Buried under piles of mementoes from her past, we meet Lucy (Geraldine Viswanathan): on the surface, the ideal hip, young New Yorker working at a prestigious gallery and sleeping with the handsome gallery director, Max (Utkarsh Ambudkar). But when his ex shows up at a work event, a blindsided Lucy reveals the vulnerable mess that lurks below the surface, resulting in both the demise of her relationship with Max and her dismissal from the gallery.
A heartbroken Lucy finds herself unable to let go of her failed relationships, or the things that remind her of them. With a loving shove into reality from her roommates, Lucy and her literal baggage run into Nick (Dacre Montgomery) - a cynical, aspiring hotel owner who's amused by Lucy's antics and inadvertently inspires a solution: The Broken Hearts Gallery in the unfurnished lounge of his hotel.
As they work with each other to finish the hotel and promote the gallery, Lucy and Nick fall for one another. But when an enchanting ex makes an appearance, this time it's Nick who can't let go. Finally forced to admit his own romantic issues, Nick must convince Lucy not to give up and throw him in with the rest of her collection.
The Broken Hearts Gallery is written and directed by Natalie Krinsky (Grey's Anatomy, Gossip Girl). David Gross (Room) produces. Jesse Shapira, Jeff Arkuss, Josh Phillips, Natalie Krinsky, Chantelle Tabrizi, Andrew Robinson, Mathew Hart, Selena Gomez, Mandy Teefey, Mason Novick, Michelle Knudsen, Laurie May, and Noah Segal serve as executive producers. The Director of Photography is Alar Kivilo (The Blind Side). The Production Designer is Zazu Myers (The Grizzlies). The Editor is Shawn Paper (Girls). The Costume Designer is Lea Carlson (Room). The music is by Genevieve Vincent.
The romantic comedy stars Geraldine Viswanathan (Blockers), Dacre Montgomery (Stranger Things), Utkarsh Ambudkar, Molly Gordon (Booksmart), Phillipa Soo (Hamilton), Nathan Dales (Letterkenny), Bernadette Peters (Mozart in the Jungle), Ego Nwodim (SNL), Tattiawna Jones, Arturo Castro, Megan Ferguson, and Suki Waterhouse.
"I was 25 or 26 when I started writing this project," recalls Natalie Krinsky, writer-director of The Broken Hearts Gallery. A romantic comedy about a woman with a relentlessly and refreshingly positive attitude who refuses to be dragged down by the pain of heartbreak and real life, Krinsky drew from her own experiences to create a film that would find a special place in the hearts of the broken-hearted (which is all of us.) "I had had a bad breakup and was struggling to make my own way in the world, and I wanted to write a movie about a girl like me. That was the guiding principle."
After writing for popular television shows such as Gossip Girl and Grey's Anatomy, Krinsky was inspired to create something of her own that would speak of her experiences as a young woman navigating her way in the big city. "I've been a writer for a long time; my writing had been produced on television shows but not something that had gestated from my brain and my life."
Krinsky began a story centered on a young woman recovering from a broken heart who meets an aspiring hotelier. After a series of false starts they eventually agree to collaborate on both the hotel and a gallery housed within where the broken hearted can have keepsakes from their failed relationships displayed.
"We all keep the mementos of our past relationships - the ones that left us better and the ones that broke our hearts but helped us grow," says Selena Gomez, who executive produces the film. "It's good to have an object to spur those bittersweet memories every now and then. Those memories are part of what makes us who we are. So yes, I connected with this story right away."
Krinsky has always felt that the script had to "be bigger than just boy-meets-girl," she explains. Although the characters are charming and very, very funny, the charm and humor mask layers beneath. "This story is about what we do with pain, what we do with heartbreak," Krinsky continues. "It says something about the way that we love each other and the way that we experience connections with other people, whether they be romantic or platonic relationships."
"Natalie's script captured us immediately," says producer David Gross, a partner in No Trace Camping. "The screenplay is so much about what it's like to be in a city of nine million people, holding onto a bright, positive attitude and finding the people who make the connections that reinforce who you are. This is the kind of movie romantic comedies were made for."
"This is a movie about what it's like to be a young woman in her 20s, trying to live her best life with her two closest friends in the city, while both being there for one another to lend support but also challenging one another to make the most of every experience," says Geraldine Viswanathan, who plays Lucy, the character at the center of the story. "At the same time, Lucy is holding onto these mementos from her past - she has difficulty letting these memories just exist as memories of a time in her past."
Lucy's positivity and optimistic attitude are infectious and drive every aspect of the movie. For Krinsky, that's by design; she says that funny love stories - the term she prefers to 'rom-com' - "are innately optimistic, because you need to root for two people to end up together."
Gross declares, "Obviously, heart, emotion, and then it obviously needs to be funny and comedic. Those are the ingredients of a successful romantic comedy. The great ones - the Nora Ephron comedies and Richard Curtis comedies - are the kind of movies that inspired us and made us want to tell our own stories."
