We may not recognize the name, but Deborah Ayorinde was the side-piece we all wanted to punch in acclaimed comedy, Girls Trip, and yes she is of Nigerian descent.
The British-Nigerian actress, alongside Tony Award winner, Cynthia Erivo and Zackary Momoh have been cast to star in Focus Features‘ biopic about Harriet Tubman titled, Harriet. This adds to the original cast of the biopic, which includes Leslie Odom Jr., Joe Alwyn, Jennifer Nettles, and Clarke Peters.
A few weeks ago, it was announced that Erivo will be playing the role of Harriet and now, it’s thrilling to know there will be more Nigerian actors jumping on the bandwagon. Momoh (Seven Seconds) will play her husband. Luke Cage star, Ayorinde’s role is yet to be disclosed, however, we’re really looking forward to seeing what we’re sure will be fantastic performances from all of them.
The upcoming movie, centered on the life of freedom fighter and abolitionist, follows Tubman on her escape from slavery and subsequent missions to visit slaves through the Underground Railroad in the face of growing pre-Civil War adversity.
Harriet Tubman was instrumental in the abolition of slavery in America, as she was the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war, which liberated more than 700 slaves. She has been honoured several times by historians, and is even set to be on the face of the 20 dollar bill.
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I struggled a little with whether or not to post anything about this role, because even though there is so much celebration and encouragement coming through, there’s also anger and offense spurred on by my being from the UK…..I guess there is a bigger conversation to be had about heritage and experience, also about who Harriet really was. That can not be had in an Instagram post, what I will say is that my journey to this woman has been long and detailed and one I have not taken lightly. Nothing has been given to me without me first putting the work in, people speak of foreign privilege and truthfully life would be unbelievably easy if that were applied to me but that is not my portion. I fought for the role of Celie, and spilled blood sweat and tears playing her, the same applies for every role I’ve earned, this will be no different. I hope that I do everyone, even those who are in doubt or are upset, proud. I hope I quell your fears, because I understand that is what it is. I cannot tell how protective I am of this woman and her story. I posted this because I cannot allow people to make me neglect to celebrate this honor. This story has gone unnoted for long enough and @debramchase Daniela Taplin and @focusfeatures are the perfect home the beautiful way Kasi Lemmons has told this story is more than a blessing. I am glad to be given the opportunity to bring the life of Harriet Tubman to you. I would be lying if I didn’t make it clear that this is scary, and I thank you in advance for the support. Love you much. ALL OF YOU! Yours truly ❤️❤️