Zendaya to Produce and Star in a New Thriller “A White Lie”

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Zendaya will be returning to the silver screen as the first African-American woman to graduate from Vassar College. It has been confirmed that the young star will produce and star in the psychological thriller A White Lie. 

The film is based on the Karin Tanabe novel The Gilded Years, as Variety reports. The acclaimed novel tells the true story of Anita Hemmings, a light-skinned African-American woman, who was the descendant of slaves and passed as a white woman to attend the private institution at the turn of the 20th century. Hemmings was introduced into an elite world where she’s treated as a wealthy, educated white woman and finds love with an affluent Harvard student. While Anita was attending the school of her dreams, her roommate grew suspicious of her race and told her father a few weeks before graduation, according to the Vassar’s alumnae quarterly. The father hired a private investigator who discovered Hemmings was African American and alerted school officials. Hemmings made an appeal to the President of the university and was able to graduate in 1897.

Along with starring in the film, Zendaya will serve as producer alongside Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter, who are partners in the Hello Sunshine production company. Monica Beletsky (Fargo, Parenthood) will be writing the screenplay.

Zendaya kicked off her career back in 2010 on the after appearing in several Disney Channel sitcoms and movies including “Shake It Up,” “K.C. Undercover,” and “Zapped.” Recently, it has been announced the singer-turned-actress will appear alongside Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in The Greatest Showman. Zendaya will also reprise her role of M.J in the Spider-Man sequel.

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