EXCLUSIVE: Vine personality-turned actor Melvin Gregg has joined the Lee Daniels-helmed drama The United States vs. Billie Holiday. Gregg, who can currently be seen on the third season of FX’s Snowfall series, joins Andra Day (playing Billie Holiday), Trevante Rhodes, Garrett Hedlund, Natasha Lyonne, and Evan Ross.
Miss Lawrence, who co-starred on Daniels’ Fox drama, Star, has also been added to the cast in the role of Miss Freddy.
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The pic is 2015 New York Time’s bestseller Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks adapted the screenplay.
It follows Holiday’s career as she was targeted by the Federal Department of Narcotics with an undercover sting operation led by black Federal Agent Jimmy Fletcher, with whom she had a tumultuous affair. It will explore Holiday’s struggles with addiction, fame and heartbreaking love. Gregg will play Joe Guy, a famed trumpet player in Billie’s band, and one of her lovers, who is battling drug addiction at the height of Holiday’s reign.
Daniels is producing with Jordan Fudge, Pamela Oas Williams, and Tucker Tooley, while Hilary Shor, George Parra, Mark Bomback, and Dennis Stratton serve as executive producers.
Gregg, repped by CAA and 3 Arts, recurred on Season 2 of the Netflix series, American Vandal, and also co-starred in the streamer’s original sports feature High Flying Bird from director Steven Soderbergh. In addition, he recently wrapped production on Warner Bros.’ The Way Back, with Ben Affleck.
Lawrence, who also appeared in Daniels’ Empire series and Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta, is repped by The Chamber Group.