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UPDATE: Obama Praises ‘Scandal’ At Shonda Rhimes & Kerry Washington Fundraiser; Producer Says POTUS “Doing His Job Like A Boss”

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 6:52pm PDT

UPDATE: Obama Praises ‘Scandal’ At Shonda Rhimes & Kerry Washington Fundraiser; Producer Says POTUS “Doing His Job Like A Boss”UPDATE, 6:52PM: President Obama addressed a crowd of about 450 supporters tonight during a fundraiser hosted by Shonda Rhimes and her Scandal star Kerry Washington. According to White House pool reports, the president gave his traditional fundraising remarks but couldn’t resist citing the ABC drama about a D.C. fixer and her capital intrigue. “No offense — Scandal‘s a great show,” Obama said, “but it’s not necessarily something we want to be living day in and day out.” Earlier, Washington introduced Rhimes as “my boss,” then the prolific producer said of the president, “He’s been doing his job like a boss.” Obama later returned the compliment, saying “there were few people who worked harder” on his campaign than Rhimes did. She was Obama-Hollywood-c__131126053020__131207184450__131212224847__131217180859__140130070536a big supporter of both of his presidential bids as a donor and a volunteer – even pitching in at a campaign phone bank. He also joked about her having a video of him trying to keep up with Usher on the dance floor. “She can blackmail me at any time,” he said of the video. “I did not drop and split, but I did bust a move.”

Related: Obama Names ‘Scandal’ Creator Shonda Rhimes To Kennedy Center Board 

Pool reports say the commander in chief arrived at Rhimes’ Spanish-style Hancock Park home a little after 5PM. The $32,400-a-ticket event was held in the backyard, which was adorned with white umbrellas and U.S. and California flags.

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Aimee Garcia & Mircea Monroe To Star In TV Land Pilot ‘Impastor’

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 5:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Aimee Garcia & Mircea Monroe To Star In TV Land Pilot ‘Impastor’EXCLUSIVE: Dexter alum Aimee Garcia and EpisodesMircea Monroe are set as leads opposite Michael Rosenbaum in TV Land’s single-camera dark comedy Impastor. Written by Christopher Vane and directed by Robert Greenberg, the story centers on Buddy (Rosenbaum), a lowlife on the run from his debts who hides away in a small town by conning its residents into thinking he’s their new gay pastor. Garcia plays Buddy’s put-upon girlfriend, LeeAnne, is a bartender in San Francisco who is used to Buddy leading a chaotic, trouble-jammed lifestyle. A little bored with all the constant upheaval in his life, she dismisses his latest tale of danger and drama. But after Buddy disappears, an apparent suicide, LeeAnne has a new set of problems: dealing with her snarky mother, dealing with the cops, dealing with a funeral director, and (most complicated of all) dealing with Buddy’s criminal creditors on top of the guilt of “abandoning” him.  Monroe plays Alexa Cummings, the sexy Head Trustee of Loomis Lutheran Church, who’s instantly attracted to the new pastor in town, Buddy. Alexa’s sophistication hides a mysterious past. Garcia, repped by Dave Fleming at Mosaic, Paradigm and Ginsberg Daniels, recently appeared in MGM’s Robocop. Monroe is with Gersh and LINK.

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EMMYS: Record 11 Black Actors & Actresses Nominated Across All Categories

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 12:57pm PDT

EMMYS: Record 11 Black Actors & Actresses Nominated Across All CategoriesLast year Kerry Washington and Don Cheadle made Emmy history as two African American actors breaking through the lead acting categories at the same time with nominations.  Not only did they both earn nominations again this year, but a total of 11 Black actors and actresses were nominated across all acting categories — the most since 1977 when Roots racked up nine nominations for its castmembers according to TV Academy stats (Roots wound up winning trophies for Olivia Cole  and Louis Gossett Jr).  Last year Washington’s nom for Scandal repped the first in nearly two decades for a black actress, the last being Cicely Tyson in 1995′s Sweet Justice. This year, Washington will be running into Tyson on the red carpet as she’s also up for an nomination in the lead movie/miniseries actress category for The Trip to Bountiful. Another big year for Black thesps was 1986, when The Cosby Show earned eight acting nominations and a guest comedy actor win for Roscoe Lee Browne. Typically the Emmys, similar to the Oscars, has been criticized for a lack of diversity in the past.

