More extras will be needed for Regina King's Shirley Chisholm movie shooting now in Cincinnati
Three casting calls Sunday for extras were filled quickly for the biopic about the first Black U.S. Congresswoman and 1972 presidential candidate.
More extras will be needed soon for Regina King's Shirley major motion picture filming this month in her adopted hometown of Cincinnati.
Three appeals for featured extras and a stand-in posted Sunday by casting director D. Lynn Meyers on her Lynn Meyers Casting Facebook page were quickly filled for the movie which the Film Commission confirmed Tuesday morning was Shirley. It was previously called the "Untitled Regina King movie in Cincinnati."
But don't worry.
"More roles to come," Meyers tells me.
King, the Oscar- and Emmy-winning actress announced in February that she would star in and produce a film about Chisholm and her 1972 presidential campaign. The story provides "an intimate, behind-the-scenes portrait of one of the most ground-breaking political leaders of our time," Variety reported in February. Chisholm, who died in 2005 at age 80, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1968 and served seven terms, until 1983.
Oscar-winner John Ridley (12 Years A Slave) is directing Shirley from his script. It is the second major motion picture produced here by Participant, which won best picture Academy Awards for Spotlight and Green Book, and also produced Dark Waters here in 2019 starring Mark Ruffalo as Cincinnati attorney Robert Bilott.
King was seen last week walking through the parking garage under the Crosley Telecommunications building – home of WCET-TV, WVXU-FM and WGUC-FM – where scenes were filmed in Channel 48's studio. Movie production trucks surrounded the building that day.
Meyers has posted nine casting calls since Nov. 19, when she announced on Facebook that she was "excited to start casting on an Untitled Regina King feature film which will be shooting in the Cincinnati, OH area this winter. We are looking for lots of different paid extras for this movie!!! (Please note this production does have a Zone A Mandatory Covid Vaccination Policy). If you're interested in seeing yourself on the big screen, send us an email with photos, contact info, and clothing sizes to email@example.com. We hope to hear from you soon!"
Ten days before that, on Nov. 9, Meyers wrote on Facebook that she was looking for "a paid body photo double" for a 5-foot 3-inch African-American woman with a 26-inch or smaller waist. Multiple internet sources list King's height at 5-foot-3.
Neither the title nor subject of the film was revealed until Tuesday morning. When I asked a WCET-TV spokesperson if the Regina King film was using the studios last week, I got a reply saying, "We have a confidentiality agreement."
Film Cincinnati also didn't mention the Untitled Regina King film in its December email, "The Latest From Film Cincinnati," sent out Monday morning. But Tuesday morning it announced the film.
"Cincinnati continues to be a world class destination for production," said Kristen Schlotman, film commission executive director, in the release. "We are thrilled to help bring this incredible motion picture to Cincinnati because of the jobs and economic impact it has on the region."
On Monday, Meyers' three casting calls posted Sunday were marked "Booked" (or filled). She needed extras age 18 or older, and "a Latino male age 18-25," as "featured extras" for Wednesday, Dec. 8. She also sought a paid stand-for shooting Monday.
In the February Shirley announcement released by Participant, King said that "Shirley Chisholm’s fearless determination has been an inspiration to so many of us, and with this film we hope to inspire many generations to come. To collaborate once again with my friend and mentor, John Ridley, and the team at Participant, makes this decade-long journey even sweeter.”
Ridley said that “Regina’s passion for bringing a complete and very human portrait of Shirley to life has been evident since literally the day we first met. I’m very thankful to both Regina and Reina trusting me to partner in telling the story of this truly remarkable individual," Ridley said in the February announcement.
King was born in Los Angeles, but spent a lot of her childhood in Cincinnati with her mother and grandmother, according to a 1998 Cincinnati Enquirer interview with King by Margaret McGurk. Her mother, Cincinnati-native Gloria King, moved back to the Mount Healthy area in the early 1990s to be closer to her mother, according to McGurk's interview.
King began her career as a child actress on NBC's 227 sitcom in 1985 with Marla Gibbs, Hal Williams and Jackée Harry. In addition to her Oscar for If Beale Street Could Talk in 2018, King has four Emmys for Watchman, Seven Seconds and American Crime. She was nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe this year for her directorial debut, One Night In Miami, but did not win.
One of King's two Emmys for American Crime is at her mother's Springfield Township home, WCPO-TV reports. Her mother also was seated next to King at the 2019 Academy Awards when she won the best supporting actress Oscar for If Beale Street Could Talk, says WCPO-TV, which broadcast the awards show.