Source: Shadow and Act
With production set to start very soon, Tessa Thompson is the latest actress to be cast in Ava DuVernay’s MLK Biopic ‘Selma.’
Selma details the attempts of black marchers to walk from Selma to Montgomery, the capital of Alabama, in 1965 in order to gain voting rights, only to be beaten back by police. It took the organizers three attempts to make the journey as marchers swelled in numbers each time.
Thompson will be playing the role of Diane Nash, a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in April 1960, who also played a key role in bringing Martin Luther King Jr. to Montgomery, AL, in support of the Freedom Riders. She was sentenced to two years in prison for teaching nonviolent tactics to children in Jackson, MS, although she was four months pregnant. She was later released on appeal. Nash also played a major role in the Birmingham de-segregation campaign of 1963 and the Selma Voting Rights Campaign of 1965.
She joins a cast that includes David Oyelowo, who’s playing Martin Luther King Jr., Carmen Ejogo as his wife Coretta Scott King, Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson, Short Term 12′s Keith Stanfield as Jimmie Lee Jackson, Lorraine Toussaint as civil rights activist Amelia Boynton (Robinson), eight-time Grammy nominee artist Ledisi as the legendary gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, and Colman Domingo and Andre Holland playing the Reverend Ralph Abernathy and politician Andrew Young respectively.
Known for the role as Jackie Cook on the TV series ‘Veronica Mars,’ Thompson also had a main role on the BBC series ‘Copper.’ The Los Angeles native was among a bevy of actresses featured in Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls, and will next be seen on the big screen as the lead in Justin Simien’s ‘Dear White People.’
Oprah Winfrey and her Harpo production company, Plan B’s Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, and Christian Colson will produce ‘Selma.’ Paramount will distribute the film.