EXCLUSIVE: Melia Kreiling (Guardians Of The Galaxy) has joined the Season 2 cast of FX’s Tyrant in a recurring role. The series revolves around an unassuming American family drawn into the inner workings of a turbulent fictional Middle Eastern nation. Bassam “Barry” Al-Fayeed, the younger son of the war-torn country’s dictator, ends a self-imposed 20-year exile to return to his homeland. His reluctant homecoming leads to a dramatic clash of cultures as he is thrown back into the familial and national politics of his youth. Kreiling, repped by CAA, Piers Nimmo and Brillstein Entertainment, will be introduced as Daliyah in an upcoming episode. Kreiling’s other TV credits include The Borgias and The Bible. She will next be seen in feature DxM.
Chris Backus (Deliverance Creek) has booked a major recurring role and Empire‘s Jussie Smollett has signed on for two episodes of Underground, WGN America’s pre-Civil War straight-to-series drama about the Underground Railroad. The series from Sony Pictures TV and Tribune Studios follows a group of slaves who plan a daring escape from a Georgia plantation to cross 600 miles to freedom. They are aided along the way by a secret abolitionist couple running a station on the Underground Railroad, as they evade those tasked with bringing them back — dead or alive. Backus will play Jeremiah Johnson, a well-dressed dandy, but a threatening slave catcher. He’s the leader of the Patty Cannon Gang who are after the escaped slaves. Smollett is Josey, a wild-eyed runaway who doesn’t trust anyone, not even those stationed along the way who would try to help him. Backus is repped by Buchwald & Assoc. and co-managed by Untitled Entertainment and the Van Johnson Company.