As previously speculated, Angela Bassett will tackle a role originally belonging to Halle Berry. The Academy Award-nominated actress will play the role of “Camae” in Katori Hall’s play The Mountaintop. The Broadway production will also feature Samuel L. Jackson in the role of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The play’s producers Jean Doumanian and Sonia Friedman made the official announcement. The two wrote in a statement,”We are thrilled that casting for The Mountaintop is complete and that we will be presenting Angela Bassett on Broadway with Samuel L. Jackson. These two remarkable actors have excited audiences around the world for many years, and bringing them together in this extraordinary new play on Broadway promises to be a major highlight of the season.
On the award-winning play, they added, “The Mountaintop is an ambitious work of fiction that is powerful, heartbreaking, humorous and exhilarating. We are ecstatic to be bringing Katori Hall’s remarkable, Olivier-winning work to New York, and to present a singular new American voice to Broadway audiences.”
This isn't the first time Bassett and Berry have had a role exchange. Angela Bassett was originally offered the role of Leticia Musgrove in the film Monster's Ball. Bassett turned it down, telling Newsweek, ''I wasn't going to be a prostitute on film." Berry took the role and ultimately became the first black actress to win an Academy Award for Best Actress. In this instance, it is Berry bailing on a role in The Moutaintop, citing "custody issues." The show will open on October 13.
(Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards)