Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles will flex her acting muscles again in the upcoming film Harriet, the story of the courageous abolitionist Harriet Tubman who escaped from slavery and worked to free others through the Underground Railroad.
Nettles gained acting experience in the made-for-TV films Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors and Dolly Parton's Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love where she played Dolly's mother. And like a few of her Harriet co-stars, Nettles has also spent time on Broadway, starring as Roxie Hart in Chicago.
Tony winner Cynthia Erivo (Widows), will take on the role of Tubman with a screenplay written by director Kasi Lemmons and Gregory Allen Howard. Rounding out the cast is Clarke Peters (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Joe Alwyn (Boy Erased), and Tony and Emmy winner Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton).
With a solid cast and thoughtful screenplay, Harriet aims to honor the iconic Tubman while shining a light on aspects of her life that aren't well known. "This is the story of a seemingly powerless woman who accomplished the extraordinary to save her loved ones, and in the process became a leader of and inspiration for her people," producers Debra Martin Chase and Daniela Taplin Lundberg said in a statement. "While Harriet Tubman is a household name, most people don't know the breadth of her story -- not only was she a conductor on the Underground Railroad, but she was a spy for the Union army and remains one of the few women to have led an armed expedition in US history."
Though the buzz around the Focus Features movie has already begun, Harriet hasn't started filming just yet, so it will be a while before the project makes it to the big screen. Production starts in Virginia this October.