Jenny Lumet Reveals Who She’d Love to Play Her Late Grandmother Lena Horne Onscreen (Exclusive)

Horne's granddaughter opened up to ET about developing a series detailing the iconic performer's life and legacy.

Lena Horne's life and legacy may soon be coming to the screen. The iconic performer's granddaughter, Jenny Lumet, is developing a series based on the stage and screen legend's life, and she's taking the weight and responsibility of the challenge to heart.

"I'm the luckiest person in the entire world to have these people in my life," Lumet told ET's Kevin Frazier while reflecting on her grandmother's indelible legacy. "If she truly means so much to so many people that means that they will embrace her fully... her struggle was [that] people often wanted her to be a specific thing, and for her to be a whole woman for herself is the journey."

"My job is to document a woman discovering herself," Lumet continued. "Finding herself within this crazy whirlwind of America, of Blackness, of entertainment."

Horne -- who died in 2010 at the age of 92 -- was an acclaimed singer and celebrated actress. She earned four GRAMMY awards -- including a lifetime achievement award in 1989 -- as well as a Tony Award in 1981 for Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, among countless other accolades.

Apart from her many accomplishments in showbusiness -- which influenced countless artists who followed in her wake -- Horne was also a passionate civil rights activist and a dedicated proponent of the civil rights movement across the nation.

Her legacy is indeed a towering one, and Lumet already has a few ideas on who she'd like to see portray her grandmother onscreen in the series she's developing.

"There's a whole crop of women," Lumet shared. "I think miss Alicia Keys would be extraordinary, absolutely extraordinary. I think Zendaya would be extraordinary."

That being said, Lumet acknowledged that the project isn't yet to that stage, and said she'd be excited for either Keys or Zendaya to even consider the possibility.

"These are all wonderful things to imagine and wonderful problems to have. I mean, even imaging Miss Keys giving her time to our project would be a gift, imagining Zendaya giving her thoughts to a project like this would be a gift."

Before anyone can play Horne, Lumet said it all starts with the writing, and she has a lot of write about when it comes to her groundbreaking grandmother, who overcame prejudice of every kind to become a powerhouse performer.

"People didn't want to do her hair, people didn't want to do her makeup, people didn't want to dress her. There were issues about what entrances she was allowed to use," Lumet said, "and yet she had to be this exquisite performer and this exquisite beauty you saw in front of you."

While facing down these struggles, Horne managed to break barriers and open up possibilities for other performers as well.

"There are some people who just sort of, by the nature of their being, kind of lift all of us up and move us along," Lumet explained. "I think that she's quite miraculous."



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