UPDATED, 9:03 AM: HBO has set 11 p.m. Friday, May 1, for the series premiere of Betty, its comedy series based on Crystal Moselle’s feature Skate Kitchen. Watch the first teaser above, but be warned of expletives. The series features Dede Lovelace, Moonbear, Nina Moran, Ajani Russell and Rachelle Vinberg — all of whom starred in the 2018 film.
PREVIOUSLY, AUGUST 14: HBO has given a six-episode series order to Betty (fka Untitled Skateboarding Project), a skateboarding comedy inspired by Crystal Moselle’s critically acclaimed feature Skate Kitchen, from Moselle and her longtime friend and collaborator, Love co-creator Lesley Arfin. Additionally five actors who starred in the film — Dede Lovelace, Ajani Russell, Moonbear, Rachelle Vinberg and Nina Moran — have been cast as series regulars in the series, which is currently in production in New York City.
Written by Moselle and Arfin, Betty, inspired by Moselle’s 2018 Sundance film, is set against the backdrop of New York City. It will follow a diverse group of young women navigating their lives through the predominantly male oriented world of skateboarding.
Moselle, who also directs, and Arfin executive produce with Igor Srubshchik and Jason Weinberg. Michael Sherman and Matthew Perniciaro of Bow & Arrow Entertainment co-executive produce along with RT Features’ Rodrigo Teixeira. Izabella Tzenkova of Kotva Films and Lizzie Nastro produce. Arfin Material and Untitled Entertainment co-produce for HBO.
Vinberg plays Camille, she wants to be down with the dudes and has fought hard for the small space she’s carved out with them. Camille isn’t big on flashy displays of love or loyalty, but she’s perceptive and intelligent, and will notice tiny details about others as if she were a poet. Camille forgives but doesn’t forget, and she’d be happier if she’d only realize that cool points don’t actually add up to the sum of anything.
Moran is Kirt, the funniest person alive but even if she knew it, she wouldn’t care. She’s a lover (to the ladies), a fighter (to the rest of the world), and a little kid in the body of a woman. Kirt would give you the shirt off her back in the middle of a snowstorm without having to ask for it. According to Kirt, you did ask for it, only with your mind, and you think she might actually be right.
Moonbear portrays Honeybear, the quiet storm, dark horse. She’s funnier than she thinks, wiser than she appears, and as stubborn as a boot on a tire. Her outlandish clothes make a statement, but she sometimes uses her individuality as a cover for the fact that she keeps her emotions on lock.
Lovelace is Janay, opinionated, intelligent, and loyal to a fault. She’s a big-hearted, warm girl, the type to give you a hug over a handshake. Janay has a strong will and a determination to lead that both helps and hurts her. At the end of the day, she’s the person you’d pick to be team captain—not because she always wins, but because she’d buy you a drink after the game no matter the score.
Russell plays Indigo, fun, flirty, always down for an adventure, Indigo is the equivalent of the post-sex cigarette — cool, calming, and sexy as fuck. While she’s naturally conflict-avoidant with a low-drama personality, she somehow manages to crop dust everyone around her in the stuff. Indigo’s a street-savvy hustler who leans closer to the edge of shadiness than the others. Indigo’s the type of person who would steal your wallet and then help you look for it.
In her first narrative feature, Skate Kitchen, writer-director Moselle immersed herself in the life of skater girls, resulting in the film’s authenticity, combining poetic, atmospheric filmmaking and hypnotic skating sequences. Skate Kitchen captures the experience of women in male-dominated spaces and tells a story of a girl who learns the importance of camaraderie and self-discovery. You can watch a trailer below.
In addition to starring in Skate Kitchen, Lovelace, Vinberg, Moran, Moonbear and Russell also appeared in That One Day, a Miu Miu short film directed by Moselle. Both projects were inspired by the real-life Skate Kitchen, all all-female skate crew the young women are in.
In addition to Skate Kitchen, Moselle is known for the Sundance, Grand Jury Prize award winning documentary, The Wolfpack. In the last decade she has been working with short-form storytelling for publications such as Vice and The New York Times, where she created a series called “Something Big, Something Small,” featuring talent such as Pharrell Williams and Shepard Fairey. Later collaborations with Pharrell included, Meet the Bae’s, a series profiling the artists back up dancers. Moselle also participated in Miu Miu’s, Women’s Tales where her film That One Day premiered at the Venice film festival in 2016. Most recently she directed Our Dream of Water, a documentary short series for National Geographic dealing with water crisis in Haiti, Peru and Kenya.
Arfin co-created the television series Love, along with Judd Apatow and Paul Rust, which ran for three seasons on Netflix. Her other TV credits include: Fox’s Brooklyn Nine Nine, MTV’s Awkward and the original writing staff of HBO’s Girls. Prior to her career in television, Arfin was the author of the Vice Magazine column ‘Dear Diary’ in which she recounted her teenage diary entries. The popular column was published as a memoir in 2007 and optioned by MTV. She was also Editor-in-Chief of Missbehave, a women’s magazine based in Brooklyn.
Lovelace, Russell, Moonbear and Moran are repped by Untitled Entertainment and Granderson Des Rochers LLP. Vinberg is repped by ICM, Untitled Entertainment and Granderson Des Rochers LLP. Moselle is repped by UTA and Granderson Des Rochers LLP. Arfin is repped by Artists-First Management and Ginsburg Daniels LLP.
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