The Lena Dunham-produced dramady pilot “Generation” has added 10 to its cast, including “Detective Pikachu” star Justice Smith.
Smith is joined by Michael Johnson, Chloe East, Uly Schlesinger, Nava Mau, Haley Sanchez, Nathanya Alexander, Lukita Maxwell and Chase Sui Wonders. “True Blood” alum Sam Trammell was also cast in a recurring role.
The 10 join Martha Plimpton, who stars as Megan, a magnetic Adderall-fueled type-A Orange County mother whose core convictions clash with the values of her children’s generation.
“Generation” is co-created, co-written and co-directed by “Cake” director Daniel Barnz with his 17-year-old daughter Zelda, and executive produced by “Girls” creator Lena Dunham. Described as a “dark, yet playful half-hour dramedy,” the series centers on a group of high school students “whose exploration of modern sexuality tests deeply entrenched beliefs about life, love and the nature of family in their conservative community.”
“Generation” is one of three shows in the pilot pipeline at HBO Max, along with the “Practical Magic” prequel “Rules of Magic” and the psychological horror series “Red Bird Lane.”
Here are the character descriptions for the 10 that were cast on Wednesday.
JUSTICE SMITH – series regular
CHESTER HS Senior. Queer. A deep thinker, Chester is also a star water polo player and a straight A student. Fabulous, funny, fearless, Chester pushes boundaries and resists labels in every way. Despite his seemingly friendly and open nature, there’s a deeper mystery behind his loneliness.
MICHAEL JOHNSTON – series regular
OLLIE Introverted yet instantly likeable. Forthright and honest, he’s the school’s young new guidance counselor, still very green, and not always sure how to handle himself (though he sets himself apart from other teachers with his forthright honesty). Ollie’s accessible exterior hides an intensely complex inner emotional life; he connects on a deep level to Chester’s loneliness.
CHLOE EAST – series regular
NAOMI Outspoken, crass, hard-edged twin sister to Nathan, she comes from a wealthy conservative Christian family which is part of Orange County’s socio-political elite. Naomi’s disposition has the tendency to drive others away, but she is also a vulnerable and insecure girl who’s always struggled to define herself separately from her brother and family.
ULY SCHLESINGER – series regular
NATHAN A curious mixture of jaded and innocent. Nathan comes from a wealthy conservative Christian family which is part of Orange County’s socio-political elite, which fuels pressure on Nathan to be the family’s successful golden boy. Nathan hides his sexuality from his family, including his twin sister Naomi, until Episode 2 when he comes out publicly as bisexual at his older sister’s wedding reception. Sexually inexperienced but porn-savvy, earnest and wry, emotional and funny, Nathan is defined by an intense push-pull between extremes of his interior/ exterior life.
NAVA MAU – series regular
ANA Greta’s aunt. Since coming out as trans, Ana’s relationship with her sister (Greta’s mother) deteriorated, but she wants to be a positive queer figure in Greta’s life. Ana is a kind and gentle person, but she doesn’t know much about raising kids and has zero tolerance for transphobia or toxic masculinity.
HALEY SANCHEZ – series regular
GRETA A first-generation Latinx who has been raised by a single activist mother who has just been detained by ICE. By turns tentative and bold, reserved and emotional, Greta is trying to figure out how to define herself amid powerful feelings of in-between-ness.
NATHANYA ALEXANDER – series regular
ARIANNA Caustically funny, lacking in social skills, Arianna loves gossip but can’t keep a secret. Arianna has gay dads but offhandedly makes homophobic comments and judges others harshly. More than anything, Arianna wants to be “seen”–and her more outrageous behavior stems from a fear of being invisible.
LUKITA MAXWELL – series regular
DELILAH A social justice warrior, fighting even the most unnecessary of causes. Most people take a dislike to her, but underneath the intensity of her political front is a deeply misunderstood soul. After being sexually assaulted, Delilah will have a profoundly emotional arc over series.
CHASE SUI WONDERS – series regular
RILEY So in control you often forget it: her independence and self-possessed maturity are well beyond her years. Her father sits on Anaheim’s city council; he’s a charismatic but self-sabotaging politician; Riley’s mother is also in politics but spends most of her time in DC.
SAM TRAMMELL – recurring guest star
MARK He’s a successful Orange County investor and fixture in his Church. He has a wholesome Christian exterior, but is funny and vivacious. Initially more detached as a father, Nathan’s coming out will prompt Mark to examine himself in unexpected ways.