Rose Byrne recalls 'surreal' scene with Oprah Winfrey

Ausiliatrice Cristiano
Aprile 20, 2017

The film, based on the book of the same name, details the life of Henrietta Lacks.

Byrne shared that she was, in fact, a little intimidated by Winfrey before she got to know her on the set.

In terms of raising awareness, the filmmakers have undoubtedly succeeded: a woman erased from medical history 65 years ago now has her very own hashtag - making her immortal.

The movie offers an opportunity to extend the legacy of Henrietta Lacks - and of Oprah Winfrey, who keeps giving new life to seemingly small stories that speak to larger truths.

"Jeri always says, 'I just want people to know her grandma, '" says Lizzie Kripke, co-principal artist at Meg Saligman Studio. The HeLa cells, as they were known, represented a breakthrough whose impact can't be overstated. Without her or her family's consent, they masked her identity and shipped samples to labs all over the globe, where the cells helped engineer the polio vaccine, chemotherapy, in vitro fertilization, the "AIDS Cocktail" and more.

Skloot has contributed stories and essays to The New York Times, Popular Science and other major publications. Lacks was a 31-year-old African American woman who was descended from slaves. "If we can cast things in a positive light, and acknowledge what's gone wrong but also celebrate what's gone right, I think that's a different way to present this". "So we feel it's a victory to get the story made", Winfrey said.

Deborah "would have loved" the film, Winfrey told THR prior to the screening. According to Winfrey, it turned out that family member had not read the book. Another theater guest, Reverend Al Sharpton, said, "It really brought tears to your eyes", while Goldsberry's fellow 2016 Tony victor (for the Winfrey-produced revival of The Color Purple), Cynthia Erivo concluded, "There were just wonderful performances and it stole my heart".

"The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks" premieres Saturday on HBO. This coming into fruition is part of her dream.

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