Oscar-nominated actor Demian Bichir has been tapped as the male lead in ABC’s drama pilot Grand Hotel, executive produced by Eva Longoria. This marks the first broadcast TV project for Bichir, who was heavily pursued for the role opposite Roselyn Sanchez.
Written by Brian Tanen based on a Spanish format, Grand Hotel is a soapy drama set against the backdrop of a Miami Beach hotel, centering on the family who owns the business, the staff who run it and the explosive secrets they hide under the perfect exterior.
Bichir will play Gonzalo Cardenas, the handsome and charismatic owner of the Grand Riviera Hotel. Gonzalo’s superpower is his charm. He is one of those people who can talk to anyone and make them feel like fast friends. Gonzalo has built himself up from nothing and will do anything to keep what he has.
“There was no one else I could envision in the role of Gonzalo,” said Longoria, who was instrumental in getting Bichir to do the pilot. “I’ve done two movies with Demián and he acts with a quiet force that conveys the strength this character needs. I am so excited to be assembling this all-star cast that reflects the world in which we live.”
With Bichir and Sanchez, Grand Hotel is a rare broadcast series with Latino leads. Longoria and Ben Spector executive produce via UnbeliEVAble Entertainment alongside Tanen as well as Ramon Campos and Teresa Fernandez-Valdes via Bambu Producctiones, showrunner of the original Spanish show. ABC Studios is the studio.
Mexico-born Bichir was nominated for an Oscar for 2011’s A Better Life. He went on to star in Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant, Steven Soderbergh’s Che, Oliver Stone’s Savages and Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight and most recently wrapped production as the lead in Corin Hardy’s The Nun for Warner Bros and Doug Liman’s Chaos Walking for Lionsgate with Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland.
This is only the third U.S. TV series for Bichir, who had a major recurring role on Showtime’s Weeds and starred in the FX drama The Bridge. He is repped by CAA.