Quantico actress Aunjanue Ellis, Underground star Amirah Vann, and Ugly Betty actress Vanessa Williams have joined the cast of independent film Miss Virginia.  Ellis and Williams join the cast including Emmy-winning actress Uzo Aduba, Matthew Modine, Christopher Egan, Hanna Griffiths, Niles Fitch, Nadji Jeter, and Michael Beasley.

Inspired by a true story, Miss Virginia follows a struggling inner-city single mother who moves her at-risk son from their dangerous neighborhood school to an expensive one in a safe area.  Stuck in a dangerous school and unable to afford private tuition, she launches a movement that could save his future.

The film is set to begin production later this month in Los Angeles.

Ellis is best known for her roles in films Men of Honor, The Caveman’s Valentine, Undercover Brother, Ray, The Express, The Taking of Pelham 123, and The Help. On television, Ellis had recurring roles on The Practice, True Blood, and The Mentalist, and played roles in a number of made for television movies, such as Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story in 2009.  In 2015, Ellis played the leading role in the miniseries The Book of Negroes.  Since 2015, she has been starring as Miranda Shaw in the ABC thriller series Quantico. In 2016, Ellis played Nancy Turner, Nat Turner’s mother, in the critically acclaimed period drama film, The Birth of a Nation, and will next be seen in If Beale Street Could Talk from Annapurna Pictures, directed by Barry Jenkins.

Vann was nominated for a NAACP Image Award for her role as Ernestine on WGN America’s Underground, which wrapped its second and final season in May of last year. Her other credits include  TNT’s Major Crimes, Girls, Mozart in the Jungle,and she starred in the feature films Tracers and And So it Goes.  She currently recurs as Tegan Price on How To Get Away With Murder, and recently starred as Justine Simon on USA Network’s Unsolved: the Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G. 

Williams is known for her many television credits including Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives, Daytime Divas as well as appearances in The Mindy Project, Broad City, and The Good Wife. She has also starred in many films including Eraser, Soul Food, Dance with Me, and Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor.  Williams recently joined the cast of the CBS comedy Me, Myself & I in a recurring role opposite John Larroquette.