It’s a first look at Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Immortal project…
HBO has released a first look at its upcoming telepic The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, starring the 60-year-old half-Puerto Rican actor and featuring Oprah Winfrey in a rare starring turn.
It’s the true story of the African-American woman whose cells were used to create the first immortal human cell line after many other such efforts failed — and without her permission or knowledge.
Told through the eyes of Henrietta Lacks’ daughter, Deborah (Winfrey), the HBO Films project chronicles her search, with the help of journalist Rebecca Skloot (Rose Byrne), to learn about the mother she never knew and understand how the unauthorized harvesting of Lacks’ cancerous cells in 1951 led to unprecedented breakthroughs that changed the face of medicine forever. When the sheepishly smiling writer tells Deborah that she wants to pen a book about her mom’s experience, Deborah looks her up and down, then says, “Hope I don’t regret this.”
In addition to Winfrey, Byrne and Santiago-Hudson, the telepic also stars Renée Elise Goldsberry, Rocky Carroll, Kyanna Simone Simpson, Courtney B. Vance, Leslie Uggams, Reg E. Cathey, Reed Birney and Melvin Van Peebles.
The film hails from writer-director George C. Wolfe, based on Skloot’s 2010 book.
It premieres at 8:00 pm ET on April 22 on HBO.