More casting news has just been announced for the upcoming miniseries, Roots, based on Alex Haley’s 1976 epic novel, that took the world by storm, during that time. Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels’ The Butler, The Last King of Scotland), Anna Paquin (True Blood, X-Men), Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors, Dracula), and Anika Noni Rose (The Princess and the Frog, The Good Wife) have been tapped to play Fiddler, Nancy Holt, Tom Lea, and Kizzy respectively.
Check out the cast descriptions below.
Set to air in 2016, Roots will premiere simultaneously on A&E, Lifetime, and The History Channel. These four cast members join Laurence Fishburne, who will play Alex Haley, Derek Luke (Antwone Fisher), and Chad L. Coleman (The Walking Dead). Questlove from The Roots serves as Executive Music Producer.
Forest Whitaker (“Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “South Paw”) will play Fiddler, a slave who tries to mentor Kunta Kinte and ends up risking his own life to help him escape.
Anna Paquin (“True Blood”) plays Nancy Holt, the wife of a Confederate officer who happens to have her own agenda when it comes to handling the slaves.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers (“The Tudors”) plays Tom Lea, an uneducated slave owner who is desperate to claw his way into the elite company of Southern gentility.
Anika Noni Rose (“Dream Girls,” “The Good Wife,” “The Princess and the Frog”) plays Kizzy, Kunta Kinte’s cherished, smart daughter who maintains her family pride and warrior spirit.
Chad L. Coleman (“The Walking Dead,” “The Wire”) plays Mingo, the stern no-nonsense slave who really keeps the Lea plantation afloat.
Regé-Jean Page (“Waterloo Road”) plays Chicken George, Kizzy’s son who is a handsome social magnet. He knows how to transfix a crowd with a story, yet doesn’t appreciate what he has until his luck abandons him.
Erica Tazel (“Justified”) plays Matilda, a preacher’s daughter and love interest to Chicken George.
Derek Luke (“Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Antwone Fisher”) plays Silla Ba Dibba, a military trainer charged with transforming teen boys into powerful Mandinka Warriors.