Authors, Film & TV

Published on February 12th, 2015 | by Jameelah "Just Jay" Wilkerson

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Rza and Drea De Matteo join cast of Vanessa Del Rio film

Acclaimed actor & musician RZA and Emmy-award winning actress Drea De Matteo are the latest stars to join the cast of the upcoming Vanessa del Rio feature film. Both join lead actress Zulay Henao (The Single Moms Club) in the story of the World’s First Latina adult film star in gritty, organized crime-controlled Times Square during the tumultuous 70s & 80s.

RZA, who founded the quintessential hip hop group Wu Tang Clan, portrays a character who works the doors at the burlesque club Vanessa dances at. After hours, he secretly uses the club’s audio gear to pursue his true passion of music, laying down tracks and rhymes in the new hip hop and rap genres being explored at the time.

Timing is perfect, as RZA is currently celebrating Wu Tang Clan’s 20th Anniversary, as well as the release of their new album “A Better Tomorrow.”

NEW YORK - AUGUST 24: Actress Drea de Matteo attends the Moveon.Org civic action benefit concert on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina at Crobar on August 24, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Drea de Matteo

De Matteo, who just wrapped her recurring role in the hit television series “Sons Of Anarchy” and starred in “The Sorpranos,” portrays the savvy madame who discovers the young, rebellious Vanessa on the streets of Times Square. Her character strikes a delicate balance between a tough-as-nails club owner and someone who sympathizes with and tries to help the club’s adult performers living difficult, troubled lives.

Central to the film’s story line are the federal government’s determined efforts to force organized crime businesses out of New York City and ultimately to the San Fernando Valley, while films, tv shows, and song lyrics are suddenly being censored, and politicians and adult-industry mavericks battle in the courts and on the streets.

The film will be directed by Thomas Mignone, best known for his feature film “On The Doll,” starring Brittany Snow and Candice Accola. Mignone also wrote the script. Producing is Datari Turner (Ten Thousand Saints), who recently inked a first-look deal with Lionsgate and became the first African American producer to have four films premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in the last 5 years.




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