Is Oprah Winfrey to Headline "Ruined" Film?

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07 Dec 2010

Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey
Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Actress-TV host-humanitarian Oprah Winfrey will make a return to acting to star as Mama Nadi, a brothel owner, in the HBO Films adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined, deadline.com has reported.

Playwright Lynn Nottage is penning the screenplay based on her play. The drama has had a wide life in regional theatres, and played an extended run Off-Broadway in a co-production between Manhattan Theatre Club and Goodman Theatre. In June 2009, after attending the MTC run, Winfrey said via Twitter that the play made her cry.

The play is set at a bar/brothel in the civil war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. Mama Nadi sells drinks, girls, games and music, seeking to survive. Her relationship with her employees is complicated, and so is her approach to a possible suitor.

The title refers to genital mutilation and rape that is part of everyday life for women there.

The film will be executive produced by Oprah Winfrey and Kate Forte of Harpo productions.

Winfrey's screen credits include "Beloved" and "The Color Purple." She was also a producer of the Broadway musical version of The Color Purple. She is currently taping the final season of her popular talk show, "Oprah."

Playbill.com is seeking independent confirmation of this casting.