Janelle Monáe To Play Josephine Baker In Upcoming TV Series

Screenshot 5-6-22

Deadline reports that Monáe will star in “De La Resistance,” a drama that focuses on Baker’s career as a performer and her work as a spy for the Allies in German-occupied France during the Second World War.

Fans of Janelle Monáe and Josephine Baker will soon have special reason to celebrate: Monáe is slated to play the iconic performer and activist in an upcoming TV series.

Deadline reports that Monáe will star in “De La Resistance,” a drama that focuses on Baker’s career as a performer and her work as a spy for the Allies in German-occupied France during the Second World War. It’s based on an upcoming book by author Damien Lewis, “Agent Josephine: American Beauty, French Hero, British Spy.”     

Baker, one of the most influential performers of the 20th century, built her home and career in France, where she relocated at the age of 19. She was the first Black woman to star in a major motion picture, the 1927 film “Siren of the Tropics.” She was also a fixture of the French stage, appearing in the “Folies Bergère” in what would become one of her most iconic signature looks: a beaded necklace and skirt constructed from artificial bananas.  

She was also active with the French resistance during the war, and a vocal advocate of civil rights in her native United States. Last year, she became the first Black woman, and the first American, to be honored with a place in the French Pantheon.    

Deadline reports that Monáe “has long been a fan of Baker,” and modeled the jewel-encrusted headdress and gown she wore to this year’s Met Gala after some of Baker’s most iconic looks. 

“A dream role with a dream team! Mercí beaucoup!” wrote Monáe in an Instagram post  Thursday. “Can’t believe [I] get to honor you ‘Black Venus’ aka my hero […] MADAME JOSEPHINE BAKER.”

She added, “I can’t wait to transform the iconic performer, American hero, glamorous bi-con goddess, intellect, global humanitarian, and SPY that is you; telling a unique story only a few know.”

News of Monáe’s upcoming role is just the latest for the multi-talented singer/songwriter, producer, writer, and performer. She made headlines last month when she came out as non-binary on “Red Table Talk” (according to a representative, she still uses “she/her” pronouns), and her book, “The Memory Librarian,” a collection of Afrofuturistic stories, dropped this year. 

“De La Resistance” will be produced by A24 and Monáe’s Wondaland production company. Deadline reports that multiple streaming services are vying for rights to the series. 

 


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