The following is the culmination of a few reports over the past month or so regarding casting of the latest from David Simon, THE DEUCE. If you need to get up to speed on this show already starring James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal we offer the brief remainder below and a link to our postings.
It follows the story of the legalization and subsequent rise of the porn industry in New York’s Times Square from the early 1970s through the mid-1980s, exploring the rough-and-tumble world that existed there until the rise of HIV, the violence of the cocaine epidemic, and the renewed real estate market ended the bawdy turbulence.
The show’s title refers to the nickname given that famous NYC locale back in the day. Joining the cast for this story are the following, some of whom are not strangers to HBO.
- Michael Rispoli (AMC’s Feed The Beast & ABC’s Madoff) plays Rudy Pipilo. A Gambino family capo running Midtown, Rudy represents the Mob’s financial interests in the sex business while indulging his personal interest in the women at its center. The story certainly cannot be complete without organized crime on the scene.
- Natalie Paul (Doreen in HBO’s SHOW ME A HERO) plays Sandra Washington. Smart and hungry, Sandra is a driven newspaper reporter who probes the sex industry of Times Square from the street-level prostitutes and pimps to the moneyed investors and politicians who pull the strings. Will she uncover a big scoop or tangle with the wrong people?
- Ralph Macchio (appeared as himself on ENTOURAGE & is the same actor from The Karate Kid franchise) plays Officer Haddix, a jaded vice cop patrolling Times Square in the corrupt police force of 1970s New York. There is no mistake that police turned a blind eye to a lot of what was going down!
- Chris Coy (Calvin Bunker from Cinemax’s BANSHEE, TREME’s L.P. Everett and Barry of TRUE BLOOD) plays Paul Hendrickson. A kindred spirit to Vincent Martino (Franco), Paul is a veteran bartender who pursues his own personal and professional ambitions in the emerging gay, lesbian and transsexual community of ’70s New York. Make no mistake, Coy belongs in an HBO work.
- Chris Bauer (yes, Sherriff Andy Bellefleur from TRUE BLOOD & Frank Sobotka from Simon’s THE WIRE) plays Bobby Dwyer, Vincent and Frankie Martino’s brother-in-law, a construction foreman and family man whose eyes are opened by their adventures along the Deuce. Uh oh, what mischief is he going to get tangled in?
- Gbenga Akinnagbe (Chris Partlow in Simon’s THE WIRE) plays Larry Brown, an intense and demanding pimp who physically intimidates his stable of women but also has moments that betray a conflicted, underlying humanity. You got to know that the pimps and whores have got to be represented, right?
We will keep you posted on further progress as THE DEUCE moves along.