mark evan jackson“It’s a testament to the storytelling that is going on out there,” Andre Braugher, who plays Captain Ray Holt on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, said this morning about the record. “If you look at what Fox is doing with diverse comedies, there’s The Mindy Project and our show. There’s a new dimension of half-hour comedies that don’t depend on stereotypes or the boxes we put people in. I play a … Read More »

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EMMYS: British Continue To Invade Acting Categories

EMMYS: British Continue To Invade Acting CategoriesCor blimey, the British aren’t coming — they’re here to stay. Including Ricky Gervais’ surprise Emmy nomination as Lead Actor in a Comedy series for Derek this morning, there are 15 nods for Brits in the acting races this year. If we add voice-overs, Jeremy Irons and Daniel Craig would make it 17 performance nods. Last year, there were 14 total.

British actors have been plying their trade in U.S. series for ages, but this crop boasts a lot of British-based (or instigated) productions and co-productions rather than U.S. shows à la Homeland. The UK TV tax credit has encouraged British broadcasters to strive for increasingly ambitious productions.

dancing on the edgeAlong with Gervais, whose Derek was originally commissioned for Channel 4 before being picked up by Netflix, there’s a big group from perennial Downton Abbey, a co-pro of Carnival Films and Masterpiece; a first Emmy nod for Golden Globe nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor in BBC miniseries Dancing On The Edge, which Starz airs Stateside; Idris Elba in Luther, another BBC show that goes out on BBC America; and Helena Bonham Carter playing the British-American Elizabeth Taylor in BBC and BBC America co-pro Burton & Taylor. And, of course, Sherlock is back this year. Benedict Cumberbatch scored a Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie spot … Read More »

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EMMYS: Overall Nominations By Network

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 7:08am PDT

EMMYS: Overall Nominations By NetworkOnce again, HBO led all networks in Emmy nominations this year, and it wasn’t even close. Here’s a look at HBO’s noms haul in the past decade, followed by a breakdown in who got what this year.

Emmy Nominations HBO Chart 2004 to 2014

 

NOMINATIONS BY NETWORK

HBO – 99
CBS – 47
NBC – 46
FX Networks – 45
ABC – 37
PBS – 34
Netflix – 31
FOX– 30
AMC – 26
Showtime – 24
Comedy Central – 21
FOX– 30
Lifetime – 17
National Geographic Channel – 15
Starz – 11
Discovery Channel – 10 Read More »

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EMMYS: Overall Nominations By Show

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 7:07am PDT

EMMYS: Overall Nominations By ShowGame of Thrones led the Emmy nominations race, but not by much, ahead of Fargo, American Horror Story‘s latest, Breaking Bad and The Normal Heart. Below we have charts with all the shows, organized by most nominations and by name. We also have a show-by-show index of what each show was nominated for. Read More »

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Primetime Emmys: Full List Of Nominees

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 5:53am PDT

Primetime Emmys: Full List Of NomineesThe 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards nominations were announced this morning at the TV Academy in North Hollywood. Netflix fared well with Best Series nominations in both comedy and drama categories, with Orange Is The New Black in the former and House Of Cards in the latter. HBO fared well with noms for rookie Silicon Valley and Veep on the comedy side and Game Of Thrones and True Detective on the drama side. Both of that series’ stars, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrleson, received nods in the actor category, as did Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm. The AMC show is back in the drama race with Breaking Bad and Downton Abbey rounding out the category. On the comedy side, the top category includes reigning champ Modern Family, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory and FX’s Louie.

