Thompson 'Interrupted' for Lifetime
EmptyLea Thompson has been tapped to star in the Lifetime movie "A Life Interrupted." The drama is inspired by the life of Debbie Smith, a rape survivor who successfully lobbied for the passage of anti-rape legislation designed to eliminate the backlog of untested DNA kits.
In 1989, Smith, a shy suburban housewife and mother, was dragged from her kitchen in broad daylight and raped in the woods behind her home while her police officer husband was asleep upstairs. After undergoing the rape kit test, Smith waited six years for her rapist to be identified, only to learn that he had been in jail nearly the whole time she had been living in fear of his return.
Upon learning about the estimated half-million untested DNA rape kits across the country, Smith set out to help women in similar circumstances and agreed to work with a forensic scientist to lobby Congress on the importance of nationwide DNA testing. Lifetime also joined in the effort, launching on-air spots and an online petition that resulted in more than 100,000 signatures being presented to Congress. The legislation, known as "The Debbie Smith Act," is expected to put about 70,000 rapists behind bars, according to Lifetime.
"Debbie Smith is a true hero, and Lifetime is honored to tell her story," Lifetime vp original movies Libby Beers said. "(Her) courage in sharing her story has made an enormous difference for so many women."
Added Lifetime executive vp public affairs Meredith Wagner: "We first met Debbie the day before she testified in Congress, and we knew right away that our audience would be touched by her courage and outraged about the backlog of DNA evidence that, if tested, could put so many rapists behind bars."
The movie will be the centerpiece of Lifetime's Emmy-winning campaign My Lifetime Commitment: End Violence Against Women, launched seven years ago. In April, Lifetime will again bring the campaign to the nation's capital with its fifth annual Stop Violence Week in Washington, which will include a premiere screening of "Life Interrupted" and a special appearance by Debbie and Rob Smith. The movie will debut on Lifetime at 9 p.m. on April 23.
"Life Interrupted" is produced by Incendo Prods. in association with Anne Carlucci Prods. Incendo's Jean Bureau and Stephen Greenberg are executive producing along with Anne Carlucci; Josee Mauffette and Serge Denis are producing. Stefan Pleszcynski directs from a screenplay by John Wierick.
Thompson most recently appeared in Fox's reality competition "Celebrity Duets" and the Hallmark Channel mystery movie series "Jane Doe." Her credits include the "Back to the Future" trilogy and starring roles on NBC's "Caroline in the City" and Lifetime's "For the People." She is repped by Innovative Artists.