HBO Max has rounded out the lead cast for Americanah, its upcoming limited series based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel of the same name. Newcomer Tireni Oyenusi is set as a series regular, joining previously announced Lupita Nyong’o, Zackary Momoh, Uzo Aduba and Corey Hawkins. Americanah tells the epic story of Ifemelu (Nyong’o), a young, beautiful, self-assured woman raised in Nigeria, who as a teenager falls in love with her classmate Obinze (Momoh). Living in a military-ruled country, they each depart for the west, with Ifemelu heading for America, where, despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple for the first time with what it means to be black. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous undocumented life in London. Oyenusi plays Dike, Aunty Uju’s (Aduba) son, who immigrated to America as an infant. An old soul who is incredibly dear to Ifemelu (Nyong’o), Dike is on a path to self-discovery, starting with the mystery shrouding the identity of his father. Americanaah is Oyenusi’s first major TV role. He starred last year in the Film Independent short A True Crime in the lead role of Donte. Oyenusi is repped by Progressive Artists Agency and The ESI Network.
Kerri Medders (Alexa & Katie) has booked a recurring role in Amazon’s upcoming YA drama series Panic, from writer Lauren Oliver based on her best-selling book and producers Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum. Created and written by Oliver, Panic centers on a small town in America where every year the graduating seniors engage in a competition they believe is their one chance to escape. But this year, the rules have changed — and they must decide how much they are willing to risk in order to get out. Medders will play Ruby Anne McDonough, Sarah’s friend and also a junior. She lives with her older sister Riley and her husband Truck in the same trailer park as Heather. Medders also recurs on the Netflix series Alexa & Katie and CBS’ SEAL Team. She recently guest starred on Young Sheldon, as well. Medders is repped by Principal Entertainment and Coast to Coast.