March 8, 2019 By Nathaly Pesantez
Sunnyside will be front and center in an upcoming comedy pilot co-written by and starring Kal Penn.
The show’s title was revealed in a report published by Deadline yesterday, which said a group of mostly immigrant actors has been cast for the NBC pilot to be set in the neighborhood.
“Sunnyside,” according to the report, will center on former City Council Member Garrett Shah, a fictitious politician played by Penn who finds his calling when he encounters six recent immigrants “in need of his help and in search of the American Dream.”
Five of the seven actors lined up for the pilot are immigrants themselves.
The cast includes Joel Kim Booster, the high profile, South Korean-born comedian; Kiran Deol, the UK-born actor, Poppy Liu, an actress born in China; Tudor Petrut, of Romanian origin; Samba Schutte, a Dutch-Mauritanian actor who grew up in Ethiopia; Diana Maria Riva, a first-generation Dominican; and Moses Storm.
The Deadline report included an image of Penn seen at the Sunnyside mural at the corner of 40th Street and 47th Avenue.
Can’t wait to start shooting with our hilarious, talented cast! Welcome to Sunnyside!
🇺🇸 @shitfromkiran @MosesStorm @ihatejoelkim @poppyrepublic @DianaMariaRiva @sambaschutte @tudorpetrut 🇺🇸 https://t.co/plJShZwskl
— Kal Penn (@kalpenn) March 7, 2019
The show has been in the works for some time, with NBC giving the pilot the green light in late January.
Penn took to Twitter to comment on the latest step in the pilot.
“Can’t wait to start shooting with our hilarious, talented cast!” he wrote. “Welcome to Sunnyside!”
Locals expressed their excitement under Penn’s tweet for the project, which reached the office of Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer.
“Hey @kalpenn, from one NYC Councilman to another — welcome to #Sunnyside!” Van Bramer tweeted. “If you need any help with method acting, hit me up.”
— Jimmy Van Bramer (@JimmyVanBramer) March 8, 2019