EXCLUSIVE: Ten-episode half-hour Latinx dramedy series Gentefied has set its main cast. Karrie Martin (Pretty Little Liars), JJ Soria (The Oath), Carlos Santos (2 Broke Girls) and Joaquín Cosio (The Strain) have been tapped as leads in the project, from Gente-fied: The Digital Series creators Marvin Lemus and Linda Yvette Chávez, showrunner Monica Macer, America Ferrera, Teri Weinberg and Macro.
Written by Lemus and Chávez, Gentefied is adapted from the web series which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Described as a badass bilingual series about family, community, brown love, and the displacement that disrupts it all, Gentefied is about three Mexican-American cousins (Martin, Soria, Santos) who struggle to chase the American Dream, even while that same dream threatens the things they hold most dear: their neighborhood, their immigrant grandfather (Cosio), and the family taco shop. Set in a rapidly changing Los Angeles, the Spanglish dramedy will navigate important themes like identity, class, and balancing insta-fame with translating memes for their parents. But most importantly, Gentefied will settle once and for all how to pronounce Latinx.
Martin will play Ana Morales, a sarcastic, woke, blunt, and endearing, queer artist. Ana is a Chicana who leads with her heart and fights for her art with untethered conviction. She loves her abuelo and her entire family almost to a fault.
Soria will portray Erik, a wisecracking, well-read, charismatic, but tough homie with a heart of gold. He’s a high school dropout, but there isn’t a book in the local library Erik hasn’t read. He’s a reluctant dreamer trying to find his way back to himself. But his loyalty to his grandfather who took him in keeps him from putting time into himself or Lidia, the love of his life.
Santos is Chris, the prodigal grandson, a fun-loving, know-it-all, chef-in-training. Chris is a homegrown Boyle Heights boy who moved to Idaho at a young age and was abruptly introduced to Weezer and cow-tipping. His cousins call him guero for acting and looking like a white boy, which always leaves him wondering if he’ll ever be Mexican enough for anyone.
Cosio is Pop, a hard-working, stoic, but warm, old-fashioned ranchero and the rock of the Morales family. Though gruff with his Tejana and potty-mouth (“cabron” is his favorite word!), Pop has a huge heart, but that also means a lot of heartache trying to protect them.
“We are thrilled to have gathered a lead cast that captures the unique nuance of the chisme, chistes, and chingaderas that we grew up with in our multi-generational, bilingual, immigrant families,” said Lemus and Chavez. “Joaquin, JJ, Carlos, and Karrie are the abuelo, primos, y prima we shot the shit with as kids, the cousins we partied with, and the grandpa we cried with. They are the Morales family and we can’t wait for everyone to start sending them invites to the carne asada!”
Monica Macer is showrunner/executive producer. Macro’s Charles D. King and Kim Roth executive produce with Ferrera for Take Fountain, Teri Weinberg and Aaliyah Williams. Lemus and Chavez co-executive produce and Lemus directs. Gentefied is a Netflix production.
“We searched long and hard for the right leads and I’m ecstatic that Karrie, Carlos, JJ and Joaquin are now part of the Gentefied family,” Macer said. “Being the daughter of an immigrant myself – I’m so proud to run a uniquely first gen series that chronicles the trials and triumphs of the Morales family as they adapt, resist and lean into the changing landscape of LA.”
A love letter to the Latinx and Boyle Heights communities, creators Lemus and Chavez hope Gentefied will let their little cousins rocking Adidas, hoops, and big dreams see themselves on the big screen in ways they only dreamed of growing up.
Martin has co-starred on shows such as Pretty Little Liars, The Arrangement, The Purge and will soon be appearing in David Ayer’s film The Tax Collector. Martin is repped by Abrams Artists Agency, Beck Talent and Artistic Endeavors.
Soria most recently appeared in the series regular role of Pete Ramos on Crackle series The Oath, and has recurred on TNT’s Animal Kingdom and Freeform’s The Fosters. On the film side, Soria can next be seen in the indie John Henry alongside Terry Crews. Soria is repped by Pakula/King & Associates, NMA PR, and David Dean Management.
CBS Diversity Showcase alum Santos has appeared on CBS’ 2 Broke Girls, truTV’s Adam Ruins Everything, and Seeso’s Bajillion Dollar Properties. He also was the lead in the 2013 Slamdance comedy horror feature Ghost Team One and guest-starred on Fox’s The Last Man on Earth. Santos is repped by AF Entertainment, Innovative Artists, and SGSBC.
Cosio’s credits include the role of Angel de Plata on FX’s The Strain and Don Neto in Narcos: Mexico. He’s returning for Season 2 of Narcos: Mexico and will be seen in a starring role in Amazon’s new series CDMX. On the film side, he’ll next be seen in Emilio Portes’ horror thriller Beelzebuth, as well as the sequel to Matando Cabos, where he’ll return to portray the title character. Cosio is repped by Mayor Arce Creative & MGMT.
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