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Uma Thurman Set To Star As Anti-Gay Activist Anita Bryant In Biopic

Uma Thurman is set to star as anti-gay activist Anita Bryant in Anita, directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman from a screenplay by Chad Hodge.

The film follows Bryant, a former celebrity singer and orange juice spokeswoman, who, when she allows a gay screenwriter into her home, is forced to confront her past as an anti-gay Christian crusader who successfully campaigned to overturn a gay rights law in Florida and destroyed her show biz career in the process.

UTA Independent Film Group and WME are co-representing domestic rights, and are shopping the project to financiers in Cannes.

Epstein and Friedman, a successful filmmaking team since 1987, aren't strangers to depicting real-life people and events. They recently directed the Linda Lovelace biopic Lovelace, starring Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard and Sharon Stone, while their documentary The Battle of amFAR will be broadcast on HBO in early December.

Anita has high-caliber producers in Sex and the City showrunner Darren Star, Howard Rosenman, Jeffrey Schwarz and Dennis Erdman.

Thurman is represented by UTA, Untitled Entertainment and attorney Ira Schreck. Star is represented by UTA.

by Miareply 6304/22/2014

What is up with that Lovelace movie?

by Miareply 105/17/2013

I know they were having problems inking a deal with one of Hollywood's most famous dogs to play opposite Seyfried in the horrifying beastiality scene.

by Miareply 205/17/2013

I don't understand why someone thinks this is a story that needs to be told. It's uninteresting and already completely understood. I don't care about this woman or her life and the world is a better place with her not in it.

by Miareply 405/17/2013

Assuming they actually get the financing, 5 people will see it. On screeners.

by Miareply 505/17/2013

Holy hell! I had Anita Bryant confused with Anita Hill and couldn't figure out why the fuck people were referencing her so much on her.

by Miareply 605/17/2013

I don't see her as Anita Bryant at all. She should just stick to her Tarentino schtick.

by Miareply 705/17/2013

Who is going to play Kathie Lee Gifford?

She was Anita's secretary

by Miareply 805/17/2013

Who will they get to play Kathie Lee?

by Miareply 905/17/2013

I think Anita Bryant is a fascinating subject for a bio-pic but Uma seems all wrong for casting.

by Miareply 1005/17/2013

Charlize Theron could nail it. Or Marcia Gay Harden.

by Miareply 1105/17/2013

what was Kathy Lee Gifford's relationship to Anita Bryant?

by Miareply 1205/17/2013

Kathie Lee was Anita secretary

by Miareply 1305/17/2013

Ugh! thanks, R13

by Miareply 1405/17/2013

Anita introduced Kathie Lee to mimosas and drinking in the morning. The rest is history.

by Miareply 1505/17/2013

Marcia Gay Harden would be perfect.

I can't see Uma as Anita.

by Miareply 1605/17/2013

Old and boring story, Bryant has already apologized and recanted all her idiocy from that awful era.

by Miareply 1705/17/2013

All you need to know about her, was already in "Milk".

by Miareply 1905/17/2013

yes, I think it is unnecessary, too

by Miareply 2005/17/2013

Kelly Ripa IS Kathie Lee Epstein!

by Miareply 2105/17/2013

Did Anita Bryant die?

by Miareply 2205/17/2013

Link to apology and recant of idiocy, please r17!

by Miareply 2305/17/2013

Thurman doesn't have that faux All-American wholesomeness that Bryant had. Marcia Gay Harden is a great choice.

by Miareply 2405/17/2013

"Old and boring story, Bryant has already apologized and recanted all her idiocy from that awful era. "

Well, if she has apologized and recanted, I think that makes a potential film about her even MORE interesting.

by Miareply 2505/17/2013

Or Angie Harmon

by Miareply 2605/17/2013

thurman has lost her looks almost completely.

by Miareply 2705/17/2013

I bet Ally Sheedy could nail this part.

by Miareply 2805/17/2013

Anita Bryant is why gay adoption was banned in Florida. She claimed that homos needed to adopt in order to recruit or we would die out.

A gay activist hurled a pie to her face...on camera. And her husband immediately started praying for the pie thrower while his wife sat there with pie on her face.

They really need to film this in 3-D.

by Miareply 2905/17/2013

[quote]Bryant has already apologized and recanted all her idiocy from that awful era.

