Be it controversial signings like Naomi Watts as Princess Diana or spot-on ones like Chris Hemsworth as James Hunt, tinsel town brings more biographies to life
Benedict Cumberbatch may have garnered the disapproval from the real Julian Assange for his performance in The Fifth Estate. And Nicole Kidman might just be out of an almost certain Oscar nomination thanks to the delay of the release of Grace of Monaco. But in the age of biopics, these stars try to find their place in the sun with true-to-life roles. Text: Aakanksha Devi
The piano man
36-year-old Tom Hardy is most famous for his roles in ablockbusters such as The Dark Knight Rises, Inception and Bronson. But a far cry from all these feisty and fierce roles, Hardy is now set toplay the legendry Elton John in Rocketman, a film that is to begin shooting next year. Elton John himself is the executive producer in this production that follows Reginald Dwight (John’s real name) from being a child piano prodigy to a global superstar whose musical reign spans decades. “Tom is quickly becoming known as one of the world’s most versatile actors, and like others at the top of their craft, he has proven his worth. We are confident that Tom will embody the physicality and spirit of Sir Elton,” says co-executive producer, Peter Schlessel.
Ben Foster is best known for his role in 3:10 to Yuma and has starred in films like X-Men: The Last Stand, but possibly his most epic role is that of shamed cyclist Lance Armstrong in the upcoming, still untitled film. The 33-year-old actor has recently been seen sporting the famous yellow jersey of the Tour De France in snapshots of the film on Armstrong which follows his rise to fame as well as his downfall. The film also stars Chris O’Dowd as Irish sports journalist David Walsh and Jesse Plemons as Armstrong’s fellow cyclists. The script has been written by John Hodge of Trainspotting fame.
Yes, Mr President
If you had doubts about Idris Elba playing Nelson Mandela in The Long Walk to Freedom, then you’re going against the approval of Mandela himself. Elba, whose most famous role is probably that of drug lord Stringer in The Wire, says he was sceptical about some scenes which show Mandela as far from saintly. “I didn’t want to deface him in any way, but I didn’t want to portray him in a way that wasn’t honest,” Elba said. But his honest performance has been applauded by the former president who pointed at an iPad with footage of the film and asked, ‘Is that me?’, before approving, laughingly.
He held his own in Skyfall with a star cast, and Ben Whishaw is the first choice of Freddie Mercury’s bandmates to play the lead singer of Queen. He will be filling-in for Sacha Baron Cohen who left because his presence would be distracting. Roger Taylor, drummer, remarked that the actor the band preferred had the initials BW, and when asked if he meant Whishaw, he said, “Well, we hope so.” Guitarist Brian May went on to say, “We’re very protective of him. It’s going to be something very true but also respectful to Freddie as a performer and as a man.”
Following the abrupt bowing out of Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam, Irish actor Jamie Dornan is in final talks to take over the role of Christian Grey. The film adaptation of EL James’ best-seller, Fifty Shades of Grey, will see Dakota Johnson playing the role of Anastasia Steele. Dornan began his career by modelling in campaigns for Christian Dior, Giorgio Armani and, most notably, Calvin Klein underwear. It seems fitting that the man who will play the 28-year-old CEO of Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc. was once dubbed “the Golden Torso” by The New York Times. With the signing of Dornan, shooting will hope fully begin this month.