Rapper Common and video vixen Rihanna have both landed opportunities to show-off their acting skills in a new television pilot and upcoming movie.
Common has been cast for a lead role in a new AMC show called “Hell on Wheels.”
Common will star as a half-black, half-white freed slave in “Hell on Wheels,” a show about the building of the Transcontinental Railroad in the 1860s. The role of Elam is Common’s first leading role on television, according to AMC’s press release. The two-time Grammy winner has also had roles in the films “Just Wright,” “Date Night,” “Terminator Salvation” and “Smokin’ Aces.” The pilot will be shot in Alberta, Canada, next month. (Chicago Tribune)
An AMC executive has confirmed the network’s decision to tag the rapper-turned-actor.
AMC’s senior vice-president of programming Joel Stillerman said: “Common brings a layered intensity to a very complex role. This part required someone who can transcend the stereotypes of the period and bring the character to life in a truly unique way, and he brings that.” (Digital Spy)
Rihanna will make her move into Hollywood in a blockbuster set to drop in 2012.
The 22-year-old pop star is set to make her film debut in Peter Berg‘s “Battleship” movie, set for release in May of 2012. Variety reports that Rihanna’s deal was closed on Monday, though her role has not yet been confirmed. Filming on the summer tentpole will begin shortly in order to meet its release date. “Battleship” offers a fresh take on the classic board game, where naval forces unite on the high seas to battle an alien armada. Taylor Kitsch (“Friday Night Lights”) and Alexander Skarsgard (“True Blood”) have already been cast as two sailor brothers who partake in the fight. (New York Daily News)
Common’s last movie, Just Wright, opened in theaters last May.
“Iron Man 2″ has fought off all competition at the box office for a second weekend, boasting new earnings of $53 million. Ridley Scott‘s epic “Robin Hood,” starring Russell Crowe as the legendary British outlaw and Cate Blanchett as Maid Marian, settled for second place with $37.1 million on its debut weekend. Amanda Seyfried and Vanessa Redgrave‘s romantic comedy “Letters to Juliet” debuted at three with nearly $13.8 million in earnings, while new basketball comedy “Just Wright,” starring Queen Latifah and hip-hop star Common, debuted at four with takings of $8.5 million. (Star Pulse)
No further details have been revealed as of now.