- “Blockbuster” creator Vanessa Ramos told Insider how she chose Randall Park as her lead actor.
- She said she was asked to pick an actor who fit the lead role during the pitching stage.
- Ramos added that after sending the script to Park, the actor wanted to be involved.
“Blockbuster” creator Vanessa Ramos said that she had Randall Park in mind when she was writing the lead character Timmy.
The new Netflix series, which premieres Thursday on the streaming platform, follows Timmy and his employees as they struggle to keep the last Blockbuster on earth afloat.
In an interview with Insider, Ramos said that while she was pitching the show, she was asked to suggest an actor for the lead role.
“In my original pitch, Timmy was listed as a Randall Park type,” Ramos said. “[The producers said] ‘Oh no, no, we’ll never get Randall Park, but so that [Netflix] have an idea of who’s in your head when you’re writing it.'”
Park is known for his comedic roles in sitcoms like “Fresh Off The Boat” and movies such as “The Interview” and “Always Be Maybe.”
Ramos went on to say that they decided to send the script to Park first to see what he thought. The actor responded after reading the script, saying that he wanted to be a part of the show.
“It was a no-brainer,” she added.
Eliza, Timmy’s employee, who he has a crush on, was also chosen pretty quickly.
Ramos said that she knew Melissa Fumero from her work on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and realized Eliza matched the actor’s personality even more than her character on the hit cop sitcom.
“Selfishly, I think I just wanted [Park and Fumero] to be on screen together,” Ramos said.
The series is loosely based on the real last Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon, which is still open today.
However, Ramos and cast member Olga Merediz told Insider that the show does not dramatize the real people who work in the store. Instead, writers came up with fictional characters and scenarios for the series.
“This is our own story and it’s basically a nod to that Blockbuster but ours takes place in Michigan,” Merediz said.
Tyler Alvarez, who stars as Carlos, also told Insider: “I think it’s more of a love letter to Blockbuster and a love letter to movies and a love letter to that time than being something more negative. I think that’s why Netflix kind of wanted to make it, because Netflix is a huge fan of Blockbuster.”
“Blockbuster” is streaming now on Netflix.