O Hell,, NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She's still hate-mongering bitch and hasn't changed.

by Miareply 3005/17/2013

I may have to dig up my "I Slept With Anita Bryant's Husband" button.

by Miareply 3105/17/2013

Ah good times:"

by Miareply 3205/17/2013

[quote]I think Anita Bryant is a fascinating subject for a bio-pic

I agree, I am glad they are doing this film. There isn't enough of gay history in films and this is a peice of it.

by Miareply 3305/17/2013

Back in 2002, the St. Pete Times did a wonderful story on Anita Bryant.

It began: Singer Anita Bryant is on the downside of a comeback and on the bad side of dozens of people owed money in three states.

It continued: In Florida, Anita Bryant's name is surfacing once more as lawyers and gay activists try to repeal the state's ban on gay adoptions, blaming Bryant for its passage in 1977.

And then: Margaret Cole expected great things when she went to work at the Anita Bryant Music Mansion, a plantation-style showplace with towering white columns and sparkling chandeliers set in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains.

"There's something about the theater business that just gets in your blood," she said.

The first to arrive in the morning and the last to leave at night, Cole, a 58-year-old Baptist, felt she was doing something good for the world: Anita Bryant, the show's star, would belt out tunes from her '50s and '60s heyday, but the cornerstone of her act was a lengthy segment in which she preached her Christian beliefs.

Attendance was so sparse some nights that the manager put employees in the seats to boost the cast's morale. Cole, who worked in the ticket office, didn't mind.

"I thank God daily I have a Christian place to work," she told Tennessee labor investigators in August 2000. She scowled at locals who started to bad-mouth Bryant and Charlie Dry, the singer's husband and business partner.

But even Cole gave up on the couple after six months of bounced paychecks and daily promises that God would bring forth new investors. She holds little hope of ever seeing more than $6,400 in missed pay.

Here in the hills of eastern Tennessee, the story is much the same for dozens of others who labored, often for weeks or months without pay, to produce Bryant's jaunty, toe-tapping show, "Anita With Love."

Twenty-five years after her famous antigay crusade in Florida ended a high-flying career, Bryant, 62, is known in three other states for not paying bills. She has spent the past few years in small entertainment capitals across the Bible Belt, gamely attempting a comeback but leaving bankruptcy and ill will in her wake.

More at link about DL fave Anita Bryant.

by Miareply 3405/17/2013

Anita Bryant cream pied!

by Miareply 3505/17/2013

[quote]Anita Bryant cream pied!

And not in a good way!

by Miareply 3605/17/2013

Many of the 60 or so Music Mansion employees had cars repossessed or were evicted from apartments. The general manager, a retired Army helicopter pilot who served in Operation Desert Storm, lost his good credit rating after unpaid vendors pursued him in court because he signed for deliveries.

Ashley Matthews, a dancer who is owed $3,200 in back pay, said the hard times left some workers so strapped for cash they stole popcorn and candy from the theater's concession stand so they could eat.

by Miareply 3705/17/2013

Her first husband is still blaming the gays for their split:

[quote]Her marriage to Bob Green also failed at that time, and in 1980 she divorced him, citing emotional abuse and latent suicidal thoughts. Green refused to accept this, saying that his fundamentalist religious beliefs did not recognize civil divorce and that she was "still" his wife "in God's eyes." In 2007, Green stated: "Blame gay people? I do. Their stated goal was to put her out of business and destroy her career. And that's what they did. It's unfair."

by Miareply 3805/17/2013

[quote]Her first husband is still blaming the gays for their split

That's funny, cuz Kathie Lee's first marriage broke up because of the gays, too. Namely the one she was married to.

by Miareply 3905/17/2013

Bryant and current husband, Charlie Dry filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Arkansas in 1997 after piling up bills from a failed Anita Bryant show in Eureka Springs, a tourist area in northwest Arkansas. Among the debts: more than $172,000 in unpaid state and federal taxes.

Bryant also spent part of the 1990s in the nearby country music mecca of Branson, Mo., where the state and federal governments filed liens claiming more than $116,000 in unpaid taxes.

An Oklahoma native who was Bryant's childhood sweetheart, Dry is a retired test crewman for NASA and an affable man with a gift for easy conversation. Locals in Pigeon Forge say he used that charm to string people along.

His plan to re-establish the Music Mansion will never work, they say, given the memory of the theater's darkest days in August 2000. That's when an Irish dance troupe showed up to perform at the Music Mansion while Bryant was said to be on tour. When Dry refused to pay their full fee or provide an adequate per diem, the dancers were left stranded.

