EXCLUSIVE: The cast for the American High and Hartbeat Hulu movie Prom Dates has been set with Chelsea Handler and Best in Show‘s John Michael Higgins, but also Julia Lester, Antonia Gentry, Kenny Ridwan, JT Neal, Jordan Buhat, Zión Moreno, and Terry Hu. The movie will hit the service this spring.
The Kim O. Nguyen directed, D.J. Mausner scripted movie follows best friends Jess and Hannah (Gentry and Lester), who make a pact at 13 to have the perfect senior prom. Despite the impending changes that college will bring over the next four years, the two are committed to honoring their prom pact. But with only 24 hours left before the big event, everything falls apart when they break up with each of their dates. Jess and Hannah are left with one night to find new dates and live out their middle-school fantasies.
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Producers are Jeremy Garelick, Will Phelps and Molle DeBartolo for American High; Kevin Hart, Bryan Smiley and Luke Kelly-Clyne for Hartbeat; and Mickey Liddell and Pete Shilaimon for LD Entertainment. EPs are Kevin Healey and Thai Randolph for Hartbeat, Michael Glassman for LD Entertainment, and Mausner and Andrew Reyes. Jason Zaro will serve as co-producer for Hulu and Axelle Azoulay as associate producer.
Lester is a Tony Award nominee for Broadway’s Into the Woods and starred on High School Musical: The Series. Her character Hannah is billed as an anxious closeted lesbian who navigates her new queerness while her best friendship with Jess unravels. Lester is repped by Paradigm, Perennial Entertainment, Ziffren Brittenham LLP.
Gentry’s Jess is a high school senior who is a little too interested in what others think of her, and she’s rather drop dead than go to prom alone and puts her longtime best friendship with Hannah in jeopardy because of it. Gentry stars as Ginny in Netflix’s original series Ginny & Georgia. She is repped by Industry Entertainment and HJTH.
Ridwan plays Greg, Hannah’s intensely loving boyfriend and an enthusiastic student council president. He completed his undergraduate B.A. at Columbia University while simultaneously filming The Goldbergs. He is now studying under Matt Newton at MN Acting Studios in New York City and Tom Draper in Los Angeles. He is repped by Domina Holbeck, Sloane Fitzgerald and Gregg Edwards Management.
Handler plays Barb, Greg’s mother who is obsessed with her dog, while Higgins plays Jess and Hannah’s high school principal who has a passion for safe sex education. Higgins is repped by UTA and SOWDLLP. Handler is represented by UTA, Ocean Avenue, and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller, Gellman, Meigs & Fox, L.L.P.
Neal plays Jacob, Hannah’s sweet older brother with eyes for Jess. He is repped by Innovative Artists and Holly Shelton Management.
Buhat plays Jess’s jerk jock boyfriend. He is repped by Play Management, Buchwald & Jackoway Austen.
Moreno plays Heather, a college party girl who grabs life by tegh horns. The actress who has appeared on Max’s Gossip Girl and Netflix’s Control Z, is repped by Gersh, Vision Ent. and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer.
Hu plays Angie, a butch lesbian with a rockstar energy and Hannah’s crush. Hu is repped by Domina Holbeck, Sloane Fitzgerald, Brian Sacripanti and LBI Entertainment.
Nguyen started her career as a commercial director working with numerous stars including Hart, Amy Schumer, and Reese Witherspoon. In television, her credits include Survival of the Thickest for Netflix, Welcome to Flatch for Fox, Boo Bitch for Netflix, The Other Two for HBO Max, and True Story starring Ed Helms and Randall Park for Peacock. She also directed episodes of Never Have I Ever for Netflix and Brooklyn 99 for NBC. She is repped by Stacey Lubliner at 3 Arts Entertainment and Verve.
Mausner currently serving as a staff writer on Nickelodeon’s Max and the Midnights and consulting on various projects for Netflix Animation. They previously won a Canadian Screen Award for best writing in a variety sketch comedy series for their work on CBC/IFC’s Baroness Von Sketch Show. Additionally, they were featured in the 2023 CBS TALENT SHOWCASE and starred opposite Ruby Rose, Paris Berelc and Barbie’s Hari Nef in the Amazon/Lionsgate comedy feature 1UP. Mausner is repped by Artists First and Ginsburg Daniels Kallis LLP.
American High’s collaboration with Hulu Originals has resulted in seven original films and one acquisition, which launched to critical and consumer acclaim, including hit films such as Pete Davidson’s lead debut, Big Time Adolescence, Natalie Morales’ Plan B and the company’s first-ever sequel, It’s a Wonderful Binge — directed by The Binge scribe, Jordan VanDina, in his feature directorial debut. Prom Dates marks the eighth film under the original first-look slate deal with American High for Hulu. The company’s catalog includes I Love My Dad, Banana Split, and Mark, Mary & Some Other People, all of which are available to stream on Hulu.
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