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Bryan Greenberg pitches 'Bessie' to a soul singer, Jay Z, and more

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The Empress of the Blues, Bessie Smith, takes center stage in HBO Films’ upcoming movie Bessie. Portrayed onscreen by Oscar nominee Queen Latifah, the prolific performer rose to fame in the 1920s and 30s with a big personality and even bigger voice. Now it’s finally time to tell her story.

Bryan Greenberg stars alongside Latifah in the historical drama, debuting shortly after his fourth annual brunch to raise funds for The Olevolos Project, which provides resources like school supplies and health insurance to children from the Olevolos village of Tanzania. 

Watch Greenberg pitch Bessie to a soul singer, a Rolling Stone music critic, and hip hop legend Jay Z, ahead of the premiere on Saturday, May 16 at 8 p.m. ET on HBO.