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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Oscar® Winner Cuba Gooding Jr. and Kimberly Elise
Star in TNT’s Inspirational GIFTED HANDS: THE BEN CARSON STORY,
A JOHNSON & JOHNSON SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION® Movie

GIFTED HANDS, Based on Pediatric Neurosurgeon’s Moving Memoir,
To Premiere Feb. 7 at 8 p.m. (ET/PT)


A frustrated young boy with problems in school overcomes the obstacles in his life to become a world-renowned neurosurgeon in the new TNT Original movie GIFTED HANDS: THE BEN CARSON STORY. This uplifting and inspirational JOHNSON & JOHNSON SPOTLIGHT PRESENTATION® stars Oscar® winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire) and two-time NAACP Image Award winner Kimberly Elise (The Great Debaters, The Manchurian Candidate). It is based on the true story of Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, whose lifelong journey led him to become director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, a best-selling author and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The movie premieres Feb. 7 at 8 p.m. (ET/PT), exclusively on TNT.


In GIFTED HANDS, Gooding plays Carson as an adult, while Elise plays Carson’s mother, Sonya, who inspired her son to study and work hard so he could rise above their inner-city roots. Also starring in the movie are Aunjanue Ellis (The Practice), as Carson’s wife, Candy; Jaishon Fisher (Lakeview Terrace), who plays Carson as a young boy; and Gus Hoffman (Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins), who portrays Carson as a teenager.


GIFTED HANDS was adapted by award-winning writer John Pielmeier (Agnes of God) from the memoir penned by Carson and Cecil Murphey. The film is directed by Thomas Carter (Coach Carter). It comes to TNT from Sony Pictures Television, Thomasfilm and The Hatchery LLC. Dan Angel (TNT’s Door to Door), Margaret Loesch (Benji: Off the Leash), Bruce Stein (The Haunting Hour: Don’t Think About It), Erin Keating and Carter serve as executive producers on the project.


The film opens with Carson’s childhood in Detroit. The young Bennie struggles in school after his father abandons the family and his mother, who suffers from bouts of depression, is forced to be the family’s sole provider, despite the fact that she can’t read and has only a third-grade education.


Seeing that her son is having problems in school, Sonya soon realizes it is because he has troubles seeing. With a new pair of glasses and encouragement to spend time at a library, Bennie dives into the world of books. The joy Bennie gets from reading and the undying love and support he receives from his mother pave the way for him to overcome his impoverished background and graduate from high school, college and medical school. To fulfill his dream of becoming a doctor, he also must face down racial prejudice and other obstacles that threaten to derail him.
Along the way, Carson gets married and starts a family. But his home life becomes strained when his work starts to consume his every waking hour, especially as he faces the challenge of becoming the first doctor ever to successfully separate conjoined twins joined at the back of the head. In the end, however, Carson’s family comes to understand that his work is vital in helping other families, including a young couple whose twins’ lives are saved thanks to Carson’s remarkable skills, knowledge and courage.


Today, Carson stands at the top of his field as one of the most respected pediatric neurosurgeons in the world. He is living proof that, with perseverance, a devotion to knowledge and the loving support of family and friends, one can overcome any obstacles. Like his mother did for him, Carson now pours everything he has into helping young people overcome their medical limitations and fulfill their own dreams.


Click here for a closer look - watch behind the scenes clips from the movie.


Click here to discuss GIFTED HANDS: THE BEN CARSON STORY, starring Cuba Gooding, Jr.

Turner Network Television (TNT), television’s destination for drama and one of cable’s top-rated networks, offers original series, including the acclaimed and highly popular detective drama The Closer, starring Kyra Sedgwick; Saving Grace, starring Holly Hunter; Raising the Bar, starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Gloria Reuben and Jane Kaczmarek; Leverage, starring Timothy Hutton; and Trust Me, with Eric McCormack and Tom Cavanagh. TNT is also home to powerful one-hour dramas, such as Bones, Cold Case, Law & Order, Without a Trace, ER and Charmed; broadcast premiere movies; compelling prime-time specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards®; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR and the NBA.

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