Rising actress Kyanna Simone Simpon has been tapped to play the younger version of Oprah Winfrey's character, Deborah Lacks, in the upcoming Henrietta Lacks biopic, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
Budding actress Kyanna Simone Simpson has been tapped to play the younger version of Oprah Winfrey's character in the upcoming biopic surrounding Henrietta Lacks life called The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
As some may not be familiar with Lacks' legacy, she as an African-American woman whose cells were used to create the first immortal human cell line via Johns Hopkins University. the immortal cell line, which is now known as the HeLa cell line, is still used for medical research.
Both Oprah and Kyanna shared the exciting news on Instagram, with the OWN billionaire first posting a picture of herself and Kyanna gushing with smiles and a caption that read, "Just finished the first table read with my younger self @keesimone #HenriettaLacksMovie.”
Kyanna posted the same picture to her Instagram account with her caption reading, "I am so honored to be working with the one and only Oprah Winfrey. I'm in awe and literally so grateful."
According to The Young Empire, Henrietta's story is "told through the eyes of her daughter, Deborah Lacks (Winfrey)," and "chronicles her search to learn about the mother she never knew and to understand how the unauthorized harvesting of Lacks’ cancerous cells in 1951 led to unprecedented medical breakthroughs, changing countless lives and the face of medicine forever."
No release dates have been announced for the film, but we're sure there's more news to come.
WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.