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Sweetbitter - Caitlin FitzGerald, Paul Sparks, Tom Sturridge & More Join Starz Series



Beverly Hills, Calif. — Starz announced today that three key roles have been cast for the new STARZ Original series “Sweetbitter.” Tom Sturridge (“The Hollow Crown,” On the Road, Waiting for Forever, Pirate Radio) will portray “Jake,” Caitlin FitzGerald (“Masters of Sex,” “Rectify,” Always Shine) will play “Simone,” and Paul Sparks (“House of Cards,” Season One of STARZ Original limited series “The Girlfriend Experience”) will portray “Howard.” Evan Jonigkeit (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, “Broad City,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), Daniyar (“Claws,” “Scandal,” “Payday”), Eden Epstein (“In Between Men,” Blind) and Jasmine Mathews (“Blue Bloods,” “Heathers”) will also join to round out the cast as series regulars.

Emmy® and DGA Award-winning Writer/Director Richard Shepard (The Matador, Dom Hemingway, “Girls,” “Criminal Minds,” Ugly Betty”) will direct the series premiere episode. Shepard will also serve as executive producer with Stu Zicherman (“The Americans,” “The Affair,” “Six Degrees”), Plan B Entertainment, and Stephanie Danler, who has written the script for the first episode. Donna Bloom will serve as producer on the six-episode freshman season. Casting by Laura Rosenthal.

The drama series is based on Stephanie Danler’s national best-selling novel and stars Ella Purnell (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Never Let Me Go, Kick-Ass 2, Maleficent) in the lead role of “Tess.” Shortly after arriving in New York City, Tess lands a job at a celebrated downtown restaurant. Swiftly introduced to the world of drugs, drinking, love, lust, dive bars and fine dining, she learns to navigate the chaotically alluring, yet punishing life she has stumbled upon. “Sweetbitter” is the story of a young woman’s coming-of-age, set against the rich and grimy backdrop of exclusive restaurants, conjuring a nonstop and high-adrenaline world evoking the possibility, beauty and fragility of being young and adrift.

Tom Sturridge will portray “Jake,” a recklessly beautiful bartender, and Caitlin FitzGerald will play “Simone” – a sommelier who is the embodiment of self-possession, beauty, and authority at the restaurant. Simone and Jake awaken, in Tess, a sense of lust she has never felt before. “Howard,” the General Manger of the restaurant and father-figure to the group who work there, will be portrayed by Paul Sparks. Evan Jonigkeit has been cast in the role of “Will,” the backwaiter assigned to train Tess and becomes her first friend. The role of “Sasha,” a highly proficient and hard-working Russian immigrant-turned-backwaiter will be played Daniyar. Eden Epstein will portray “Ari,” an adventurous lesbian who backwaits by day and DJs by night. She and Heather, a server postponing law school, are a fearsome duo who treat gossip like a professional sport. “Heather” will be played by Jasmine Mathews.

Starz retains all global distribution and home entertainment rights to “Sweetbitter.”

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