First Look At Jim Parsons, Darren Criss And More In Netflix's Hollywood

netflix hollywood darren criss
(Image credit: Netflix)

Hollywood magic is coming to Netflix thanks to an upcoming Ryan Murphy project. Fittingly called Hollywood, the limited series will follow a group of hopeful actors and filmmakers trying to make it in showbiz in the aftermath of World War II. Murphy recruited actors who appeared in his American Horror Story and American Crime Story series, including Dylan McDermott and Darren Criss, with some newcomers like Big Bang Theory veteran Jim Parsons for a series that should bring glitz, glamor, and the highs and lows of the Hollywood Golden Age to Netflix.

The various characters will offer a glimpse into the unfair systems and biases of race, gender, and sexuality as the show delves into power dynamics in showbiz. Hollywood combines fictional characters with fictionalized versions of real-life figures, like Rock Hudson and Hattie McDaniel, and Vanity Fair reports the show will go from a retelling of history to a blend of fact and fiction.

The series should showcase what the entertainment industry could look like nowadays if some of the established dynamics from the Golden Age had been taken down at the time. Keep on scrolling for a first look at the cast of Hollywood, which includes David Corenswet, Darren Criss, Jeremy Pope, Laura Harrier, Samara Weaving, Dylan McDermott, Holland Taylor, Patti LuPone, Jim Parsons, Jake Picking, Joe Mantello, Maude Apatow, Mira Sorvino, Rob Reiner, and Michelle Krusiec.

hollywood netflix jim parsons

(Image credit: Netflix)

Jim Parsons, best known for his role as Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory, will play Hollywood's version of the real-life talent agent Henry Willson, who represented Rock Hudson. Based on the first image above alone, I think it's safe to say that Big Bang fans will see a new side of Parsons in the Netflix limited series.

All things considered, Hollywood looks pretty far from Big Bang on all counts:

hollywood netflix darren criss jeremy pope

(Image credit: Netflix)

Darren Criss of American Crime Story (on the right) plays a rising director by the name of Raymond Ansley (who presumably isn't a LGBTQ character, based on some of Criss' past comments) in Hollywood, while Broadway vet Jeremy Pope (on the left) is on board as screenwriter Archie Coleman.

Jeremy Pope's Archie will seemingly have an intimate connection to Rock Hudson in Hollywood, based on this next image:

hollywood Jake Picking rock hudson netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

Jake Picking will portray the real-life Rock Hudson in his early days as an actor. Hudson had to hide his sexuality for decades in order to make it in Hollywood, and the Ryan Murphy series looks like it may shine a spotlight on his struggles, even if the show is largely populated with fictional characters.

Another image shows off the glitz and glamor of Tinseltown:

hollywood dylan mcdermott patti lupone samara weaving netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

As Avis Amberg, Broadway legend Patti LuPone is a fictional but glamorous wife of a studio head. She's seen in the above picture with Dylan McDermott of American Horror Story fame, playing a character inspired by real-life Los Angeles hustler Scotty Bowers, known for connecting celebrities with sexual partners. Holland Taylor of Legally Blonde and Two and a Half Men fame is on board as Ellen Kincaid, and Ready or Not's Samara Weaving is aspiring actress Claire Wood.

Hollywood is a limited series, so prospective viewers shouldn't expect a long run of seasons from this star-studded series. It will run for seven episodes, and will make its Netflix debut on Friday, May 1 at 12:01 a.m. PT. Streaming TV could be the place to be moving forward with a number of TV show delays, so be sure to check out our 2020 Netflix premiere schedule.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).