Gina Torres is well known for her role as Jessica Pearson on USA Network’s hit original series “Suits.”
Now, Torres is taking her character to Chicago, where she will topline the spinoff series, “Pearson.” The role of Jessica has been a life changing one, earning Torres an ALMA Award, an Imagen Award (as well as multiple additional Imagen nominations), and the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s Award for Performance in a Television Series and the Visionary Award from the LA Femme Film Festival.
Included amongst Torres’s most notable television credits are her performances on “Alias,” “Firefly” and “Angel.” Torres also recently appeared on “The Catch,” starring Peter Krause and Mireille Enos. Additional television credits include “Hannibal,” “Revenge,” “Huge,” “The Shield,” “24,” “Pushing Daisies,” “Flash Forward,” “Gossip Girl,” “Boondocks” and “The Vampire Diaries.” Torres has also voiced the roles of Vixen in “The Justice League” series and Superwoman in “Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths” opposite
She began her onscreen career with roles on “Law & Order,” “One Life to Live,” “Any Day
Now” and “La Femme Nikita” but it was her collaboration with producers Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert on four different shows – “MANTIS,” “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys,” “Xena: Warrior Princess” and “Cleopatra 2525” (the latter of which earned her an ALMA Award) – that brought her to the masses and promptly shifted her career. Torres’s film credits include “The Matrix Reloaded, “The Matrix Revolutions,”
“Jam,” “South of Pico,” “I Think I Love My Wife” with Chris Rock, “Hair Show with Mo’Nique, “Five Fingers” opposite Laurence Fishburne and “Don’t Let Me Drown.”
The youngest of three children, Torres was born in Manhattan and raised in The Bronx with her close-knit Cuban family. She graduated from Fiorello LaGuardia School of Arts where, before entering the world of acting, she studied opera and jazz as a vocal major. Within a year of graduating, she was cast as Deena Jones in “Dreamgirls,” her first professional acting job. It wasn’t long before she started appearing on Broadway, being directed by such legends as Tommy Tune and Pete Masterson in “Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public” and Jerry Zaks in “Face Value.” Her additional theater credits include Off and Off-Off Broadway plays and musicals that spanned genres such as classic “Greek tragedy in Antigone” and “Amphytrion,” Shakespeare’s “Pericles of Tyre” and “Julius Cesar,” contemporary classics such as “Lorca’s Blood Wedding” and the world premieres of “Sheila’s Day” and “Heliotrope Bouquet.”
Morgan Spector stars on USA Network’s new drama “Pearson” as Bobby Novak, a handsome, charismatic and enigmatic working class mayor of Chicago who is up for re-election in six months.
A classically trained stage actor who works in theatre, film and television, Spector recently starred opposite Claire Danes as a series regular on “Homeland.” Additionally, he will star opposite Olivia Wilde in “A Vigilante” which premiered at SXSW. Spector was seen in two feature films at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival: opposite Rebecca Hall and Dan Stevens in the relationship drama “Permission,” directed and written by Brian Crano, and as Sylvester Stallone in director Philippe Falardeau’s biopic “Chuck,” the true story of boxer Chuck Wepner who inspired the film series Rocky.
Spector made his Broadway debut in Gregory Mosher’s Tony Award-winning revival of Arthur Miller’s
“View from the Bridge” starring opposite Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson. He was later nominated for a Drama Desk for his performance in the New Group’s production of Erika Sheffer’s “Russian Transport” starring Janeane Garofalo. Other significant stage performances include “Harvey and Machinal” on Broadway, “Ironbound” and “Incognito.” Spector was last seen onstage in Clare Lizzimore’s “Animal”starring opposite Rebecca Hall at the Atlantic Theatre. Spector’s past television credits include “Boardwalk Empire,” “The Mist”and “Allegiance,” and guest starring roles on “Person of Interest,” “Orange is the New Black” “Zero Hour,” “Do No Harm” and “How To Make it in America.”
A graduate of Reed College and the prestigious American Conservatory Theater, Spector resides in New York.
Bethanny Joy Lenz
Bethany Joy Lenz stars on USA Network’s new drama “Pearson” as Keri Allen. Born and raised in Chicago, Keri is a driven, ambitious city attorney serving as unofficial right hand to the mayor.
