Taraji P. Henson is going to step into the role of Miss Hannigan, an orphanage manager who hates all children, in NBC’s holiday production of Annie Live! As reported by Deadline, the fabulous 50-year-old actress will pick up the role originally played by comic legend Carol Burnett in the film adaptation and lead the musical opposite a soon-to-be-discovered star.
The Peacock network is said to begin its nationwide casting search for the titular redheaded optimist very soon. Auditions for the role will happen virtually, and rehearsals will take place in October and November 2021 in New York.
“When we decided to bring back NBC’s holiday musical tradition, we were looking for something that was critically acclaimed and universally beloved,” said Susan Rovner, chairman, Entertainment Content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, in a statement. “And while that’s definitely the case with ‘Annie,’ it absolutely applies to Taraji as well. Watching her take on this iconic role will be a thrill that has all the makings of must-watch television.”
“Carol Burnett, who brought Miss Hannigan to life in the classic 1982 movie, is someone I have studied and idolized as far back as I can remember,” Henson said. “So when the opportunity came to me to join NBC and this incredible group of producers, I jumped! Carol, I hope to do you proud!”
Henson, who has a few distinctions of her own, has won the Golden Globe, the SAG Award and the Critic’s Choice Award for her performance of Cookie Lyon on Fox’s musical drama Empire. She was also nominated for an Oscar for her role in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. On top of acting and producing, Henson is an activist, a mental health advocate, a beauty entrepreneur, a best-selling author, and was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.
The musical will debut on-screen Thursday, Dec. 2 on NBC.