Spike Lee begins production today on an update to his Emmy-winning HBO documentary “When the Levees Broke,” about the rebuilding efforts in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.
Premiering in the summer, the untitled follow-up will look at the current status in education, housing and population relocation in the five years since the storm devastated the region.
No word if “Levees” standout Phyllis Montana-Leblanc will make an appearance in the sequel, but at Lee’s suggestion, she makes her acting debut in HBO’s upcoming original series “Treme” [pronounced Tre-MAY], which takes place in New Orleans three months after Katrina.
“Spike read the pilot early on. I had very favorable conversations with him,” said “Treme” co-creator and executive producer David Simon (“The Wire”). “The only thing of substance where he kicked in an opinion was actually Phyllis Montana-Leblanc where he said, ‘You know, I think she could do one of these things for you. She’s great.'”
“And so we read her, and he was right. It was a good casting choice and all credit to him for that,” Simon told TV critics Thursday during a presentation of “Treme.”
Montana-Leblanc, a real Katrina survivor, plays Charlette, a love interest of the lead character played by Wendell Pierce. “Treme is scheduled to premiere on April 11.
Below, Phyllis Montana-Leblanc talks about her experience during Hurricane Katrina.