Lenz is best known for her lead role as Haley James Scott in 187 episodes of “One Tree Hill,” which she
regularly directed. She recurred last season on “Grey’s Anatomy” as well as the second season of USA
Network’s “Colony.” Lenz has also appeared in “Extortion” with Barkhad Abdi and Eion Bailey and
Indigenous’ film, “Good Eggs,” under Rodrigo Garcia. Additional credits include “Nasty Habits,” “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “Dexter.”
Lenz is also an accomplished singer, trained by the Director of the Brooklyn College of Opera. Music
credits include five indie albums, a twenty-five city tour with Michelle Branch and Gavin DeGraw and a
recording contract with Epic Records. She has frequently collaborated with Springsteen’s Grammy-winning producer, Ron Aniello to comprise several albums and a staged musical workshop of “The Notebook,” which they both co-wrote. They are currently composing a new musical for the stage based on the tribal history of “Pocahontas” and developing a children’s television show.
Lenz is most active with charities Equality Now and Love146 and was selected by Lancome to star in a
2016 St. Jude’s campaign commercial that she wrote.
Simon Kassianides stars on USA Network’s new drama “Pearson” as Nick D’Amato, the driver for the
mayor and a mysterious tough guy.
Hailing from the UK and of Greek origin, Kassianides’ breakout role came playing opposite Daniel Craig in the hit feature “Quantum of Solace” as well as playing opposite Woody Harrelson on London’s West End Stage.
After Kassianides’ success in the UK he made the leap to the US, becoming a recurring actor on
“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Additional credits include “Criminal Minds,” “Burn Notice,” “Covert Affairs,”
“Zoo,” “How To Get Away With Murder” and “Unforgettable,” starring opposite Rosario Dawson and
Next year Kassianides can be seen starring alongside Academy Award Winner Christopher
Plummer in “Cliffs of Freedom.”
Kassianides was brought up in Clapham where he received his education from Dulwich College and
produced and executive produced a sold out run of “Grease” at the George Square Theatre where he donated the funds to the Macmillan Cancer Trust. Throughout schooling, Kassianides helped his mother’s business, Urban Coffee, and in 2002, he graduated with honors with a degree in International Business with Finance. Kassianides was spotted by BAFTA’s award winning producer Piers Vellacott and started to take courses at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama and soon was offered a role in the Tennessee Williams play, “Night of the Iguana,” which was acclaimed and started his successful acting career.
Eli Goree stars on USA Network’s new drama “Pearson” as Derrick Mayes, Bobby’s young press secretary and a former journalist. Derrick got into politics to make a difference but struggles with the reality of what it takes to do so.
Most recently, Goree can be seen recurring on hit dramas “Ballers” and “Riverdale.” Goree began his acting career at a young age when he was cast in “Sesame Park,” the Canadian version of “Sesame Street.” After graduating from the Canadian Film Center for the Arts, he hosted the radio program “The Big Black Rap Show” and later became one of the hosts for the television series “Street Cents.” Additional television credits include appearances in the popular Canadian comedy series “Da Kink In My Hair” and “Pure Pwnage.” He had a recurring role on “Emily Owens M.D.” opposite Mamie Gummer and series regular roles on “The 100” and “Dead of Summer.” In film, Goree starred as Jesse Owen’s best friend and teammate in “Race” and will next be seen in the independent film “The Christmas Truce.”
Born and raised in Halifax, Canada, Goree spends his spare time doing stand-up comedy in Los Angeles and Vancouver.
Chantel Riley stars on USA Network’s new drama “Pearson” as Angela Cook, a certified Nursing Assistant and Jessica’s cousin who is suspicious of Jessica’s sudden altruism. She is preoccupied with taking care of her two sons, protecting her mother and staying connected to her community.
Canadian-Jamaican singer, songwriter and actress, Riley landed her first gig in 2011 as “Nala” in the
Hamburg, Germany production of “The Lion King” after attending an open call in Toronto. After a
successful one year run, she returned home to Toronto and was immediately offered an opportunity to play “Nala” on Broadway. Riley made her Broadway debut in the summer of 2012 and spent four years bringing this well-loved character to life. While performing on Broadway, Riley also landed her first film role in the critically acclaimed Jesse Owens biopic “Race.”
Most recently, Riley has appeared in “Frankie Drake Mysteries” and the Assassin’s Creed Origins video
game. She can be currently seen in SYFY’s “Wynonna Earp” as Kate and is finalizing an EP, which will be released on all streaming platforms.
Riley is a co-founder of the clothing line Riley&Rose, inspired by a desire to encourage people to celebratetheir freedom. She currently resides in Los Angeles.