Here’s the full list of noms:

Outstanding Comedy Series

The Big Bang Theory
CBS • Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television

Louie
FX Networks • Pig Newton, Inc. and FX Productions

Modern Family
ABC • Picador Productions and Steven Levitan Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Television

Orange Is The New Black
Netflix • Lionsgate Television for Netflix

Silicon Valley
HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Judgemental Films, Alec Berg, Altschuler Krinsky works, and 3 Arts Entertainment

Veep
HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Dundee Productions

Outstanding Drama Series

Breaking Bad
AMC • Sony Pictures Television

Downton Abbey
PBS • A Carnival Films/Masterpiece Co-Production in association with NBC Universal

Game Of Thrones
HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions

House Of Cards
Netflix • Donen/Fincher/Roth and Trigger Street Productions, Inc. in association with Media Rights Capital for Netflix

Mad Men
AMC • Lionsgate Television

True Detective
HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Neon Black, Anonymous Content, Parliament of Owls and Passenger Read More »

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Sara Rue To Co-Star In TV Land Comedy Pilot ‘Impastor’

By | Wednesday July 2, 2014 @ 3:01pm PDT

Sara Rue To Co-Star In TV Land Comedy Pilot ‘Impastor’Sara Rue is set to star opposite Michael Rosenbaum in TV Land’s single-camera comedy pilot Impastor. Written by Christopher Vane, the story centers on a lowlife on the run from his debts (Rosenbaum) who hides away in a small town by conning its residents into thinking he’s their newly hired gay pastor. Vane, Eric and Kim Tannenbaum, Rosenbaum and Robert Greenberg are executive producing with Greenberg directing the pilot. Rue will portray Dora, a local gossip and assistant to the pastor who also is in charge of the Lutheran Church’s Selection Committee — responsible for bringing him to town in the first place. Rue most recently starred on ABC’s Malibu Country. She also recently was seen in the indie film Dorfman In Love. Other credits include multiple-episode arcs on The Big Bang Theory and Two And A Half Men and starring for four seasons on Less Than Perfect. She is repped by APA, Alan David Management, and Nelson Davis Wetzstein.

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FINAL BOX OFFICE: First Half Of 2014 No Growth From Year Earlier As ‘Think Like A Man Too’ Debuts With $29M+; ‘Jersey Boys’ With $13.3M

FINAL BOX OFFICE: First Half Of 2014 No Growth From Year Earlier As ‘Think Like A Man Too’ Debuts With $29M+; ‘Jersey Boys’ With $13.3M

OPENING: Think Like A Man Too (SONY/SCREEN GEMS) to come in at No. 1 and around $29.2M as first predicted; Jersey Boys (WB) at No. 4 at $13.3M.

Image (8) box_office_weekend_3202008-12-22-1229966765__111124053707-150x150.jpg for post 7355586th UPDATE, MONDAY 3:16 PM:  The first half of 2014 is flat so far — as in no growth year from last year — up only .5% in terms of box office revenue. The summer box office so far is actually down around 15% this year as well so Transformers: Age of Extinction will be a welcome offering this weekend. One note is that last summer and last year both were revenue records, driven by such top hits as Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Iron Man 3, Despicable Me 2, and Man of Steel to name a few. This year is kind of seen as a transition year before sequelmania hits in 2015.
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Paramount Dates MLK Jr. Pic ‘Selma’ For Christmas 2014

By | Friday June 20, 2014 @ 10:49am PDT

Paramount Dates MLK Jr. Pic ‘Selma’ For Christmas 2014Director Ava DuVernay’s Martin Luther King, Jr. film Selma will open in limited release on Christmas Day before going wide on January 9, 2015. Paramount and Pathé’s Paul Webb-scripted awards season drama has the powerhouse backing of producers Oprah Winfrey, Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave shingle Plan B, and Cloud Eight Films’ Oscar-winner Christian Colson (127 Hours, Slumdog Millionaire). The film stars David Oyelowo as the iconic civil rights leader and tracks King’s struggle to secure voting rights for all people, culminating in the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, and President Lyndon Johnson’s signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Starring alongside Oyelowo are Tom Wilkinson as Johnson, Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King, Andre Holland as Andrew Young, Omar J. Dorsey as James Orange, Alessandro Nivola as John Doar, Dylan Baker as J. Edgar Hoover, Giovanni Ribisi as Lee White, Tessa Thompson as Diane Nash, Colman Domingo as Ralph Abernathy, Stephen Root as Al Lingo, Jeremy Strong as James Reeb, Tim Roth as George Wallace, and Winfrey as Annie Lee Cooper.

