Yes you read that right! The “For Colored Girls” actress has agreed to take a stab at robbing jewelry stores, on camera of course. In an upcoming film, Thompson will be portraying Doris Payne, the most notorious jewelry snatcher of all time. With records dating back all the way to the 1950s, Doris Payne has obtained about $2 million worth of jewelry overtime. She would simply walk into the jewelry store as if she were looking for something particular (typically she would say that she was looking for a diamond ring), ask the clerk to show her multiple items in a case, and then use her charismatic conversation to cause the clerk to forget how many pieces they had outside of the case even though she had been stashing them the whole time. Payne continued on with the thefts until 2011, when she was caught stealing a diamond ring from Macys. In 2013 a documentary about Payne emerged, “The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne”, detailing her crimes and even including an exclusive interview from the jail where she served a two year sentence for the Macy’s robbery.
Tessa Thompson’s opportunity to tap into the mind of a woman who indulged in a six decade long robbery will be a very exciting thing to see in theatres. This cat and mouse thriller is another interesting component to the consistent development of films featuring Black people as leading characters, or with predominantly Black casts. I like to call it the “Black Panther” effect, or even better, The Harlem Renaissance 2.0. In all, due to her outstanding work in movies like “Dear White People”, “Creed”, “Westworld”, and “Thor: Ragnarok”, we have seen what Tessa Thompson is capable of. To see the adventures of Doris Payne, as if you were right over her shoulder, is highly anticipated. People want to know how Payne was able to keep up with the robberies as often as she did for as long as she did. The release date of the film has not been released yet but the documentary is available for you to watch until then.