Film director Baz Luhrmann, known for his opulent reconstructions of The Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge, is looking for local talent to cast in his upcoming Netflix series about New York City in the ’70s.
DNAinfo reports that that Luhrmann is looking for black and hispanic men and women between ages 18 and 21 to star as teens from the South Bronx. The new series, called The Get Down, follows their adventures through “Bronx tenements, to the SoHo art scene, CBGBs, Studio 54, and even the glass towers of the just-built World Trade Center,” notes the casting website.
Ultimately, Luhrmann hopes to cast authentic residents of the Bronx. “Nothing would make all those involved in ‘The Get Down’ more thrilled than to find cast members from The Bronx itself,” he told DNAinfo via email. “So I can only encourage anyone who fits the criteria of the auditions to audition. You never know until you try.”
In a recent interview with Vulture, Luhrmann explained that “the entire show is hung on bright young people.”
“There are many professional [actors] at that age,” he said. “But I don’t want to miss some extraordinary young person who’s just months away from sending in a tape to some casting agent. You need to spread the net very broadly.”
The first season will span three years, starting in 1977 and ending in 1980, with a particular focus on music. Luhrmann, who got Jay Z on The Great Gatsby’s bill, plans to collaborate “with great veterans and new talent.” The Get Down will chart the popularity of disco and the hip-hop’s introduction to the music scene.
Applicants must regale Luhrmann’s casting team with a story or two, perform a “song, rap, or poem,” and perform a “short dance.” They have until March 10 to apply. Production begins sometime in May.