EXCLUSIVE: Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Alfre Woodard is set as a series regular in BET+/CBC’s The Porter, an original drama series about a group of 1920s railway workers who unite to form the world’s first Black union. Woodard also will serve as an executive producer on the series, from Inferno Pictures and Sienna Films, a Sphere Media company. Shooting is currently underway in Winnipeg, Canada.
Created by Arnold Pinnock (Altered Carbon, Travelers) and Bruce Ramsay (19-2, Cardinal) with Annmarie Morais (Killjoys, Ransom), Marsha Greene (Private Eyes, Ten Days In The Valley) and Aubrey Nealon (Snowpiercer, Cardinal), The Porter tells the story of the people who fought to ignite the civil rights movement in North America.
Set in the early 1920s, The Porter offers a dramatic and compelling look at the Black community in St. Antoine, Montreal — known, at the time, as the “Harlem of the North”. The story is told through the eyes of two Black train porters taking very different paths to liberation. One pushes to create the first Black union in existence, the other chases power on the wrong side of the law, but both have the same goal: to free themselves and their families from oppression. They’re young, gifted and Black, from Canada, the Caribbean, and the U.S., and over the course of the series they find themselves thrown together north and south of the color line. In an era that boasts anything is possible, if change isn’t coming for them, they will come for it.
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Woodard will play Fay, who runs the local brothel in St. Antoine – she’s sexy, direct and takes great pride in living life on her own terms. She joins previously cast Aml Ameen, Ronnie Rowe Jr., Mouna Traoré, Oluniké Adeliyi and Loren Lott.
Morais and Greene are showrunners and executive producers. Charles Officer (Akilla’s Escape) and R.T. Thorne (Blindspot) direct and are executive producers. Pinnock and Ramsay are co-executive producers. Pinnock also serves as an executive producer, and Ramsay a co-executive producer. Jennifer Kawaja serves as Executive Producer for Sienna Films and Ian Dimerman as Executive Producer for Inferno Pictures. The series is written by Morais, Greene, Andrew Burrows-Trotman, Priscilla White, Pinnock and Ramsay, with Thorne participating in the writers’ room.
The series is funded with the support of the Canada Media Fund and Manitoba Film & Music. It is distributed internationally by Abacus Media Rights and Sphere Distribution.
Woodard recently starred in the feature film Clemency. On the small screen, she most recently starred as Mariah Dillard in Marvel’s Luke Cage and as the title character in the Netflix Original film Juanita, which she also developed and produced. She can currently be seen Netflix Original film Fatherhood alongside Kevin Hart, and she also stars opposite Jason Mamoa in the Apple TV+ series See, created by Steven Knight. Woodard recently wrapped on the Joe and Anthony Russo directed film The Gray Man with Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans.
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