Take Note: Playing the imitation game

Imitation, they say, is the most sincere form of flattery.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 9th February 2017, 4:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 9:20 am

However, cutting rooms are littered with celluloid whenever a rock biopic is in production. A film of the life of Janis Joplin is the latest to be abandoned – a shame as Enchanted star Amy Adams’ portrayal of the heroin-ravaged ’60s rocker could have been, well, interesting.

But failing to get the impersonation just right is nothing new – outrage recently ensued when whiter than... well, Jacko thesp Joseph Fiennes was cast as The King of Pop, with daughter Paris “wanting to vomit” at the news.

Similarly (though oppositely), a film portraying the life of Nina Simone was also castigated when star Zoe Saldana donned black makeup and a prosthetic nose.

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And even biopic king Martin Scorsese gave up on his Frank Sinatra film, ol’ Blue Eyes’ descendants seemingly wanting a squeaky-clean Disney-esque portrayal of the hard-drinkin’, Mob-fraternisin’ crooner.

Sometimes it’s best to wait until the subjects are long gone, though in I’m Not Here Bob Dylan is portrayed by six actors – among these, Cate Blanchett (wrong sex) and Marcus Carl Franklin – wrong colour, and playing Bob as a child into the bargain.

It’s all a bit method, like Bruce Springsteen tribute the B-Street Band pulling out of the Trump inauguration as The Boss would definitely not have liked that.

Now that’s sincere.