Fantasy Casting: Three Women Who Could Play Lena Horne

There are so many biopics that have yet to be made. But with the amount of biopics that have been created, one has to wonder why others are left out.

One biopic that I’m surprised no one has snapped up yet is the story of Lena Horne. Who wouldn’t want to see a period piece with Horne singing it up and fighting racial injustice, with the ultimate high point being seeing her play Glinda the Good Witch in The Wiz?

Who could play Horne, though? I have three suggestions.

Carmen Ejogo


We’ve already seen Ejogo in some big films, most notably Selma, in which she played Coretta Scott King. Of course, playing another popular figure could start murmurings of “typecast,” like Chadwick Boseman, who played both Jackie Robinson and James Brown. But still, I think Ejogo could make a great Horne.

Grace Gealey


Funnily enough, Cookie Lyon has already called Grace Gealey’s Empire character Anika a broke-down Lena Horne or somesuch, so the comparison has already been made, albeit as an insult to Anika’s focus on appearances. But in truth, Gealey could be a great Lena Horne. She has already shown she has depth of range on Empire, and as a newcomer to Hollywood, a big-budget film like this would really cement her as the industry’s next leading lady.

Tessa Thompson


Tessa Thompson has already made waves for her performance in Dear White People and Selma (and, if you were a fan of Copper, you probably remember seeing her there as well). Thompson wasn’t given a lot to do in Selma, to be honest, but she has a lot of scenery to chew in Dear White People and it’s clear that her star’s on the rise for a reason. Again, like Gealey, a movie like a Lena Horne biopic would propel Thompson to household name status. Although, her role in the upcoming Rocky spinoff focusing on Apollo Creed’s grandson, Creed, will probably do that as well.

Who would you choose to play Lena Horne?

Photo credit: Paramount Pictures, Matt Dinnerstein/FOX

  • Nijia Vaughn

    None of these women I wouldn’t even choose at all. I would choose Paula Patton, Thandie Newton or Alicia Keys in fact Alicia Keys would be my first choice to play her. None of these women look like Ms Horne or share nothing in common with Ms Horne.

    • Who would you choose?

      • Nijia Vaughn

        My pics would have been Paula Patton, Thandie Newton or Alicia Keys. Those women would’ve been my main three picks. None of those women look like her and have anything in common with Lena. Reading her biography she was a New York native and that something that her and Keys have in common. Her Brooklyn accent will be something that will be easy to imitate but also Lena face alot of racism. Lena was a black woman with two mixed parents. That is also something that Keys can relate to cause she’s mixed but see herself as a black woman. Thandie and Paula would be great pics as well but Lena was also a dancer, musician, singer ,and actress. The one thing that connects her with Paula and Thandie is that they married a white man. Lena married Lennie Hayton a great pianist in which she admitted to further her career but when that happened she got blacklisted. So those are the main three I would pic cause they all have something in common its just after reading the book I found out that Lena and Keys connection is much stronger.

  • Pat C

    Alicia Keys is my only choice. Let’s make it happen movie people out there.