*Young newcomer Kiki Layne has been chosen for one of the lead roles in the adaptation of the James Baldwin novel If Beale Street Could Talk, from “Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins.
Layne will star as Trish, a newly engaged Harlem woman who races against the clock to prove her lover’s innocence while carrying their firstborn child to term.
Originally from Cincinnati, Layne, a recent graduate of DePaul University, moved to Los Angeles just three months ago, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The actress auditioned and beat out more than 300 young women who were reportedly considered for the role.
“We saw hundreds of young women and while many were artists with gifts we admired, Kiki Layne’s ability to showcase a rich interior life ultimately won the day. I absolutely adore working with her and cannot wait to have her join us in translating Baldwin’s vision of this heroine to the screen,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins has been working closely with the Baldwin Estate to write the screenplay, with production slated to begin in October.