Watch: Queen Latifah Rise as “Empress of Blues” in Official Trailer for HBO’s ‘Bessie’
Directed by Pariah‘s Dee Rees, Bessie intimately captures the life, rise to international fame, and personal heartbreaks of the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s.
In the trailer above, we see a glimpse of Bessie (played by Queen Latifah) meeting her mentor and rival, blues legend Ma Rainey (Mo’Nique), career troubles, the tension between Bessie and her older sister Viola (Khandi Alexander, and the strained relationship with her husband Jack Gee (Michael K. Williams).
The cast is rounded out by Mike Epps as Richard, a bootlegger and romantic interest; Tika Sumpter as Lucille, a performer and romantic interest; Tory Kittles as Bessie’s older brother, Clarence; Oliver Platt as famed photographer and writer Carl Van Vechten; Bryan Greenberg as renowned record producer and music critic John Hammond and Charles S. Dutton as Ma Rainey’s husband, William “Pa” Rainey.
Bessie airs on Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 8:00 pm on HBO.