ByAllanah Faherty, writer at Creators.co
Staff Writer and resident Walking Dead expert at MP. Tweet me @bananallanah or email [email protected]
Allanah Faherty

Earlier this week the official trailer for Baz Luhrmann's upcoming Netflix series, The Get Down was released and promptly got us psyched for the series debut on August 12.

Luhrmann has been working on The Get Down for a decade, and the series has even earned the honor of being Netflix most expensive series — due to production extensions and New York state tax incentives — coming in at around $120 million. But it appears that high price has paid for a stellar production, because The Get Down looks absolutely fantastic:

Set in New York in the late 1970s, The Get Down is the largely true story of the birth of hip-hop among the last days of disco. The series is highly musically driven (which will come as no surprise to fans of Luhrmann, who directed films such as The Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge) and concerned with a group of kids living in the South Bronx.

The cast of the series is a mix of brand new actors, and familiar faces, but all have some insane talent which is about to the shown to the world. Take a look below and acquaint yourself with the characters of The Get Down, as well as with the gifted cast behind them:

Shameik Moore - Shaolin 'Shao' Fantastic

Moore as Shao on right [Netflix]
Moore as Shao on right [Netflix]

Shameik Moore: You might already be familiar with Moore from his work as the lead in the 2015 film Dope, for which he was nominated for a Critics' Choice award, or as part of Cartoon Network's Incredible Crew. Aside from his acting, Moore is also a talented singer and rapper, recording with Pharrell and releasing his mixtape I Am Da Beat in 2012.

Shaolin 'Shao' Fantastic: In The Get Down, Shao is the cool, independent thrill-seeker who is tuned into the underground scene. Despite being some what a lone wolf, his charismatic personality allows him to rally a group to bring his musical vision to life.

Jimmy Smits - Francisco 'Papa Fuerte' Cruz

Smits as Papa Fuerte [Netflix]
Smits as Papa Fuerte [Netflix]

Jimmy Smits: A well known face from films such as Star Wars: Episode II and III as well as TV series such as NYPD Blue and Sons of Anarchy, Emmy and Golden Globe winning Jimmy Smits is one of the more established actors on the series.

Francisco 'Papa Fuerte' Cruz: Papa Fuertes is a hustler and by using his position as head of Community Multi-Services Center he has become involved in the NYC political world. He will do anything it takes to try and draw attention to his struggling neighborhood, the South Bronx, even forging agreements and alliances with the mayor to bring much needed federal aid. But he's also got family at the heart of his goals, namely helping his niece, Mylene, achieve her goal of singing with disco legends.

Skylan Brooks - Ronald 'Ra-Ra' Kipling

Brooks as Ra-Ra on far left [Netflix]
Brooks as Ra-Ra on far left [Netflix]

Skylan Brooks: At just 17, Skylan Brooks already has an impressive resumé. Best known for playing Mister in The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete (for which he was nominated for a Young Artist Award), he also starred in Seven Pounds, Southpaw, and TV series iCarly and Childrens Hospital.

Ronald 'Ra-Ra' Kipling: Ra-Ra is the middle son of the Kipling family, and like many middle children is the voice of reason. As the one with his head screwed on, Ra-Ra is both a loyal and protective friend and brother.

Tremaine Brown Jr. - Mile 'Boo Boo' Kipling

Brown as Boo-Boo in striped shirt [Netflix]
Brown as Boo-Boo in striped shirt [Netflix]

Tremaine Brown Jr.: A Bronx native, Tremaine Brown Jr. was discovered by the casting director of The Get Down while rapping on the NYC subway. This might be his first acting role, but prior to being cast, Brown also recorded three albums.

Mile 'Boo Boo' Kipling: The youngest of the Kipling family, Boo Boo is the classic tag-a-long little brother, full of undying curiosity, energy and also fascination for understanding the mechanics behind just about anything.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II - Cadillac

Abdul-Mateen as Cadillac [Netflix]
Abdul-Mateen as Cadillac [Netflix]

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II: A recent graduate of University of California, Berkley and Yale School of Drama, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has performed Shakespeare's King Lear alongside John Lithgow and Annette Benning. While The Get Down is his first big role, he will also star with Dwayne Johnson in the upcoming Baywatch reboot.

Cadillac: The disco-loving son of the South Bronx heroin Queenpin, Fat Annie (and owner of the nightclub Les Inferno), Cadillac thinks of himself as the top dog of Annie's criminal organization. However his unpredictable nature makes him more of a danger than a good leader.

Herizen Guardiola - Mylene Cruz

Guardiola as Mylene [Netflix]
Guardiola as Mylene [Netflix]

Herizen Guardiola: After making her debut in 2015 film Runaway Island, Guardiola is bringing her singing, songwriting and dancing prowess to The Get Down. While she may not have many on-screen credits, Guardiola has an impressive stage history, acting in Alice in Wonderland, Thoroughly Modern Millie and A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Mylene Cruz: The niece of Papa Fuerte, and the daughter of the leaders of the local Pentecostal church, Mylene showcases her beautiful and unique singing voice every Sunday during church. But while she's appreciated by the congregation, her true goal is to become a world famous disco singer, something her strict and religious parents do not agree with. Luckily she has the support of her uncle, and boyfriend Ezekiel to count on.

