Netflix has set the full cast for Social Distance, its upcoming quarantine anthology series from Orange is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan. Danielle Brooks (Orange is the New Black), Mike Colter (Luke Cage), Oscar Nunez (The Office), Guillermo Diaz (Scandal), Asante Blackk (When They See Us), Peter Scanavino (Law & Order: SVU), Lachlan Watson (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina), Max Jenkins (Dead To Me) and Marsha Stephanie Blake (When They See Us) are among those cast in the series created and executive produced by Hilary Weisman Graham (Orange is the New Black). Social Distance premieres globally on Netflix this fall.
Set in the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Social Distance is an eight-part anthology series that showcases the power of the human spirit in the face of uncertainty and isolation. Each standalone episode is told through a virtual lens and captures the unique emotional experience of being forced apart by circumstance and having no choice but to communicate remotely and rely on technology to maintain any sense of connection. Through these varied and deeply human stories, Social Distance aims to provide some much-needed catharsis during a tumultuous time while also capturing a snapshot of this singular moment in history.
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The project was conceived, cast and executed entirely remotely during quarantine. The writers never meet during the writing process, Diego Velasco directs talent remotely, Weisman Graham runs production from her living room and the cast acts and films themselves from home. Some of the actors’ real-life relatives also guest star in the series.
“Many of these stories required casting actors who were quarantined with other actors. That hurdle seriously hindered our options and so casting non-actors was sometimes essential,” said Weisman Graham on the decision to cast actors’ family members. “It was definitely a roll of the dice, but thankfully, we were thrilled to discover that talent really does breed talent. These family members may not have had aspirations to be in front of the camera when we first started, but they should all quit their day jobs immediately.”
Weisman Graham, who also serves as showrunner, executive produces with Tara Herrmann, Blake McCormick and Kohan. Diego Velasco, who directed an episode of Orange Is the New Black and is working with Kohan on her upcoming series Teenage Bounty Hunters is directing and will co-EP.
Social Distance cast members include (in no particular episodic order):
Danielle Brooks (Orange Is the New Black) with real-life mother LaRita Brooks and brother DJ Brooks; Marsha Stephanie Blake (When They See Us) with real-life daughter Rocco Luna; Misha Brooks; Isabella Ferreira (Love, Victor)
Oscar Nunez (The Office); Daphne Rubin-Vega (In the Heights) with real-life husband Tom Costanzo and son Luca Costanzo; Guillermo Diaz (Scandal); Miguel Sandoval (Station 19); Camila Perez (Gotham); Olli Haaskivi (Manifest); Giana Aragon
Mike Colter (Luke Cage); Okieriete Onaodowan (Hamilton); real-life spouses Heather Burns (Bored to Death) and Ajay Naidu (Office Space); Shakira Barrera (GLOW); Steven Weber (13 Reasons Why) with real-life son Jack Hohnen-Weber; Helena Howard (Don’t Look Back)
Asante Blackk (When They See Us) with real-life father Ayize Ma’at; Lovie Simone (The Craft)
Max Jenkins (Dead to Me); Brian Jordan Alvarez (Will & Grace); Peter Vack (Love Life); Rana Roy (Life Sentence)
Peter Scanavino (Law & Order: SVU) with real-life son Leo Bai-Scanavino (Peter’s son); Ali Ahn (The Path); Tami Sagher (Orange Is the New Black); Barbara Rosenblat (Orange Is the New Black); Michael Mulheren (Rescue Me)
Real-life spouses Becky Ann Baker (Girls) and Dylan Baker (The Good Wife); Sunita Mani (GLOW); real-life spouses Raymond Anthony Thomas (The Hoop Life) and Marcia Debonis (Orange Is the New Black)
Kylie Liya Page (Friends From College); Lachlan Watson (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina); David Iacono (Grand Army); Will Meyers (The Village); Niles Fitch (This Is Us); Ava Demary (FBI)
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