Aaron Paul is jumping straight from one streaming series to another. The Breaking Bad and The Path actor is joining the cast of Are You Sleeping, the Apple TV series produced by Reese Witherspoon and starring Octavia Spencer and Lizzy Caplan. And Paul isn’t the only new actor rounding out the cast.
Aaron Paul has been cast as the male lead in Are You Sleeping, Apple’s TV drama that offers a glimpse into America’s obsession with true-crime podcasts, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
This will reunite Paul with former Sony TV turned Apple chiefs Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, who produced Paul’s breakout hit Breaking Bad.
Paul will play convicted murderer Warren Cave, whose guilt or innocence remains uncertain in the minds of people who have followed his case for 20 years. He’ll star opposite series lead Octavia Spencer, who plays investigative reporter Poppy Parnell, a podcaster seeking to uncover the truth behind a decades-old murder verdict. Lizzy Caplan has also been announced in the dual roles of “twins whose lives have taken different paths,” THR writes.
It sounds very much like Are You Sleeping will be a riff off the incredible success of This American Life’s Serial, the podcast that essentially kicked off the current true-crime zeitgeist. Paul’s character is the stand-in for the questionably convicted Adnan Syed, while Spencer plays the Sarah Koenig-type who unravels a thrilling mystery that no one expected to uncover.
In addition to Paul, Are You Sleeping has rounded out its cast with Ron Cephas Jones, Elizabeth Perkins, Mekhi Phifer, Michael Beach, Tracie Thoms, and Haneefah Wood.
Jones (fresh off an Emmy nomination for a guest turn in This is Us) will play Leander “Shreve” Scoville, the father to Spencer’s Poppy. Perkins (Sharp Objects) will play Melanie Cave, Warren’s long-suffering mother. Phifer (Frequency) is set to play Markus Knox, a former detective and Poppy’s longtime friend. Thoms (Rent) has been cast as Desiree Scoville, Poppy’s older and opinionated sister. And lastly, Wood (One Day at a Time) rounds out the cast as Cydie Scoville, Poppy’s other fiercely loyal sister.
Nichelle Tramble Spellman is penning and showrunning the series, which is produced by Witherspoon. Are You Sleeping is part of Apple’s push for original content in its bid to compete in the ever-crowded streaming field. But with a stacked cast like this, Apple may soon prove a worthy competitor to Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime.
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