‘The Horror of Dolores Roach’ Cast and Character Guide

Over the past few years, no other form of media has had as meteoric a rise as podcasts. It seems as if in 2023, podcasts have become a crucial part of our everyday lives, whether in the form of news updates, celebrity interviews, or audio fiction. For many with busy lives, it can be hard to find the time to sit and binge the latest Netflix series or travel to the theater to indulge in the newest blockbuster, leaving podcasts the most efficient way of consuming some of the most celebrated stories being told today. One such podcast series that has captured the attention of an enormous amount of fans is The Horror of Dolores Roach. Written by Aaron Mark and debuting in 2016, the series took the burgeoning podcast-fiction genre by storm and has become one of its most widely-appreciated offerings to date. Given its success, it was only a matter of time before an on-screen version of the series would be made, with Amazon purchasing the rights and giving the green light back in early 2022.

With the trailer having recently been released, fans of the series are chomping at the bit to see their favorite audio story brought to life visually, with many great actors having been cast in the now-famous roles. With that in mind, here is a rundown of the characters in the upcoming series, and the talented performers bringing them to life.

Justina Machado as Dolores Roach

After an unjust 16-year period in prison, Dolores has been released into a society she doesn’t remember, and returns to her hometown of Washington Heights to find that the place she once considered home has been gentrified and made almost unrecognizable. As a woman with incredible resilience and a will to fight that has only been enhanced by her prison stint, Dolores is determined to get to the bottom of all the tense mysteries that this story will throw her way.

Loved by fans thanks to the wonderful voice work of Daphne Rubin-Vega (Wild Things) on the podcast, only a brilliant established actress was going to be able to fill these shoes, with the role, to the delight of fans, being given to Justina Machado. With a wonderful background on both stage and screen, Machado is probably best known for her role as Penelope Alvarez on the hit sitcom One Day at a Time. Most recently she appeared in Law and Order and Lopez vs Lopez, with her dedication to her craft not going unnoticed by fans who have come to adore her work over her now over 25-year career.

Alejandro Hernandez as Luis Batista

After returning to Washington Heights, Roach’s desperate sense of the loss of her community is salvaged by Luis, her old stoner friend, who offers her a place to stay. Luis is friendly and gives her a home and a job as a massage therapist in the basement of his empanada shop, Empanada Loca. However, after finding a new Sweeny Todd-inspired special ingredient for the empanadas, Luis’s story certainly takes a turn for the strange.

As an actor, writer, and producer, Alejandro Hernandez has had a wonderful career to date, with the likes of Gotham and FBI in his back catalog. Most recently, Hernandez finished his 64-episode run as Casey Acosta in the NBC original New Amsterdam, which made him a staple of the show and won him the admiration of fans.

Kita Updike as Nellie Morris

Nellie’s relationship with Dolores is rocky, and soon becomes one of admiration and respect as the two share plenty of on-screen time together. As a member of staff at Empanada Loca, Nellie acts as a pivot during the story as much of the plot satellites around her.

As the only original actor from the podcast left, Kita Updike has a successful background in theater, having worked with the likes of Women’s Project Theater and The Public Theater, with the latter in fact the company that initially suggested Updike for the project. Updike grew up in The Heights just five minutes from where the story is set, meaning she has an even deeper connection to both her character and the deep-rooted themes of gentrification that act as the backbone of the story.

Marc Maron as Gideon Pearlman

As a local businessman with a fondness for profit, Gideon takes over the building in which Luis and Dolores reside, becoming much more than a landlord to our protagonists. Announced as joining the cast back in June 2022, Marc Maron is a fantastic actor with a wonderful legacy who is certainly going to bring his pedigree to this role. Applying his trade to a number of creative professions such as writing, comedy, and music, it is perhaps his experience as a podcaster that is most appropriate for this upcoming role. Having starred in GLOW as Sam Sylvia, Maron made a name for himself with a streaming generation and is a perfect fit for The Horror of Dolores Roach. Most recently, he has appeared in Reservation Dogs and has been named as part of an upcoming as-yet-untitled project with Richard Curtis and Melissa McCarthy. As well as this, Maron also recently spoke with MarkMeets about his HBO special From Bleak to Dark.

Judy Reyes as Marcie

No great story can become so without its protagonist facing some sort of rivalry, with Dolores Roach finding that in Marcie, the owner of a local weed business. After initially finding no trouble, Dolores’ rejection of Marcie’s offer to come and work with her is the catalyst for what unravels, with plenty of tension between the two expected for the series. With a storied career in both television and film, Judy Reyes is the sort of reliable casting that can turn a good show great. Known perhaps most famously for her roles as Carla Espinosa in Scrubs and Zoila Diaz in Devious Maids, Reyes’ career spans over 30 years, with the talented actress having gained quite a fan base in that time.

Jean Yoon as Joy

Next door to Luis’ Empanada Loca is the local laundromat owned by Joy. Not only is Joy a local businesswoman in her own right, but also one of the most regular customers in Empanada Loca, making her a key ingredient to the telling of this story. An award-winning actress, Jean Yoon is best known for playing the role of Umma in Kim’s Convenience. Most recently, Yoon appeared as Willow Chen in Nurses.

Cyndi Lauper as Ruthie

Most of the locals know Ruthie as a Broadway theater usher, but her other career is what brings her crashing into the plot of The Horror of Dolores Roach. Ruthie, besides her role as an usher, is also a private investigator, causing her to always be on the front foot and alert. As possibly the most hotly-anticipated addition to the cast announced to date, fans of pop singer-turned-actress Cyndi Lauper were no doubt delighted to hear of her involvement in this upcoming adaptation, with her work on the likes of Henry & Me and Here and There gaining her a base of fans that know her for more than her chart-topping success.

There are many other wonderful actors appearing in the on-screen adaptation of The Horror of Dolores Roach, such as Jeffery Self‘s (Search Party) unnamed role as an up-and-coming podcaster and social media influencer. The show will also star the likes of Jessica Pimentel (Orange is the New Black), K. Todd Freeman (Eraser), and Ilan Eskenazi (Iron Fist). Joining a long list of great horror content already on Prime Video, The Horror of Dolores Roach premieres on July 7, which is certainly not long to wait to see this brilliant bunch of talent all on-screen together for the first time. Here’s the trailer for the series:

Author Profile

Simon Costanza
Features Editor

Email https://markmeets.com/contact-form/

Leave a Reply