EXCLUSIVE: Twenties actors Sheria Irving and Sophina Brown have boarded FX’s limited series Kindred as series regulars. They join an ensemble led by newcomer Mallori Johnson, which also includes Micah Stock, Ryan Kwanten, Gayle Rankin, Austin Smith, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy and David Alexander Kaplan.
The series adapted for the screen by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Watchmen) is based on Octavia E. Butler’s acclaimed 1979 sci-fi novel. It follows Dana (Johnson), a young Black woman and aspiring writer who has uprooted her life of familial obligation and relocated to Los Angeles, ready to claim a future that, for once, feels all her own. But, before she can get settled into her new home, she finds herself being violently pulled back and forth in time to a 19th century plantation with which she and her family are surprisingly and intimately linked. An interracial romance threads through her past and present, and the clock is ticking as she struggles to confront the secrets she never knew ran through her blood.
Irving will portray Olivia, a fearless, sharp-minded and resourceful young woman who has suffered a possible mental episode and doesn’t trust herself or reality. A wild child who is ready to fight, she is willing to take drastic measures to get what she wants. Details with regard to the character that Brown is playing have not been disclosed.
FX Productions is producing the eight-episode series, with Jacobs-Jenkins serving as showrunner and exec producing alongside Courtney Lee-Mitchell, Darren Aronofsky for Protozoa Pictures, Ari Handel, Joe Weisberg, Joel Fields, Ernestine Walker and Merrilee Heifetz. Zola filmmaker Janicza Bravo is helming and exec producing the pilot for the series ordered by FX in January.
Irving is a Yale School of Drama graduate who has appeared in BET+’s A Luv Tale: The Series, Amazon’s Them, Showtime’s Twenties and CBS’s Madam Secretary and The Good Wife, as well as Don Roy King’s 2014 feature adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. She made her Broadway debut alongside Orlando Bloom in Romeo & Juliet, under the direction of five-time Tony nominee David Leveaux, also starring in Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan Lori-Parks’ White Noise at the Public Theater, opposite Daveed Diggs. Additional theater credits include the premiere performance of Billy Porter’s While I Yet Live for Primary Stages, and a production of The Model American for the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Irving is also the Founder and Executive Director of Shaping Her Earth, a nonprofit organization that mentors, uplifts and empowers young women of color.
Brown has previously appeared on series including S.W.A.T., Twenties, Legacies, Grey’s Anatomy, Station 19, 9-1-1, Zoo, Scream: The TV Series, Shark and Numb3rs, among others. She embarked on a career in television after working on Broadway and national tours for several years, beginning to produce award-winning theatre in Los Angeles, beginning with August Wilson’s American Century Cycle, in 2016. Brown is also the Founder and Executive Director of Support Black Theatre, a service organization dedicated to the development, enrichment and promotion of Black art, Black artists, Black theatres and Black audiences in Los Angeles. In addition, she serves as the Board Chair of Collaborative Artists Bloc and as an Advisory Board member of Creative Acts.
Irving is represented by APA and Untitled Entertainment; Brown by SDB Partners and Emery Entertainment.