The Player’s Table: What We Know So Far

Just when you thought singer-songwriter Halsey finally had her fill of the world falling in love with her, she turns around and becomes an actress. The “Bad at Love” singer will make her screen debut in The Player’s Table, a prep school drama series based on the best-selling novel They Wish They Were Us by Cosmopolitan opinion editor Jessica Goodman, who just published it in August.

The script seems a perfect fit for the enigmatic Halsey, who will play Rachel Calloway, a one-time member of her wealthy prep school’s group of “players,” secret society members with enviable social clout. Now a graduate adrift in the adult world, Rachel is pulled back to Long Island when Jill Newman, a current senior, becomes convinced that Rachel’s brother, Graham, was falsely accused of a terrible murder three years ago. The two team up to prove Graham’s innocence before the dawn of his impending 18th birthday.

With the coronavirus pandemic perpetually looming over Hollywood projects, there’s not much we know yet about when we’ll finally see Halsey on-screen. But here’s what we do know.

Halsey will costar with Euphoria actress Sydney Sweeney.

You know what they say about the importance of networking. Euphoria star Sydney Sweeney met Halsey on the set of Halsey’s music video for “Graveyard,” and they enjoyed working together so much that Sweeney stayed in touch. She decided to reach out about her next television series, and Halsey was eager to sign on.

Sweeney has also appeared in HBO’s Sharp Objects, Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and Netflix’s Everything Sucks! She also runs her own production company, Fifty-Fifty Films, which will create The Player’s Table in partnership with Crazyrose and Endeavor Content.

She announced the team-up with Halsey on Instagram, calling the partnership the “biggest secret I’ve ever kept.”

Annabelle Attanasio will pen the script, as well as direct.

Although the series’ director might not have the instant name recognition of other Hollywood heavyweights, former actress Annabelle Attanasio is a smart pick for a young-adult series, given her work on the 2019 teen indie drama Mickey and the Bear. Her time performing on shows including Bull and The Knick also gives her rare insight into what Halsey and Sweeney will need to do in their roles.

In an interview last year with Refinery29, Attanasio said, “I am untrained as a director, I didn’t go to film school, and my vocabulary is comprised of the movies I’ve watched and the scripts I’ve read. I definitely thought I had everything to prove and felt that stupid thing of the imposter syndrome. You walk into these rooms and you feel like, I don’t belong here. I will say though, having acting training and acting experience was the best thing that could have come in terms of being a director because I understand how to learn each actor’s process and how to then nurture them however I can.”

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