‘Heart’ opens to Schiff

Actor to co-star in 'Charles' pic with Foxx

Richard Schiff (“The West Wing”) has signed up to play record impresario Jerry Wexler in the biopic “Unchain My Heart: The Ray Charles Story” for helmer Taylor Hackford.

Schiff will star opposite Jamie Foxx (Charles) in the Crusader pic penned by Jimmy White, which follows Charles’ personal and professional hardships including his birth in the segregated South in 1930 and going blind at age 7 from glaucoma.

A pianist, singer, composer and bandleader, Charles is credited with the early development of soul music. Pic will also include aspects of Charles’ life such as his civil-rights activism, battle with heroin addiction and professional clashes with record labels.

Pic is currently shooting in New Orleans.

Rounding out the cast are David Krumholtz as Milt Shaw, Charles’ longtime manager; Regina King as Charles’ mistress Margie Hendriz; and Kerri Washington as Charles’ wife Della.

Schiff will next star opposite Al Pacino in Myriad Pictures’ “People I Know” for Miramax Films, which is skedded for release stateside Friday.

Schiff, who is repped by Endeavor and Leverage Management, has also starred in such features as “The Lost World: Jurassic Park II,” “I Am Sam,” “Grace of My Heart” and “Seven.”

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