Fantasia Barrino is set to star as gospel legend MAHALIA JACKSON in a forthcoming biopic.
FANTASIA BARRINO, the American singer and former American Idol champion, has been cast as MAHALIA JACKSON in a new movie documenting the gospel artist's life.The movie, tentatively scheduled for a December 2011 release, is based on the 1993 book 'Got to Tell It: Mahalia Jackson, Queen of Gospel' and filming will begin in Pittsburgh and Chicago in April, reports the Los Angeles Times. EUZHAN PALCY, whose previous credits include 'A Dry White Season', will direct the project. Despite her musical background, 26-year-old Barrino has some acting experience and she played 'Celie' in the Broadway version of 'The Color Purple' in 2006. She also played herself in the movie 'Life Is Not A Fairy Tale: The Fantasia Barrino Story', which was based on her autobiography. The new film will chart Jackson's journey from poverty in New Orleans to her status as a global figure in the world of gospel music. It will also explore her early support for MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
It has been reported that in order to prepare for her role as Jackson, who died in 1972, Barrino has gained around 30 to 40 pounds in weight.