July 01, 2014 1:10pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Oliver Platt, Bryan Greenberg Join HBO's 'Bessie' 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 has learned.
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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 as William "Pa" Rainey.
Latifah will executive produce the HBO Films and Zanuck Co. movie via her Flavor Unit Entertainment banner. Lili Fini Zanuck, Richard Zanuck, Shakim Compere, Shelby Stone and Randi Michel will also exec produce. Hallie Foote is on board to co-exec produce and Ron Schmidt will produce.
Platt is with WME; Greenberg is with Gersh; and Kittles is repped by APA.