6 actors that could play Amy Winehouse in the new Back to Black biopic

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·5-min read
6 actors that could play Amy Winehouse in the new Back to Black biopic
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The new Amy Winehouse biopic Back to Black is officially in the works and will be directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson.

The project has been on the cards since 2018 and has the backing of the singer’s estate, despite Mitch Winehouse previously telling The Daily Mail that he would “never allow” his daughter’s music to be released in a biopic.

Mitch told NME in 2020 that he was “very much looking forward to” the new biopic, which will be directed by Taylor-Johnson, best known for her work on Nowhere Boy and Fifty Shades Of Grey.

Back to Black will be based on Daphne Barak’s book Saving Amy, and will tell the story of the late Camden singer, who passed away tragically in 2011. The film’s script will be written by Matt Greenhalgh, who also worked on Nowhere Boy.

The film is the second attempt at a Winehouse biopic after previous plans were cancelled in 2015. The original documentary was set to star actor Noomi Rapace and was due to be directed by Kristen Sheridan.

Although the cast of Back to Black has not yet been revealed, the news has prompted speculation among fans about who might play the late jazz singer.

Here’s who we think it could be...

Lady Gaga

 (Getty Images for The Recording A)
(Getty Images for The Recording A)

Gaga fans have been calling for the pop singer to play Winehouse in the Back to Black biopic due to their physical similarities. Gaga is also a known Winehouse fan; in her Netflix documentary Five Foot Two, she explains that “Paparazzi” was written about fame’s impact on celebrities while alluding to Winehouse. The scene also includes “Back to Black” bass player Nicholas Movshon, causing further speculation.

“And reminding you of what fame did to Marilyn Monroe, the original Norma Jean, and what it did to Anna Nicole Smith, and what it did to…Yeah, you know who” she said in the documentary.

On Tiktok, Gaga fans are also comparing the similarity in their looks, with one video showing images of the pair side by side to demonstrate the likeness.

Millie Bobby Brown

 (Getty Images for Netflix)
(Getty Images for Netflix)

The Stranger Things actress is  amongst casting rumours after revealing in an 2020 interview with Netflix Latinoamérica that she would love to play Winehouse should the opportunity arise.

When asked which historical figure she would most like to be cast as, the now 18-year-old was quick to respond: “I wouldn’t say she’s historical but I would love to play Amy Winehouse.”

“I just love her music and I really was impacted by her whole story – so I would love to play her” she said.

Joy Crookes

 (Getty Images for Accor Hotels)
(Getty Images for Accor Hotels)

Joy Crookes is a London-born singer-songwriter whose music is often compared to Amy Winehouse’s sound. In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, the 23-year-old said that this is because they were both influenced by Black jazz musicians.

Citing a range of artists from Billie Holiday to Kate Nash as inspirations, Crookes’ music evokes themes of culture and identity. Although the singer and producer isn’t yet known for acting, the likeness in the tone of their vocal could mean that Crookes is considered for the part.

Emma Mackey

 (Getty Images For Louis Vuitton)
(Getty Images For Louis Vuitton)

Emma Mackey is an English actor, best known for her role as Maeve Wiley in Netflix’s hit series Sex Education. In the third series of the show, character Maeve dyed her hair brown, matching her dark eyes and showing another side to Mackey’s gritty look.

In an interview with The Sun in 2018, Mitch Winehouse said that he could envisage a relatively unknown actor being cast to play the role. “I wouldn’t mind betting it would be an unknown, young, English – London, cockney – actress who looks a bit like Amy,” he said.

Still relatively new to the acting world – Mackey’s breakthrough role was Sex Education – the actor is still early in her career. She could be one to watch for the role.

Raye

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Just like Amy Winehouse, Raye is a London-born singer-songwriter who rose to fame after attending Brit school. The artist, now signed to Polydor, is best known for tracks like “BED” and Jax Jones’ “You Don’t Know Me”. Given the parallels, Raye could be a great candidate for the part; she would surely have some understanding of the pressures on young artists growing up in the limelight, not to mention her vocal capabilities.

Raye has also previously spoken about her admiration for Winehouse in an interview on Kate Thornton’s podcast White Wine Question Time,where she called Winehouse an “icon” and told Thornton that she loved that “[Amy] didn’t feel like she needed to dilute anything that she had to say”.

“That’s so bold and brave, especially in the UK, you know?” she added.

Anya Taylor-Joy

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

You’ll probably recognise American-English actor Anya Taylor-Joy from her roles in The Queen’s Gambit or Peaky Blinders. Although Taylor-Joy doesn’t exactly fit Mitch Winehouse’s suggestion of an “unknown” actor – with a Golden Globe already in hand – her versatility on screen has evidenced her ability to take on the nuances of a role like this one.

Taylor-Joy’s lead role in Last Night In Soho meant she got to indulge her vocal skills, proving that she’s up to the challenge of a singing part.

In a video interview with ABC News Taylor-Joy can also be heard singing Winehouse “Stronger Than Me”, which has only added to the excitement from fans suggesting she’d be the one for the job.

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