Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Lena Waithe Dreams of Making a Mary Tyler Moore Biopic

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Lena Waithe (L) and Mary Tyler Moore
Lena Waithe (L) and Mary Tyler Moore

*In the midst of her current Hollywood takeover, actress/writer Lena Waithe is already thinking about a next passion project – a biopic of her TV heroine Mary Tyler Moore.

“I don’t think people are expecting that from a black lesbian from the south side of Chicago. But, I read her autobiography more times than I can count,” Waithe tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Because I was obsessed with The Mary Tyler Moore Show. I was, like, who is this woman? Who is this person that everybody is wanting to be, that everybody was so happy when she came onscreen?”

Waithe made her big-screen debut over the weekend in Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One,” where she plays Helen/Aech, a loyal best friend to Wade Watts/Parzival (Tye Sheridan) in the virtual universe of the OASIS. The film’s opening follows her buzzed-about Vanity Fair cover and the season finale of her critically-acclaimed Showtime series “The Chi.”

She also won an Emmy last year for writing the “Thanksgiving” episode of Netflix’s “Masters of None.”

As for putting her unique spin on a Mary Tyler Moore biopic, Waithe tells The Hollywood Reporter:

I really want to do it. I don’t really know how to do it. I really want to do that and find a dope actress to come in and play her and figure it out. That’s the thing that’s on my radar that I want to figure out. But I’m still a queer black girl and want to tell a James Baldwin [story], too. But that’s who I am, that’s what kind of artist I am. And I think the reason that people sometimes tend to be so fascinated about me is they’re always surprised by the things that come out of my mouth. I’m going to keep surprising people.

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