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Hot Trailer: Kevin Hart In ‘The Wedding Ringer’

By | Thursday June 19, 2014 @ 5:52pm PDT

Hot Trailer: Kevin Hart In ‘The Wedding Ringer’A teaser trailer has dropped for The Wedding Ringer, the comedy featuring Kevin Hart (Ride Along) and Josh Gad (Frozen) due out for the Martin Luther King Day holiday weekend. In the pic, a loner hires a fake friend to play his best man in his upcoming wedding, and the two build an unlikely friendship. Kaley Cuoco, Ken Howard and Affion Crockett co-star. The film is directed and co-written by Jeremy Garelick and produced by Adam Fields and William Packer. Take a look:

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EMMYS: ‘Tanning Of America’s Steve Stoute On Norman Lear’s Influence & Hip-Hop’s Reach

By | Thursday June 19, 2014 @ 12:42pm PDT

EMMYS: ‘Tanning Of America’s Steve Stoute On Norman Lear’s Influence & Hip-Hop’s ReachThere have been a lot of hip hop documentaries over the years but few have been as extensive and with such a variety of interviewees as The Tanning Of America: One Nation Under Hip-Hop. Shown in four hourlong parts on VH1 earlier this year, the docu from former music industry exec and marketing man Steve Stoute is truly a wide ranging and deep cuts examination of a culture and how a genre that originated in the Bronx in the 70s has come to influence American life more than musically. A producer on 2013’s Ron Howard-helmed docu Made In America, Stoute reached into his extensive network for Tanning to get not just the director plus Dr. Dre, Russell Simmons, Mariah Carey, Jimmy Iovine, Rick Rubin, Brian Grazer, Fab 5 Freddy and Norman Lear among others on camera. Hosted by Stoute and based on his 2011 book of the same name, the Billy Corben directed docu with narration by Scandal’s Kerry Washington mixed in the high profile interviews with comprehensive footage tracking the evolution of hip hop. An evolution that brought down racial barriers in America and helped elect a President, says the EP.

DEADLINE: Steve, you’re a busy guy. Why add a documentary series to the workload? And not just a documentary but a 4-hour, 4-part documentary.
STEVE STOUTE: Well, you know, Dominic, what happened was, when I wrote the book, I was inspired by the response that I’ve gotten from a lot of my peers in … Read More »

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Dylan Baker Set For J Edgar Hoover Role In MLK Pic ‘Selma’

By | Tuesday June 17, 2014 @ 12:25pm PDT

Dylan Baker Set For J Edgar Hoover Role In MLK Pic ‘Selma’EXCLUSIVE: Spider-Man 2 and 3‘s Dylan Baker has joined the cast of Paramount’s Martin Luther King Jr. pic Selma as one of the civil rights leader’s most vigorous government adversaries. He’ll play FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who under the direction of then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy, carried out extensive investigations of King and his cohorts, including wiretapping and heavy surveillance.

Related: Paramount To Make MLK Pic ‘Selma’; Oprah Winfrey Producing

Ava DuVernay is directing the film, which is in production with David Oyelowo playing MLK, Carmen Ejogo as wife Coretta Scott King and a supporting cast that includes Oprah Winfrey, Tom Wilkinson, Cuba Gooding Jr, Common, Alessandro Nivola and Tessa Thompson. Last month Tim Roth joined the cast as segregationist Alabama Gov. George Wallace. Baker is coming off an Emmy-nominated run on The Good Wife and stints on Chicago Fire and spinoff Chicago PD. He is repped by Innovative and Viking.

