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It’s often said that there are no good parts for actresses as they age. But 43-year-old Uma Thurman is blowing holes through that theory, picking up a pair of provocative projects in the past few months. She’ll appear as part of the ensemble in Lars von Trier’s sure-to-be scandalous Nymphomaniac. And after that, Thurman will take a stab at controversial activist Anita Bryant for a planned biopic.
Deadline reports that Thurman’s film, Anita, is being shopped around the Cannes Film Festival as we speak. Bryant was a one-time singer and a Miss Oklahoma beauty pageant winner who made headlines later in her life by adhering to her strong, anti-homosexual Christian beliefs and fighting in public to repeal an act in Florida that prevented discrimination against sexuality when hiring for open jobs. She succeeded in repealing the act, though it damaged her career and social life. You might remember her as the chief villain in Milk, as Sean Penn's Harvey Milk campaigned against the statewide Proposition 6, which would have prevented gays and lesbians from working in California public schools. Bryant, seen in the film through archival footage, traveled to the state to support the act, which was also defeated.
She also was infamously “pied” in the face by a gay-rights activist on live TV during a presentation in Des Moines, Iowa.
Thurman should revel in playing a hated, despicable “character” like Bryant, though it will be up to screenwriter Chad Hodge (TV’s The Playboy Club) to try and find some balance in the say that Bryant is presented. Will she simply be a one-sided monster, or will Thurman figure out some way to display a human side to the ostracized public figure?
Deadline says that Anita will be produced by Sex and the City creator Darren Star, collaborating with Howard Rosenman, Jeffrey Schwarz and Dennis Erdman. Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman will co-direct.