The plot is based on the real-life story of Texas woman Chante Mallard, who, at age 27, was convicted of murder and evidence tampering, and given 50-year and 10-year concurrent sentences after she hit Gregory Biggs and left him to die stuck in her windshield.
Mallard is African-American. Suvari, the blonde, blue-eyed beauty from "American Beauty" and the "American Pie" movies, is not. But she does wear cornrows to play the role of Brandi.
In the realm of Hollywood, where artistic license is the rule and studios need to recoup the millions of dollars they sink into films, it's not uncommon for white actors to be cast in ethnic roles or for real-life stories to be "whitewashed" to make them more mainstream...
...television and film actress Victoria Rowell told ABCNews.com. "Unless African-American actors, Hispanic actors, Middle Eastern actors and Asian actors say no more, it's going to continue.
Rowell, who starred opposite Dick Van Dyke in the television series "Diagnosis Murder," Jim Carey and Jeff Daniels in the film "Dumb and Dumber," and Samuel L. Jackson in "Home of the Brave," has turned to writing books. Her memoir, "The Women Who Raised Me," was on the New York Time's bestseller list.
But when it came time to record the audio portion of her book, the veteran actress had to fight to read it herself. The publisher, she said, wanted a European woman's voice. It was a snub she never saw coming, especially since it was her own story.
"We're in a dangerous place with all of this," she said, "Hollywood is saying we don't need you. We don't need your face. Your skin color. Your history. We don't even need your voice."
She says actors of color have to push to get into the room and campaign for a role, and not just the ones based on real-life people. In the case of fictional roles, they have to get Hollywood to see them like their white counterparts, as actors who can perform any role, no matter what color or ethnicity the script calls for. "If we're out of sight, we're out of mind," said Rowell...