HBO’s upcoming The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is adding an NCIS star.
Rocky Carroll has joined the cast of the HBO Films telepic, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Based on Rebecca Skloot’s nonfiction best-seller of the same name, the biopic tells the story of Henrietta Lacks, a poor black woman who died of cervical cancer in 1951. Without her consent, pieces of the tumor that killed her were removed and used for medical exploration and helped build a billion-dollar research industry. The movie is told through the eyes of Henrietta’s daughter, Deborah Lacks (Oprah Winfrey). Carroll, better known as NCIS director Leon Vance, will play Sonny Lacks, Henrietta’s third child. He joins a cast that also includes Rose Byrne as Rebecca Skloot, a journalist and friend of Deborah’s. Tony-winning Hamilton star Renee Elise Goldsberry is set as Henrietta.
George C. Wolfe (Lackawanna Blues, Angels in America) wrote the screenplay and will direct the telepic, which begins production this summer. Winfrey and her Harpo Films will also exec produce alongside Carla Gardini, Alan Ball, Peter Macdissi and Lydia Dean Pilcher. Lacks’ sons, David Lacks Jr. and Zakariyya Rahman, and granddaughter Jeri Lacks will serve as consultants. Skloot will co-exec produce.
Carroll, also a Tony-nominated actor, counts Grey’s Anatomy and The Game among his credits. He’s repped by Link and attorney Darrell Miller.