Margarita Levieva (Revenge) has landed a co-lead opposite James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal in David Simon’s HBO drama pilot The Deuce. Also cast in the project, a narrative set in the Times Square demimonde of the 1970s and ’80s, are Lawrence Gilliard Jr. (The Walking Dead) and Dominique Fishback (HBO’s Show Me a Hero).
The Deuce follows the story of the legalization and subsequent rise of the porn industry in New York, exploring the rough-and-tumble world that existed in midtown Manhattan until the rise of HIV, the violence of the cocaine epidemic and the renewed real estate market ended the bawdy turbulence.
Levieva will play Abigail “Abby” Parker, an adventurous college student who strikes up a relationship with nightclub owner Vincent Martino (Franco) who has ties to the burgeoning sex industry of early ’70s Times Square. Gilliard plays Chris Alston, an NYPD patrolman working midtown Manhattan. Fishback plays Darlene, a young, sweet-natured prostitute who’s trying to survive on the street while under the thumb of a volatile, violent pimp. Gyllenhaal plays Eileen Merrell, a Times Square hooker whose street name is Candy.
The Deuce is written and executive produced by Simon and George Pelecanos, and directed by Michelle MacLaren (Breaking Bad), who also exec produces with Nina K. Noble and Richard Price. Marc Henry Johnson, who was instrumental in documenting the story, is a producer.
Levieva, repped by UTA and Silver Lining Entertainment, was recently seen in the features The Diary of a Teenage Girl and Sleeping with Other People. Gilliard is repped by Innovate Artists and Thruline Entertainment; Fishback is with Don Buchwald & Associates and Schreck Rose.