1:44pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Netflix's Baz Luhrmann Hip-Hop Drama Casts Its Leading Lady
Netflix and Baz Luhrmann have found their leading lady for The Get Down.
Newcomer Herizen F. Guardiola has been tapped to star in the 1970s Netflix hip-hop drama, the streaming service announced Thursday.
As described in a statement from Netflix: The Get Down focuses 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 CBGB 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 — as told through the lives and music of the South Bronx kids who changed the city and the world … forever.
Guardiola will star as Mylene Cruz, a shining, tenacious girl with a voice from God who dreams of disco stardom from the confines of her family's fiercely religious church walls. An 18-year-old singer/songwriter, Guardiola will make her acting debut in The Get Down.
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Guardiola becomes Luhrmann's latest leading lady following Claire Danes (Romeo + Juliet), Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge) and Carey Mulligan (The Great Gatsby).
"So many really talented actors were seen to play the lead female role of Mylene Cruz, daughter of Rev. Ramon Cruz and niece of Papa Filipe Fuerte Cruz in The Get Down. It’s always thrilling to find a fresh unknown talent, particularly one who is not only a terrific actor but a magnificent vocalist," Luhrmann said.
Guardiola joins a cast of emerging stars including Justice Smith (Ezekiel), Shameik Moore (Shaolin Fantastic), Skylan Brooks (Ra Ra) and Tremaine Brown Jr. (Boo Boo).
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). Academy Award 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.