Justice Smith - Ezekiel "Books" Figuero

Smith as Books on right [Myles Aronowitz/Netflix]
Smith as Books on right [Myles Aronowitz/Netflix]

Justice Smith: After starring in the film Paper Towns, and a couple of episodes of The Thundermans, Justice Smith, who was a top scholar at Orange County School of the Arts High School, joins The Get Down for his first major role.

Ezekiel "Books" Figuero: Quick-witted, literature lover Books is the member of the group who can always be counted on to put together a rap and a beat on the spot. Books is a straight-A student and on the fast track to an Ivy League college, but that's all before his dream girl, Mylene comes on the scene. Books' raps are what tells the story of The Get Down from start to finish.

Jaden Smith - Marcus 'Dizzee' Kipling

Smith as Dizzee [Netflix]
Smith as Dizzee [Netflix]

Jaden Smith: The son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smitht, Jaden was born into showbiz, making his film debut int he 2006 film The Pursuit of Happyness alongside his father. Smith has also starred in The Day the Earth Stood Still, as well as in the remake of The Karate Kid with Jackie Chan. In addition to acting, Smith also released his latest album Cool Tapes Vol 2 in 2014, and is currently making his own clothing and lifestyle brand.

Marcus 'Dizzee' Kipling: The eldest of the Kipling brood, Dizzee is vastly different than his brothers and sister. A well-read, deep thinker, it can be hard to get Dizzee's attention, but once it's grabbed, you have all of it. Dizzee prefers to express himself through art, particularly graffiti, and loves to live life to the full, even it if means a little danger every now and then.

Stefanée Martin - Yolanda Kipling

Martin as Yolanda on left [Netflix]
Martin as Yolanda on left [Netflix]

Stefanée Martin: A graduate of Temple University and the American Conservatory Theater, The Get Down is Stefanée Martin's first on-screen credit. However prior to appearing in the series she already shows signs of being a big star, having being nominated for a Theater Bay Area Award for her performance in Sweet Maladies.

Yolanda Kipling: Often mistaken for being the eldest, Yolanda is the second oldest and only girl of the Kipling family. With being surrounded by boys, Yolanda thinks of her friends Mylene and Regina as sisters, and often acts as the mediator between the two when their competitive streaks kick in.

Shyrley Rodriquez - Regina Diaz

Rodriguez as Regina in yellow [Netflix]
Rodriguez as Regina in yellow [Netflix]

Shyrley Rodriquez: Fresh into the acting scene (she doesn't even have an IMDB page yet!), Shyrley Rodriguez won the role of Regina Diaz right out of university. The Cuban-American is a graduate of Rutgers University, and graduated with both a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting, as well as a Bachelor of Science in English.

Regina Diaz: This tough-as-nails Puerto Rican friend of Mylene and Yolanda comes from a tough home, and isn't afraid to speak her mind. Despite her bold personality, she sometimes finds herself competing with Mylene. But, regardless of any disagreements the pair might have, Regina is a loyal friend to both Mylene and Yolanda, and the perfect support person.

Giancarlo Esposito - Pastor Ramon Cruz

Esposito as Pastor Cruz
Esposito as Pastor Cruz

Giancarlo Esposito: A familiar face for any Breaking Bad fan, over the years Giancarlo Esposito has made his mark in TV, film and stage and was honored for his contribution with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2014. Along with The Get Down, Esposito's other recent projects include Money Monster with George Clooney and Julia Roberts, The Long Home, The Scorch Trials and The Jungle Book.

Pastor Ramon Cruz: The father of Mylene, Pastor Ramon Cruz is renowned among his followers for his passionate sermons. A leader within the community, Pastor Cruz soon finds his own daughter has begun to rebel against him, and he becomes concerned with trying to bring her into line. Interestingly though, the pastor turns a blind eye to the shady dealings of his brother, Papa Fuerte.

Mamoudou Athie - Grandmaster Flash

Mamoudou Athie as Grandmaster Flash [Netflix]
Mamoudou Athie as Grandmaster Flash [Netflix]

Mamoudou Athie: Like many of his peers in the series, Mamoudou Athie is relatively new to the TV scene, having just a small handful of TV and film credits prior to The Get Down. However this young star - who graduated from Yale School of Drama - has a strong background on the stage, having acted on Broadway and with the Shakespeare Theatre Company!

Grandmaster Flash: Born in Barbados, this hip hop pioneer laid the path for many when he started experimenting as a DJ, and developed many techniques still used today, including the backspin technique. The Grandmaster Flash of The Get Down is a wise sensei, taking Shao under his wing as his "grasshopper."

The first six episodes of The Get Down will be available to stream on Netflix from August 12.

Will you be watching The Get Down?

[Netflix]
[Netflix]

Source: Vanity Fair