• Rachel Griffiths at the 3rd Annual AACTA Awards Ceremony at The Star on January 30, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Aussie actors to star in a mini-series from the Oscar-winning writer of Milk.
Drew Sheldrick

23 Mar 2016 - 11:51 AM  UPDATED 23 Mar 2016 - 11:51 AM

Australian actors Rachel Griffiths and Guy Pearce will star in a new US drama about the people behind the US gay rights movement.

Academy Award-winning gay screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and director Gus Van Sant, who previously joined forces on Milk, are behind the seven-episode series for the US ABC network.

When We Rise is described as a "chronicle of the real-life personal and political struggles, setbacks, and triumphs of a diverse family of LGBT men and women who helped pioneer one of the last legs of the US Civil Rights movement from its turbulent infancy in the 20th century to the once unfathomable successes of today".

Entertainment Weekly reports that Pearce will star as LGBT activist Cleve Jones, who joined the gay liberation movement in 1972 and was befriended by pioneer gay rights leader Harvey Milk. Griffiths will play a social justice activist who joined the Women’s Movement in the 1970s in San Francisco, co-founded the Women’s Building and has worked as an HIV/AIDS nurse and social justice activist at San Francisco General Hospital for 33 years.

Griffiths and Pearce will be joined by Weeds' Mary Louise Parker in the mini-series, who'll play Griffiths' wife.

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“It’s been the honor of my life to research and craft these stories of family, diversity and equality over the past three years,” Black said in a statement Monday.

“To have collaborators of this caliber sign on to help bring these stories to life is a tremendous vote of confidence, and I hope a testament to the relevancy and necessity of our continued march toward justice for all.”