'Divergent' star to play East Texas pianist in biopic

Alexandra Carter

POSTED: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 - 5:18pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 - 5:58pm

East Texas is headed to Hollywood!

Earlier this week Crystal City Entertainment announced an upcoming movie about international pianist and former Kilgore resident Van Cliburn.

At just 12 years old Cliburn won a statewide piano competition. In 1958, in the midst of Cold War tension, Cliburn won a competition in Moscow and was credited with thawing the Cold War. Time magazine even dubbed him "the Texan who conquered Russia."

Ansel Elgort, star of blockbuster hits 'Divergent' and 'The Fault in Our Stars' confirmed on Twitter early last week he will play Cliburn in the movie.

Gregg County Historical Museum Executive Director Raina Howerton says the movie is a stepping stone for East Texas history.

"Van Cliburn wasn't born in Texas..but he got here as quick as he could....and that's where he gave his first performance..so to go from Kilgore to performing all around the world..I think is a very exciting thing that East Texans should be proud of."

If you'd like to learn more about Cliburn before the movie, The Gregg County Historical Museum has an exhibit on his life and works.

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