Playing legendary singers, these actors are getting ready to do more than just look the part
1. Jazzing up
Critically-acclaimed actor, Don Cheadle, is playing jazz trumpeter Miles Davis in the biopic Miles Ahead, which is also Cheadle’s directorial debut. In an exclusive picture of the actor in character, Cheadle totes a trumpet and sports Davis’ trademark jheri-curled mullet. The actor also makes it a point to play the instrument every day. Cheadle has put in his own money and raised nearly $340,000 through crowd funding for the movie. Reportedly, in 2008, when Davis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, his nephew, Vince Wilburn Jr, had announced that he would like Cheadle to play the legend in a movie.
Tom Hardy is all set to play Sir Elton John in the musical biopic, Rocketman. The actor was recently seen posing next to the singer at the American Film Market in Santa Monica and, in preparation for the film, Hardy, 36, has been wearing John’s clothes. “When I play a real person, I like to have bits of them,” he had said. John recently admitted on The Graham Norton Show that though they don’t look alike, they have similar personalities.
3. Brand new DaCosta
Not many recognise Yaya DaCosta, who made her small-screen debut in 2004 on the reality show, America’s Next Top Model. But she will soon be identified as the actress playing the late legendary singer, Whitney Houston, in Lifetime’s TV film scheduled for 2015. DaCosta, who was earlier seen in The Butler, channelled Houston’s 1987 album cover in the first photo for the biopic—with a similar white vest top and hair styled in wavy curls, to capture Whitney’s late ’80s style.
Actor-rapper Keith Stanfield, known for his performance in Short Term 12, is playing the young Snoop Dogg in Straight Outta Compton, a biopic on seminal gangsta rap group N W A. Rap isn’t new to the 23-year-old actor, who was nominated for an Oscar this year for his rap song, So You Know What It’s Like, from Short Term 12. Stanfield had courted controversy when he mentioned that he used to work at a marijuana plant before he entered films. But he soon clarified that it was a legal marijuana factory. Incidentally, Stanfield is also starring in the Miles Davis biopic, Miles Ahead, and the Martin Luther King biopic, Selma.
5. Double trouble
After Zendaya Coleman’s controversial exit, Alexandra Shipp has been roped in to essay the role of late R&B singer, Aaliyah, in American channel Lifetime’s TV film, Aaliyah: Princess of R&B. Seen in midriff-baring tops and belly chains, the 23-year-old sports the star’s signature look in initial photos. Right after bagging the film, Shipp—best known for her role on Nickelodeon’s House of Anubis and her appearance on MTV’s Awkward and Showtime’s Ray Donovan—had tweeted, “It’s like God keeps making life better, I swear. Thank you universe!!! #amazingnewstocome.” However, Aaliyah’s family was not happy about the fact that an unknown face would be portraying the role of the late singer. The young actress is also starring in Drumline: A New Beat, VH1’s revamp of the 2005 film, Drumline.
— Compiled by