UPDATED: Gabourey Sidibe is set as a recurring in Fox’s hip-hop industry drama pilot Empire, from Lee Daniels, Danny Strong and Brian Grazer, while Trai Byers and Grace Gealey have signed on as series regulars. It centers on Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard), a charismatic, savvy music superstar who is about to take his company, Empire Entertainment, public. Sidibe, repped by UTA, Jill Kaplan and Fred Toczek, will play Becky, Lucious’ (Howard) hard-working assistant. The role marks a reunion for Sidibe with Daniels, who directed her in Precious, and with 20th Century Fox TV, for whom she recently starred in American Horror Story: Coven. Byers, repped by ICM Partners and Wishlab, will play Andre, Lucious’ oldest son, described as a tall, brilliant and compelling individual with a dark side, and Gealey, with Paonessa Talent Agency, will play Anika, the head of A&R for Empire and Lucious’ current lady friend.
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The Big C co-star Gabourey Sidibe is joining the cast of American Horror Story: Coven. Ryan Murphy announced the casting on Twitter this morning. In his typical fashion, he didn’t disclose any details about the character Sidibe will be playing. The Oscar-nominated actress joins another heralded new AHS addition, Oscar winner Kathy Bates, in addition to returning cast members Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson and Taissa Farmiga. The final installment of The Big C premieres tonight. Read More »
One of the benefits of shooting a movie in Manhattan is getting access to the town’s stage talent. Matthew Broderick has been set by director Brett Ratner to join the cast of Tower Heist. He joins Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Alan Alda, Tea Leoni, Gabourey Sidibe and Michael Pena in the Universal comedy. Broderick will play Chase Fitzhugh, a Wall Street guy who, like the building staff, had his finances cleaned out by the Bernie Madoff-like character played by Alda, who is under house arrest in the luxury penthouse apartment atop the building. Brian Grazer is producing and Karen Kehela Sherwood and Kim Roth are exec producers. Jeff Nathanson is rewriting Ted Griffin’s draft.
Brett Ratner, who considers The Family Man one of his best films, has reunited with its star, Tea Leoni. She’ll join him for Tower Heist, the Universal Pictures/Imagine Entertainment action comedy. Leoni, a gifted comedienne, plays an FBI agent who sympathizes with Ben Stiller’s overworked manager character, and falls for him. The manager, of course, is planning to heist the Bernie Madoff-like crook under house arrest in the penthouse after he swindled the pensions of the building’s workers. Eddie Murphy, Gabourey Sidibe, Michael Pena and Alan Alda also star.
The Big C executive producer and cancer survivor Jenny Bicks bought a Porsche when she was diagnosed with cancer. “Don’t wait to get cancer to make yourself happy,” she said at the TCA panel for the upcoming Showtime dark comedy series starring Laura Linney as a woman diagnosed with cancer.
Creator/executive producer Darlene Hunt dismissed suggestions that terminal cancer would be an off-putting subject for TV. “My favorite series ever is MASH… And who likes a war? Not me. A lot of people watched that show.”
Co-star Oliver Platt was very poetic. “The show asks an incredibly beautiful question: Why do we start to live beautifully only when we get a death sentence,” he said before turning to executive producer Vivian Cannon: “It’s time for a cancer comedy?”
After the session, Deadline contributor Diane Haithman asked series regular Gabourey Sidibe to comment on Howard Stern’s tirade about her on his radio show. “Everyone makes rude comments, it’s not the first rude comment I’ve heard it my life,” she said. “People outside of my life, it doesn’t matter what they say because they have no idea what’s in my life.”
At the panel, The Precious star reflected on what she called “a strange year,” in which the showbiz novice landed an Oscar nomination for her film debut.
“Geez, I thought I’d be a receptionist. I’m always middle of the main, I’ve always led a very normal life…, I ride the subway, I ride the bus… It just shows that whatever plan you have for your life, … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Laura Linney’s Cathy is getting Miranda as a friend. Cynthia Nixon, who played Miranda on the hit HBO comedy series Sex and the City and in the 2 features the show spawned, is joining the cast of Linney’s upcoming Showtime dark comedy series The Big C as a recurring. The Sony/Original Film-produced show stars Linney as Cathy, a repressed suburban wife and mother who reclaims her life after a terminal cancer diagnosis. Nixon will play her friend. Other recurring guest stars on Big C’s upcoming first season are Gabourey Sidibe and Idris Elba.