EXCLUSIVE: Paprika Steen (Okay), Isabella Crovetti (Colony), Glo Tavarez (Late Night), Jade Payton (Dynasty) and Connor Falk (Diary of a Future President) are set as series regulars opposite Lena Headey in Showtime dramedy pilot Rita, based on Christian Torpe’s award-winning Danish series. Torpe will pen the pilot and serve as showrunner. Rita is a co-production of Showtime and Platform One Media.
In Rita, Headey will play the title character, a headstrong, unconventional teacher and single mother who takes on every kind of authority – as well as her family – in a messy and unfiltered way. Josh Hutcherson, Curtiss Cook, Darren Pettie and Bryce Gangel also star.
Steen will play Ellen, a guidance counselor who runs the school with weaponized empathy. Crovetti will portray Rose, an overly ambitious student whom Rita is constantly at odds with. Tavarez will play Connie, a new and overly enthusiastic teacher at Rita’s school. Payton is Molly, Rita’s daughter who is now finding her own role in life. Falk will play Oliver, Rita’s youngest son, a satellite in the family who thrives on order and control.
Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Lisa Cholodenko (Olive Kitteridge, The Kids Are All Right) will direct the pilot and executive produce with Headey and Torpe, along with Elisa Ellis for Platform One Media, which is headed by Katie O’Connell Marsh.
Steen received critical praise for her work in Danish features Okay and Open Hearts and also appeared in Festen, The Idiots, Mifune’s Last Song, and Love Is All You Need, among others. She directed and starred in the feature film That Time of Year, earning Bodil Award nominations for both Best Film and Best Actress, and also directed With Your Permission and Aftermath. Steen is repped by Lindberg Management.
Crovetti was a series regular on both Colony and The Neighbors. She also has appeared in Whisker Haven, Joy (playing the younger version of Jennifer Lawrence’s character) and Happy Endings, and voiced roles in Vamprina and Shimmer and Shine. She is repped by Osbrink Agency and Industry Entertainment.
A UCB veteran, Tavarez has appeared in Patriot Act with Hassan Minhaj, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Alternatino, High Maintenance and After Class, as well as the upcoming season of Search Party and The Iliza Shlesinger Sketch Show. She is repped by Paradigm, Mosaic and Jackoway Austen Tyerman.
Payton has recurred on the series Daybreak, iZombie and Good Game. She is repped by DDO Artists Agency, Industry Entertainment and Chad Christopher.
Falk has also appeared in Sydney to the Max, My Name Is Sam, Black-ish, Forever, Criminal Minds, Runaways and My Amish World. He is repped by Savage Agency and Monster Talent.