Tasha Smith, Tone Bell to join Michelle Buteau’s Netflix series

The upcoming scripted comedy series, "Survival of the Thickest," is based on Buteau's book of essays of the same name.

Michelle Buteau’s upcoming Netflix series continues to take shape. The scripted comedy series has added actors Tasha Smith and Tone Bell to its cast, as announced by the streaming giant.

Inspired by her popular book of essays “Survival of the Thickest,” Buteau’s new series got an eight-episode order from Netflix earlier this year. The series is created by Buteau and Danielle Sanchez-Witzel, with Buteau starring as Mavis Beaumont, a Black, plus-size woman who is newly single and, “unexpectedly finds herself having to rebuild her life as a struggling stylist,” Netflix’s official description notes. “She’s determined to not only survive but thrive with the support of her chosen family, a body-positive attitude, and a cute v-neck with some lip gloss.”

Tasha Smith (above) joins the series as Marley, a self-made millionaire in her 50s living in New York City. (Credit: Merrell Hollis)

Smith and Bell join the series as characters in Beaumont’s world. Smith’s character is Marley, a self-made millionaire in her 50s living in New York City. Described as always having, “a fresh luxury manicure and the best day and night serums money can buy,” she is set to bring a “warm big-sister vibe” to Beaumont. Smith has appeared in shows like “Empire” as Carol Hardaway, Tyler Perry’s “For Better or For Worse,” and more.

Bell (“Little,” “The Flash”) joins as Beaumont’s best friend since high school, Khalil. Described as a “creative and talented artist,” he finds himself beginning to question “what really matters and if life is worth complicating for the right person.” In addition to the casting additions, Netflix announced Linda Mendoza (“Never Have I Ever,” “30 Rock,” “Girls5Eva”) as director of the first two episodes.

Tone Bell (above) joins the series as Michelle Beaumont’s best friend since high school, Khalil. (Credit: Netflix)

As theGrio previously reported, Buteau shared a statement regarding the series and her partnership with Netflix when it was announced.

“It’s been so damn amazing finding a home with Netflix. To say I’m excited to continue my relationship with them is an understatement. I’m over the moon and I’m under it! Danielle has been a dream partner and I can’t wait to share what we’ve been cooking up,” she said.

The series is executive produced by A24 and Anne Hong from Mosaic, with Sanchez-Witzel serving as showrunner.

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