In reflection, Krinsky says that it was important that the story was told by a woman writer-director, because a woman writer-director brings a complex point of view that feels untold. "In some ways, the film embraces old school ideas about romance, like big romantic gestures. That's celebratory and fun. But I also think that it has really new school ideas about romance: ultimately the reason Lucy falls for Nick is that Nick respects her for who she is and also supports her success - that was one of the things I identified with most about her," Krinsky continues. "I think it's important for women to tell these stories, because these stories are layered and important, and the more we tell them, the more successful we can be."
And even though Krinsky had never directed before, she jumped in and embraced the chance. "My philosophy is that you dive right in, and figure it out along the way. My whole career has been trial by fire, in that you have to jump in and grab opportunities when they come to you. I'm so grateful."
In casting the film, Krinsky cast a wide net, opening the process to actors of any ethnicity and hiring a diverse cast. "One of our goals was that the movie should look and feel like New York," says Krinsky. "It was not hard to find incredible actors who were just right for their roles and also reflected the real world."
The role of the exuberant Lucy Gulliver is played by Geraldine Viswanathan. Lucy's approach to life is one of the qualities that caught Viswanathan's interest and motivated her to get involved in the film. "Lucy is a celebrator of life and happy moments. She is outgoing and warm and outrageous at times. Part of the reason why I wanted to do this movie as well is that Lucy is someone that I want to be friends with. She's got a big heart and feels things to the fullest." Her immediate rapport with Krinsky was another factor in her decision to sign on. "I really thought the script was very funny and sweet and refreshing. It had a really cool voice and after I met with Natalie, the voice behind it all, I fell in love with her."
Krinsky was similarly struck by Viswanathan. "When I first met, I said, "this is our girl," she recalls. "Geraldine is without question the most talented actress I've ever worked with. She brings an emotional depth and such wisdom to the character that even when Lucy is acting out you feel everything that she's feeling and that's a testament to Geraldine. She's an unbelievable star and I could never have hoped for someone as gifted as her."
"Geraldine's an amazing comedienne," comments Gross. "It's very rare, at any age, to find someone who's that naturally gifted with comedy." For him, the depth of her talent, her innate charm and charisma were the attributes that made her perfect for Lucy. "She's endearing, incredibly funny and insightful, and she asked all the right questions about the character and the world of the film. I was in awe of her every single day."
A familiar element of romantic comedy is the idea of polar opposites meeting and possibly falling in love. Nick, Lucy's polar opposite, is played by Dacre Montgomery. "Dacre is the classic romantic comedy lead," says Gross. "A huge breakout star of 'Stranger Things,' Dacre's the most handsome man in the galaxy for a kid who's 25. He's the perfect love interest to match with Geraldine."
Krinsky agrees. "Dacre really has a soulfulness, a depth, and a sweetness to him that is really good for Nick. Dacre brings real complexity to Nick. You take one look in those eyes and like, goodbye forever. We can all pass out."
Montgomery sees Nick as someone who "is quite reserved and who for a host of reasons has put up emotional walls around himself." Yet Nick is still open to new ventures and to love. Nick is in the process of creating a new hotel when he meets Lucy. "He's fascinated by the idea of a hotel being a watering hole where people can take off their backpacks and put away their luggage and experience something together," adds Montgomery. "He's also waiting to meet a really beautiful person that can treat him in the right way."
Viswanathan believes that Nick and Lucy met at the opportune time. "They've teamed up at the perfect moment in their lives where Nick is building the hotel and Lucy's had this idea for the gallery. He facilitates her efforts to make the dream a reality. Once they become a partnership in building something together, that's when they realise how important they are to each other."
Their on-camera chemistry is matched by their off-camera rapport. "It was so much fun working with Dacre, my fellow Australian," says Viswanathan. "We both learned from each other. He comes from more of a dramatic background; I have more of a comedic background. We, in the way of Lucy and Nick, complement each other." Montgomery is equally effusive about his working relationship with Viswanathan. "Geraldine is so talented. She's an extremely lovely person and I think it's exactly what Nick and Lucy needed. We had a lot of great banter that works really well in the script. But I was most impressed by her ability to improvise so effortlessly. And I love that. I learned a lot."
Max Vora, the gallery director and Lucy's boss, is the other man in Lucy's life, played by Utkarsh Ambudkar. "We saw Utkarsh at Sundance last year," recalls Gross. "He was in Brittany Runs a Marathon, one of the festival's breakout films. He was so funny and so charming. We were looking for a Hugh Grant type and Utkarsh was the perfect choice."
Ambudkar met Viswanathan during Sundance as well and the idea of working with her was a definite draw. "It's really exciting and fun that Geraldine is our leading lady," says Ambudkar. "The opportunity to work with her was really exciting to me. And then to work with her three months later was pretty exciting. She's phenomenal."
"Utkarsh embodies the Max role," says Krinsky. "He's got this really amazing wit and dry sense of humor and a real suaveness that he brings to Max. We understand immediately why Lucy is taken by this sophisticated, sexy, intelligent person who seems to just move through the world with such ease and in such a grown-up way."
