Common to Star in Upcoming AMC Drama

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Looks like Jon Hamm will have another sharp-dressed leading man joining him on the AMC period drama circuit. reports that the network has cast Chicago rapper and actor Common in their latest historical drama, a Western called Hell On Wheels.

Common, who has been honing his acting skills with roles in American Gangster, Wanted and the recent Queen Latifah rom-com Just Wright, will star as Elam, a recently-freed slave who heads west to work on the First Transcontinental Railroad and struggles to assert his identity and place in 19th-century society as a biracial man.

“Common brings a layered intensity to a very complex role,” AMC’s senior VP of programming Joel Stillerman told Deadline. “This part required someone who can transcend the stereotypes of the period and bring the character to life in a truly unique way, and he brings that.”

Production on the pilot for Hell On Wheels will begin in August in Alberta, Canada.