Simpson plays Deborah Lacks as she comes of age in her youth, while Oprah Winfrey portrays Deborah throughout her adult life. Throughout her youth, Simpson said she's always been told that she looked a lot like Winfrey. After a call from her manager about the film, she reached out to LaTanya Richardson Jackson, a mentor from her time in a role on the HBOTV miniseries Show Me a Hero, for a reference to help her land an audition. Eventually she got an audition, a callback for a director's session and weeks later, a call from her manager who said simply, "Hey Deborah!" She had landed the role.
Amazing and inspiring from any angle. A talented young woman who is making the most of her opportunities, including those on campus. She shared with our writer, Jessica Luton, how her courses in public speaking have been helpful in handling the media attention surrounding this project. Here's hoping she sees many more opportunities to use those skills.