Janelle Monae Joins the Cast of Harriet Tubman Biopic

Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae just landed a major role.

The singer-turned-actress has joined the cast of Harriet, the upcoming biopic about the iconic freedom fighter Harriet Tubman, starring Cynthia Erivo the famous abolitionist.

Monae joins previously announced Leslie Odom Jr., Joe Alwyn, Jennifer Nettles, Clarke Peters, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Zackary Momoh, Deborah Ayorinde, and Vondie Curtis-Hall. Directed by Kasi Lemmons who co-wrote the script with Gregory Allen Howard, Harriet follows Tubman on her escape from slavery and subsequent missions to free dozens of slaves through the Underground Railroad in the face of growing pre-Civil War adversity. Filming is set to begin this month in Virginia.

After being announced as Tubman, Erivo told ET last year that she was “trying to soak it all in."

"I’m completely grateful to be able to play that role,” Erivo expressed, adding, “I hope I do it justice.”

Meanwhile, Howard, who has been working on a Tubman biopic for quite some time, credited WGN America's seriesUnderground, which introduced Tubman in its second season, for generating interest in Harriet.

The key to the TV show's success, he told ET, was making the story entertaining, which both Underground and Harriet showcasing Tubman as something of an action hero, which Howard said is radical largely because it’s not a typical history lesson.

Meanwhile, Harriet will be Monae's latest film since starring in 2016's Hidden Figures and Moonlight. She also stars in Welcome to Marwen, out Dec. 21. 

For more on the "I Like That" singer, watch below.


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How 'Underground' Is Making History by Telling Harriet Tubman's Story on Screen (Exclusive)

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