About the Original

 

ON BECOMING A GOD IN CENTRAL FLORIDA

 

OVERVIEW:

Dark comedy series ON BECOMING A GOD IN CENTRAL FLORIDA will premiere on SHOWTIME on Sunday, August 25 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Starring Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Kirsten Dunst (Fargo), the 10-episode series is a story set in a small Orlando-adjacent town in 1992 about the cult of free enterprise and one woman’s relentless pursuit of the American Dream. Dunst plays Krystal Stubbs, a minimum-wage water park employee who lies, schemes and cons her way up the ranks of Founders American Merchandise (FAM) — a multibillion-dollar pyramid scheme. The series also stars Théodore Pellerin (Genesis), Beth Ditto (Nocturnal Animals), Mel Rodriguez (The Last Man on Earth) and Ted Levine (The Silence of the Lambs).

Created and executive produced by Robert Funke and Matt Lutsky and produced by Sony’s TriStar Television, the series is also executive produced by Smokehouse Pictures’ George Clooney (Catch-22) and Grant Heslov (Catch-22), along with Dunst, Charlie McDowell (The One I Love), who also directed the pilot and Esta Spalding (MASTERS OF SEX), who also serves as showrunner. Sarah Shepard also serves as executive producer. Additional casting includes Usman Ally (Veep), Julie Benz (DEXTER), Melissa De Sousa (Ladies of the Law), John Earl Jelks (True Detective), Sharon Lawrence (SHAMELESS), Josh Fadem (Better Call Saul), Da’Vine Joy Randolph (Empire), Golden Globe and Emmy winner Alexander Skarsgård (Big Little Lies) and Academy Award® winner Mary Steenburgen (The Last Man on Earth).

 

BIOS

KIRSTEN DUNST (Krystal Stubbs)

Dunst last appeared in Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled opposite Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell and Elle Fanning. In 2015, Dunst received both a Golden Globe nomination and Emmy nomination for her portrayal of the small town beautician Peggy Blumquist in Fargo. Her film credits also include Woodshock, Hidden Figures, Midnight Special, The Two Faces of January, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Upside Down, On the Road, Bachelorette, Melancholia (for which she earned the Best Actress prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and was named Best Actress by the National Society of Film Critics), All Good Things, Marie-Antoniette, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the Spider-Man trilogy, How To Lose Friends and Alienate People, Elizabethtown, Wimbledon, Mona Lisa Smile, Levity, The Cat’s Meow, Bring It On, The Virgin Suicides, Crazy/Beautiful, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Dick, Little Women, Jumanji, Mother Night, Wag the Dog and Interview with the Vampire, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination. Dunst got her showbiz start at the age of three, when she began filming television commercials, before making the jump to the big screen in New York Stories. In addition, her TV work includes ER, THE OUTER LIMITS, Devil’s Arithmetic and Ruby Ridge: An American Tragedy. Dunst made her directorial debut with the short film Welcome, starring Winona Ryder.

 

MEL RODRIQUEZ (Ernie Gomes)

Rodriguez was recently seen in The Last Man on Earth, Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams and Overboard. His previous credits include Getting On, Animals, Better Call Saul, Enlisted, Little Miss Sunshine, Fat Camp, Brave New Jersey, The Watch and Fat, which he also produced and premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Rodriguez will next be seen in The Last Thing He Wanted opposite Anne Hathaway.

 

THÉODORE PELLERIN (Cody Bonar)

Recently seen in The OA, Pellerin just wrapped the upcoming film Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Always. Prior to this, Theodore was just announced as the winner of “Revelation of the Year,” the award for best new actor, at the Gala Quebec Cinema (French Canadian Oscars) for his beautiful work in the film Chien de Garde. Previously, Pellerin was named as one of TIFF’s Rising Stars and was recently seen in the award-winning film Boy Erased. He also recently won a Gémeaux Award (French Canadian Emmy) for Best Supporting Youth Actor for his role on Med. Additional credits include First Light and It’s Only the End of the World.

 

BETH DITTO (Bets Gomes)

A talented musician and a burgeoning actress, Ditto emerged on screen in Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot. Formerly the frontwoman for the band Gossip, Ditto has now embarked on a solo music career. As an outspoken LGBT and feminist icon, her hit song with Gossip, “Standing in the Way of Control,” was written as a response to the Federal Marriage Amendment which would have constitutionally outlawed same-sex marriage in the U.S. It became an anthem as well as the soundtrack for the teen drama SKINS.  Ditto has also been an influential muse in the world of fashion - having had two plus-sized luxury clothing lines, a cosmetic deal with Mac and performing/walking in shows for Gucci, Marc Jacobs and Gaultier.