"Max is a different role than any I've played," continues Ambudkar. "He's this smooth, over-confident, well-dressed type. He has genuine feelings for Lucy but he's not over an ex. He is a member of the Broken Hearts Gallery whether or not he wants to admit it. And so, he's unable to give Lucy the love that she deserves."
"Lucy falls head over heels for Max because he's kind of the dream guy," offers Viswanathan. "He's got his life together; he woos her, wines her, and dines her." They have an enviable life together there are clear issues that could lead to conflict. "There's a definite imbalance. They're in very different places in their lives and she looks up to him. She has him on a pedestal."
Friendship is a very important feature in this story. Lucy and Nick's friends stabilise and keep their lives on track. Molly Gordon as Amanda and Phillipa Soo as Nadine play Lucy's best friends and roommates. "Molly in the role of Amanda is just an absolute delight. Molly marries a sharp wit and a lovability to Amanda and lets Lucy sneak into her heart," comments Krinsky. "Not only is Phillipa an incredibly talented actress and obviously has a set of pipes, but she expresses how sweet and caring Nadine is. Phillipa has this way of mothering everyone around her, enveloping everyone in a sweet and kind and generous embrace. It was just a natural fit."
Of Amanda, Gordon comments, "Amanda is very weird. She has been in a relationship for six years with Jeff, but he doesn't speak. That's where the humor comes in their relationship."
"Nadine's been in a lot of relationships with lots of women and is a bit of a serial heartbreaker," Soo explains. "Out of all the characters, Nadine has the most positive outlook on heartbreak, but she tends to be the heartbreaker. Throughout the film, we see her understand and realise that."
"What I love about the way Natalie wrote is that each of the girls are very different. They have a shared love and a beautiful support, and none of the comedy comes out of being mean to each other," continues Gordon.
This is yet another element inspired by Krinsky's life. "Nadine, Amanda and Lucy are an ode to my own girlfriends," remarks Krinsky. "There's something about moving to a big city in your 20s. The people that end up being your family in those moments are your friends. I wanted that foundation in Lucy's life to be stable, and be the undying love underneath this funny love story despite the men that might come in and out of Lucy's life."
Soo concludes, "The female friendships are so magical and wonderful. It helps that Molly and Geraldine and I really hit it off. It was really fun to create that relationship."
The friendship between Nick and his contractor friend Marcos, played by Arturo Castro, parallels the one enjoyed by Lucy, Nadine, and Amanda. They joke and tease, but they also offer each other constructive criticism and support when needed. "Nick is someone who shields himself from the world. Marcos tries to push his friend out of his shell," says Krinsky.
"Marcos and Nick's friendship is really honest," comments Castro. "You always meet somebody in your life that gives it to you straight, even when it hurts. Marcos thrives on making situations that are uncomfortable really obvious. And it's really fun to play a character that just says what is on his mind."
"We've had such a gift with Arturo because not only is he such a brilliant comedian and smart insightful person, but he also brought this whole dimension to Marcos," Krinsky continues. "He brought a deep sense of humor and even more sarcasm to that role. What Marcos has in his life, a wife and a budding family, has come from my own experiences."
Eva Woolf's word can make or break a young artist or curator wanting to move up in New York's art world. The filmmakers needed someone for the role who could project that power lightly but clearly. Fortunately, they were able to land an icon: Bernadette Peters, who had an instant connection to the material. "I really loved the script," she says. "I really thought it well written and it's a wonderful sweet, funny love story with a touching heart to it."
Lucy and Eva show how women can nurture and support each other to achieve professional success. "Eva sees a little of herself in Lucy when she was young and didn't know much about life," says Peters. "She sees Lucy's potential. And as Eva said, "When you see talent you grab it and you nurture it." And that's what she's done all her life."
"There still aren't that many female gallery owners today with the power we imagine Eva has in the film," adds Krinsky. "Eva wants Lucy to succeed. When Lucy doesn't step up, Eva is hard on her because she wants her to continue to grow into her potential."
Ambudkar had many scenes with Peters and confesses to being a fanboy. "Bernadette Peters is a living legend. She's super gracious, regal, and really fun to be around," remarks Ambudkar. "It's nice when you meet someone who you really look up to and aspire to be in many regards and they're open and welcoming."
Ego Nwodim who plays Harvard, Eva Woolf's assistant, Tattiawna Jones as Max's ex, Suki Waterhouse as Chloe, Nick's ex, and Megan Ferguson as Marcos' wife Randy are also part of the ensemble cast. Celebrated LA chef Roy Choi makes a cameo as himself, and so does super model Taylor Hill. "Roy Choi is one of our favorite chefs in Los Angeles. He was gracious enough to fly down and play the role of the chef. We were thrilled to have him," explains Gross. "Taylor is an incredible, global super star model; a Victoria's Secret angel. She came in and she was fantastic."
The Broken Hearts Gallery takes place primarily in New York's art scene. It's an environment Krinsky has found fascinating since college. "I've always regretted that I wasn't an art history major in college," she recalls. "The art world is an easy world to make fun of but I didn't want to do that. I come to it from a place of admiration because that's how Lucy comes to it. Like a lot of contemporary artists, she has a way of looking at the world that she sees art and meaning in a variety of different things, even in the trash."
