Timmy, the protagonist of “Blockbuster,” was modeled after Randall Park, according to “Blockbuster” author Vanessa Ramos.
Timmy and his staff strive to keep the last Blockbuster on earth afloat in the new Netflix sitcom, which starts Thursday on the streaming service.
In an interview with Insider, Ramos revealed that she was asked to recommend a lead actor while pitching the project.
Timmy was described as a Randall Park type in Ramos’s first pitch. “Oh no, no, we’ll never get Randall Park, but Netflix wants to know who’s in your head when you’re writing it,” the producers stated.
Park is well-known for his humorous appearances in sitcoms such as “Fresh Off the Boat” and films such “The Interview” and “Always Be Maybe.”
Ramos continued by stating that they chose to submit the script to Park first to gauge his opinion. After reading the script, the actor expressed his desire to be a part of the production.
“It was obvious,” she continued.
Timmy (James Park) and Eliza (Melissa Fumero) are a will-they-or-won’t-they couple on the show.
Ricardo Hubbs / Netflix
Timmy’s employee Eliza, on whom he has a crush, was also selected swiftly.
Ramos stated that she knew Melissa Fumero from her work on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and recognized that Eliza’s demeanor resembled the actor’s even more than her character on the popular cop series.
Selfishly, I wanted [Park and Fumero] to appear on-screen together, Ramos stated.
The series is partially based on the actual, still-operating Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon.
Ramos and fellow cast member Olga Merediz told Insider that the show does not emphasize the actual employees of the store. Instead, authors created imaginary characters and plots for the series.
Merediz stated, “This is our own story, and it’s basically a reference to that Blockbuster, only ours takes place in Michigan.”
Tyler Alvarez, who portrays the character of Carlos, told Insider: “I believe it is more of a love letter to Blockbuster, movies, and that era than a negative statement. I believe this is why Netflix wanted to create it, as Netflix is a great Blockbuster lover.”
“Blockbuster” is currently available on Netflix.