Mike Epps, Charles S. Dutton, Tika Sumpter Cast In HBO’s ‘Bessie’
Veteran film and TV actors Mike Epps and Charles S. Dutton are the latest to be cast in HBO’s Bessie starring Queen Latifah. Also cast in the biopic is actress Tika Sumpter who is best known her role on The Game, and soap operas One Life to Live, and The Haves and The Have Nots.
Bessie is based on the life of famed jazz singer Bessie Smith, aka the Empress of the Blues, and how she overcomes personal drama to become one of the most renowned recording artists of her day.
Dutton will play William “Pa” Rainey, husband to Ma Rainey (another notable blues singer best known as the Mother of Blues) who will be played by Mo’Nique. Epps will play Richard Hughes, “bootlegger and romantic interest for Bessie Smith.” And Sumpter is cast as Lucille, one of the chorus girls in Bessie’s troupe.
These are fantastic add-ons to what is already a great cast with the aforementioned Mo’Nique plus Khandi Alexander, aka to Scandal fanatics Olivia Pope’s terrorist mastermind mom, Mama Pope. Dutton has been putting together solid work on-stage, in front of and behind the camera for as long as I’ve been alive, including a Tony win this past Sunday for his work in the play Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
The only sucky part of this story is we have no clue when the movie, written and directed by Dee Rees, is even going to air. Given HBO’s film pedigree though, I have no doubt it’s going to kick a lot of ass.
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