New Orleans Native Wendell Pierce Lands Lead in HBO’s ‘Confirmation’

by Jordan McGuire on April 29, 2015


Wendell Pierce will play Clarence Thomas in HBO’s rendition of the 1991 Supreme Court nomination hearings.  The New Orleans native will star opposite Kerry Washington in Confirmation, a new project from HBO Films. Washington will portray Anita Hill.

The 1991 confirmation hearing for now-Justice Thomas were big news nearly twenty-five years ago, described as “a circus” by the actual Anita Hill, who accused Thomas of sexual harassment. The aftermath played out in the media for months and included a dramatic conclusion on the hearing floor. Obviously, Thomas was eventually confirmed, but the road there was anything but dull. We’ll spare you the spoilers-for-real-life for now.

Kerry Washington will star in and executive produce the film. Erin Brockovich scribe Susannah Grant will write and executive produce. Michael London and Janice Williams will join her as executive producers. Michael London also has the Louisiana-shot drama Astronaut Wives Club  set to debut. Rick Famuyiwa will direct Confirmation and production should get under way by the end of May.

Wendell Pierce was raised in Pontchartrain Park, a neighborhood that was wiped out during Hurricane Katrina. Pierce attended Ben Franklin High School and then graduated from New Orleans Centre for Creative Arts (NOCCA). He appeared in various Tulane productions as a college student then attended the Juilliard School of Drama. He’s held roles in Treme, The Wire, The Odd Couple, Ray Donovan and Joel Edgerton’s directorial debut The Gift.

Check out Scene‘s exclusive interview with Wendell Pierce here. There is no current release date for the film yet but, in the mean time, check out Wendell’s The Wind in the Reeds, his story about Hurricane Katrina.