EXCLUSIVE: Chris Chalk (Gotham) and Shea Whigham (Homecoming) are set as series regulars opposite Matthew Rhys in Perry Mason, HBO’s limited series from Team Downey. Additionally, Nate Corddry (Mom), Veronica Falcon (Queen of the South), Jefferson Mays (I Am The Night), Gayle Rankin (GLOW) and Lili Taylor (Chambers) have been cast in recurring roles.
Written and executive produced by Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald, who also will showrun, and based on the characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner, the reimagined Perry Mason is set in 1931 Los Angeles. While the rest of the country suffers through the Great Depression, this city is booming! Oil! Olympic Games! Talking Pictures! Evangelical Fervor! And a child kidnapping gone very, very wrong! Based on characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner, the limited series follows the origins of American Fiction’s most legendary criminal defense lawyer, Perry Mason (Rhys). When the case of the decade breaks down his door, Mason’s relentless pursuit of the truth reveals a fractured city and just maybe, a pathway to redemption for himself.
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Chalk will play Paul Drake. A beat cop with a knack for detective work, Paul is an outlier, with the added challenge of having to navigate an extremely race-conscious city and a downright oppressive police department. He must weigh the responsibilities of being a husband and father against his desire to seek justice in a controversial and politically loaded case.
Whigham is Pete Strickland. Pete is hired by Mason as an extra set of eyes on his various investigations (some less than savory). Strickland has a brotherly rapport with Mason and a cheerfully rakish demeanor that wins friends and influences damsels.
Corddry will portray Matthew Dodson. A grocery store owner with a modest income, no one can explain why his 1-year-old son is targeted for ransom. His picture-perfect marriage begins to crumble as secrets are uncovered on all sides.
Falcon is Lupe. A pilot and hard-drinking owner of a speakeasy, Lupe is a she-demon of the California skies and the 3rd place air speed champion of the world.
Jefferson Mays as Virgil – Attendant at the City Morgue, Virgil is envious of the life of a private detective. A friend of Mason’s, he regularly gives him access to bodies (and their personal effects).
Gayle Rankin as Emily Dodson – The mother of a 1-year-old kidnapping victim, she is convinced that she is being punished by God for an unstated transgression.
Lili Taylor as Birdy McKeegan – A pious and deeply devout woman, as Sister Alice’s mother and closest advisor, Birdy keeps things running smoothly at the Pentecostal church.
Rhys also is a producer on the series. Robert and Susan Downey, who developed the project, executive produce along with Team Downey’s Amanda Burrell, and Joe Horacek. Tim Van Patten directs and executive produces.
Chalk was recently seen in the role of Lucius Fox on Fox’s drama series Gotham which just ended its fifth and final season, as well as Ava DuVernay’s critically praised limited series When They See Us on Netflix. Chalk also will be seen in Gideon Raff’s The Red Sea Diving Resort opposite Haley Bennett, Chris Evans and Ben Kingsley, set to premiere July 31 on Netflix.
Whigham, who recently starred in Amazon’s Homecoming opposite Julia Roberts and Bobby Cannavale, recently wrapped production on The Getaway starring opposite Bruce Dern, Zach Avery and Olivia Munn, He also recently finished filming on The Quarry, where he stars opposite Michael Shannon, as well as Small Engine Repair, which stars Jon Bernthal and Jordana Spiro.
Mom alum Corddry’s most recent TV credits include FX’s Fosse/Verdon, Apple’s For All Mankind, David Fincher’s drama, Mindhunter for Netflix and Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Falcon starred for three seasons on USA’s hit series Queen of the South. She can currently be seen in Perpetual Grace LTD. alongside Sir Ben Kingsley and Jackie Weaver for Epix. She can also be seen leading an episode of the HBO anthology series Room 104 and in Disney’s upcoming feature Jungle Cruise.
Mays recently starred as George Hodel in the TNT miniseries I Am the Night, directed by Patty Jenkins, and also had a featured role in the Coen Brothers anthology series, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.
Rankin currently stars as “Sheila the She-Wolf” on Netflix’s Emmy-nominated hit series GLOW. She was recently seen in the film The Climb, which was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics after premiering in the Un Certain Regard category at the 2019 Cannes International Film Festival.
Taylor can most recently be seen in the Netflix series Chambers opposite Uma Thurman. She recently wrapped production on the independent feature film Paper Siders and will next be seen in Braden King’s The Evening Hour and Ciaran Foy’s Eli for Netflix.
Chalk is repped by Paradigm, Brillstein and attorney Ryan LeVine. Whigham is repped by CAA and Principal Entertainment. Corddry is repped by Door 24 and Gersh. Falcon is repped by Lasher Group and APA. Mays is repped by ICM Partners and Authentic. Rankin is repped by UTA and Authentic Talent & Literary Management. Taylor is repped by APA and Untitled Entertainment.
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