It's not often in Hollywood that a director makes decisions based on his conscience as opposed to his wallet, but kudos to Rod Lurie for making the right choice.
Lurie, whose latest film "Nothing But the Truth" comes out Dec. 19, says that he purposely asked Oscar nominee Angela Bassett to be in this story about a D.C. reporter who serves time protecting her source to make the film more realistic.
"She's really one of the world's great actors," Lurie said. "I'll tell you this. I'll be very truthful with you--maybe to my detriment. I wanted to cast a black actor in that role or some significant role because I wanted to have real-world diversity, but also what's realistic is that in the Washington, D.C. prison it's 95 percent African American. I thought it would be uncouth to have a movie where every African American is a guard or a prisioner. "
Plus, even though newspapers aren't the most diverse environment these days Lurie felt it would look unrealistic to not have an African American represented in a D.C. newsroom.
"I don't personally know of any African American female editors, but I thought that it would be very cool to sort of fictionally, at least, break that barrier. Angela was very game with that, too. I think that's another reason why she did it. I don't know what her exact fee was but it wasn't the Angela Bassett fee."
The role was originally cast with Edie Falco of "The Sopranos" but she had scheduling conflicts. Joining Bassett in this project are the film's star Kate Beckinsale, Bassett's current "ER" costar Noah Wylie, her real-life husband Courtney B. Vance and Vera Farmiga.
Lurie, by the way, who also directed "Resurrecting the Champ" with Samuel L. Jackson, indicated he'd love to do a film on one of his old high school classmates from Hawaii. His name is Barack Obama.