Jewish actress Marisa Abela, known for her role in BBC drama "Industry", has landed a very intriguing new role, as none other than late music icon Amy Winehouse in a biopic about the singer's life, the Jewish Chronicle reported.
A promo pic released to arouse fans' interest shows portraits of the two juxtaposed against each other, with Abela looking like a spitting image of the departed English musician, who passed away in 2011 of alcohol poisoning, complete with Winehouse's signature puffed hairdo and the famous mole just above the left side of her upper lip.
Abela, 26, was born in Brighton, a coastal town on the banks of the English Channel, to a Jewish mother and a Libyan/Maltese father. Her portrayal of Winehouse is set to be her first lead role in a film.
Her first taste of fame came in November of 2020, portraying a cocky and enterprising woman who lands a job at the foreign exchange desk at trading company Pierpoint & Co's.
She later portrayed Sophie Jones in the 2022 British thriller Rogue Agent. Her first foray into the American scene came with the movie Barbie, set for theater release later in the year, starring alongside Hollywood heavy-hitters such as Margot Robbie, Will Ferrell, Ryan Gosling and Simu Liu. The latter recently starred in the Marvel smash hit Shang-Chi.
The authorized biopic, entitled "Back to Black" after one of Winehouse's greatest hits, will be directed by Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson, a personal friend of the singer.
Mitch Winehouse, Amy's father, said: "What we want is somebody to portray Amy in the way that she was… the funny, brilliant, charming and horrible person that she was. There’s no point really in me making the film because I’m her dad. But to get the right people to do it, that’s very important, and we will."
According to the Jewish Chronicle, it is believed that producers particularly wanted a Jewish actress for the role as it was so much a part of the singer’s character.
Amy Winehouse is widely regarded as one of the greatest musicians of all time and her albums went on to sell more than 30 million copies worldwide.
The singer featured in the 2009 edition of the Guinness Book of Records for Most Grammy Awards won by a British Female Act. After her death, the singer broke her second Guinness World Record for the most songs by a woman to simultaneously appear on the UK singles chart, with eight.
Her untimely departure at age 27 prompted media comparisons to other musicians' deaths at the same age, collectively named the 27 Club, including music giants such as guitar hero Jimi Hendrix, The Doors lead singer Jim Morrison, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain and rock soulster Janis Joplin, among others.