HBO just released a final trailer for the telefilm “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” which will air on April 22. This riveting true-life story chronicles the impact of a 1951 decision by doctors to secretly harvest the cells of a woman, Henrietta Lack (Renee Elise Goldsberry), dying of cervical cancer. Oprah Winfrey plays her daughter, Deborah Lacks, who enlists the help of journalist Rebecca Skloot (Rose Byrne) to tell the story of her mother, whose unknowing sacrifice is still being used for medical research.
This powerful picture is directed by George C. Wolfe, who also adapted Skloot’s 2010 bestseller of the same name. While he earned an Emmy bid for helming the telefilm “Lackawanna Blues” (2005). Wolfe is a titan of theater, having been artistic director of the Public Theater in New York. He produced and directed landmark shows such Angels in America” and “Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk” for which he won Tony Awards in 1993 and 1996 respectively.
Winfrey, who bought the rights to the book back in 2010, is credited as an executive producer. Best known for her daytime talker, she won a Primetime Emmy in 2000 for producing the telefilm “Tuesdays with Morrie.” Additionally she earned two Oscar nominations: one for her supporting role in “The Color Purple” (1985) and another for producing “Selma” (2014).
Byrne picked up a pair of Emmy nominations for Best Drama Supporting Actress for “Damages” (2009-2010). And Goldsberry won both a Tony and Grammy for her work in Broadway’s mega-hit musical “Hamilton.”
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