Wu-Tang Clan top boss RZA is becoming a fixture on the big screen just as he has in the world of Hip-Hop. The Abbot will take his acting chops to the set of a film that takes a look behind the scenes of the life of legendary adult film actress, Vanessa Del Rio.
Zulay Henao, who currently stars on the OWN network series If Loving You Is Wrong, stars as Del Rio, a retired Latina porn star who rose to fame during the late-1970’s and 80’s. Joining RZA is Drea De Matteo, who starred in the HBO hit crime drama, The Sopranos.
More on their RZA and De Matteo’s roles from the press release:
RZA, who founded the quintessential hip hop group Wu Tang Clan, portrays a character who works the doors at the burlesque club Vanessa dances at. After hours, he secretly uses the club’s audio gear to pursue his true passion of music, laying down tracks and rhymes in the new hip hop and rap genres being explored at the time.
Timing is perfect, as RZA is currently celebrating Wu Tang Clan’s 20th Anniversary, as well as the release of their new album “A Better Tomorrow.”
De Matteo, who just wrapped her recurring role in the hit television series “Sons Of Anarchy” and starred in “The Sorpranos,” portrays the savvy madame who discovers the young, rebellious Vanessa on the streets of Times Square. Her character strikes a delicate balance between a tough-as-nails club owner and someone who sympathizes with and tries to help the club’s adult performers living difficult, troubled lives.
Central to the film’s story line are the federal government’s determined efforts to force organized crime businesses out of New York City and ultimately to the San Fernando Valley, while films, tv shows, and song lyrics are suddenly being censored, and politicians and adult-industry mavericks battle in the courts and on the streets.
The film is directed by Thomas Mignone and produced by Datari Turner. The tentatively titled The Vanessa Del Rio Story has been in the works since 2013. There is no set release date.