EXCLUSIVE: Brooke Smith (Bombshell), Anika Noni Rose (Power, The Quad), P.J. Byrne (Black Lightning), Malcolm Mays (Snowfall), Jeremiah Birkett (Euphoria, Lucifer) and Sophie Guest (The Good Nanny) are set to recur opposite Deborah Ayorinde and Ashley Thomas in Amazon’s Them (fka Them: Covenant), the first season of the anthology horror series from executive producer Lena Waithe and writer and executive producer Little Marvin. The project, from Vertigo Entertainment and Sony Pictures TV, has a two-season straight-to-series order.
Written by Little Marvin, the 1953-set Them centers on Alfred and Lucky Emory (Ayorinde and Thomas), who decide to move their family from North Carolina to an all-white Los Angeles neighborhood. The family’s home on a tree-lined, seemingly idyllic street becomes ground zero where malevolent forces both real and supernatural threaten to taunt, ravage and destroy them.
Smith will play Helen Koistra, the realtor who moves the Emory family into their new home to the chagrin of their white neighbors.
Rose will play Ella Mae, a petite, loving, god-fearing, if a bit fastidious housewife. Like the Emorys, Ella Mae and her family are a pioneering black family in lily-white Compton.
Byrne will portray Stu Berks, Henry’s patronizing new boss at the aeronautics plant. A 1950’s version of the white dude who says shit like “I can’t be racist, I have black friends”.
Mays is Calvin, the first friendly face Henry meets at his new job in the aeronautics plant. Good humored and affable, Calvin helps Henry navigate the racial tension of being the first black engineer of the newly integrated office.
Birkett and Guest’s characters are being kept under wraps.
Little Marvin executive produces with Waithe, along with Roy Lee, Miri Yoon and Michael Connolly of Vertigo Entertainment. David Matthews as executive producer and showrunner. Sony Pictures TV, which has a deal with Vertigo, is the studio.
Smith will next be seen as Irena Briganti in Bombshell. Her most recent TV credits include Unbelievable, The Good Fight, The Act and Project Blue Book and she previously recurred on Bates Motel. Smith is repped by Paradigm and manager Sue Leibman/Barking Dog Entertainment.
Rose will next be seen in a recurring role on Hulu’s upcoming adaptation of Little Fires Everywhere. Her other recent television credits include Power and The Quad. She’s repped by Innovative, David Williams Management, GoodManagement and Schreck Rose Dapello.
Byrne was most recently seen in a recurring role in Black Lightning and in the second installment of Big Little Lies. He’ll next appear on the big screen as Neil Cavuto in Bombshell.
Mays played Kevin Hamilton for two seasons on FX’s Snowfall. He also starred in Antoine Fuqua’s boxing movie Southpaw and the Cuba Gooding Jr.-Dennis Haysbert film Life of a King. He can be seen starring opposite Anna Kendrick in IFC’s The Day Shall Come from See-Saw Films.
Birkett appeared in recurring roles on Euphoria and Lucifer. On the film side, he can currently be seen in Lucy in the Sky. He is repped by Pantheon, Matt Sherman Management and Skrzyniarz & Mallean.
Guest was most recently seen starring as Sophie Walsh in the Lifetime thrillers The Good Nanny and Fatal Defense. Her film work includes The Fault In Our Stars and Love the Coopers. She’s repped by Coast to Coast Talent Group and Treadwell Entertainment Group.