You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Top Stories

Saved by the Bell Reboot Casts Transgender Actress Josie Totah in Lead Role

People logo People 07/01/2020 Ashley Boucher
J.J. Totah posing for a picture: Saved by the Bell Reboot Casts Transgender Actress Josie Totah in Lead Role © Provided by Meredith Corporation Saved by the Bell Reboot Casts Transgender Actress Josie Totah in Lead Role

Josie Totah has been cast in the lead role for the upcoming reboot of Saved by the Bell.

The 18-year-old actress will play the role of Lexi and will also serve as a producer, PEOPLE confirms.

The character is described as “a beautiful, sharp-tongued cheerleader and the most popular girl at Bayside High who is both admired and feared by her fellow students,” according to The Hollywood Reporter, who first reported her casting.

Gallery: The stars of Saved by the Bell - where are they now? (Hollywood Reporter)

The Saved by the Bell reboot was announced in September and will stream on NBCUniversal’s upcoming streaming platform, Peacock, which is set to launch in April of this year. NBC did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Original cast members Elizabeth Berkley (who played Jessie) and Mario Lopez (who played A.C.) are also set to star in the series, which comes from 30 Rock writer and Great News series creator Tracey Wigfield, PEOPLE previously reported.

Totah, who has appeared in NBC’s Champions, as well as Glee and No Good Nick, came out as transgender in 2018 with an essay for Time magazine.

“My pronouns are sheher and hers. I identify as female, specifically as a transgender female. And my name is Josie Totah,” she wrote. She was previously known as J.J. Totah.

“This is not something that just happened. This is not a choice that I made,” Totah continued. “When I was five, long before I understood what the word gender meant, I would always tell my mother that I wished I were a girl. Since I could speak in full sentences, I was like, ‘Give me a dress!’ I always knew on some level that I was female.”

Elizabeth Berkley, Mario Lopez posing for the camera: Elizabeth Berkley, Mario Lopez | Joseph Del Valle/NBC © Joseph Del Valle/NBC Elizabeth Berkley, Mario Lopez | Joseph Del Valle/NBC J.J. Totah posing for a picture: Josie Totah | David Crotty/Getty Images © David Crotty/Getty Images Josie Totah | David Crotty/Getty Images

“When my friends and family call me Josie, it feels like I’m being seen,” Totah said, adding, “It’s something everyone wants, to feel understood.”

The actress also said that she doesn’t believe she was placed in the “wrong body,” but that “God made me transgender.”

“I don’t feel like there was a mistake made,” she wrote. “I believe that I am transgender to help people understand differences. It allows me to gain perspective, to be more accepting of others, because I know what it feels like to know you’re not like everyone else.”

MSN UK is committed to Empowering the Planet and taking urgent action to protect our environment against the climate crisis. We’re supporting those on the front line tackling the Australian bushfire crisis. Find out more about our campaign here.


More from People

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon