“Being Mary Jane” Star Raven Goodwin To Play Hattie McDaniel In Biopic “Behind The Smile” - The Shade Room

“Being Mary Jane” Star Raven Goodwin To Play Hattie McDaniel In Biopic “Behind The Smile”

#Roommates, the Hollywood biopic train continues and this time it’s filled with the historical #BlackGirlMagic of Hattie McDaniel, the first Black person to ever win an Academy Award. It’s just been announced that Raven Goodwin, formally of BET’s “Being Mary Jane,” has been cast to play Hattie McDaniel in a forthcoming biopic.

@Deadline reports, Raven Goodwin will step into the legendary shoes of actress Hattie McDaniel in the indie biopic “Behind The Smile.” Hattie McDaniel, who famously played “Mammy” in 1939’s “Gone With the Wind” that earned her the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, she however wasn’t allowed to sit with her Hollywood peers during the segregated Oscar ceremony when she won.

Hattie McDaniel endured racism and racial segregation throughout her storied career. She also faced backlash from the Black community, including the NAACP, for taking on stereotypical maid or slave roles. She died in 1952 at age 57 of breast cancer. Speaking about Raven being cast as McDaniel, the film’s producer, Jami McCoy-Lankford, said “Raven Goodwin is such a phenomenal talent and a gift to this project. In our first meeting on Zoom, she already showed the kind of passion that is befitting such a complex and iconic character as Hattie McDaniel was.”

Raven also expressed her sentiments at landing such an important role:

“Hattie YOU did it. Because of your legacy, we are able to write and portray OURSELVES in whatever light we choose. I am forever honored. I look forward to bringing this important historical and relevant life story to the screen.”

Raven Goodwin was most recently seen as Denise Clark in the successful Lifetime biopic on the life of the legendary gospel group, The Clark Sisters. “Behind The Smile” is currently still in its early stages and no other cast announcements have been made other than Goodwin as Hattie McDaniel.


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