Amy Winehouse‘s Dad has defended the casting of the actor playing his late daughter in the biopic about her life, Back to Black.
Mitch Winehouse — who is the administrator of his daughter’s estate — basically told TMZ that Marisa Abela is “a great choice for the role, even if she doesn’t look exactly like Amy”.
He also said both women exist in their own right — “Marisa is Marisa and Amy is Amy,” the publication reported — so they don’t need to look identical.
The bloke doubled down on this point by explaining that the actor who will be portraying him in Back to Black, Eddie Marsan, doesn’t look like him, and there’s too much emphasis on looks when it comes to casting actors in biopics.
I mean … sure. But with all due respect to Mitch Winehouse, the biopic isn’t about him; per Deadline, it will look at the life and music of his daughter, whose story has already been told in the A24 documentary Amy, which was released in 2015.
We know that Amy had garnered six Grammy nominations by the age of 24, and that the British tabloids hounded, shamed and exploited her.
Her struggle with alcohol and drug dependencies, and her experience with depression, anxiety and bulimia have also been well-documented. We know about her violent, toxic marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil, and that she died of alcohol poisoning at the age of 27.
So in all honesty, I think it’s a bit redundant for Mitch Winehouse to say there is too much emphasis on looks in biopic casting when it isn’t his life and flesh being exploited.
Fans have slammed the decision to cast Abela as the late singer, after images of the actor on the set of the forthcoming film were released in mid-January.
Marisa Abela and Eddie Marsan on the set of upcoming Amy Winehouse biopic, 'Back to Black.' https://t.co/V8AucJvM5q— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) January 16, 2023
Except for the fact that the costuming looks cheap, cartoonish and tacky, people were horrified by the dissimilarity between Abela and Amy Winehouse.
She literally looks like Amy if you put her distinctively beautiful visage — arched brows, high cheekbones, strong nose and jaw — through FaceApp. The film has yassified her, and made her look like a fragile doll with soft, doe-like features.
It’s infantilising and gross. Amy was a brilliant artist with a unique look — she wasn’t a young girl in a wig that wouldn’t go amiss on The Nanny. Why is she being depicted as that?
I understand that Back to Black has been made with the full support of Amy Winehouse’s estate, but it doesn’t absolve the film — or Mitch Winehouse’s comments — from criticism.