Maori star to play Virgin Mary
Keisha Castle-Hughes, the Oscar-nominated teenaged star of Whale Rider, has been cast as Mary in Nativity, which looks at the life of the Virgin Mary before the birth of Christ.
Reuters reports that the story, to be told with a strong female perspective, will follow Mary and Joseph's life before the birth of Christ as their love, faith and beliefs are tested.
The script incorporates their departure from Nazareth and travel to Bethlehem and includes such biblical figures as King Herod, John the Baptist and the three kings from the Orient, among others.
Catherine Hardwicke is directing the New Line Cinema project. Shooting will begin on 1 May in Morocco and Italy. The studio expects to release the movie in December.
Castle-Hughes, 15, who is of Australian and Maori descent, became the youngest actress nominated for a best actress Academy Award when she was recognised for her breakthrough role in 2002's Whale Rider. She also had a brief and silent turn in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith as Queen of Naboo.
Whale Rider star to play Virgin Mary (Reuters/stuff.co.nz 18/3/06)
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Keisha Castle-Hughes - Star of Whale Rider
21 Mar 2006