Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

UNDER THEIR SKINS; Cop's Radical Idea to Go KLANDESTINE Pays off for Spike Lee

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

UNDER THEIR SKINS; Cop's Radical Idea to Go KLANDESTINE Pays off for Spike Lee

Article excerpt

Byline: WORDS: SEANNA CRONIN

It's a story that would be impossible, except it is true.

An African-American police officer manages to infiltrate and expose a local branch of the Ku Klux Klan.

BlacKkKlansman, director Spike Lee's latest 'joint' as he calls his films, brings the impressive story of Ron Stallworth to life with a few dramatic embellishments.

Set in the early 1970s, the provocative crime drama follows Ron Stallworth (John David Washington, pictured right), the first African-American detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department.

Determined to make a name for himself, Stallworth bravely sets out on a dangerous mission: infiltrate and expose the KKK.

Posing as a racist extremist, Stallworth contacts the group and soon finds himself invited into its inner circle.

He even cultivates a relationship with the Klan's Grand Wizard, David Duke (Topher Grace), who praises Ron's commitment to the advancement of white America. With the undercover investigation growing ever more complex, Stallworth's colleague Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver, also pictured) poses as Ron in face-to-face meetings with members of the hate group, gaining insider's knowledge of a deadly plot.

Together, Stallworth and Zimmerman team up to take down the organisation, which aims to sanitise its violent rhetoric to appeal to the mainstream.

Get Out director Jordan Peele brought Stallworth's memoir to Lee's attention and he and Get Out producer Jason Blum serve as co-producers on BlacKkKlansman, which has already been tipped as an Oscar contender.

Lee cast John David Washington, son of Oscar winner Denzel Washington, in the lead role without an audition. As a child, Washington had a small role in Lee's Malcolm X, which starred his father, but he didn't make his adult acting debut until landing a role in Dwayne Johnson's gridiron TV series Ballers. …

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