ACTRESS KYANNA Simone Simpson will play the young daughter of Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman whose cells were used to create the first immortal human cell line, in an upcoming biopic.
Oprah Winfrey, who posted a picture with the young thespian during a table read on Instagram, will take on the role as the character grows older.
“Just finished the first table read with my younger self @keesimone #HenriettaLacksMovie,” Oprah wrote on the social media site.
“I’m so honoured to be working with the one and only Oprah Winfrey,” Kyanna wrote on Instagram. “I’m in awe and literally so grateful.”
Henrietta Lacks’ cancerous cells were used to create the first human immortal cell line, now known as the HeLa cell line, which is still used for medical research.
Told through the eyes of her daughter, Deborah Lacks (Winfrey), The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks chronicles her search to learn about the mother she never knew and to understand how the unauthorized harvesting of Lacks’ cancerous cells in 1951 led to unprecedented medical breakthroughs, changing countless lives and the face of medicine forever.
It’s a story of medical arrogance and triumph, race, poverty and deep friendship between the unlikeliest of people.
WORDS: Layla Young