Lohmann: With success of ‘Hamilton’ as backdrop, actor puts a new face on portrayal of Jefferson

The actor J. Shawn Durham might not seem an obvious choice to portray Thomas Jefferson in an upcoming film produced in the former Capital of the Confederacy, but then again, like Jefferson, he is 6-foot-2.

“We are the same profile, so that’s awesome,” Durham said with a laugh.

Durham, 42, also is black, which might have been a showstopper years ago for such a mainstream production, but no longer, particularly with the success of “Hamilton,” the Broadway blockbuster musical that cast non-white actors as the Founding Fathers.


The King of Crimes

J. Shawn Durham portrays Thomas Jefferson in a film adaption of “The King of Crimes,” a play about the 1807 treason trial of Aaron Burr in John Marshall’s court that was written by Richmond author David Robbins and commissioned by the Richmond-based John Marshall Foundation.

–Jason Parks