2:00pm PT by Kate Stanhope
Giancarlo Esposito Joins Baz Luhrmann's Hip-Hop Drama 'The Get Down' (Exclusive)
Giancarlo Esposito is ready to get down.
The Emmy-nominated actor has joined Baz Luhrmann's Netflix hip-hop drama The Get Down, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The Get Down will focus on 1970s New York, broken down and beaten up, violent, cash strapped — dying. Consigned to rubble, a rag-tag crew of South Bronx teenagers are nothings and nobodies with no one to shelter them except each other, armed only with verbal games, improvised dance steps, some magic markers and spray cans. From Bronx tenements, to the SoHo art scene; from CBGBs to Studio 54 and even the glass towers of the just-built World Trade Center, The Get Down is a mythic saga of how New York at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to hip-hop, punk and disco — told through the lives and music of the South Bronx kids who changed the city, and the world … forever.
Esposito will play Pastor Ramon Cruz, the charismatic head of the local Pentecostal church who attracts a flock of followers with his fiery sermons and firm, steady leadership. Pastor Cruz is the father of Mylene Cruz (Herizen F. Guardiola), whose dreams of disco stardom often put her at odds with her dad. He is also the brother of Francisco Cruz aka "Papa Fuerte" (Jimmy Smits).
"Continuing the high quality of our acting company in The Get Down, we're very pleased to announce that Giancarlo Esposito will be joining us in the role of Pastor Ramon Cruz Giancarlo has played such a variety of roles and he's a tremendous asset to our production," said Luhrmann.
Esposito joins a cast of rising stars that also includes Jaden Smith, Mamoudou Athie, Shameik Moore, Justice Smith, Skylan Brooks, Tremaine Brown Jr. and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
Best known for his turn as villain Gustavo "Gus" Fring on Breaking Bad, Esposito's other credits include Once Upon a Time and Revolution. His upcoming projects include The Jungle Book, the James Franco indie The Long Home, Jodie Foster's Money Monster, starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts and the Maze Runner sequel The Scorch Trials. He is repped by ICM Partners, Thruline and Jackoway Tyerman.
Making his television series debut, the Moulin Rouge! writer-director-producer will helm the first two episodes as well as the series finale and executive produce alongside Emmy nominee Shawn Ryan (The Shield, Terriers). Oscar winner Catherine Martin (Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby, Moulin Rouge!) will serve as costume and production designer. She joins fellow executive producers Paul Watters (Australia), Thomas Kelly (Copper), playwright Stephen Adley Guirgis (Motherf***er With the Hat) and Marney Hochman (Terriers). It is Luhrmann's first musical endeavor since Moulin Rouge! The Sony Pictures Television-produced entry will premiere in all territories in 2016.