Issa Rae to play Nina Simone in Lorraine Hansberry biopic
KORI TUITT Special to the AmNews | 6/8/2013, 9:50 p.m.
Issa Rae is commonly known for her YouTube webseries "The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl," which she stars in. She also landed a role on a television show directed by Shonda Rhimes called "I Hate L.A. Dudes" and has been recognized by several publications for her achievements through her online presence, including Forbes. Rae has now been cast in a biopic about Lorraine Hansberry, the author of the play "A Raisin in the Sun."
Rae will now play Nina Simone, who was Hansberry's close friend. According to Shadow & Act, the production is expected to begin in early fall. Taye Hansberry, Lorraine Hansberry's grand niece, will be playing the lead role and Jaleel White will play James Baldwin, another close friend of Lorraine Hansberry.
Casting the project is Will Stewart, who is well known as the casting director for the popular show "Scandal." It is unknown yet as to whether this will be a television or movie production. Shadow & Act reported the biopic is going to be an unconventional one.
Rae wasn't the only person to be cast as Simone this year.
In a different upcoming movie about Simone, called "Nina," Zoe Saldana is set to play the lead role. Producers of this movie received backlash for the casting decision because many say Saldana does not resemble Simone and would have her skin darkened for the role. However The director and writer Cynthia Mort says she stands by the decision.