Dwayne Johnson has been searching for a new love. Let me rephrase, a new love for his Baywatch character, and he found her! The actor and producer of the movie reboot announced the casting of Ilfenesh Hadera (Showtime’s Billions) with a lengthy post on Instagram.
According to The Rock’s “exclusive” announcement, the job had to be filled by someone “strong, intelligent, formidable, beautiful, and funny.” Hadera fits the bill. The actress, who has a brief resume but one that includes roles in the Josh Brolin-led Oldboy and Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq, will take the role of Stef.
Johnson, who plays the role of Mitch, wrote in part,
Seeing as she’s playing my love interest – my strong calloused hands are the ONLY HANDS allowed to rub suntan oil on her soft supple skin. You hear that [Zac] Efron? Step out of line Zac and she’ll knock your unattractive candy ass into next week. Mine too.
Hadera joins a cast that so far includes Johnson as a by-the-books lifeguard, Efron as a young hothead, fashion model Kelly Rohrbach in Pamela Anderson’s old role of C.J. Parker, and Alexandra Daddario as Summer (previously played by Nicole Eggert). Quantico star Priyanka Chopra is also being eyed for a role, though her casting has yet to be formally announced.
Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses 2) directs the hard R-rated film, which sees these characters teaming up to save their beach from destruction at the hands of an oil tycoon. So far, it’s looking to be a total raunch-fest, as Johnson previously teased a “this is my beach, bitch” style of humor. The actor also wrote “a few more big announcements/cool surprises” are coming along the way, so keep your eyes glued to his Instagram account if you’re looking for the latest updates.
EXCLUSIVE: Casting my #BAYWATCH love interest wasn’t easy (extremely tough job but hey I’m one of the producers;) but we finally found her. For our coveted role of “STEF”, she had to be a lot of things: Strong, intelligent, formidable, beautiful and funny. Want to welcome the talented @ilfenator Ilfenesh Hadera to our #BAYWATCH family. She’s a 5’11 walkin’ smokestack with legs for days. Smart and tougher than new rope.. just the way we like ’em. And seeing as she’s playing my love interest – my strong calloused hands are the ONLY HANDS allowed to rub suntan oil on her soft supple skin. You hear that Efron? Step out of line Zac and she’ll knock your unattractive candy ass into next week. Mine too. Our dope cast is coming together nicely with a few more big announcements/cool surprises along the way. Let’s have some rated R fun.. We are the keepers of “The Bay”. We are… #BAYWATCH. #SandSquadUpInThisBitch