Jason Segel Joins HBO’s Los Angeles Lakers Series as Paul Westhead

Joe Otterson
·2-min read

Jason Segel has been cast as Paul Westhead in the HBO series about the Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s.

The untitled series was ordered at HBO in December 2019. It is described as chronicling the professional and personal lives of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers, one of sports’ most revered and dominant dynasties, in what came to be called the Showtime Era.

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Westhead is described as a Shakespeare professor who leaves grading papers behind to be assistant coach of the Lakers. In Los Angeles, Westhead steps into a drama straight off the Bard’s page (of which he is fond of quoting).

Segel is the second casting announced for the series on Thursday, with Variety previously reporting that Bo Burnham has been cast in the role of Celtics star Larry Bird.

Segel is primarily known for his comedy roles, having starred in the hit sitcom “How I Met Your Mother” as well as shows like “Freaks and Geeks” and “Undeclared.” He most recently starred in the AMC drama series “Dispatches from Elsewhere,” which he created, directed, and produced. On the film side, Segel has collaborated with Judd Apatow a number of times since their days on “Freaks and Geeks,” starring in films like “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “Knocked Up,” and “This Is 40.” Segel was also the writer on “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and both wrote and starred in “The Muppets” in 2011.

He is repped by WME and Sloane Offer.

The Lakers series has assembled an all-star lineup, with recent additions including Adrien Brody, Sally Field, and Michael Chiklis as Pat Riley, Jessie Buss, and Red Auerbach respectively.

The series also stars: John C. Reilly as Jerry Buss, Jason Clarke as Jerry West, Quincy Isaiah as Magic Johnson, Solomon Hughes as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Gaby Hoffmann as Claire Rothman, Hadley Robinson as Jeanie Buss, DeVaughn Nixon as Norm Nixon, Molly Gordon as Linda Zafrani, Rob Morgan as Earvin Johnson Sr., Spencer Garrett as Chick Hearn, Kirk Bovill as Donald Sterling, Delante Desouza as Michael Cooper, Stephen Adly Guirgis as Frank Mariani, Tamera Tomakili as Earletha ‘Cookie’ Kelly, and Joey Brooks as Lon Rosen.

The show is based on Jeff Pearlman’s non-fiction book “Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s.” Max Borenstein serves as writer and executive producer. Adam McKay directed the pilot and executive produces through Hyperobject Industries. Kevin Messick of Hyperobject will also executive produce along with Jason Shuman. Jim Hecht co-wrote the story and will also executive produce. Scott Stephens will also executive produce along with Rodney Barnes.

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