What Viewers Need to Know About the Cast of Fox’s Upcoming Rent | Playbill

Special Features What Viewers Need to Know About the Cast of Fox’s Upcoming Rent Who they are, what they’re known for, and who they’ll play in the anticipated live musical television event.

When Jonathan Larson’s Rent first premiered, the talented cast members were mostly unknown—but all that changed as the show became a cultural phenomenon, winning four Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Now, Fox brings the beloved musical to television screens around the country with Rent: Live, airing January 27, 2019. And though you may not yet know most of the cast, that will undoubtedly change.

Here’s a quick breakdown of who is playing what role, and why you may already know them.


Kiersey Clemons as Joanne Jefferson: Clemons got her start as a Disney Channel star on Austin & Ally, making her feature film debut as Cassandra “Diggy” Andrews in 2015’s Dope. Most recently seen alongside Nick Offerman in the movie Hearts Beat Loud, she is slated to play Darling in Disney’s upcoming live-action Lady and the Tramp remake, also starring Janelle Monáe and Justin Theroux.


Brandon Victor Dixon as Tom Collins: Dixon, who played Tom Collins in the 2011 Off-Broadway revival of Rent, is best known for his performances in the original Broadway companies of The Color Purple, Motown, and Shuffle Along, and as the first Aaron Burr replacement in Broadway’s Hamilton. Earlier this year, TV audiences discovered just how talented he is when he turned in an Emmy-nominated performance as Judas Iscariot in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, alongside Sara Bareilles and John Legend.


Jordan Fisher as Mark Cohen: Fisher, who appeared as Doody in Fox’s Grease: Live, made his Broadway debut in 2016 playing John Laurens/Philip Hamilton in Hamilton on Broadway and was featured on the Moana soundtrack, duetting a cover of “You’re Welcome” with Lin-Manuel Miranda. After winning the 25th season of Dancing with the Stars in 2017, Fisher went on to host Dancing with the Stars: Juniors on ABC. He was co-host of The Hocus Pocus 25th Anniversary Halloween Bash with Vanessa Hudgens.


Vanessa Hudgens as Maureen Johnson: Beloved from her performances in the High School Musical films and currently serving as a judge on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance, Hudgens made her Broadway debut in 2015 as the title character in Gigi, also appearing as Mimi in the Hollywood Bowl’s production of Rent and as Rizzo in Fox’s Grease: Live in 2016.


Brennin Hunt as Roger Davis: An actor and country music recording artist whose vocal talent captured national attention on the 2011 season of X Factor, Hunt landed his first guest role on the TV musical drama Nashville as Sullivan Fitzgerald, and in 2019 he will make his film debut in Walking with Herb.


Mario as Benny Coffin III: Mario is a Billboard Award–winning R&B singer and songwriter who found success with his 2004 breakout hit “Let Me Love You.” No stranger to acting, Mario has starred in a number of feature films including Step Up and Freedom Writers, and has recently appeared as a recurring guest star on Fox’s Empire.


Tinashe as Mimi Marquez: Tinashe is an award-winning hip-hop and R&B recording artist, songwriter, and actor. Tinashe began her career acting, landing recurring roles on Out of Jimmy’s Head and Two and a Half Men, before making the leap to music. She, too, competed on Season 25 of Dancing With The Stars. Following the success of her hit single “2 On,” Tinashe has since released two albums, Aquarius and Joyride, and has appeared (as herself) on the Fox drama Empire.


Valentina as Angel: Best known as a Season 9 contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Valentina has also appeared as herself on America’s Next Top Model and voices the character Arugula on the animated children’s series Drag Tots.


Keala Settle as “Seasons of Love” Soloist: Settle is an actor and singer best-known for her role as bearded woman Lettie Lutz in the film The Greatest Showman, singing the Oscar-nominated song “This Is Me.” On Broadway, she originated Becky in Waitress, Madame Thénardier in the 2014 Les Misérables revival, and Norma Valverde in Hands on a Hardbody, earning a Tony nomination.

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