EXCLUSIVE: Just days after she became available following the cancellation of NBC’s Ordinary Joe, Natalie Martinez has been tapped as a series regular opposite Vince Vaughn in the Apple TV+ drama series Bad Monkey, written and executive produced by Ted Lasso co-creator Bill Lawrence. Martinez replaces Ana Villafañe who had originally been cast in the role. Recastings are unfortunate but inevitable part of the business that could be for various of reasons. In this case, I hear the character had been written older than Villafañe’s age, leading to the decision to replace her.
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Based on Carl Hiaasen’s popular 2013 novel, Bad Monkey tells the story of Andrew Yancy (Vaughn), a one-time detective demoted to restaurant inspector in Southern Florida. A severed arm found by a tourist out fishing pulls Yancy into the world of greed and corruption that decimates the land and environment in both Florida and the Bahamas. And yes, there’s a monkey.
Villafañe plays Rosa, a Miami medical examiner who is starting to realize she may not be cut out for her job, so is happy to ditch work and help Yancy try to figure out the story of the severed arm he brings into her lab.
In addition to Vaughn, Martinez joins Bad Monkey cast members Michelle Monaghan, Jodie Turner-Smith, Meredith Hagner, Rob Delaney and Arturo Luis Soria. Alex Moffat guest stars.
Lawrence exec produces through his Doozer Productions alongside Matt Tarses and Doozer’s Jeff Ingold. Marcos Siega directs the first episode, and serves as executive producer. Doozer’s Liza Katzer serves as co-executive producer. Warner Bros. Television is the studio.
Martinez starred as Amy Kindelán opposite James Wolk in Ordinary Joe. She previously starred in the series Kingdom, The Crossing, Under the Dome and Secrets and Lies. Martinez is repped by Atlas Artists, WME and attorney Jason Hendler.
Villafañe also recently departed NBC comedy Night Court after the pilot in a recasting.
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