Australian hunk Murray Bartlett is joining Hulu’s upcoming limited series Immigrant, about Chippendales founder Somen “Steve” Banerjee, and fans are already applauding the casting choice.
Bartlett is set to appear as choreographer and producer Nick De Noia, who worked with Banerjee (played here by Kumail Nanjiani) to turn the all male revue into a cultural phenomenon with a lasting legacy. The relationship between the two ultimately went very south in real life, with Banerjee hiring someone to kill De Noia after failing to get an agreement they had about ownership nullified.
Bartlett garnered widespread attention after his turn as HIV-positive Michael in Tales of the City and, more recently, Armond in The White Lotus. Armond is a controversial character with a controversial storyline, but one that ultimately allowed Bartlett to show off his acting chops.
“Armond is a casualty of the societal system we have, where we treat people better at the top, and as you go down you treat people worse and worse,” he said of his character. “And when you do that you drive those people crazy because it’s so unfair and fucked up. I feel like Armond is an expression of that frustration. He’s like, ‘I’m going to fly towards that moment.’”
The role led to a reassurance of Bartlett’s career choice, something he said he questioned at the start of the pandemic. In conversation with him, The Guardian noted that “in light of his extraordinary performance [in The White Lotus], Bartlett seems to have been underused for most of his career.”
Whether that has to do with the actor’s own sexuality — Bartlett himself is gay — we’ll never know, but between The White Lotus and his taking the mantle of Michael Tolliver in Netflix’s 2019 continuation of Tales of the City, and now Immigrants, it looks like he may finally be getting the excellent roles he deserves.