official trailer for its upcoming Ryan Murphy-produced The Boys in the Band, featuring the 36-year-old Puerto Rican actor/singer, who is best known for his role as Sonny in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical In the Heights.

Robin de Jesus, The Boys in the Band

The Boys in the Band is Joe Mantello’s film adaptation of his hit Tony Award-winning Broadway staging. de Jesus starred as Emory in that 2018 staging, earning a Tony Award nominations for Best Featured Actor in a Play.

Starring the Broadway cast – including Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer and Andrew Rannells – this adaptation is both faithful to Mart Crowley’s 1968 play while offering a subtle and fresh perspective.

The logline: A group of gay men gather for a birthday party in 1968 New York City, only to find the drinks and laughs interrupted when a visitor from the host’s past turns the evening upside down.

In addition to Parsons, Quinto, Bomer, Rannells and de Jesús, The Boys in the Band also stars Charlie Carver, Brian Hutchison, Michael Benjamin Washington and Tuc Watkins.

With a co-writing credit given to Ned Martel, The Boys in the Band includes some brief scenes you wouldn’t have seen in the 2018 Broadway production nor William Friedkin’s 1970 film version.

The Boys in the Band premieres on September 30 on Netflix.

de Jesús’ previous credits include the films Gun Hill Road and Camp.

Gina Torres to Star on Season Two of Fox’s Drama Series “9-1-1: Lone Star”

Gina Torres is Texas bound…

The 51-year-old Cuban American actress has been cast as a series regular for the second season of Fox’s 9-11 spinoff series 9-1-1: Lone Star.

Gina Torres

Torres, best known for her role as Jessica Pearson on USA Network’s Suitsand Pearson, will star opposite Liv Tyler and Rob Lowe on the series.

9-1-1: Lone Star hails from 9-1-1 creators/executive producers Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Tim Minear.

Set in Austin, it follows Owen (Lowe), a sophisticated New York firefighter who, along with his son, relocates to the Texas capital and must try to balance saving those who are at their most vulnerable with solving the problems in his own life.

Torres will play Paramedic Captain Tommy Vega, who was at the top of her game when she hung up her uniform to raise her twin daughters. For eight years life was great, until COVID-19 changed her life. With her husband’s restaurant going under, Tommy has no choice but to re-enter the workforce to support her family. Though it breaks her heart to be apart from her little girls, Tommy will show the world that no matter how much time has passed, when she puts on that uniform, she’s still a boss.

The role reunites Torres and Minear, who worked together on Fox’s sci-fi drama series Firefly.

“We are so excited to be expanding our 9-1-1-verse with the addition of Gina Torres,” said Minear. “I’ve been dying to write for her again ever since Firefly. Gina brings warmth, intelligence and command to everything she does. 2020 is finally looking up.”

9-1-1: Lone Star is produced by 20th Century Television in association with Ryan Murphy Television and Brad Falchuk Teley-Vision.

Season 2 is scheduled to begin production in Los Angeles later this fall for a premiere in early 2021 as part of the network’s midseason schedule.

Torres earned an ALMA Award, an Imagen Award and the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s Award for Outstanding Performance in a Television Series for her role as Jessica Pearson.

She most recently was cast as the lead of the Dracula reimagining drama pilot The Bridesat ABC. The Alias and Angel alumna also did an arc on HBO’s Westworld.

Fox Releases Trailer for Season 3 of Ryan Guzman’s First-Responders Drama “9-1-1”

Ryan Guzman is bracing for a (tidal) wave of emotions…

The first trailer for Season 3 of Fox’s first-responders drama 9-1-1, starring the 31-year-old half-Mexican American actor, has been released.

Ryan Guzman

“9-1-1, what is your emergency?” As is heard at the beginning of the trailer, an emergency is the absence of choice. And the unlucky souls who are enjoying an L.A. beach day when a tsunami hits have one choice.

Run.

The clip for 9-1-1 sets the scene with parents and kids diggin’ the rays, gettin’ wet, and generally havin’ a good ol’ time on and around the Santa Monica Pier. But when the water suddenly begins to drain away from the shoreline, things turn ugly in a hurry.

And it’s all set to the ominous tones of a “Cruel Summer” cover.

Created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Tim Minear, the procedural explores the high-pressure experiences of police officers, firefighters, and dispatchers who are thrust into frightening, shocking and heart-stopping situations. Angela BassettPeter Krause and Jennifer Love Hewitt star, with Oliver Stark, Aisha HindsKenneth ChoiRockmond Dunbar and Guzman in series-regular roles.

The third season of 9-1-1 premieres at 8:00 pm on Monday, September 23.