 

ESTA SPALDING (Showrunner, Executive Producer)

Spalding is an award-winning showrunner, screenwriter, children's author and poet. She has worked as a writer/producer on many prestigious television series including MASTERS OF SEX and The Bridge. Spalding hails from Canada, where she has had a hand in many award-winning hit shows, winning two Writers Guild of Canada awards and five writing nominations from the Canadian Academy of Film and Television. Her mini-series Would Be Kings garnered eight nominations from the Canadian Academy, including best writing and best show. She also penned two independent features, Republic of Love and Falling Angels. In addition, Spalding is a celebrated children's author and an award-winning poet.

 

MATT LUTSKY (Co-Creator, Executive Producer)

Matt Lutsky is the co-creator and executive producer of ON BECOMING A GOD IN CENTRAL FLORIDA.

 

ROBERT FUNKE (Co-Creator, Executive Producer)

Robert Funke was born and raised in the mountains of Kingsport, Tennessee, where he was an all-conference defensive end for the Dobyns-Bennett High School Indians. Funke studied neuroscience at Vanderbilt University and worked as a special education teacher in Nashville before enrolling in film school at USC. After receiving his MFA, Funke worked with Jay Roach at Everyman Pictures and in the research department on Mad Men. After getting fired from a writer’s assistant job at HBO, he was able to find work as creator and executive producer of ON BECOMING A GOD IN CENTRAL FLORIDA . Funke is distantly related to Fiona Apple, according to his mother, and he currently resides in Los Angeles with his faithful bassetweiler, Tina.

 

SYNOPSES

 

101: "The Stinker Thinker"

Written by Robert Funke & Matt Lutsky

Directed by Charlie McDowell

Krystal Stubbs doubles down on her husband's dreams while he wrestles with leaving his J-O-B. Cody loses a friend, but meets his hero.

 

102: "The Gloomy-Zoomies"

Written by Robert Funke

Directed by Jeremy Podeswa

Krystal networks her way into an opportunity in the beauty pageant industry. Cody tries to be his own workhorse. Ernie builds a time capsule.

 

103: "A Positive Spin!"

Written by Matt Lutsky

Directed by Rose Troche

Krystal and Cody throw a rally. Ernie tries to connect with his son. Stan finds a new supplier for the water park.

 

104: "Manifest Destinee"

Written by Pamela Davis

Directed by Rodman Flender

Stricken with a bird disease, Krystal goes on an odyssey. A collection of vintage motivational tapes just might change Cody’s destiny. Ernie tries recruiting.

 

105: "Many Masters"

Written by Mike Goldbach

Directed by Daniel Scheinert

Obie and Louise Garbeau host a lavish motivational retreat at Paradise Cay for Washington-level entrepreneurs.

 

106: "American Merchandise"

Written by Carlos Rios

Directed by Julie Anne Robinson

Krystal rubs elbows with the upper crust. Cody makes a surprising business proposal. Ernie finds his rhythm as a recruiter and celebrates with pizza.

 

107: "Flint Glass"

Written by: Esta Spalding

Directed by: Matt Spicer

Krystal takes initiative and drums up some press for her business. Cody finally gets some one-on-one coaching. Bets isn’t sure about FAM.

 

108: "Birthday Party"

Written by Robert Funke & Matt Lutsky

Directed by So Yong Kim

Krystal loses her job, but gets a personal invitation to Paradise Cay. Roger trains Cody in security protocols. Ernie and Bets cha-cha.

 

109: "Wham Bam Thank You FAM"

Story by Pamela Davis

Teleplay by Jessica Blaire and Stephanie Riggs

Directed by Tricia Brock

The Orlando FAM community braces for the Wham Bam Thank You FAM 37th Anniversary Jam. Krystal’s loyalties are tested. Obie opens his heart to some orphans. Harold says a cussword.

 

110: "Go Getters Gonna Go Getcha"

Written by Robert Funke, Matt Lutsky, Esta Spalding

Directed by Charlie McDowell

Krystal helps Judd out of a jam. Cody finds himself pulled in two directions. Bets puts her foot down. Buck and Pat see an opportunity.

 

 

 

 

Press:

Amanda Cary
212-708-1593
amanda.cary@showtime.net

Jamie Kekejian
212-708-8094
Jamie.Kekejian@showtime.net