Image: Baz Luhrmann
Image: Baz Luhrmann
Baz Luhrmann has cast an aspiring rapper and dancer who was discovered on the New York Subway as one of the leads in his upcoming Netflix series, The Get Down.

14-year old TJ Brown will play Boo-Boo, described as “a mechanically-minded kid who wants to get down, he is an irrepressible 40-year old in a 14-year old body.”

He’s joined by Justice Smith, one of the stars of Fox 2000’s Paper Towns who plays the smart and resourceful Ezekiel who is “brimming with untapped talent and unrequited love who is determined to make his mark in this world.”

Luhrmann has also announced the casing of Shameik Moorse as the “thrill-seeking, unpredictable, eccentric but above all, enigmatic” Shaolin Fantastic and Skylan Brooks as Ra-Ra, a loyal, respected, protective friend and brother with his head screwed on tight, he’s the voice of reason beyond his years. 

Set in 1970s New York City, The Get Down features a rag-tag crew of South Bronx teenagers who are nothings and nobodies with no one to shelter them – except each other, armed only with verbal games, improvised dance steps, some magic markers and spray cans.

From Bronx tenements, to the SoHo art scene; from CBGBs to Studio 54 and even the glass towers of the just-built World Trade Center, The Get Down is a mythic saga of how New York at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to hip-hop, punk and disco — told through the lives and music of the South Bronx kids who changed the city, and the world…forever.

Luhrmann – who helmed the the global hit Moulin Rouge! – will direct the first two episodes and the season finale and serve as executive producer.

He said:, “The characters these young actors play in The Get Down unwittingly become a band of brothers.

“Any great group is always made up of distinctly different characters, and the actors we are privileged enough to invite into the roles of Ezekiel, Shaolin Fantastic, Boo-Boo and Ra-Ra all have the distinction of being from such diverse backgrounds — from performing in subways in the Bronx to the music scene of Atlanta and of course Los Angeles.

“I know they’re collectively on the beginning of a thrilling journey with a big story to tell.”