Production designer Zazu Myers had to interpret Eva and Lucy's individual visions of the art world. The Eva Woolf Gallery showcases contemporary artists whose works command high prices and receive glowing reviews. The artwork displayed in the Eva Woolf Gallery scenes was that of Calgary-based artist Sondra Meszaros. "Her work explores counter narratives of female sexuality," explains Myers. "The moment Natalie and I saw her work we knew it was perfect."
Myers continues, "We imagined Lucy as having a budding art collection of her own, and her bedroom features the work of photographer Rachel Woroner." Of course, next to these fine-art pieces are the pieces of her own: the airplane barf bags, ticket stubs, little plastic bags filled with string or old paint, and other objects she has curated (don't say hoarded!) and tacked up right next to the art.
Myers, Krinsky, and director of photography Alar Kivilo cemented their creative relationship during their first meeting by sharing personal stories about why certain objects held special significance for them. "Fired up by this first meeting we set our sights on how best to mount Broken Hearts Gallery; how to best capture both the humor and the emotion of the story," recalls Kivilo. "The three of us never stopped discussing, intuiting and inspiring each other."
He continues. "Natalie and I also went to various locations with stand-ins to create rough photo-boards. Trying out different angles and blocking ideas outside the pressure cooker of actual shooting gave us both an opportunity to find the rhythm and style of our on-set working relationship. These "dress rehearsals" were very useful and by the time we started shooting, Natalie and I were joined at the hip."
The spirit of collaboration carried through in the creation of the centerpiece of the Chloe Hotel, the Broken Hearts Gallery, with its artifacts of love lost and mourned. Myers describes the process. "Natalie had a raffle for prizes where our crew would write their suggestions for objects for the gallery, some heartfelt, and some funny, real or invented. She was very interested in having large scale interactive installations in the gallery, and we wanted them to connect with the hotel in site specific way." One of the installations was titled 'Leave Your Baggage', where people could write down the thing they always wanted to say to their ex on a slip of paper, and slip it into a plexiglass box we built on a gold hotel luggage cart.
The Broken Hearts Gallery was shot primarily on location in Toronto, with many of the exteriors photographed in New York on and around the High Line, which runs through Chelsea, known as the location of a wide range of contemporary art galleries, and at the Brooklyn Flea Market in the DUMBO neighbourhood. The scenes of the New York skyline and the Manhattan Bridge illustrate Soo's description of her first reaction to the script. "I live in New York and the screenplay is really just a love letter to the city and being young and trying to find your way."
Cast and crew alike were inspired by the spirit Krinsky brought as a writer and director. "I always welcome collaborating with directors who are also writers since they are strong guardians of story and don't easily get sidetracked by purely aesthetic choices," offers Kivilo. "That's a great combination because she knows exactly what her intentions are, why she wrote it and the world she's created," comments Peters. Montgomery appreciated the freedom granted to the cast. "Natalie has been amazing. She encouraged improvisation and was great at figuring out what adjustments a scene needs in order for it to flow through the course of the narrative in a better way. For a writer to come into the position of director and to make and build and allow the story to evolve is a special thing."
Myers adds. "Natalie is the kind of director who dances between takes. She gave a speech every day thanking the crew for their continued hard work. The result of which was a positive atmosphere on set, and a crew dedicated to making her vision happen. They'll write books about her in the future and call it The Krinsky Method. She is an absolute inspiration." Kivilio agrees. "Natalie brings to the set qualities that I admire in all great directors, a spirit of collaboration, kindness and above all, fun."
Working with director Natalie Krinsky, music supervisor Melany Mitchell curated a soundtrack of songs that captured the challenge of staying bright and optimistic within a world of broken hearts. "Natalie was living with this movie for a long time and listening to music the whole time," says Mitchell, noting that the filmmakers brought a clear sense of the film's tone to their conversations about what the movie's sound should be. "A lot of my favourite writers listen to music while they work, and the music influences what comes out. So when Natalie would say to me, 'This feels like our movie' about a song I'd picked, that felt great."
The film kicks off with "I Remember," an emotional but upbeat song about a relationship that's ended. Mitchell and Krinsky put this song over a title sequence that features mementos from Lucy's past breakups as those objects loom large over Manhattan. "Choosing that song was a great example of what was so fun about this job - there were a ton of fun songs to listen to, different tempos to pair with different visuals that would get people into the groove of the ride they were about to go on. At first, we were all over the map, but we kept coming back to the lyrics of Betty Who - conveying nostalgia and memory but also hope and love."
Midway through the film, the characters celebrate a birthday at a "murder-karaoke" birthday party. "Amanda is into true crime - so she says the theme combines her two favorite things, murder and karaoke," Mitchell explains. "So, for the first two songs, we picked songs that fit the theme - 'Sweet but Psycho' and 'I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight.'"
