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Zazie Beetz is About to Be Everywhere

Lucky for us, the ‘Atlanta’ star is eyeing roles in two daring new projects, both based on true stories.
Domino Deadpool Zazie Beetz
By  · Published on April 3rd, 2018

The ‘Atlanta’ star is now eyeing roles in two daring new projects, both based on true stories.

Zazie Beetz started out a rapturous career on FX’s Atlanta. The Donald Glover-led series is currently back for a highly-acclaimed second season with the actress still present. She is also set to make a mark in higher-profile movies as well, following her big screen break in Geostorm last year. Next, she’ll be seen in a very big role in the much-anticipated superhero sequel Deadpool 2, due out this summer. She also just wrapped a new film with Steven Soderbergh and was cast in a thriller opposite Armie Hammer. There’s nowhere for her to go but up.

Beetz just snagged roles in two more films that will have her acting alongside some industry mainstays and provide her with challenging material that’s perfect for a flourishing actor. Firstly, Variety reports that she is in negotiations to join Kristen Stewart’s Jean Seberg thriller, Against All Enemies, in an undisclosed role. Seberg, an American actress who was targeted by the FBI due to her affiliation with and support of the Black Panther Party, was effectively blacklisted in Hollywood after the Bureau’s concerted effort to discredit her.

Against All Enemies would expectedly allow Stewart to hone in on her own talents and continue a tenure as a fascinating lead actress in indie films. Yet for Beetz and the rest of her co-stars (including Anthony Mackie, Jack O’Connell, Margaret Qualley, and Colm Meaney), Against All Enemies sounds like a particularly essential and relevant film about propaganda, regardless of the roles the cast occupy. Against All Enemies will be equal parts disturbing biopic and social commentary on the ethical nature of government surveillance and the ultimate misuse of personal information to curate inaccurate profiles of those perceived as threats. That kind of complex story is a rising star’s dream.

Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Fox Searchlight’s astronaut drama Pale Blue Dot is eyeing Beetz for a role that will tie the entire film together. Once talks are finalized, Beetz will be “the final point on the love triangle” in the complicated love story, which will also involve Natalie Portman and Jon Hamm and be directed by Noah Hawley (FX’s Fargo).

The phrase “love triangle” typically induces a negative Pavlovian response from me — it’s a very soap opera-esque descriptor — but the film will be based on a true story about a mission specialist who kidnapped a rival in 2007. The supposed exaggeration present in the narrative is warranted when dealing with characters who’ve been in space for a long time, plagued by certain psychological ramifications of their rather singular profession.

Here’s the film’s summary, according to THR:

‘Pale Blue Dot’ centers on a married astronaut (Portman) who returns to Earth after a mission and begins an affair with a fellow astronaut (Hamm). She heads into a downward spiral as she loses her connection to her family — a condition that can afflict those who spend a long time in space — and when her lover begins another affair with an astronaut trainee, the bottom drops out.

Beetz is up for the part of the trainee, and if she’s cast, Pale Blue Dot could place the actress in Atlanta-esque territory, given that the film deals primarily with relationships as the show does. In which case, Beetz would be the perfect choice for the role. She demonstrates a fantastic ability to hold her own as the only woman in the show’s core cast. Her charisma on Atlanta makes it easy for anyone to fall in love with her character, Van, from the very first episode. Most rewardingly, as the show goes on, Van comes into her own, becoming someone who isn’t solely a two-dimensional love interest or responsible parent.

Nothing about Pale Blue Dot sounds particularly “lovely.” If anything, the premise comes across as a psychologically bruising journey in which the term “likable character” is completely erased from the audience’s lexicon. As evidenced by his FX series Fargo and Legion, Hawley is absolutely capable of crafting a compelling story. Portman and Hamm are reliable lead actors in their own right; ones who can expectedly turn in solid performances and are constantly cast in a ton of projects for this very reason. Beetz would be a fortuitous addition to that duo because of her own proven onscreen magnetism.

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Sheryl Oh often finds herself fascinated (and let's be real, a little obsessed) with actors and their onscreen accomplishments, developing Film School Rejects' Filmographies column as a passion project. She's not very good at Twitter but find her at @sherhorowitz anyway. (She/Her)