Originally the project was to be a web series which was started by a group of graduates from theatre school. With limited budget, the group shot the episodes. Michaela Di Cesare created Sex and Ethnicity to have demo reel material when auditioning for parts. ICI TV found out about the project and decided to include them in their TV new season programme.
Sex & Ethnicity shows how do ethnic women in their 20s address life after university in the big city like Montreal. In the show, the main character Anna (played by Di Cesare) struggles with her boisterous Italian family, life outside theatre school, her new job, and her relationship with an immature boyfriend with the help of her best friends, Margi, Sun, and Jenny.
The four characters represent different ethnic groups from Montreal. "Anna is of Italian origin and she has a high strung mother who pushes marriage down her throat. Her boyfriend plays video games and is not really there. She has to build her life and is realizing that she might have to forge her own path. Sun (Stefanie Nakamura) is Korean with a very strict household. She's Lesbian but too afraid to come out of closet. Jenny (Liana Montoro) is half Jamaican, half Quebecois and her Jamaican grandmother and Quebecois mother hate each other and have a turf war. Margi (Sehar Bhojani) is Pakistani. She has a husband from an arranged marriage - her promised fiancé. The whole season is gearing for her to meet him and get married."
Created by: Michaela Di Cesare & Directed by: Adrian Caleanu
Starring: Michaela Di Cesare, Sehar Bhojani, Stefanie Nakamura, Liana Montoro, Kim Nelson, Ellen David, Guido Grasso, Patricia Summersett, Chimwemwe Miller, Annie Yao, Russel Yuen, Carolyn Fe Trinidad, Jane Gilchrist, Gitanjali Jain, Natalie Tannous, Howard Rosenstein, Mike Payette, Adam Alberts, Daniel Esteban, Matt Lacas, Anne-Marie Saheb, Emilee Veluz, Elizabeth Neale, Patrizio Sanzari, Linda Tomassone, Grace Gordon, Aldo Lopez, Ezra Fama de Smit, Oliver Koomsatira, Scott Humphrey & more!
I had the chance to talk to Stefanie Nakamura who plays the Korean girl in the series. She is half Japanese and half quebecoise. She said that the whole experience was amazing and enriching. She also mentioned that probably the audience for the series could be starting 14 years old. Adam Alberts plays the boyfriend of Anna. Adam has studied also theatre and he is a very enthusiastic about the series. "Besides being an actor, I love writing my own script and I play also the characters I create. My next show for example will be during the month of June, a comedia called "Brighella". It is difficult for us students to get a job right away, so we try to wear different hats at the same time.
Peruvian actor, Aldo Lopez, who lives in Montreal is happy to be part of the casting. Lopez took acting lessons with Chip Chiupka at the Actors Studio Montreal (ASM), after he continued with Josa Maule and his acting lessons at MSOPA, he also took specialized courses in New York at Stella Addler Studio Of Acting, Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, and the Conservatory Of Dramatic Arts, among others. "I wanted to interpret Sam Miranda and when I told. Michaela Di Cesare, creator and star of the series, she told me that there were other 20 competing to play the same character. So I was very happy when I got it. The character seemed to me very funny. Sam Miranda is a person that is full of him and believes he is a great star in his head."
Sex & Ethnicity series will be shown at Channel 16 & 616 (Videotron) or 216 & 1216 (Bell) on Sundays at 9:30 pm which started on June 8, 2014.