Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Roger Moore Says Idris Elba as James Bond is "Unrealistic" Because He's Not "English-English" Roger Moore Says Idris Elba as James Bond is "Unrealistic" Because He's Not "English-English" Dr Dre Hopes the N.W.A. Movie Will Correct Notions of the Group's Treatment of Women + Working on Inspired Album, More Dr Dre Hopes the N.W.A. Movie Will Correct Notions of the Group's Treatment of Women + Working on Inspired Album, More TV Casting Directors React to Deadline's "Ethnic Castings" Article (A Fad That Will Eventually Pass?) TV Casting Directors React to Deadline's "Ethnic Castings" Article (A Fad That Will Eventually Pass?) Taraji P. Henson Will Host 'Saturday Night Live' for the First Time in April (How Many Black Women Have Hosted?) Taraji P. Henson Will Host 'Saturday Night Live' for the First Time in April (How Many Black Women Have Hosted?) For White TV Writers Who Have Considered Racism When *Ethnic* Diversity Is Too Much For White TV Writers Who Have Considered Racism When *Ethnic* Diversity Is Too Much 'Key & Peele' "Substitute Teacher" Sketch to be Developed as a Feature Film 'Key & Peele' "Substitute Teacher" Sketch to be Developed as a Feature Film New Documentary Will Trace History of "Black Dandyism" (Trailer) New Documentary Will Trace History of "Black Dandyism" (Trailer) Best Performances By Black Actors/Actresses Ever? (Survey) Best Performances By Black Actors/Actresses Ever? (Survey) Tyler Perry Studios Forms Film, TV & Infrastructure Alliance w/ 4 Other Major Atlanta Studios Tyler Perry Studios Forms Film, TV & Infrastructure Alliance w/ 4 Other Major Atlanta Studios Watch: Kenyan Filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii Tackles 'Globalized' Beauty & African Self-Image in Award-Winning Short Film 'Yellow Fever' Watch: Kenyan Filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii Tackles 'Globalized' Beauty & African Self-Image in Award-Winning Short Film 'Yellow Fever' HBO Orders Steve McQueen's 'Codes of Conduct' to 6-Episode Limited Series HBO Orders Steve McQueen's 'Codes of Conduct' to 6-Episode Limited Series Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe are a Dysfunctional Mother-Son Pair in Trailer for 'Knucklehead' Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe are a Dysfunctional Mother-Son Pair in Trailer for 'Knucklehead' 'Single Ladies' Returns Tonight to a Rebranded Centric - "The First Network Designed for Black Women" 'Single Ladies' Returns Tonight to a Rebranded Centric - "The First Network Designed for Black Women" What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) 73 New TV Pilots & Series with Black Actors in Starring and/or Supporting Roles Ordered for Next Season. Here's the Full List 73 New TV Pilots & Series with Black Actors in Starring and/or Supporting Roles Ordered for Next Season. Here's the Full List HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Sydney Tamiia Poitier Will Play Paul Robeson's Wife Opposite David Harewood In Biopic

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act June 12, 2013 at 6:30PM

An unexpected choice; her name wouldn't have been the first one to come to mind for the role.
4
Sydney Poitier - Eslanda ("Essie") Goode Robeson

An unexpected choice; her name wouldn't have been the first one to come to mind for the role.

Sydney Tamiia Poitier (daughter of Sidney Poitier) has been tapped to play Paul Robeson’s wife, Eslanda ("Essie") Goode Robeson, opposite former co-star of Showtime's hit drama series Homeland, British actor David Harewood, who's attached to star in the biopic.

South African director Darrell Roodt (Winnie) is set to helm what is shaping up to be a multi-continental production, both in front of and behind the camera.

The project comes from Four Stars International, and will be produced by Greg Carter and executive produced by Richard Akel, with a script penned by Akel and Terry Bisson, with promises of a film that's worthy of its subject.

Also of note, Louis Gossett Jr. will portray W.E.B. Du Bois in the independently-produced film.

Sydney Tamiia Poitier is likely best known for her role in Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof. Although she's done lots of TV work as well.

Eslanda ("Essie") Goode Robeson was an anthropologist, author, actor and activist. She actually died 11 years before Paul Robeson did. She was also an actress, but not nearly as prolific as Paul was.

There aren't a lot of pictures of her on the web - especially as a younger woman.

The film will be a traditional biopic, showing Robeson's rise (along with his wife, who was also his business manager) into his 60s, so expect some makeup work here, which almost always worries me. It's rare that it really, really works well, and is believable.

And given how poorly director Roodt and his team aged Jennifer Hudson in Winnie, I'm even more concerned.

But we'll just have to wait to see, won't we?

Eslanda ("Essie") Goode Robeson

The goal is to shoot this in August in Toronto and Montreal.

Depending on when the film is released, assuming it's high-profile enough, it could very well be a film that will find itself in Awards season conversations, for whatever that year is.

I wonder who'll play Oscar Micheaux, since Robeson made his film acting debut in Micheaux's Body and Soul (1925).

Given the long life that he lived, the events he lived through, the other historically-significant public figures he knew, interacted and worked with, his on-screen and off-screen accomplishments, his activism that would lead to his black-listing, and so much more, there's a lot of great history here in this one, single life. And a big screen account of that life is one that's definitely warranted. 

We're definitely excited to see what develops here.

Stay tuned...


Shadow & ActNewsletter