EXCLUSIVE: Richie Merritt, Trevor Long, Raven Goodwin and Luke David Blumm have joined the cast of indie drama, Lola James.
The four actors will star opposite previously announced cast members Nicola Peltz (Transformers: Age of Extinction) and Virginia Madsen (Sideways, Designated Survivor). Peltz will also make her feature directorial debut with the film, co-directing it with The Florida Project actress Bria Vinaite.
The film, scripted by Peltz, is set in 2002, somewhere in Middle America, following 19-year-old Lola James (Peltz) as she works to save enough money to get her little brother, Arlo, out of their toxic home. All Lola wants is for Arlo to have a chance at a life she never had. While trying to keep her head above water, she spirals into a drug addiction that threatens to consume her. Arlo’s bright outlook on life keeps her hopeful—until one tragic night, when her whole world gets uprooted. From that moment on, nothing will ever be the same.
Our sources tell us that the feature is already in production in Los Angeles, with Madsen playing Lola’s abusive mother, Mona, a woman who herself was raised by an abusive mom, and struggles with her own demons.
In the feature, Merritt (White Boy Rick) will play Lola’s on-again, off-again burnout boyfriend, Malachi. A small time dealer, he has a difficult choice to make when Lola begins to slide.
Known for roles on Netflix crime drama Ozark and AMC’s Low Winter Sun, Long plays Trick, Mona’s skeevy, longtime boyfriend who lives at home with her, Lola and Arlo. A hot tub salesman, Trick further fractures the family at every turn.
Previously starring in Showtime dramatic comedy SMILF and BET’s Being Mary Jane, Goodwin portrays Lola’s best friend and chosen family, Babina. Her character shares a sister-like bond with Lola which keeps her grounded and anchors her, even as she hits on some of her lowest moments.
Finally, there’s Blumm (The King of Staten Island, The Sinner), who plays Lola’s nine-year old brother, Arlo. An indigo child, Arlo wants nothing more than to be like his big sister. He marches to the beat of his own drum, has an inseparable bond with his role model, Lola, and is firmly planted between his mother’s religious values and his sister’s unconditional love.
Also marking Vinaite’s debut feature, Lola James is being produced by Peltz and Will McCane (Crystal Swan), with Ryan Kirby (Four Good Days) executive producing.
Merritt is represented by Thor Bradwell and Thirty Three Management. Long is repped by A3 Artists Agency and Vault Entertainment, while Goodwin is repped by Innovative Artists and Anonymous Content. Blum’s reps include The Carson Kolker Agency and People Store.
Must Read Stories
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.