As if the talent and content pool on Netflix isn't wide enough already, Kerry Washington will star in an original project for the streaming service, too. The actress announced Monday evening on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that she would be working with Netflix to adapt the current Broadway show she stars in, American Son, into a film-play hybrid built for the digital platform.
American Son stars Washington as one half of a mixed race couple who are looking for answers about their missing teenaged son. The narrative takes place in real-time over the course of 90 minutes. The show launched in November 2018 and has generated Tony Award buzz for the actress.
"It's the hardest thing I've ever done," Washington told Fallon. "It's all of the anxieties of being the parent of a black child in the middle of the night when you know something has happened, but you can't figure out what and you're trying to get answers. It's very special."
Because of the sensitivity and currency associated with the topics explored by the play — race, familial relationships and criminal justice issues — the show's playbill includes a discussion guide to help facilitate post-show conversations about the matters at hand in the narrative and their real world implications. According to Washington, Netflix will also help to promote that material with its version of the story.
"They're going to continue the conversation by making sure we continue to get those Opportunity Agenda questions out there," she explained. "It really brings us together as a country and makes us talk about things that we don't know how to talk about. ... It feels exciting that more people than just the ones in New York or just the people who've flown in to see it. Now everybody gets to have this conversation."
Per Washington, production on American Son for Netflix will kick off this year. Original Broadway cast members Steven Pasquale, Jeremy Jordan and Eugene Lee will all reprise their roles. Kenny Leon is returning to direct and produce.