Michael K. Williams (Boardwalk Empire, The Wire) and Ivory Aquino have joined the cast of ABC’s eight-hour miniseries about the gay rights movement, When We Rise, written/executive produced by Dustin Lance Black. In addition, Whoopi Goldberg, Rosie O’Donnell, Denis O’Hare and David Hyde Pierce are set as guest stars in the seven-part series. Production is currently underway in Vancouver and San Francisco with an air date TBD.
The mini chronicles the personal and political struggles, setbacks and triumphs of a diverse family of men and women who helped pioneer one of the last legs of the U.S. Civil Rights struggle. Rachel Griffiths, Mary-Louise Parker, and Guy Pearce star.
Williams will play African American Community Organizer Ken Jones. Aquino is transgender activist Cecilia Chung. Goldberg is Pat Norman, the first openly gay employee of the San Francisco Health Department, O’Donnell plays Del Martin, co-founder of the first Lesbian organization in the country, O’Hare is Jim Foster, openly gay Democratic party organizer, and Pierce will play Dr. Jones, Cleve’s father.
Williams recently wrapped Ghostbusters and Assassin’s Creed and will be seen in Steve Zaillian’s limited series The Night Of set to premiere on HBO in July. He also headlines Viceland’s upcoming Black Market as host and journalist. Williams is repped by by Silver Lining Entertainment, WME, and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein.
Laurence Mark, Gus Van Sant and Bruce Cohen also executive produce with Black, and Van Sant directs the series’ two-hour premiere.
When We Rise is produced by ABC Studios.