EXCLUSIVE: Orange Is The New Black’s Uzo Aduba and Taken 3 star Maggie Grace will lead the cast of feature drama Showing Roots, about a small Southern town in 1977 whose balance is turned upside down when the slavery miniseries Roots hits the airwaves. Aduba and Grace will play two denizens of a local beauty parlor who are inspired by the Alex Haley adaptation to integrate their community, only to see pent-up racial tensions erupt in the process.
Filming is set to begin this month in Baton Rouge, Louisiana under veteran stage helmer Michael Wilson (The Trip to Bountiful), directing from a script penned by One Life to Live actress Susan Batten. Michael Mailer, Batten, and Nick Thurlow are producing and Bill Haber, Jeff Hayes, Alan Helene, and Jennifer Gelfer will serve as executive producers.
“I find that the subject matter has only gotten more relevant in this country,” said Mailer, who has collaborated with Batten on the passion project for a number of years. “It’s a movie that deals with racial healing.”
Grace stars in this Friday’s Tak3n, reprising her role as the daughter of Liam Neeson’s resourceful ex-operative in the third installment of the action franchise. She also stars in the SXSW romantic comedy We’ll Never Have Paris and recently filmed the Nicholas Sparks romance The Choice for Lionsgate. Grace is repped by UTA, Wishlab Inc., and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein.
Orange Is The New Black standout Aduba is vying this weekend for Best Supporting Actress at the Golden Globes for her portrayal of inmate Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren on the Netflix original series. It’s her first Globes nomination. Last year she won the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association Award. She’s also up for the SAG Award for her work on OITNB, which has been renewed for a third season. Aduba is repped by APA, Management 360 and Schreck Rose Dapello & Adams.