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The movie 'Back to Black' brings Amy Winehouse back to Camden streets

Marisa Abela, Amy's interpreter in the upcoming biopic, is her perfect lookalike

The movie 'Back to Black' brings Amy Winehouse back to Camden streets Marisa Abela, Amy's interpreter in the upcoming biopic, is her perfect lookalike

Telling the facets of Amy Winehouse's story on the screen is an exercise on which a number of filmmakers have tried their hand, from Asif Kapadia who won an Oscar for "Amy" in 2015 to documentary filmmaker Marina Parker for BBC with more recent 2021's "Reclaiming Amy," which helps to keep alive, through outside eyes, the musical and human legacy of a musician to whom stardom happened. This January 2023, the exercise continues, this time at the hands of someone accustomed to chronicling the lives of people from the world of British rock, but who especially knew Amy. The director of the biopic "Back to Black," a film that aims to tell the singer's life from her point of view, is Sam Taylor-Johnson, who also directed Nowhere Boy, a film about John Lennon's adolescence, and is an expert in first-person narratives. The film, which has been in the works since 2018, was to start up again last summer with production by StudioCanal and the full support of Amy's family, especially her father Mitch, who was initially opposed to a biopic after being painted as exploitative of his daughter's talent by Kapadia's documentary. 

Although Lady Gaga had initially been named to play the singer's depth, Amy's father himself had spoken out against having a familiar face as the lead: "I wouldn't mind seeing an unknown, young, English actress - Londoner, cockney - who looks a little bit like Amy"" and his point of view was heard. Playing Amy will be Marisa Abela, a British actress who graduated from the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) school, famous for her role in the series Industry and her role in Greta Gerwig's upcoming Barbie alongside Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. The actress, in addition to having features reminiscent of Amy's, was chosen because she shares the singer's Jewish family background as well as a passion for singing, a skill she developed at the Academy of Dramatic Arts. From the images recently captured by the paparazzi, on set Marisa casts herself perfectly as the singer from Rehab: a leather stud paired with black mini-dress and heavy gold jewelry for such a slender build, eyeliner blurred out from the edges of her eyes almost swept under a backcombed hairdo, are enough to give fans a semblance of the real Amy roaming the streets of London even today, while it is actually her alongside Eddie Marsan on a break between takes. 

"I got a job at the legendary Koko Club and I can still breathe in all the market stalls, the vintage stores and the streets ... the neighborhood has become part of my DNA, as it has for her. "I first saw her perform at a talent show at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in Soho and it was immediately clear that she was not just a 'talent'...she was a genius." says Sam, foreshadowing that what makes this new retelling of a story already told unique is the bond that unites the filmmaker, Amy Winehouse and Camden Town. A release date for the biopic is not yet confirmed, but we expect a full immersion into the artist's golden years, when fame was still a desire and not a condemnation, and a springboard for Marisa Abela's future.