‘Sweetbitter’ Series Adds Tom Sturridge and Six More to the Cast

Sweetbitter Book Heading to Starz

Starz has expanded the cast of the new series Sweetbitter with the addition of seven more series regulars. The network has confirmed Tom Sturridge (The Hollow Crown) will play Jake, Caitlin FitzGerald (Masters of Sex) has signed on to play Simone, and Paul Sparks (House of Cards, The Girlfriend Experience) is set to portray Howard. Additionally, Evan Jonigkeit (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Daniyar (Claws, Scandal), Eden Epstein (In Between Men), and Jasmine Mathews (Blue Bloods, Heathers) round out the series regulars.

Season one of Sweetbitter, based on Stephanie Danler’s book, will consist of six episodes. Emmy Award-winning writer/director Richard Shepard (Girls, Criminal Minds) is on board to direct the show’s first episode. Shepard is also serving as an executive producer along with Stu Zicherman (The Americans, The Affair), Plan B Entertainment, and author Danler. Danler also wrote the first episode.

The Plot: The drama series is based on Stephanie Danler’s national best-selling novel and stars Ella Purnell (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Never Let Me Go, Kick-Ass 2, Maleficent) in the lead role of “Tess.” Shortly after arriving in New York City, Tess lands a job at a celebrated downtown restaurant. Swiftly introduced to the world of drugs, drinking, love, lust, dive bars and fine dining, she learns to navigate the chaotically alluring, yet punishing life she has stumbled upon. Sweetbitter is the story of a young woman’s coming-of-age, set against the rich and grimy backdrop of exclusive restaurants, conjuring a nonstop and high-adrenaline world evoking the possibility, beauty and fragility of being young and adrift.

Tom Sturridge will portray “Jake,” a recklessly beautiful bartender, and Caitlin FitzGerald will play “Simone” – a sommelier who is the embodiment of self-possession, beauty, and authority at the restaurant. Simone and Jake awaken, in Tess, a sense of lust she has never felt before. “Howard,” the General Manger of the restaurant and father-figure to the group who work there, will be portrayed by Paul Sparks. Evan Jonigkeit has been cast in the role of “Will,” the backwaiter assigned to train Tess and becomes her first friend. The role of “Sasha,” a highly proficient and hard-working Russian immigrant-turned-backwaiter will be played Daniyar. Eden Epstein will portray “Ari,” an adventurous lesbian who backwaits by day and DJs by night. She and Heather, a server postponing law school, are a fearsome duo who treat gossip like a professional sport. “Heather” will be played by Jasmine Mathews.