For the latter, the director put the song into the golden throat of Phillipa Soo. After bringing audiences to tears as the originator of Eliza (Schuyler) Hamilton on Broadway, would the Tony nominee have the pipes to handle Cutting Crew's biggest hit? "Honestly, it's a dream to hear Phillipa sing anything at all. 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' would have been fine," says Mitchell. Still, it's important to note that Soo was performing in character - at this point, she's been drinking, and the character is not a Broadway performer. "Natalie gave her the direction to make it sound bad," says Mitchell. Whether it sounds bad or not is in the ear of the listener, but it's a moment that called for the character of Nadine to emote - and Soo goes to town.
"Then the evening changes," Mitchell notes. "Lucy and Nick duet on 'Don't Go Breaking My Heart' - a song that they reprise later in the movie, at a very important moment for Lucy - and then the gang wrap up the night with Miley Cyrus' 'Party in the USA'."
Two songs from Headband made it into the film - "Rebel" and "On That." "They're so much fun," says Mitchell. "We wanted songs that could underscore the momentum of the gallery as it's building popularity, but nothing super well-known - a danceable moment that you can attribute to this movie."
Billie Eilish's "Everything I Wanted" comes at the moment when it seems as if Lucy may lose the gallery. "That was a Natalie pick," says Mitchell. "She felt strongly that it needed to go into the movie."
Finally, the movie ends on another rousing dance moment. The scene was filmed before music was added, which left Mitchell searching for just the right song for everyone to dance to. "I'd been thinking it would be an EDM or techno moment, but because the footage was already shot, we had to get the tempo exactly right, and nothing matched up perfectly," Mitchell remembers. "Then I was in New York and I went to Ingrid Michaelson's Holiday Hop. She mostly does holiday songs, but she did perform a few originals, including 'Young and In Love,' and the crowd went wild. It was a song I never would have thought of for the movie until that moment - I thought it was crazy but it might work. I went home that night, laid the track over the end, and sent it to Natalie - what do you think? And she loved it, but again, it wasn't quite the right tempo - as great as the song is, we needed it with a little more of a dance temp. Could the band make it work? All I could do was ask - and they did! They remixed it just for us, specific to this movie, and we're so excited about it. You don't often get to randomly pitch something and have it work out perfectly."
Mitchell concludes by saying that the movie's bright and optimistic sound is a perfect reflection of the movie that Krinsky made. "I think this is exactly the movie that the world needs right now," she says.
Australian actress Geraldine Viswanathan (Lucy Gulliver) has quickly succeeded in establishing her career in television and film.
Most recently, Viswanathan can be seen starring opposite Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney in the HBO film Bad Education, directed by Cory Finley (Thoroughbreds). Based on the true events that writer Mike Makowsky experienced at his high school, the film follows the unfolding of the single largest public-school embezzlement scandal in history. The film, which originally premiered to rave reviews at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, debuted on HBO on April 25, 2020.
On January 29, 2021, Viswanathan will voice the role of Winnie in Rumble, an animated sports comedy movie about the world of wrestling. The pic will also feature Will Arnett and Terry Crews.
Viswanathan also recently reprised her role alongside Daniel Radcliffe and Steve Buscemi in season two of the TBS anthology comedy series Miracle Workers. The second season, Miracle Workers: The Dark Ages, was set in The Dark Ages whereas the first season, which premiered in February 2019, took place in Heaven when God (Buscemi) decided to destroy Earth, and two low-level angels (Viswanathan and Radcliffe) had to convince their boss to save humanity. Executive Produced by Lorne Michaels, the series was created by Simon Rich and is based-off of his book, What in God's Name.
In November 2019, Viswanathan starred as the title character in the coming-of-age drama Hala. The film first premiered as part of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and was subsequently picked up by Apple TV+. Hala opened in select theaters on November 22, 2019 and then became available on Apple on December 6, 2019. Written and directed by Minhal Baig, the story follows a sixteen-year old Muslim girl living in Chicago under the strict, religious rules of her parents. When she meets a boy from the skate park, she experiences a real and immediate connection and must face the consequences of their developing relationship. Critic Jason Bailey of The Playlist said, Geraldine Viswanathan's performance confirmed what 2018's 'Blockers' suggested: this is a movie star in the making. Overbrook Entertainment produced Hala with Jada Pinkett-Smith serving as executive producer.
In August 2018, Viswanathan starred in the Netflix original comedy The Package. Produced by Ben Stiller, the dark comedy follows a teenage boy during a camping trip when a horrible accident occurs, leaving him and his friends to save his virility before it's too late. Directed by Jake Szymanski, the film also stars Sugar Lyn Beard, Sadie Calavno, and Alexander Calvert.
In April 2018, Viswanathan had her breakout role as Kayla opposite Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, and John Cena in the Universal comedy Blockers. Directed by Kay Cannon, the film follows three best friends who make a sex-pact to lose their virginity on prom night, while their parents try to do everything in their power to stop them. The film was produced by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and James Weaver, under their Point Grey Pictures banner.
Viswanathan preciously appeared in Spice Sisters, which won the Short Screenplay Award at the Sydney Film Festival, one of Australia's most distinguished festivals. She also played a starring role in Australia's feature comedy Emo the Musical, directed by Neil Triffett. The film won third place as Most Popular Feature at the Melbourne International Film Festival, and was an official selection at the Berlin Film Festival in February 2017.
