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2 items from 2017

Greenlit: Barry Jenkins Finds His Lead for ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’

14 hours ago | | See recent Backstage news »

Greenlit means a project is officially a go, so all you have to do is follow these leads to stay up to date. You never know where you’ll find an opportunity to land an audition! Barry Jenkins searched far and wide to find the lead for his screen treatment of James’s Baldwin’s novel, “If Beale Street Could Talk.” After beginning auditions earlier this summer, the Oscar-winning director landed on newcomer Kiki Layne for the starring role of Tish. The team, including casting director Cindy Tolan (“Straight Outta Compton,” “This is Where I Leave You”), saw more than 300 women for the role, but when Layne came into the room in recent weeks, Jenkins saw something different in the young actor. The story features “Tish, a newly engaged Harlem woman who races against the clock to prove her lover’s innocence while carrying their firstborn child to term. It »

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Barry Jenkins’ New Film Finds Lead in Newcomer Kiki Layne (Exclusive)

13 September 2017 10:08 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Kiki Layne will play the lead role of Tish in Barry Jenkins and Annapurna’s adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel “If Beale Street Could Talk,” sources tell Variety.

The filmmakers auditioned more than 300 women for the role and began their search in earnest earlier this summer. Layne, who auditioned in recent weeks, immediately won over Jenkins, who was blown away by her reading.

“We saw hundreds of young women and while many were artists with gifts we admired, Kiki Layne’s ability to showcase a rich interior life ultimately won the day,” Jenkins said of the casting. “I absolutely adore working with her and cannot wait to have her join us in translating Baldwin’s vision of this heroine to the screen.”


Barry Jenkins’ New Film Casts ‘Shots Fired’ Star Stephan James (Exclusive)

Annapurna Pictures is financing and distributing the love story, with Jenkins writing and directing. Production is expected to start in October.

The »

- Justin Kroll

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