'Generation': Justice Smith And Nathanya Alexander To Star In HBO Max Teen Dramedy Pilot
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'Generation': Justice Smith And Nathanya Alexander To Star In HBO Max Teen Dramedy Pilot

The teen drama genre is definitely having a moment! With HBO’s controversial Zendaya vehicle Euphoria garnering critical acclaim and waves, there’s also projects like Luca Guadagnino’s We Are Who We Are that are currently in production.

Now, HBO Max is filling out the cast for its half-hour teen dramedy pilot, Generation. 

The description: A dark yet playful half-hour, Generation follows a group of high school students whose exploration of modern sexuality (devices and all) test deeply entrenched beliefs about life, love and the nature of family in their conservative community.

Justice Smith leads the main cast, which also includes Nathanya Alexander, Michael Johnston, Chloe East, Uly Schlesinger, Lukita Maxwell, Nava Mau, Haley Sanchez, Chase Sui Wonders.

Created by Daniel Barnz, the project is executive produced by Lena Waithe.

View the character descriptions below:

JUSTICE SMITH – series regular

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. 

MICHAEL JOHNSTON – series regular

OLLIE – Introverted yet instantly likable. 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.

CHLOE EAST – series regular

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

ULY SCHLESINGER – series regular

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.  

NAVA MAU – series regular

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. 

HALEY SANCHEZ – series regular

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.  

NATHANYA ALEXANDER – series regular

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.

LUKITA MAXWELL – series regular

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 the series.

CHASE SUI WONDERS – series regular

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.

SAM TRAMMELL – recurring guest star

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.


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Photo: Mark Sagliocco/FilmMagic

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