The clock on the scoreboard is winding down and one month is left before the premiere of CW’s newest series All American on October 10.
Synopsis: the rise to fame and glory will always have a few roadblocks, and football star Spencer James is about to learn that the hard way. All American is the newest CW show this fall, and per my first episode review, the one I’m most excited to see. It follows James as he transfers illegally from South Crenshaw High, a school suffering from poverty and violence, to play football in the affluent Beverly Hills. You’ll want to tune in for this one.
So, let’s put some names to faces. Along with big name stars, the CW is one of those stations that’s willing to take a risk on young actors. Here’s a full breakdown of who you’ll be seeing:
It was a lengthy search to find British actor Daniel Ezra, who ultimately was one of the last to join the show. This will be his first headlining role. Past credits include the television series Prey (2015), Undercover (2016), The Missing (2016), and Prime Suspect 1973 (2017).
As Spencer James, Ezra portrays a troubled teenager who tries to find a balance between two worlds. He’s the best there is at football, but that brings a lot of competition and jealousy. From adults who want to control his life to teammates who want to see him fail, he’s always tackling the next problem.
Diggs has the most established career of any actor joining the All American cast. He was in movies such as House on Haunted Hill (1999), Rent (2005), and Equilibrium (2002). On television, he’s known for Private Practice, Murder in the First, and Empire.
As a seasoned actor, Diggs looks forward to being on a show that addresses deep topics differently:
“A lot of the issues that we are dealing with, they mean something a lot different than what we were going through when these other shows were on the air,” Taye said (via the Los Angeles Times). “Identity, race, sexuality — we’re forced to look at it differently. I think that forces the show to do that as well.”
Coach Billy Baker recruits Spencer to play on his Beverly Hills team mostly out of desperation. He’s under the pressure of losing his job and he’ll do anything to stay on top. From watching the first episode, it’s hard to tell where his intentions truly lie.
American Actress Samantha Logan has had a lot of success on television, and fans may recognize her as Nina on the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. She is also notable for her appearances on General Hospital, The Fosters, and 666 Park Avenue.
In All American, Logan will play Olivia Baker, the daughter of Coach Baker. She is quick to befriend Spencer and helps him navigate the new school as somewhat of an outcast herself.
Actress Bre-Z is best known for her role as Freda Gatz on the series Empire. Other than that, she’s relatively new to the large scale acting business. She actually began as a celebrity barber in Atlanta before being able to support herself through acting and rapping.
Like her character in All American, Bre-Z is androgynous. Her role as Cooper, Spencer’s best friend from South Central, will give voice to a demographic that is rarely seen. In the first episode we see that Spencer helps back-up Bre-Z from bullying, and she is always there for him as well.
As Leila Faisal, Greta Onieoguo plays the most popular girl in school. She seems nice enough, but in the first episode she spells trouble for Spencer. We’ll have to see whose side she’s on.
Onieoguo has had some small roles here and there, with her most notable being the television series Heroes Reborn: Dark Matters and Heartland.
Mazur’s acting career extends as far back as 1993 when she guest starred on Days of Our Lives. She did a range of movies and television through the 90s, with NCIS, Torque, and Just Married as some of the bigger projects she’s been in.
As Coach Baker’s wife, it’s difficult to know the exact role she’ll play in the series. Will she care for Spencer and be her husband’s moral guide? Or will her loyalty override all?
Mical Evans Behling:
Unlike the other actors on this list, Behling has only been on screen for one previous role: the “handsome guy” in Empire. This means that All American is a really big step for him, and his role on the show isn’t a small one either.
As Jordan Baker, the coach’s son, he’s got a lot of tough feelings for the way Spencer captures his dad’s attention. It hard to tell whether he will be friend or foe by the end of the season.
Christian is going to be right at home on All American – he’s played similar roles in the series Teen Wolf or Pretty Little Liars. In movies, he’s costarred in The Starving Games, Surrogates, and upcoming movie Notorious Nick.
In All American, he plays one of the popular jocks in Beverly Hills, and also Spencer’s competition for Leila’s love. Like Behling’s character, it will be interesting to see whether we like his character or not by the end of the season.
All American premieres October 10 at 9 PM. You can find your other show’s premiere dates here!