The Amazon pilot “The Horror of Dolores Roach” has added three new cast members, Variety has learned exclusively.
Alejandro Hernandez, Kita Updike, and K. Todd Freeman have all joined the pilot alongside previously announced lead Justina Machado.
The project, based on the Spotify podcast of the same name, was first announced as being in development at Amazon back in May. In the show, “Magic Hands” Dolores Roach (Machado) is released from prison after 16 years and returns to a severely-gentrified Washington Heights with $200 and the clothes on her back. Her boyfriend missing, her family long gone, her apartment now occupied by strangers, Dolores finds respite in the dilapidated storefront Empanada Loca around the corner, the only remnant of her former life.
Hernandez has been cast as Luis, described as the charismatic, self-professed neglected culinary visionary behind the dilapidated storefront Empanada Loca in Washington Heights. Harboring a crush on Dolores from 16 years ago when he bought weed from her, he’s eager to give her room and board when she returns from prison until she gets back on her feet. Their relationship is taken to the next level when she accidentally-on-purpose kills someone in the basement and Luis creatively helps dispose of the body.
Hernandez is best known for his role in the NBC medical drama “New Amsterdam.” He is also known for roles on shows like “Gotham,” “Sneaky Pete,” “Elementary,” and “Blue Bloods” among many others.
He is repped by Suskin Management and Harden Curtis Kirsten Riley Agency.
Updike will play Nellie Morris, reprising her role from the podcast. Nellie is described as as the kind, confident, and no-nonsense teenager who works behind the Empanada Loca counter and lives upstairs with her agoraphobic grandmother. Nellie and Dolores develop a friendship, as Nellie finds herself in a burgeoning romance with the landlord’s son.
Updike is primarily known for her stage work. She has starred in productions such as “Reckoning” directed by Billy Porter for The Public Theater in New York and “Click” for the Westport Playhouse. She has spent time developing several new works such as “It’s Not a Trip…” by Charly Evon Simpson at The O’Neill Center, “The Village” directed by Hannah Ryan, and “Initiative” by Else Went with Playwrights Realm.
Freeman has been cast as Jeremiah, the man who spends his days standing outside of Empanada Loca holding the door for people for change, and his nights underground in a corner of an abandoned NYC subway tunnel with a community known to some as “Mole People.” Aloof and ever-present he keeps a close eye on Dolores.
Freeman is a two-time Tony Award nominee. He was also previously a series regular on Netflix’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events.” His other TV credits include “God Friended Me” and the upcoming Apple series “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey.”
He is repped by D2 Management and Innovative Artists.
“The Horror of Dolores Roach” was originally developed as a one-woman show by Aaron Mark with Daphne Rubin-Vega starring. Mark subsequently adapted it into the podcast with Rubin-Vega again starring. Mark wrote the pilot script and will executive produce along with Rubin-Vega and Dara Resnik. Jason Blum, Chris McCumber and Jeremy Gold of Blumhouse Television and Chris Giliberti and Justin McGoldrick of Spotify will also executive produce. Roxann Dawson wil direct the pilot.