Lourdes Benedicto (The Nine, 24) will play the love interest for Bonnie Somerville’s character Caitlin in ABC’s Cashmere Mafia, a midseason drama about four 30-something women in Manhattan trying to juggle their personal lives with their high-profile careers.
Produced by Darren Star and written by Kevin Wade, the series is described by ABC as “a thinking woman’s Sex and the City mixed with the wit of The Devil Wears Prada, this one-hour drama assembles a cast of bright, driven, relatable women who support each other through rocky marriages, rival colleagues, kids’ recitals and the hunt for the perfect loft.” In addition to Somerville and Benedicto, the cast includes Lucy Liu, Miranda Otto, and Frances O’Connor.
Benedicto’s character, Alicia, was originally described in the casting sides as “37, British, with a striking physical beauty made all the more appealing by a disarmingly scattered, un-self-conscious air. Men want to be with her, women want to be like her.”
In the pilot, Caitlin, a cosmetics-industry VP, interviews and hires Alicia, and unexpectedly finds herself attracted to her. At dinner one night after working late, the two women kiss — and Caitlin’s world turns upside down.
Benedicto, a 32-year-old American actress of Filipino and Spanish/Dominican descent, will be only the fourth regular or recurring Latina lesbian/bisexual character on network television (the others were played by Lisa Vidal on ER, Iyari Limon on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Daniella Alonso on One Tree Hill).
Benedicto is best known for her role on last season’s short-lived series The Nine. Other television roles include Carrie Turner on Season 2 of 24, and guest roles on Dawson’s Creek, ER and NYPD Blue. It is not yet clear how many episodes of Cashmere she has signed on for.
The series is currently slated to air Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on ABC beginning in January 2008.
See Benedicto and Somerville in the three-minute trailer for Cashmere Mafia here, and visit our blog for more details on the pilot’s lesbian story line: