In his new series, gay auteur Ryan Murphy recreates the glittering Golden Age of American film—but with a twist.
“Hollywood” will debut on Netflix on May 1. The seven-episode limited series follows a group of aspiring actors and filmmakers in post-World War II Hollywood as they try to make it in Tinseltown—no matter what the cost.
“Hollywood” exposes the power dynamics and unfair systems and biases across race, gender and sexuality that continue to drive the industry. Murphy’s twist is to wonder what American film might have looked like if these traditional power dynamics had been dismantled.
Executive Producer Janet Mock, who also served as a writer and director on the series, explains: “With the present so fraught and the future uncertain, we turned to the past for direction, uncovering buried history to spin an aspirational tale of what ifs: What if a band of outsiders were given a chance to tell their own story? What if the person with greenlight power was a woman? The screenwriter a black man?
What if the heroine was a woman of color? The matinee idol openly gay? And what if they were all invited into the room where the decisions are made, entering fully and unapologetically themselves to leave victorious and vaunted, their place in history cemented.”
“HOLLYWOOD is a love letter to our little industry town where dreamers dwell, stars are born, and magic transcends reality.”
Characters include a dazzling array of reimagined celebrities like Hattie McDaniel, George Cukor, Vivian Leigh and Hedda Hopper, as well as a variety of fresh faces. The cast is headed by LGBT icon and ally Patti LuPone, along with Darren Criss, Dylan McDermott, Maude Apatow, Samara Weaving and out actors Joe Mantello, Jim Parsons and Holland Taylor.