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R.I.P. Ruby Dee

By | Thursday June 12, 2014 @ 10:28am PDT

Ruby Dee DeadOscar-nominated stage and screen actress Ruby Dee died Wednesday at her home in New York. She was 91. Dee made her film debut in 1946′s That Man of Mine, earned notice playing Rae Robinson in 1950′s The Jackie Robinson Story, and famously originated the role of suffering housewife Ruth Younger in the groundbreaking Broadway play A Raisin in the Sun opposite Sidney Poitier – a role she reprised in the 1961 film adaptation, earning the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress. Decades later Dee received her only Academy Award nomination for her brief turn in 2008′s American Gangster. In between those milestones she also won an Emmy for 1990 miniseries Decoration Day and earned eight more Emmy nods. Among her numerous additional honors, Dee shared a Grammy with late husband Ossie Davis for their spoken word album With Ossie And Ruby: In This Life Together and was honored with a lifetime achievement award from the Screen Actors Guild.

Dee was born Ruby Ann Wallace, later taking her surname from first husband, blues singer Frankie Dee. But it was her second marriage to fellow actor Ossie Davis that became indelibly intertwined with her life in the arts and in political activism. The couple were close friends with civil rights icons Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, attending the 1963 civil rights March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom where Dee spoke and Davis emceed. Following Davis’s death in 2005, the two received the National Civil Rights Museum’s Lifetime Achievement Freedom Award.

Ruby DeeDee made her stage debut in 1940 with the American Negro Theatre’s On Strivers Row and played Ruth Younger in the 1959 Broadway premiere of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in The Sun (currently being revived on Broadway). Dee would have a significant impact on the cause of non-traditional casting, starring in the title role of Philip Yordan’s Anna Lucasta, as Kate in The Taming Of The Shrew, Cordelia in King Lear, Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie and as Gertrude, in a New York Shakespeare Festival production of Hamlet, among other many others. She is remembered for an astonishingly powerful performance in Athol Fugard’s Boesman and Lena (later made into a film starring Danny Glover and Angela Bassett). Dee and husband Davis were devoted supporters of African-American theater artists and was long affiliated with groups such as Woody King Jr.’s off-Broadway New Federal Theatre. Read More »

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Sarah Paulson Joins Nic Cage In ‘The Runner’; Matt Craven Suits Up For ‘Stonewall’; Jeremy Strong Joins ‘Selma,’ ‘Black Mass,’ ‘Time Out Of Mind’

By | Tuesday June 10, 2014 @ 7:23pm PDT

Sarah Paulson Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated Sarah Paulson has joined Nicolas Cage in The Runner, about an idealistic but flawed New Orleans Congressman Colin Price whose dysfunctional life and career are destroyed by a sex scandal. Paulson, last seen in the Oscar-winner 12 Years A Slave, will play a PR consultant Price hires to help him get back into the political game. Paulson earned an Emmy nod for her turn in American Horror Story: Asylum and will return for the FX series’ next installment, American Horror Story: Freak Show. She’s repped by UTA and Kipperman Management.

Craven, MattResurrection and Justified thesp Matt Craven has been cast in Roland Emmerich’s NYC period drama Stonewall. Jeremy Irvine, Caleb Landry Jones, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ron Perlman, and Joey King are also starring in the pic about the 1969 police raid at Greenwich Village’s Stonewall Inn that served as a flashpoint for the gay rights movement. Craven will play Deputy Seymour Pine, the leader of the raiding police force who sympathizes with the gay community but must carry out his duties. Craven previously starred in Emmerich’s White House Down. He’ll squeeze in his Stonewall shoot before heading to film the second season of ABC’s Resurrection. Craven is repped by Frontline Management, SDB Partners and Paul Hemrend in Toronto.

