Neighbors 2 star Rose Byrne is switching from comedy to drama in the upcoming HBO movie THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS. The Golden Globe-nominated actress will star opposite Oprah Winfrey in the true story about Henrietta Lacks, a woman whose cells were used to create the first immortal human cell line.
Winfrey will star as Henrietta’s daughter, Deborah Lacks. The movie follows her search to learn more about her estranged mother and how the unauthorized harvesting of her mother’s cells led to medical breakthroughs and how they changed the face of medicine forever. Byrne is set to play young journalist Rebecca Skloot, who forms a close bond with Deborah to help tell her story. Skloot later wrote the New York Times best-selling book which shares the same title as the movie.
George C. Wolfe wrote the adaptation of the book and will direct. Winfrey will executive produce alongside Carla Gardini under Harpo Films while Alan Ball and Peter MacDissi will exec produce through Your Face Goes Here Entertainment. Skloot will also co-executive produce along with Lydia Dean Pilcher from Cine Mosaic Productions.
Henrietta Lacks’s sons David Lacks, Jr. and Zakariyya Rahman serve as consultants on the film along with her granddaughter Jeri Lacks and her grandchildren Alfred Carter, Jr. and LaTonya Carter.
In addition to Neighbors 2, Byrne reprised her role as Moira Mactaggert in this summer’s comic blockbuster X-Men: Apocalypse. She also starred in the indie comedy The Meddler opposite Susan Sarandon and can be heard in the upcoming DreamWorks animated feature Larrikins.
Dino-Ray Ramos | Staff Writer