A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
We’ve seen Aaron Johnson as John Lennon, Eric Bana as ‘Chopper’ Read, Morgan Freeman as Mandela, Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs, Naomi Watts as Princess Diana, Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln, Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher, Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe and Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles. The list is endless.
Biopics are commonplace nowadays, and with the advancement of hair & makeup technology at an all time high, getting the unique look of an icon perfectly is highly achievable. The need to transform someone with endless makeup and cosmetic effects however raises the question regarding the actor’s likeness to their depicted figure in the first place. Shouldn’t the actor have a little bit of a resemblance to begin with?
Sure, someone like Sir Anthony Hopkins playing Alfred Hitchcock refused to gain any amount of weight when portraying the enigmatic director ad thus used a fat-suit to transform himself. And to an extent he somewhat looked like a plausible Hitchcock (apart form the eyes). Yet, what I guess I’m really trying to say is why not make the most of an opportunity to create a brilliant biopic that is as visually accurate as possible when we have uncanny dopplegangers in the buisness right under our noses?
So, who exactly am i speaking about?
Well, a friend of mine raised this point several years ago and to this day I still agree with him. Many think he is the spiting image of James Dean, however James Franco to me would be a perfect Jeff Buckley. Franco is more than capable of undertaking a serious role, he’s proven this time and time again. Just imagine Franco up on stage, belting out “Hallelujah” and re-creating that emotional tearjerker of a live performance from 1995! It would be excellent!
This next one is an uncanny look-alike, however it would most likely never happen given the subjects involved. It could however be made into a comedy sketch or something similar. Will Ferrell playing Chad Smith; drummer of The Red Hot Chili Peppers. These two are identical! It is scary how truly alike they are! I immediately see an SNL skit being based around this incredible resemblance.
This example was posted well before I was informed of Smith and Ferrell’s skit on Jimmy Fallon. Nevertheless I’ll keep it up, but again, for the record, I was unaware leading up to the television appearance.
The Bob Dylan biopic “Im Not There” from 2004 saw the folk music legend being portrayed by 6 different actors, including Australia’s Cate Blanchett. Showing various stages of Dylan’s life and career, this worked extremely well, and the characters (particularly Blanchett) captured the visual essence of Dylan extremely well. Something that could be achieved similarly (but heaven forbid it ever gets created) would a Katy Perry biopic with Emily Blunt, Zooey Deschanel, Katie Featherston, Mia Kirshner and Siwan Morris playing the pop singer. They’re strangely alike, but even that wouldn’t win the film over for me.
If ever Jack White from The White Stripes decided he wanted a film based on his life and career, I bet he’d cast Johnny Depp to play him. Depp would absolutely capture the look of White without question, and he’d probably pump out an excellent performance too.
As would Steve Carrell as Alice Cooper! This too seems highly unlikely, but then again, Carrell undertaking the role of the highly eccentric performer would be something I dare say he’d be interested in, as would the general public. This could perhaps be another SNL skit as opposed to a feature length film…
For sports stars, I could definitely see Seann William Scott playing tennis ace Andy Roddick. Both men are American, both men love themselves and they look like one another! Roddick would be more than keen to see himself up there on the silver screen. I’m not too sure how many people would go along to watch the film itself, just as long as Roddick is publicised, he’d be more than happy.
Keeping with the trend of tennis players having stars portray them in a film, none can argue the uncanniness of Juan Martin Del Potro and B.J Novak. Give Novak some stubble, a beefed up looked and a thick Argentinian accent and you have an exact Del Potro replica. Sadly this portrayal will likely never happen, the key stardom in tennis is primarily based around winning trophies…
There are some other notable ideas for potential biopics, some more interesting than others.
Now that “How I Met Your Mother” has finished, Josh Radnor can get started on playing his sporting equivalent from Spain. FC Barcelona star Xavi resembles Ted Mosby without a doubt. Xavi’s story is relatively unknown, so, who knows? Maybe he has one of football’s most incredible stories that has simply been hidden all these years?
The last two are gimmes, ones that most people are familiar with. Rupert Grint as Ed Sheeran; we’ve already seen glimpses of this in his music video, but I don’t see this happening anytime soon. He’s pretty talented, but doesn’t have that status that grants him a biopic just yet. Perhaps combine Ferrell, Carrell and Grint together to create an SNL skit for the ages! Now there is an idea!
Lastly, Emma Stone as a healthy Lindsay Lohan. There could be a film, not a true biopic, based around parallel universes which sees what Lindsay could have become of she hadn’t discovered drugs. This would be interesting and quite insightful, it sends a powerful message too! Or, perhaps it could be turned completely on its head and be about Emma Stone’s decline into despair, addiction and failure! That would attract audiences for sure, even though it wouldn’t be factually based.
So there it is, a list of potential ideas for biopics that would actually look visually true and pleasing. Rather than just casting the first name that springs to mind when they hear an iconic name, perhaps Hollywood should do some searching, filtering out and heavy research into exactly who looks like who. This thoroughness, effort and execution would pay off greatly at both ends, whilst showing respect to whoever is being portrayed, that’s a certainty.