Viswanathan has also appeared in the Australian television series Janet King, and was a finalist for Australians in Film's prestigious Heath Ledger Scholarship.
Dacre Montgomery (Nick) is best known for his role as Billy Hargrove in season 2 and 3 of Netflix's hit series Stranger Things.
In addition to his film and television work, Montgomery also wrote and produced beat poetry podcast, DKMH. The podcast features his spoken word poetry with accompanying music from various musicians and is a meditative, confronting and relatable depiction of what drives him and how his experiences have shaped him.
In 2017, Montgomery made his big screen debut starring in Power Rangers as Jason Lee Scott, the Red Ranger.
An Australian native, Montgomery graduated from the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts at Edith Cowan University in 2015 with his degree in acting. He currently resides in Sydney, Australia.
2020 should prove to be quite a year for multihyphenate Utkarsh Ambudkar (Max Vora), one of the freshest, smartest, most relevant voices in the business right now.
Utkarsh is next to star opposite Rose McIver in the CBS single camera comedy pilot Ghosts, from Joe Port & Joe Wiseman, Lionsgate Television, BBC Studios and CBS Television Studios. Later this year, he will be seen in Free Guy opposite Ryan Reynolds, Taika Waititi, Jodie Comer, Joe Keery, and Lil Rel Howery. In 2021, he will be seen on Disney+ in Godmothered, reuniting with Jillian Bell and alongside Isla Fisher.
Ambudkar's film credits include the Sundance darlings Blindspotting and Brittany Runs a Marathon. In the latter, Ambudkar is the romantic lead to the titular character (Jillian Bell), an underachieving hot mess of a 27-year-old woman who decides to take control of her life -- one New York City block at a time. Brittany Runs a Marathon marks the directorial debut of award-winning playwright Paul Downs Colaizzo. Material Pictures' Tobey Maguire and Matthew Plouffe and Picture Films' Margot Hand produce. His features resume includes Universal's Ride Along 2 with Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, with whom he also co-starred in Barbershop 3, and Game Over, Man!
A rapper and creative force from a young age, Ambudkar was an original member of The Beatards, a NYC-based underground hip-hop group (early aughts) that performed alongside acts like Santigold, Azealia Banks, G-Easy, Public Enemy, Questlove and more. His work with the Beatards eventually helped Ambudkar land the role of Donald, a member of the competitive Treblemakers in Pitch Perfect with Anna Kendrick, Elizabeth Banks and Rebel Wilson.
Following Pitch Perfect, Ambudkar snagged the role of Rishi in The Mindy Project. More recently for television, he played Raj, a young, charismatic announcer pitted against Hank Azaria's Brockmire in the second season of the IFC series. Ambudkar's TV credits also include Showtime's White Famous, where he regularly stole scenes as a Hollywood agent, House of Lies, with Don Cheadle, TNT's Legends, a recurring arc on ABC's The Muppets and a guest role on Hulu's anthology series Dimension 404. In 2016, Ambudkar played Apu's nephew Jay, the first Indian-American actor to lend his voice to The Simpsons. A year later, in comedian Hari Kondabolu's documentary The Problem with Apu (2017), Ambudkar discussed the cultural ripple effects of one of the few Indian characters on TV.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Ambudkar trained at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. While in New York, he acted in various plays and received a Lucille Lortel Award nomination for his work in Animals Out of Paper, by Rajiv Joseph at the Second Stage Theatre.
Originating the role of Aaron Burr in the developmental readings of Hamilton, Ambudkar later reunited with Lin-Manuel Miranda as part of the improvisational rap group Freestyle Love Supreme, named in tribute to the John Coltrane jazz suite. Accompanied by keyboards and beats, the group performs spoken and sung numbers that are created in real time based on suggestions from the audience. The group performed at a variety of festivals and venues around the world and episodes ran on Pivot in 2014 and Seeso two years later. Just this year, Ambudkar and his cohorts reconvened for Freestyle Love Supreme's Broadway run at the Booth Theater to rave reviews. Thomas Kail (Hamilton, In the Heights) directs and produces along with Miranda, Jill Furman and Jon Steingart.
Ambudkar's debut album Vanity also dropped in 2018. His brand of raw and melodic hip-hop addresses race, the first generation immigrant experience, politics and Hollywood and also features Ambudkar's old rap crew, including Miranda, Blindspotting's Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal, and a variety of South Asian artists such as Das Racist's Heems, Brooklyn Shanti, Kaly, and Samora Pinderhughes.
Molly Gordon (Amanda) co-starred alongside Melissa McCarthy in the Warner Bros/New Line comedy feature film Life of the Party and recently appeared in Olivia Wilde's directorial debut film Booksmart. She was most recently seen starring in the Universal Pictures comedy Good Boys directed by Lee Eisenberg & Gene Stupnitsky for Seth Rogen's Point Grey Pictures. Additionally, Gordon starred as Nicky in the TNT drama Animal Kingdom, based on the 2010 Australian film of the same name.
