Breaking Bad

Ever since it was announced back in February, Baz Luhrmann’s new Netflix show The Get Down has been laying down a steady stream of casting notices in an effort to build up interest in the project, a fictionalized re-telling of the history of punk and hip-hop in ’70s New York. But while some announcements have been met with mild approval—hey, Jimmy Smits—and others less so—hey, Jaden Smith—the show’s cast of mostly young newcomers hasn’t managed to generate much name recognition or passion. That might be about to change, though, as certified A.V. Club hero and Breaking Bad star Giancarlo Esposito has signed on to the project, playing a fiery preacher who’s the brother of Smits’ well-connected political boss.

Besides his star-making turn as chicken impresario and dapper supervillain Gustavo Fring on Vince Gilligan’s critical monster, Esposito has had a long and storied career, including a role in Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing, which shares its Brooklyn setting with Luhrmann’s show. Esposito will be playing the role of Father Ramon Cruz, whose charismatic sermons and firm leadership bring him into conflict with his disco-star-wannabe daughter, Mylene.

Besides The Get Down, Esposito has a number of projects in the works, including roles in the upcoming Maze Runner sequel and Disney’s live-action Jungle Book. He’s also consented to be part of Hollywood’s long-running James Franco Humoring Project, appearing in the actor-director’s latest filmic exhibit of Southern accents, The Long Home.