Deeply embarrassed, the residents and business people of Pigeon Forge donated food to the dancers. They took up a collection to pay their travel expenses back to Ireland. A local hotel put them up for free.

After that, church and tour groups who paid months in advance to see "Anita With Love" often drove up in buses to an empty theater. To salvage Pigeon Forge's reputation, other theaters chipped in with free tickets to their shows.

by Miareply 4005/17/2013

[quote]In 2007, Green stated: "Blame gay people? I do. Their stated goal was to put her out of business and destroy her career. And that's what they did. It's unfair."

What a nut job. They were trying to destroy gays. Boo hoo, it's unfair. What a dickhead.

by Miareply 4105/17/2013

Who the hell is looking for THIS movie?

What's the target demo they expect to market to?

I swear, Hollywood is it's own worst enemy.

by Miareply 4205/17/2013

R17 is full of shit and a sleazy, dumbass, cunt!

by Miareply 4305/17/2013

I think it would be fun to get a group of people to go to see it. When she gets hit with the cream pie, everyone jump up and cheer and spray the place with Reddi-Whip. It could turn into a Rocky Horror style cult film. We could get an advance take on some of the dialog in order to prepare responses to the bitch. Make up a big Anita Bryant doll and raise it up on a crucifix when Uma sings a hymn.

It's very rare that I ever say I hate anyone, but it's easy to say I hate Anita Bryant's guts and would like to turn every showing of the film into an anti-Anita spectacle. It would be great to have that happen all across the nation.

by Miareply 4405/17/2013

"It's not the gay people (she objects to), it's the sin" of homosexuality, her current husband said. "She tried to make that perfectly clear, but nobody would let it come out that way."

by Miareply 4505/17/2013

[quote]Bryant has already apologized and recanted all her idiocy from that awful era

I would also like to see the link to this. The movie summary seems to imply this as well. Is it true?

by Miareply 4605/17/2013

Bad casting...Uma's too pretty.

by Miareply 4705/17/2013

She hasn't recanted anything and is still hanging out with right wing loons and nut jobs back in her home state of Oklahoma.

by Miareply 4805/18/2013

She doesn't seem to have any compunctions about leaving people who worked for her unpaid. Walking away from debts seems to be a regular thing for her.

Is she a Christian?

by Miareply 4905/18/2013

No interest in this film from me.

by Miareply 5005/18/2013

Wait, R6-you thought Uma Thurman was going to play Anita HILL? What the hell is wrong with you?

by Miareply 5105/18/2013

I'm an Okie, too! Can I play her?

by Miareply 5205/18/2013

I actually think this has the makings for a good film. Why not? No one's suggesting that it should be a celebration of her life and accomplishments. I imagine it'll be along the lines of how Sarah Palin was treated in GAME CHANGE on HBO. The trick is to have a somewhat sympathetic central character (like Woody Harelson in GC) observing events; someone through which we can experience the story.

by Miareply 5305/18/2013

If A-listers Steven Soderbergh, Michael Douglas and Matt Damon and HBO can make a successful and intelligent film about Liberace and Scott Thorson, why not a film about Anita Bryant?

by Miareply 5405/18/2013

"At least it is a fruit pie" - what a nasty cunt! Tell us how you really feel Anita.

by Miareply 5605/18/2013

A link on that notorious hag...

by Miareply 5705/18/2013

I'm all for the movie. History should be told, even the idiocy. The Bryant controversy was a big deal at the time.

SNL did a couple of vicious sketches on her back in the day that were hysterical.

by Miareply 5805/18/2013

An old lady is forced to reminisce about her evil past? I could do that role in my sleep.

Roy, I smell another Oscar!

by Miareply 5905/18/2013

Anita bryant is a fucking CUNT who should be ashamed of herself to this day. She lost everything for hatred she still clings on to. She's a disgrace.

by Miareply 6001/06/2014

I'm Anti-Abortion, Anti-gayrights, Pro-Israel, and Old Fashion Christian Values.

by Miareply 6104/22/2014

Long Live Anita Bryant.

by Miareply 6204/22/2014

[quote]I think Anita Bryant is a fascinating subject for a bio-pic but Uma seems all wrong for casting.

Get Ralph Fiennes and put him back into his Voldemort makeup.

by Miareply 6304/22/2014
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