When Gente-fied: The Digital Series screened at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, it was clear the show had something special. Produced by America Ferrera and created by Linda Yvette Chávez and Marvin Lemus (the latter serving as the director for all six eight-minute episodes), the web series took on precisely what its fun title suggested: the intersection of gentrification and the Latinx community. Unsurprisingly, the well-received, MACRO-produced project was soon picked up by Netflix to be developed into a full-blown bilingual TV series with the kind of synopsis we can all get behind: three Mexican-American cousins struggle to chase the American Dream, even while that same dream threatens the things they hold most dear: their neighborhood, their immigrant grandfather, and the family taco shop.
And now we finally have more news to go with that months-old announcement. Lemus and Chavez shared some casting news, introducing the world to their four leads: Karrie Martin, who was born and raised in southern Louisiana to Honduran parents, will be playing Ana Morales. Her character is described as a sarcastic, woke, blunt and endearing queer artist, a Chicana who leads with her heart and fights for her art with untethered conviction. The Oath‘s J.J. Soria will be playing Erik, a wisecracking, well-read, charismatic but tough homie with a heart of gold, while Carlos Santos takes on the role of Chris, a fun-loving, know-it-all, chef-in-training whose years growing up in Idaho make him wonder if he’ll ever be Mexican enough in the eyes of the family.
Joining those three young cast members is veteran Mexican actor Joaquín Cosio (Las Aparicio, The Strain, Narcos: Mexico). He’ll be playing Pop, a stoic, but warm, old-fashioned ranchero and the rock of the Morales family. His hole in the wall taco shop is the anchor for the show and the Morales family alike. “We are thrilled to have gathered a lead cast that captures the unique nuance of the chisme, chistes, and chingaderas that we grew up with in our multi-generational, bilingual, immigrant families,” said Lemus and Chavez. “Joaquin, JJ, Carlos, and Karrie are the abuelo, primos, y prima we shot the shit with as kids, the cousins we partied with, and the grandpa we cried with. They are the Morales family and we can’t wait for everyone to start sending them invites to the carne asada!”
While you wait for this series to fill that One Day at a Time-filled hole in your Netflix queue, take a look at the trailer for the digital series that inspired it to get a sense of what to expect.
Gentefied is coming soon to Netflix