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Trans Actresses Daniela Vega & Jen Richards Join Tales of the City

Trans Actresses Daniela Vega & Jen Richards Join Tales of the City

Daniela Vega and Jen Richards
From left: Daniela Vega and Jen Richards

Netflix's reboot of Armistead Maupin's beloved LGBTQ story also includes original cast members Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis. 

The 1993 Tales of the City miniseries, based on Armistead Maupin's novel, was a revelation of queer representation when it aired on PBS. Now the franchise is stepping into the 21st century with a Netflix redux that has just cast two transgender actresses; A Fantastic Woman's Daniela Vega and Her Story'sJen Richards, who will portray the young Anna Madrigal, the trans character Olympia Dukakis originated, according to IndieWire.

Fans of the original need not worry that the reboot will abandon Tales of the City's beloved, established characters, considering that Dukakis will be back to reprise the present-day Madrigal in the 10-episode limited series. Meanwhile, Laura Linney still stars as central character Mary Ann, whose wide-eyed young woman in the big city circa the '70s was the anchor of the book and original series.

Vega, who starred in the Oscar-winning foreign language film A Fantastic Woman, will play Ysela, young Anna Madrigal's friend in the flashbacks. The new show's plot, according to the official synopsis from Netflix, is as follows:

"This next chapter follows Mary Ann who returns home to San Francisco and is reunited with her daughter and ex-husband Brian, twenty years after leaving them behind to pursue her career. Fleeing the midlife crisis that her picture perfect Connecticut life created, Mary Ann returns home to her chosen family and will quickly be drawn back into the orbit of Anna Madrigal (Dukakis) and the residents of 28 Barbary Lane."

If the show weren't queer enough, out actress Ellen Page signed on to play Mary Ann's daughter, Shawna, earlier this year.

Netflix also announced several other new cast members, including RuPaul's Drag Race's Caldwell Tidicue (Bob the Drag Queen), Murray Bartlett and Matthew Risch from Looking, and Paul Gross, who will reprise his role as Brian, according to IndieWire. The series is expected to be released next year.

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Tracy E. Gilchrist