Tiffany Haddish, Blair Underwood, Garrett Morris & More Round Out Cast In Madam CJ Walker Series
Nearly two years ago, we reported that Octavia Spencer was partnering with LeBron James to tell the story of Madam CJ Walker. Since then, public details about the project have been sparse.
But according to Shadow and Act, there are some more familiar faces that are joining the series, which is set to air on Netflix.
Tiffany Haddish will play the role of Leila, Walker’s smart, feisty and “eager to be independent daughter.” Carmen Ejogo, known for her role as Coretta Scott King in Selma, will play Addie a hairstylist and businesswoman who became Walker’s nemesis. According to Netflix, in real life Walker worked for Annie Malone, fellow beauty entrepreneur. Though Malone also became one of nation’s first Black woman millionaires, she accused Walker of stealing her product formula. Blair Underwood will play Walker’s supportive and encouraging husband Charles James (CJ) Walker. Garrett Morris portrays CJ’s father, a former slave who comes to live with his son and daughter-in-law. He also contributes to the hair business. Kevin Carroll, according to Netflix, will play “ a Pullman porter whose many degrees include law and patents from Columbia University. When he agrees to help Sarah with her hair product patents and becomes the company lawyer, he does his best to pull her back from what he feels is a risky expansion and efforts.”
According to Netflix, the series “tells the untold, culturally important, and highly relevant story of black hair care pioneer and mogul Madam CJ Walker and how she overcame hostile turn-of-the-century America, epic rivalries, tumultuous marriages and family challenges to become America’s first black, self-made female millionaire.”
Janine Sherman Barrois and Elle Johnson will serve as showrunners, writers and executive producers for the series. Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou), who we mentioned in our initial report, will direct the pilot episode.
The project is a part of LeBron James’ SpringHill Entertainment and Zero Gravity in association with Warner Bros. Television.
The four-part limited series is inspired by the book On Her Own Ground, written by A’Lelia Bundles, Walker’s great-great-granddaughter.
The project is set to debut in 2020 on Netflix.