1 of 16
Casting Call: Sylvia Robinson

Joe Robinson was both Sylvia's business partner and closest ally. The two married just after the dissolution of Mickey & Sylvia, and forged a partnership that would last until Joe's death in 2000. We'd like to see Mos Def (Dexter, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Italian Job), who made his start as a child actor before turning his attention to hip-hop, take on the role.


Though Will Smith has been mostly recognized for his film work in recent years, he made a name for himself in the '90s as the Fresh Prince (even before his television show of the same name). In 1972, Sylvia Robinson offered her single "Pillow Talk" to Al Green, who turned down the opportunity to record the track because of his religious convictions. Sylvia released it under her own name, at which point it ascended to the top of the R&B charts in 1973. Will Smith would definitely do the legend justice, and while Green might not have the most central role in Robinson's story, their interaction demonstrates the golden touch she possessed during her reign as the ruling mother of hip-hop.


Taye Diggs got his start on Broadway. He starred in Rent alongside Idina Menzel (he later filled in briefly as her lover Fiyero during her days in Wicked) and received a BFA from Syracuse University. But he's also done time on the screen, most notably in Chicago, Ally McBeal, and Private Practice. We'd like to see him try on the blues for size as Sylvia's original songwriting partner Mickey Baker.



We may only have room to include a picture of one of them, but we had to suggest actors for them all. The Moments was the biggest act to sign with All Platinum Records, comprised Harry Ray, Billy Brown and Al Goodman. Dulé Hill made an inauspicious start to his musical career as Psych's Gus, who briefly appeared in a barbershop quartet (as an adult, at least—he understudied on Broadway as a child). Luke James has toured with Beyonce (making him perfect for this role) and written songs for Chris Brown and Britney Spears. With Frank Ocean to round out the trio, these three would make the ideal supporting cast as Sylvia's most notable protégés.

Like Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige has the kind of talent that spans genres. She can hold her own alongside the likes of Ludacris and possesses an incredible powerhouse voice. She's our top choice for Lesli Valentine, Sylvia's business partner and confidante.


Who but Beyoncé could play the late, great Sylvia Robinson? She stunned as the Diana Ross-resembling Deena Jones in Dreamgirls and as Etta James in Cadillac Records, and while she has definitely made the rounds of the mid-20th-century soul-music films, she's the only one for the role. Plus, she proved with her latest self-titled album that she can rap just as well as she can sing, making her perfect to play the woman behind "Rapper's Delight."