This weekend will be the latest milestone for actress, comedian and filmmaker Xenia Leblanc, best known for her role as Young Red in the Netflix series Orange Is The New Black. She’s now taking to her newest endeavor with comedy series Gritty & Pretty, premiering the pilot episode for a virtual audience at LA-based online venue Dances With Films.
Leblanc directs the current five-part series from her own script, in addition to starring opposite rising star Kelly Russo. The series centers on former high school besties Kira (Leblanc), a boxer fighting to save her gym from bankruptcy, and Lauren (Russo), who is stuck hosting an absurd Instagram TV talk show. Fifteen years since graduation, they are now struggling to find their true paths and make a living when they are abruptly reunited in the parking lot of the same building where they’ve both ended up working in.
Also starring are Theresa Philomena, Danny Jordan and Darryl Wesley. Leblanc and Russo are producers on the series with Nicholas Acosta co-producing.
“I wanted to create a show that highlights female friendships and empowers up-and-coming female filmmakers to take charge and create the content they want to see on their screens. The sarcastic nature of my Russian upbringing has taught me to find humor in everything and that’s why I gravitate towards comedy. Today, more than ever, actors must learn how to amplify their own unique voice and adapt all the tools available to tell their story. I hope that Gritty & Pretty inspires people to pursue their dreams while embracing their authentic selves,” said Leblanc, who recently won this year’s Film Riot’s Stay At Home Film Challenge during quarantine.
Tickets are on-sale at the official website for screenings on Saturday at 3:15pm PST, and on Sunday at 6:00pm, PST.