Other TV credits include Ramy on Hulu, Orange is the New Black, Sin City Saints, and the voice of Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Stephen Colbert's Our Cartoon President. Her other credits include Sweeney Todd and Love the Coopers.
Phillipa Soo (Nadine) is best known for originating the role of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton in Broadway's critically acclaimed show Hamilton, which she joined shortly after its inception. The role garnered her the Lucille Lortel Award in 2015 for Lead Actress in a Musical during the shows pre-Broadway, sold-out run at The Public Theater as well as earning her a 2016 Tony Award nomination. She is also featured in the Chicago Hamilton Exhibition which opened in the Spring of 2019.
Soo recently starred as Harper Li on the CBS drama The Code and was also seen in the feature film Here and Now opposite Sarah Jessica Parker. She also voices lead roles in two upcoming animated features, Netflix's Over the Moon and Disney+'s The One and Only Ivan.
In 2018, she co-starred on Broadway opposite Uma Thurman in the play The Parisian Woman, and in 2017, Soo played the title role in the Broadway musical Amelie, based on the Academy Award®-winning 2001 French film.
Soo also originated the role of Natasha Rostova in the 2012 Ars Nova production of Dave Malloy's Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812. She is a graduate of the Juilliard School Drama Division.
Nathan Dales (Jeff) was born and raised in Calgary, AB. After graduating from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts (Los Angeles) in 2008, Dales moved to Vancouver, B.C. to begin his acting career in film and television.
Best known for his role as Daryl in the hit comedy series Letterkenny, Dales has also appeared in Goon, directed by Jay Baruchel.
Throughout her illustrious career, Bernadette Peters (Eva Woolf) has dazzled audiences and critics with her performances on stage, film and television, in concert, and on recordings.
Best known for her work on stage, Peters recently starred on Broadway as Dolly Gallagher Levi in the hit musical, Hello, Dolly! She also enjoys a career which boasts an impressive list of television credits, including Amazon Prime's highly popular Mozart in the Jungle, which won the 2016 Golden Globe for Best TV Comedy or Musical series. She also appears in the CBS All-Access series, The Good Fight, a spin-off of the network's popular series, The Good Wife.
One of Broadway's most critically acclaimed performers, Peters has garnered numerous accolades including three Tony Awards, a Golden Globe, three Emmy and four Grammy Award nominations and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Other recent theater credits include City Center's Encores! Production A Bed and a Chair: A New York Love Affair, featuring the music of Stephen Sondheim and orchestrations by Wynton Marsalis and on Broadway, as well as productions of Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music and Follies.
Peters received both the Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for her performance in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Song and Dance. She also won a Tony Award for her performance in Annie Get Your Gun. She received Tony nominations for her outstanding performances in Sam Mendes' critically acclaimed revival of Gypsy, in Neil Simon's The Goodbye Girl, Stephen Sondheim's Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Sunday in the Park with George, the Jerry Herman/Gower Champion ode to the movies Mack and Mabel, and the Leonard Bernstein/Comden and Green musical On The Town. In addition to these honors, Peters earned a Drama Desk nomination for her unforgettable portrayal of the Witch in Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods.
Other television credits include NBC-TV's Smash, ABC-TV's Grey's Anatomy and Ugly Betty, to name a few. In addition to starring in the Lifetime TV movie Living Proof, Peters has lit up the silver screen in 17 films throughout her distinguished career. She received a Golden Globe Award for her memorable performance in Pennies from Heaven. Other film credits include The Jerk, The Longest Yard, Silent Movie, Annie, Pink Cadillac, Slaves of New York, Woody Allen's Alice, Impromptu, It Runs in the Family, and Coming Up Roses.
Peters has recorded six solo albums, including the Grammy-nominated I'll Be Your Baby Tonight, Sondheim, Etc.: Bernadette Peters Live at Carnegie Hall, and Bernadette Peters Loves Rodgers & Hammerstein, in addition to numerous original Broadway cast recordings.
Peters devotes her time and talents to numerous events that benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Her pet project Broadway Barks, co-founded with Mary Tyler Moore, is an annual, star-studded dog and cat adoption event that benefits shelter animals in the New York City area. She is a New York Times best-selling author who has penned three children's books: Broadway Barks, Stella is a Star, and Stella and Charlie: Friends Forever. All of her proceeds from the sale of these books benefit Broadway Barks. Peters resides in New York with her rescue dogs, Charlie and Rosalia.
Ego Nwodim (Harvard) joined the cast of NBC's Saturday Night Live at the start of season 44. A graduate of the University of Southern California, Nwodim holds a bachelor's degree in biology. She was a mainstay at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles and was selected as a New Face in 2016 for Montreal's Just for Laughs Festival. She was featured in the 2016 CBS Diversity Showcase and in 2017 wrote and performed her first-ever one-woman show, Great Black Women... and Then There's Me, for a sold-out run in Los Angeles. Ego is a frequent guest on the popular Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast and was recently selected for Variety's 2019 Comedy Impact Report.
