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After what it described as a worldwide casting call, Netflix has selected newcomer Ava Michelle for the title role of its comedy Tall Girl, which has begun production in New Orleans. Michelle, a 6-foot-1-inch-tall actress, dancer and model, will make her feature-film debut in the role of Jodie, a 16-year-old who is the tallest girl in her high school.
“It was essential for us to find an actor to portray our lead who can speak to the challenges and lessons that Jodi experiences from a very personal place of authenticity,” Nzingha Stewart, the film’s director, said in a statement. “Ava’s ability to beautifully and uniquely showcase those attributes stood out to us in a way that we believe audiences will connect with. Tall Girl showcases that embracing the very qualities that make you different is what allows you to overcome anything.”
The film also stars Griffin Gluck (American Vandal) as Jack Dunkleman, Jodi’s best friend; Luke Eisner (The Goldbergs) as Stig, a handsome and equally tall Swedish foreign exchange student; Sabrina Carpenter (The Hate U Give) as Harper, Jodi’s older sister; and Paris Berelc (Alexa & Katie) as Liz, the unconventional best friend of Jodi’s bully.
Rounding out the cast are Steve Zahn (Valley of the Boom) as Richie Kreyman, Jodi’s manic and anxious dad, and Angela Kinsey (Haters Back Off!) as Helaine Kreyman, Jodi’s former pageant-queen mom.
Additional castmembers include Anjelika Washington (DC Universe’s Stargirl) as Fareeda, Jodi’s best friend; Clara Wilsey as Kimmy, the most popular girl at school and Jodi’s nemesis; and Rico Paris as Schnipper, a popular jerk and one of Jodi’s regular tormentors.
Directed by Stewart, who is repped by Paradigm and Management 360, and written by Sam Wolfson, the film is Netflix’s fourth collaboration with Wonderland’s McG and Mary Viola. Wonderland’s Corey L. Marsh serves as a producer.
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