HBO filling out cast for "Empress of the Blues" Bessie Smith biopic

HBO filling out cast for

PanARMENIAN.Net - HBO is filling out its cast for its upcoming Bessie Smith biopic. Fargo's Oliver Platt, How to Make It in America's Bryan Greenberg and True Detective's Tory Kittles have been added to the cast of the TV movie, The Hollywood Reporter said.

The telepic revolves around iconic blues singer Smith (Queen Latifah) as she overcomes the challenges of her tempestuous personal life to become one of the most acclaimed performers and recording artists of the 1920s and '30s, to be known forevermore as the "Empress of the Blues." The film, based on Smith's life story, is written and directed by Pariah's Dee Rees.

Platt will play famed photographer and writer Carl Van Vechten; Greenberg is set as renowned record producer and music critic John Hammond; and Kittles will portray Bessie's brother Clarence. They join a cast that includes Mo'Nique as Ma Rainey,Michael K. Williams as Jack Gee, Mike Epps as Richard; Khandi Alexander as Viola; Tika Sumpter as Lucille and Charles S. Dutton asWilliam "Pa" Rainey.

Latifah will executive produce the HBO Films and Zanuck Co. movie via her Flavor Unit Entertainment banner.

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