Martin Starr, one of the stars of HBO’s hit comedy series Silicon Valley, has joined Paramount+’s upcoming Tulsa King. The new mob series stars Sylvester Stallone as the titular monarch of the second-largest city in Oklahoma and is from producer/showrunner/Paramount’s current main man Taylor Sheridan. For most of his career, Martin Starr has been known for primarily comedic roles, so it will be interesting to see whether this is a change of pace for the actor. Tulsa King has been adding some ringers to its cast recently and unveiled the first look at Stallone’s mob boss character, so it looks like things are moving right along for the show.
Deadline reports that Martin Starr has been added to the cast of Tulsa King as a character named Bodhi (who we have no evidence is related to Patrick Swayze’s character of the same name from 1991’s Point Break, but we will speculate is a cousin of some kind), the proprietor of a business called” Higher Plane Marijuana Dispensary.” It seems safe to assume that he is going to get drawn into Sylvester Stallone’s growing criminal empire at some point. Fellow comedic actor Andrea Savage was also recently cast in Tulsa King as ATF agent Stacy Beale, tasked with investigating terrorist militia groups in Oklahoma. Stallone himself will star as former mob boss Dwight “The General” Manfred, who begins the series being released from a long prison stint and demoted to the Oklahoma branch of his crime family’s enterprise. Presumably, taking over Martin Starr’s dispensary will be just one small part of his quest to regain power over the family.
In Silicon Valley, Martin Starr portrayed network engineer Bertram Gilfoyle for the HBO series’ six-season run, being particularly noted for his sarcastic attitude (even among tech guys). Starr first came to prominence as a teen actor as part of the ensemble cast of Paul Feig and Judd Apatow’s cult NBC series Freaks and Geeks as one of the titular geeks. The comedy-drama series set in the early 1980s Michigan suburbs was legendary for only lasting one season but launched the careers of a ridiculous number of stars, including Starr, Seth Rogen, James Franco, Linda Cardellini, and Busy Phillips. Post-Freaks and Geeks, Martin Starr found his career revitalized by Judd Apatow’s early 2000s ascendance in Hollywood, being cast in Knocked Up and Superbad. Currently, Martin Starr also features in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Roger Harrington, a science teacher of Peter Parker’s in the Spider-Man movies.
Tulsa King is one of Taylor Sheridan’s latest contributions to Paramount’s slate of gritty dramas. After the unexpected and mammoth success of the Kevin Costner-starring series Yellowstone (and its increasing number of spin-offs and prequels), Sheridan has become the network’s go-to guy for new shows. It’s a good time for Martin Starr to get in the Paramount+ game, as Stallone’s Tulsa King, Billy Bob Thornton’s Land Man, and Zoe Saldana’s Lionness are all in production to be released on the streaming service. Tulsa King is expected to premiere later in 2022.