EXCLUSIVE: The Lena Dunham-produced HBO Max teen dramedy Generation has rounded out its robust cast with series regulars Justice Smith, Chloe East, Michael Johnston, Uly Schlesinger, Haley Sanchez, Nava Mau, Nathanya Alexander, Lukita Maxwell and Chase Sui Wonders. Sam Trammell joins the cast as a recurring character.
Created by Daniel Barnz, Generation also stars Martha Plimpton and is a dark yet playful half-hour dramedy that follows a group of high school students whose exploration of modern sexuality (devices and all) tests deeply entrenched beliefs about life, love and the nature of family in their conservative community. Barnz wrote the series with Zelda Barnz who also serves as co-executive producer.
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Dunham executive produces for Good Thing Going Productions, with Daniel and Ben Barnz for We’re Not Brothers Productions. Zelda Barnz is co-executive producer. Marissa Diaz produces for Good Thing Going Productions.
Read the character descriptions below.
Justice Smith as “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.
Smith recently starred in Legendary’s live-action Pokemon movie Detective Pikachu. He also starred in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Paper Towns and Baz Luhrmann’s hip hop Netflix series The Get Down.He is repped by WME and The Kohl Group.
Michael Johnston as “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.
Johnston’s credits include the indie Slash as well as MTV’s Teen Wolf. He has also appeared in NBC’s Inbetween and CW’s Supergirl. He is repped by Tash Moseley Management and Innovative Artists.
Chloe East as “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.
East recently wrapped Jim Cummings’s indie comedy The Werewolf which also stars Jimmy Tatro and Riki Lindhome. She also appeared in ABC’s Kevin (Probably) Saves The World opposite Jason Ritter and Kimberly Gregory. She is repped by Abrams Artists Agency, LINK Entertainment and Felker, Toczek.
Uly Schlesinger as “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.
Schlesinger’s film credits include Two Eyes and The Shed. On the TV side, he has appeared on Divorce, Chicago Med, The Sinner and Two Sentence Horror Stories. He is represented by Take 3 Talent Agency.
Haley Sanchez as “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.
Newcomer Sanchez has done projects with Women in Film, including BFF and Redness and the Boarder. Generation is her first TV role.
Nava Mau as “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.
Nathanya Alexander as “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.
Alexander appeared in Ocean’s 8 as 9-ball’s (Rihanna) hacker sister Veronica. She is repped by Richard Rosenwald Associates.
Lukita Maxwell as “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.
Maxwell recurred on ABC’s Speechless. She is represented by Trademark Talent.
Chase Sui Wonders as “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.
Chase can be seen in HBO’s forthcoming experimental comedy series Betty co-created by Crystal Moselle and Lesley Arfin. She recently completed Sofia Coppola’s On the Rocks and Judd Apatow’s Staten Island. She is repped by Untitled Entertainment and UTA.
Sam Trammell as “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.
Trammell is a Tony nominated actor who is best known for his role on HBO’s True Blood. He will appear next as the Vice President on the final season of Showtime’s Homeland. He appeared in This Is Us and has completed production on the feature films Nancy Drew, Breakthrough and I See You. He also appears in the Netflix series The Order and as the lead in Sony International television series Reckoning. He is repped by Luber Roklin Entertainment as well as David Rose and Neville King from Innovative.