Noted film and television actor Idris Elba has signed on as a guest star in four episodes of the new SHOWTIME dark comedy series THE BIG C, premiering August 16TH at 10:30p PT/ET. Elba will play “Lenny,” a painter who forms a relationship with headliner Laura Linney. The 13-episode series is currently shooting in Stamford, Connecticut.

Best known to American television audiences for his acclaimed turn as Russell “Stringer” Bell on the HBO’s “The Wire, ” Elba, a UK native was seen on screen last season on the hit NBC series, “The Office.” He is currently starring as the lead in the UK series, “Luther” for the BBC which has garnered some of the strongest reviews in some time. On the film front, he was featured most recently opposite Beyonce Knowles and Ali Larter in OBSESSED, and was nominated for a SAG Award in 2008 for his work in AMERICAN GANGSTER with Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington. Other film credits include ROCKNROLLA, DADDY’S LITTLE GIRLS and 28 WEEKS LATER. He recently wrapped the features THOR for Marvel and directed by Kenneth Branagh, TAKERS for Screen Gems, and LEGACY, which he produced and premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

THE BIG C is headlined by multiple award-winner Laura Linney as Cathy, a repressed suburban teacher, wife and mother who reclaims her life after a terminal cancer diagnosis. Oliver Platt (2012) stars as her immature, but well-meaning husband. Oscar nominee Gabourey Sidibe plays a smart-alecky student in Cathy’s class.

THE BIG C is created and written by Darlene Hunt, who serves as executive producer, along with Showrunner Jenny Bicks, Linney, Neal H. Moritz and Vivian Cannon. It is produced by Original Film in association with Sony Pictures Television. Acclaimed writer/director/producer Bill Condon (Breaking Dawn) directed the pilot.

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