Actor Julian Kostov is joining HBO’s The White Lotus, replacing Miloš Biković in the show’s cast.
Kostov (Shadow and Bone) will recur in the show’s third season, which is set to begin filming in Thailand this month. He joins the cast after HBO “decided to part ways” with Biković, following public criticism from Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs over Biković’s seeming support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
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In a Jan. 24 social media post, the ministry wrote, “HBO, is it all right for you to work with a person who supports genocide & violates international law?” over a video clip of statements Biković has made about Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea. The Serbia-born actor has worked in Russia for the past decade; he received an award from Russian leader Vladimir Putin in 2018 and became a Russian citizen in 2021.
“I was honored to be chosen to be a part of White Lotus, a TV series that I hold in high regard and with colleagues whom I deeply respect,” Biković said in a statement after he was let go. “However, my participation is not possible due to reasons beyond the realm of art and I will not bow to any narrative that seeks to compromise my integrity. I would like to thank everyone who stood by me. I wish my colleagues great success in creating the next season.”
Kostov is joining a sprawling cast that also includes Leslie Bibb, Carrie Coon, Francesca Corney, Nicholas Duvernay, Arnas Fedaravičius, Christian Friedel, Walton Goggins, Dom Hetrakul, Sarah Catherine Hook, Jason Isaacs, Michelle Monaghan, Sam Nivola, Morgana O’Reilly, Lek Patravadi, Shalini Peiris, Parker Posey, season one regular Natasha Rothwell, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Tayme Thapthimthong and Aimee Lou Wood.
Series creator, writer and director Mike White executive produces The White Lotus with David Bernad and Mark Kamine.
A native of Bulgaria, Kostov recurred on the first season of Netflix’s Shadow and Bone. His credits also include A Discovery of Witches, Berlin Station and Treadstone. He’s repped by Industry Entertainment and Insight Management and Production.
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