She may have been a finalist on America's Next Top Model, but Yaya Alafia's acting career is certainly surpassing her modeling. The actress, last seen in Lee Daniels' The Butler, has joined the cast of jazz biopic Bolden. The film will track the life of Buddy Bolden, a cornet player from New Orleans who became a pioneer in ragtime.
Alafia will star opposite True Blood's Nelsan Ellis in the film. The beauty will next be seen in Lifetime's controversial Whitney Houston biopic, in which she plays the late pop icon.
Meanwhile, Chiwetel Ejiofor has a juicy post-Oscars role on his plate. The 12 Years a Slave actor will star in a remake of bone-chilling Argentine thriller The Secret in Their Eyes. Ejiofor will play a former MI-5 agent on a joint task force with the FBI, who thinks he’s finally found the man who murdered the daughter of his former partner and friend (Julia Roberts). Gwyneth Paltrow will also star in the film, scripted and directed by Billy Ray, who wrote the screenplays for The Hunger Games and Captain Phillips.
Look for both films in theaters next year.
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(Photos from left: Rommel Demano/Getty Images, Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)