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Oliver Stone Buys Edward Snowden Russian Lawyer’s “Novel” About Asylum-Seeking Whistleblower

By | Tuesday June 10, 2014 @ 8:50am PDT
Mike Fleming

snowdenUPDATE, 8:50 AM PT: Oliver Stone and producing partner Moritz Borman are widening their source material for the movie Stone plans to write and direct on CIA leaker Edward Snowden. They’ve made a deal with Snowden’s Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, for film rights to his novel Time Of The Octopus, what seems like a thinly veiled account of his experience with Snowden. It’s the story of an American whistleblower who heads to Russia and the back and forth between the leaker and his lawyer as he waits while that country considers his request for asylum. Stone and Borman already got screen rights to The Snowden Files: The Inside Story Of The World’s Most Wanted Man, a book by Guardian journalist Luke Harding that’s published by Guardian Faber. This might be as close as they can get to actually obtaining rights from Snowden. I wondered if he would be part of the movie. Like Julian Assange, he is a polarizing figure that some would call brave, and others — including the U.S. government — would call a turncoat, or worse after he made public more classified documents than anyone else has done since Daniel Ellsburg released The Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War. Stone intends to put the movie in production this year. He’s not alone in his desire to make a Snowden film. Last month, Sony Pictures acquired film rights to Pulitzer-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald‘s upcoming book No Place To Hide: Edward Snowden, The NSA, And The U.S. Surveillance State. That pic will be produced by Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, the producers of the James Bond spy franchise.

Related: Sony Acquires Movie Rights To Edward Snowden Book ‘No Place To Hide’

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Bill Condon Helming ‘Beauty And The Beast;’ John Lavelle Joins ‘Selma’; Janeane Garofalo, Phyllis Somerville & Ed Weeks Cast In ‘3rd Street Blackout’

By | Wednesday June 4, 2014 @ 3:25pm PDT

Bill_CondonDisney has hired Bill Condon to direct a live-action Beauty And The Beast as the studio continues to mine the fairy tale books for all they are worth. Condon is coming off The Fifth Estate, the Julian Assange movie that unfortunately didn’t have a fairy tale ending…

John LavelleJohn Lavelle has joined the cast of Paramount’s Selma for director Ava Duvernay. He will play Roy Reed, a reporter covering the Martin Luther King Jr-led march on Washington for The New York Times. The ensemble also features David Oyeloko, Tom Wilkinson, Cuba Gooding Jr and Tim Roth. Lavelle, whose recent credits include Zerosome, Dirty Movie and voices in Frozen, is repped by Innovative Artists and Coronel Group.

Janeane GarofaloJaneane Garafolo, Phyllis Somerville and Ed Weeks are set to star in the indie comedy 3rd Street Blackout. Production is underway on the film from co-directors Negin Farsad and Jeremy Redleaf, which follows a technology-obsessed couple forced to re-examine their relationship when they become suddenly unplugged in NYC during Hurricane Sandy. The cast also includes Jordan Carlos, Arthur French, Rachel Feinstein, Katie Hartman and Miles J. Harvey.

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Tim Roth To Play Alabama Governor George Wallace In MLK Pic ‘Selma’

Mike Fleming

timroEXCLUSIVE: After playing Monaco’s Prince Rainer III in the Cannes opening-night film Grace Of Monaco, Tim Roth will play another period figure in a major feature. He’s signing on to the cast of Selma, and he will be playing George Wallace, the Alabama governor who favored segregation and whose bullying tactics galvanized Martin Luther King Jr and the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery. The Ava DuVernay-directed film for Paramount is shaping up with a strong cast that includes David Oyelowo as Dr. King and Tom Wilkinson is President Lyndon Johnson. Wallace turned out to be a key player in the proceedings, though it wallacehardly ended up like he hoped it would. He vowed to stop the march, and when the first wave of protesters turned up, they were brutally beaten by Wallace’s Alabama State Troopers. This created national outrage, and protesters white and black began arriving from all over the country. The continued violence led LBJ to say that this was not a black problem or a white problem but an American problem, and it prompted the president to push for the Voting Rights Act, which guaranteed African-Americans the right to vote.

Related: Cuba Gooding Jr Boards MLK Pic ‘Selma’

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