Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Netflix’s ‘Tales of the City’ celebrates diversity both in front and behind the camera

In 1993, Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City was a game changer for LGBT representation when it aired on PBS. Now, the new Netflix Original revival of the show is setting new standards for diversity both in the cast on screen and also behind the camera. 

Inspired by the books by Armistead Maupin, this next chapter – Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City – follows Mary Ann (Laura Linney), who returns home to San Francisco and is reunited with her daughter (out actress, Ellen Page) and ex-husband Brian, twenty years after leaving them behind to pursue her career. Fleeing the midlife crisis that her picture perfect Connecticut life created, Mary Ann returns home to her chosen family and will quickly be drawn back into the orbit of Anna Madrigal (Olympia Dukakis) and the residents of 28 Barbary Lane.

“I couldn’t be more excited about this new brand-new incarnation of Tales. It’s set in present-day San Francisco with all the joys and complications that might suggest for the residents of 28 Barbary Lane,’ said Maupin. “Mrs. Madrigal’s tenants, both old and new, will be entangled in delicious new adventures and ever-expanding possibilities for love.”

Returning to the show is Paul Gross (Due South, Alias Grace) reprising his role as “Brian Hawkins,” ex-husband of “Mary Ann Singleton” (played by Laura Linney) and father of “Shawna Hawkins” (played by Ellen Page). Also joining are Looking’s Murray Bartlett playing the lovable “Michael ‘Mouse’ Tolliver” and Chicago Fire’s Charlie Barnett playing Mouse’s boyfriend “Ben Marshall”.

Paul Goss (Source: Netflix)

Newcomer, Josiah Victoria Garcia – who identifies as non-binary, is playing the role of “Jake Rodriguez,” a newer resident on Barbary Lane who is a transgender man and a caregiver for Anna Madrigal (played by Olympia Dukakis).

Garcia (source: Netflix)

Among the talented roster of recurring cast members are two trans actors, Jen Richards (Her Story, Mrs. Fletcher) playing a young “Anna Madrigal,” and Daniela Vega (A Fantastic Woman) as “Ysela,” a trans woman who plays a pivotal role in Anna’s life.

Daniela Vega & Jen Richards (photos by Nacho Rojas & Christina Gandolfo)

Other recurring cast announced include Michelle Buteau, Ashley Park and Christopher Larkin as twins “Ani” and “Raven”, Caldwell Tidicue aka “Bob the Drag Queen”, Matthew Risch, Michael Park, Dickie Hearts, Juan Castano, and Benjamin Thys and Samantha Soule as a queer polyamorous married couple “Eli” and “Inka”.

Caldwell Tidicue aka Bob the Drag Queen (source: Netflix)

This hugely talented cast from across the LGBT community is supported by a diverse cast behind the camera.

Showrunner / Executive Producer & writer Lauren Morelli and Producing Director & Executive Producer Alan Poul, who are both part of the LGBTQ community, assembled an entirely queer writing team comprised of Andy Parker, Patricia Resnick, Marcus Gardley, Jen Silverman, Hansol Jung and Thomas Page McBee to create the authentic and multigenerational LGBTQ characters and stories.

Talented directors who are also part of the LGBTQ community including Silas Howard, Sydney Freeland, Stacie Passon and Kyle Alvarez bring the vibrant, warm and colorful world of Barbary Lane to life.

This stunning cast and crew join the already announced Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis, who are reprising their roles as “Mary Ann Singleton” and “Anna Madrigal”, alongside Ellen Page who joins the cast as “Shawna.”

The 10-part Netflix original limited series will debut in 2019.


Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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