Aretha Franklin Hand-Picks Audra McDonald for Biopic Role

The Queen of Soul puts the two-time Grammy winner on top of the list of actors who may play her.

Posted: 05/03/2012 09:15 AM EDT
Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin may have found the lead to round out her personal dream cast for her in-the-works biopic. The Queen of Soul disclosed, via a press release, that she is eyeing award-winning television and stage actress Audra McDonald to play her in the film. Franklin first took notice of McDonald, who has won two Grammy awards, when she saw her in Porgy and Bess on Broadway.


Though plans for the biopic are far from final (Franklin is still meeting with directors and financiers for the project, which is based on her 1999 memoir From These Roots), that hasn't stopped her from assembling a wish list of actors, including Nia Long, Kerry Washington and Blair Underwood to play her siblings.


Some quick facts about McDonald: the 41-year-old is an accomplished stage actress and four-time Tony Award nominee (she earned three of those nominations before turning 28), she is most recognized as Taye Diggs' ex-wife, Naomi Bennett, on Private Practice and she got engaged to her boyfriend of three years, Broadway actor Will Swenson, in January of this year. 

Franklin, meanwhile, told BET.com at the TV Land Awards that she's busy working on new music with veteran producer and manager Clive Davis.


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