Arturo Castro (Macros) is the writer, executive producer, and star of the new Comedy Central show Alternatino. Based on Castro's own web-series of the same name, Alternatino is a variety series centered around the Latinx millennial experience. He may also be seen in Disney+'s CGI/live-action remake of the classic Lady and the Tramp as well as in Henry-Alex Rubin's upcoming independent feature Semper Fi opposite Jai Courtney, Leighton Meester, and Finn Wittrock.
Castro first broke out in the beloved role of 'Jaime' in the Comedy Central series Broad City, and notably starred in the 3rd season of the Netflix hit series Narcos. Prior to that, he was seen in Amy Schumer's Fox comedy Snatched, the Netflix Original comedy Deidra & Laney Rob a Train (Sundance 2017), the independent feature Bushwick (Sundance and Cannes 2017), and Ang Lee's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk opposite Vin Diesel.
Megan Ferguson (Randy) is quickly becoming one of Hollywood's most sough-after talents with notable roles in both film and television. Ferguson currently stars alongside Jenna Dewan, Callie Hernandez, and Paul James in the upcoming romantic musical drama series Soundtrack, which launched on Netflix on December 18th. Created by Josh Safran, Soundtrack follows the love stories connecting an eclectic group of people in modern-day Los Angeles. This winter, Ferguson will also be seen recurring on the tenth season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Ferguson's previous TV credits include recurring roles on Casual, where she was praised by The New York Times for her screwball-comedy vibe, Easy, Grace & Frankie, The Comedians, and Mad Men. On the film side, Ferguson's feature credits include The Disaster Artist, Suburbicon, Bad Moms, Handsome, and the 2016 Sundance closing night film The Fundamentals of Caring, alongside Paul Rudd & Selena Gomez, a performance The Hollywood Reporter called "mesmeric". Ferguson currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, the actor Nico Evers-Swindell.
In 2016, The Hollywood Reporter honored Suki Waterhouse (Chloe) as one of the rising stars under 35 in their annual Next Generation list. Variety named her one of the 10 Brits to watch in 2018.
Waterhouse was most recently seen in the Pathé comedy-drama Misbehaviour, where she plays Miss USA alongside Keira Knightley and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. She is currently working on the Amazon series Daisy Jones and the Six. Reese Witherspoon is producing the series, based on Taylor Jenkins Reid's critically acclaimed, best-selling novel, through her production company Hello Sunshine.
Waterhouse made her acting debut in the thriller Pusher. She was next seen in the romantic comedy Love, Rosie alongside Lily Collins and Sam Claflin. She had a standout performance as Marlene in Insurgent, the second film in the Divergent franchise. In 2016, Waterhouse was seen as Kitty Bennet in the Sony action film Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. That year, Waterhouse also starred in The Bad Batch. The film, directed by Ana Lily Amirpour, had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival where it received nominations for the Golden Lion, Volpi Cup for Best Actress, Grand Jury Prize and several other categories. The Bad Batch went on to have a premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and was picked up by Neon Films for distribution.
In 2018, Waterhouse starred in Assassination Nation. The Sam Levinson film had its premiere at Sundance Film Festival, and was the biggest sale at the festival. The critically acclaimed film went on to have a Hall H panel at Comic Con and TIFF Midnight Madness screening.
Waterhouse starred opposite Ansel Elgort in Jonathan, and the film premiered at 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. Waterhouse also has a supporting role as a Manson girl in Mary Harron's Charlie Says, which had its world premiere at the 2018 Venice Film Festival and had its US premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.
Last summer, Waterhouse had a cameo in the Warner Bros. film Detective Pikachu.
Taylor Marie Hill (Taylor) is a 23-year-old model and actress who currently can be seen in Nicolas Winding Refn and Amazon's Too Old to Die Young, which premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. 2019 proved to be Hill's busiest acting year yet. She wrapped on two projects in addition to The Broken Hearts Gallery: Dating in New York with comedian Jaboukie Young-White and Universal Pictures' Pay It as It Lies with Ryan Hansen and Iliza Shlesinger. Previously, Hill made her acting debut in Nic Refn's The Neon Demon.
In 2008, Roy Choi (as Himself) and a crew of friends & family started what would be the beginning of the intersection between food, technology, culture, entrepreneurship, and long lines. That comet was called Kogi BBQ and it made a splash on the streets of LA, being the first to use Twitter and usher in a whole new generation of eaters and followers to what would be called America's first viral restaurant by Newsweek.
Choi was named Food & Wine Best New Chef 2010, TIME 100 Most Influential People in the World 2016, LA Times Restaurant of the Year 2017, and has an award winning New York Times Bestseller memoir called, L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food.
He resides in Los Angeles, California where he oversees Kogi BBQ, Chego!, A-Frame, Alibi Room, LocoL, and his first restaurant outside California called Best Friend at Park MGM, Las Vegas. Choi is co-producer on the movie Chef and executive producer/co-host on the subsequent, The Chef Show on Netflix. He is also executive producer and host of the socially conscious television show Broken Bread on KCET and Tastemade, and is a highly recognised speaker at events and panels worldwide.