Tony Goldwyn to star in the Lifetime original movie ''Polygamist Prophet: The Warren Jeffs Story''

By Tim Stack
Updated May 23, 2014 at 04:00 AM EDT

Scandal star Tony Goldwyn is trading the White House for the compound in Lifetime’s original movie Polygamist Prophet: The Warren Jeffs Story (working title), in which he plays the controversial polygamist leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Airing on June 28, Prophet — based on Stephen Singular’s 2009 best-seller When Men Become Gods and exec-produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (The Sound of Music Live!) — follows the fundamentalist Mormon from his rise to power within the FLDS through his eventual conviction and incarceration for sexually assaulting two underage girls. Jeffs’ belief in ”plural marriages” (he had a reported 78 wives at one point) also landed him on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list. ”He exiled all those who disagreed with him and very skillfully seized power,” says Goldwyn. ”He engineered things in a rather dictatorial way.” While there isn’t much video footage of Jeffs, Goldwyn listened to audio recordings to mimic the leader’s vocal cadences. ”He meticulously audio-recorded everything,” says the actor. Between Jeffs and President Fitzgerald Grant on ABC’s Scandal, Goldwyn seems to be cornering the market on portraying lascivious men in power. But he adds, ”I have to say, Warren Jeffs makes Fitz look like a Boy Scout.”