Netflix's 'Tales of the City' Welcomes Back Paul Gross, Fills Out Cast

from The Hollywood Reporter:

OCTOBER 16, 2018 11:00am PT by Rick Porter

The continuation of the series based on Armistead Maupin's novels will feature a host of LGBTQ people in front of and behind the camera.

Netflix's revival of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City has filled out its cast, and it includes a familiar face from the first installment of the series and a number of LGBTQ actors.

The show is also making a big effort to feature members of the LGBTQ behind the camera.

Paul Gross will return to Tales of the City to reprise his role as Brian Hawkins, the ex-husband of Mary Ann Singleton (Laura Linney, also returning) and the father of Shawna Hawkins (Ellen Page). Gross starred on the first Tales of the City in 1994 but was committed to Due South when the sequel More Tales of the City was greenlighted. Whip Hubley played the role on More and Further Tales of the City.

Joining Gross as series regulars are Murray Bartlett (Looking) as Mary Ann's best friend Mouse (previously played by Marcus D'Amico and Paul Hopkins); Charlie Barnett (Chicago Fire) as Mouse's boyfriend, Ben Marshall; Josiah Victoria Garcia as transgender man Jake Rodriguez, caregiver for Anna Madrigal (Olympia Dukakis, reprising her role); and May Hong as Jake's girlfriend, Margot Park.

Additionally, Jen Richards, Daniela Vega, Michelle Buteau, Ashley Park, Christopher Larkin, Caldwell Tidicue (aka "Bob the Drag Queen"), Matthew Risch, Michael Park, Dickie Hearts, Benjamin Thys, Samantha Soule and Juan Castano will all have recurring roles. Barbara Garrick is also returning as DeDe Halcyon Day. Zosia Mamet (Girls) will also recur as a documentary filmmaker who develops a relationship with Shawna. So will Victor Garber (Legends of Tomorrow) as Sam Garland, a "handsome English gentleman" who spends his days reading old books to Anna.

Showrunner Lauren Morelli and executive producer and director Alan Poul have assembled a writing staff made up entirely of LGBTQ people: Andy Parker, Patricia Resnick, Marcus Gardley, Jen Silverman, Hansol Jung and Thomas Page McBee. Directors Silas Howard, Sydney Freeland, Stacie Passon and Kyle Alvarez are members of the LGBTQ community, as well. 

Transgender people involved in the production include Garcia, Richards, Vega, McBee, Howard and Feeland.

Tales of the City comes from Working Title Television and NBCUniversal International. It is due to premiere in 2019 on Netflix.

Maupin wrote nine novels in the Tales of the City series, which led to three Tales of the City limited series starring Linney and Dukakis. Alan Poul served as producer of the three adaptations (Tales of the City, More Tales of the City, Further Tales of the City), which earned a Peabody Award and multiple Emmy Award nominations. Maupin and Poul return to executive produce the Netflix take, with the latter also on board to direct. Linney also will be credited as an exec producer. The series hails from Working Title Television and NBCUniversal International Studios. Working Title's Andrew Stearn, Liza Chasin, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner also will exec produce, while Michael Cunningham is set as a consulting producer.

"I couldn't be more excited about this 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," Maupin said in a statement. “Mrs. Madrigal's tenants, both old and new, will be entangled in delicious new adventures and ever-expanding possibilities for love."

Added Morelli, who met her now-wife Samira Wiley on Orange Is the New Black during her time working on the Netflix series and shared the first page of the premiere's script (above): "The magical, vivid world that Armistead Maupin built in Tales of the City is one that offered so many — particularly the LGBTQ+ community — a home for the first time. For many, Tales was the first time they saw themselves on screen. I am humbled to now find my own home within Tales and to continue telling Armistead’s stories."

Added Poul: "For me, the opportunity to come back to a series I started work on 25 years ago is the homecoming of a lifetime. There's never been a better moment to reignite Armistead's timeless take on family and community, and I'm thrilled to be collaborating with such a brilliant mix of old friends and new."

Production on Tales of the City is expected to begin later this year for a 2019 debut.

Page, who next stars in Netflix's Umbrella Academy, is repped by WME and Morris Yorn; Linney, who also stars on Netflix's Ozark, is with ICM Partners, Lighthouse Management and Morris Yorn; Dukakis is repped by Innovative; Morelli is with CAA, Wirehouse Entertainment and Gang Tyre; and Garrick is repped by CornerStone Talent Agency.