Zendaya and Reese Witherspoon Team Up for a New Female-Driven Film
Zendaya has just joined an elite — but growing! — Hollywood women’s club: actress-turned-movie producer. (FYI, this club is made of powerhouse ladies and includes Drew Barrymore, Charlize Theron, Sandra Bullock, Angelina Jolie and Amy Poehler. Yeah, we wish we were in it, too.)
— Reese Witherspoon (@RWitherspoon) November 14, 2017
At just 21 years of age, Zendaya (who just so happens to be our Winter 2018 cover star) is making a major career move by foraying into into movie making. According to Deadline, she will join forces with Reese Witherspoon’s production company, Hello Sunshine, to produce A White Lie, an adaptation of Karin Tanabe’s historical novel The Gilded Years. Like the book, the film will tell the true story of Anita Hemmings, the first African-American woman to graduate from Vassar College.
Allow me to set the scene of the story: it was the 1980s, and Hemmings, the daughter of a janitor and a descendant of slaves, passes herself as white so she can attend a prestigious private school. She becomes considered an educated, wealthy white woman, gets pulled into New York elite society and finds love with a well-to-do Harvard man. And then something super scary happens . . . but I won’t spoil the surprise. Just know that this 19th century coming-of-age story is actually a thriller.
Sounds pretty amazing, right? Well it gets better, because you guessed it, Zendaya will star in A White Lie as Anita Hemmings.
Also on board is screenwriter Monica Beletsky, whose written scripts for Fargo, The Leftovers and Friday Night Lights. This means A White Lie is an all-woman, all-star team: female producers, female star, female writer and screenwriter. We’re pretty sure this exactly what Reese Witherspoon had in mind when she accepted the Emmy for Big Little Lies, and famously said: “Bring women to the front of their own stories … make them the hero of their own stories.”
Now, more of this, please. 👏 👏 👏