10:00am PT by Kate Stanhope
Caitlin FitzGerald, Paul Sparks Board Starz's 'Sweetbitter' Adaptation
Starz's Sweetbitter adaptation is rounding out its cast.
Caitlin FitzGerald (Masters of Sex), Paul Sparks (House of Cards) and Tom Sturridge (The Hollow Crown) have signed on for the pay cabler's drama series, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Evan Jonigkeit (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Daniyar (Claws), Eden Epstein (In Between Men) and Jasmine Mathews (Blue Bloods) have also joined the series-regular cast.
Described as Kitchen Confidential meets Bridget Jones, Sweetbitter centers on a young woman's coming-of-age story that takes place in the world of exclusive restaurants. It centers on 22-year-old Tess (Never Let Me Go's Ella Purnell), who shortly after arriving in New York City lands a job at a celebrated restaurant downtown. She's quickly introduced to the world of drugs, alcohol, love, lust, dive bars and fine dining, and learns to navigate the chaotically alluring yet punishing life she's stumbled into.
Sturridge will portray Jake, a recklessly beautiful bartender, while FitzGerald will play Simone, a sommelier who is the embodiment of self-possession, beauty and authority at the restaurant. The duo awaken, in Tess, a sense of lust she has never felt before.
Sturridge, most recently starred in the Broadway production of 1984 and is also known for his roles in Pirate Radio, Song to Song and On the Road. He is repped by Curtis Brown Group and WME.
FitzGerald is known for her roles in Rectify, It's Complicated and Gossip Girl, and next appears in season three of UnREAL. She is repped by ICM Partners, Anonymous Content and Peikoff Mahan.
Sparks is set as Howard, the general manager of the restaurant and father figure to those working there. The role brings Sparks back to Starz, where he starred on season one of The Girlfriend Experience. The actor, whose credits also include Boardwalk Empire and the upcoming Waco miniseries, is repped by The Gersh Agency and One Entertainment.
Jonigkeit will play Will, the back waiter assigned to train Tess and who becomes her first friend. The actor's credits include Broad City, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Girls, and is repped by UTA and lawyer James Adams at Schreck Rose.
Daniyar is set as Sasha, a highly proficient and hard-working Russian immigrant-turned-back waiter. His other credits include Scandal and he is repped by Courtney Peldon at Aqua Talent Agency and Bohemia Group.
Epstein will portray Ari, an adventurous lesbian who back waits by day and DJs by night. She and Heather, a server postponing law school, are a fearsome duo who treat gossip like a professional sport. Mathews will play Heather. Epstein, who made her debut in the film Blind, is repped by Authentic Talent & Literary Management, Stewart Talent, and Jackoway Tyerman.
Mathews, who appears in Paramount Network's upcoming Heathers remake, is repped by The Gersh Agency and Red Letter Entertainment.
Starz won a fierce multiple-network bidding war for Stephanie Danler's best-seller in July. The project then earned a six-episode series order in September with Brad Pitt's Plan B Productions attached to produce.
Danler wrote the script for the drama with Stu Zicherman (The Americans, The Affair) attached to develop the script with her. The pair will executive produce alongside Richard Shepard (Girls), who will also direct the series premiere. Donna Bloom will serve as producer.