While the media narrative has already shifted from this morning’s “Whoa, Renée Zellweger looks different!” into full “What we talk about when we talk about Renée Zellweger’s face” thinkpiece mode, I thought we could take a step back to remember why we she’s in the public eye again in the first place. Namely, because she has some movies coming out. As Josh Kurp reported this morning, Zellweger will star opposite Keanu Reeves and Jim Belushi in The Whole Truth. But that’s not all!
According to Deadline, Zellweger has also signed on for Paramount’s Same Kind of Different as Me, Hollywood’s latest attempt to frack untapped reserves of faith-based dollars. Adapted from the book, Zellweger plays the titular “Unlikely Woman” of the full title, Same Kind of Different As Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together, a New York Times best-seller co-written by Ron Hall (the art dealer), Denver Moore (the modern-day slave), and Lynn Vincent, a San Diego-based writer whose other work includes Heaven Is For Real, Going Rogue with Sarah Palin, and Donkey Cons: Sex, Crime, And Corruption in the Democratic Party.
Here’s the book description:
A dangerous, homeless drifter who grew up picking cotton in virtual slavery. An upscale art dealer accustomed to the world of Armani and Chanel. A gutsy woman with a stubborn dream. A story so incredible no novelist would dare dream it.
It begins outside a burning plantation hut in Louisiana . . . and an East Texas honky-tonk . . . and, without a doubt, in the heart of God. It unfolds in a Hollywood hacienda . . . an upscale New York gallery . . . a downtown dumpster . . . a Texas ranch.
Gritty with pain and betrayal and brutality, this true story also shines with an unexpected, life-changing love.
In case that synopsis was too uplifting to even translate into English, here’s another account of the narrative from Denver Moore’s obituary in the Dallas News:
The unlikely partnership started when Mr. Hall promised his wife, Deborah, that he would do anything she asked the rest of their lives after she forgave him for being unfaithful. Mrs. Hall wrangled her husband into befriending a homeless man she had envisioned.
Hall, meanwhile, is described as “an international art dealer whose long list of regular clients includes many celebrity personalities.” He has an MBA from Texas Christian University, who I hear has an excellent international art dealing program.
“She had a dream about this homeless man who was poor but wise, and by his wisdom our city would be changed,” Mr. Hall said. […]
In 1998, he met Mr. and Mrs. Hall, who had been volunteering for a couple of weeks at the Union Gospel Mission, looking to find the man in Mrs. Hall’s vision. One evening, as they were preparing to serve a meal, a fight broke out as the homeless men left a chapel service.
“It was total melee and pandemonium, with bodies being tossed, screaming and profanity,” Mr. Hall recalled.
As the table-tossing scrum moved toward him, Mr. Hall crouched behind the serving line, scared and not wanting to get involved.
“I look up and all the sudden Debbie is jumping up and down with excitement, like a cheerleader,” he said. “She’s saying, ‘That’s him, that’s him.’”
At his wife’s insistence, Mr. Hall pursued the man for five months, trying to strike up a conversation.
Holy hell, it’s like The Secret, where if you believe strongly enough in The Magical Negro, he will manifest himself.
Mr. Moore eventually became like part of the Hall family, and shortly before Mrs. Hall’s death in 2000, he promised her he would carry on her efforts to help the homeless.
“Debbie’s final words to me were ‘Don’t give up on Denver. God is going to bless your friendship in a way you can never imagine,’” Mr. Hall said.
At her funeral, Mr. Moore stood up before the crowd to pay tribute to her. He said that during more than 25 years on the street, no one had ever stopped to ask his name.
Mr. Moore received a standing ovation from the more than 1,000 people at the service, and people started making pledges to build a new Union Gospel Mission.
“By noon the next day, more than half a million dollars had already come in from people who had been at the service,” Mr. Hall said. Within two years, $12 million was available for construction of a new homeless mission.
I was sitting here for 20 minutes trying to figure out how to end this post, my mind going in a million different directions, when I sent the synopsis to Danger Guerrero, who responded, “would have been great if instead of the magical hobo sh*t her dream was, like, owning a huge-dicked sex robot.” I think I’m just going to leave it at that.