Marisa Abela has spoken to NME about taking on the role of Amy Winehouse in the upcoming biopic Back To Black, and revealed what she learned from her time embodying the iconic singer. Watch our interview above.

The actor – who is also famed for her roles in Industry, COBRA and Rogue Agent – caught up with NME on the red carpet of the 2024 BRIT Awards, shortly before presenting Bring Me The Horizon with the award for Best Rock/Alternative Act alongside Luke Evans.

During the interview, Abela shed light on her leading role in the Sam Taylor-Johnson-directed film and explained what it was like to capture Winehouse’s essence in the new biopic.

“It was a lot! It was amazing, it was a big task and it took a long time,” she said. “We’ve been living with this film for over a year now and I had four months to really get into preparation mode.”

She added: “It was hardcore, but it was great.”

Abela also shared what she learned from the project – which follows Winehouse’s rise to fame, her music career and personal life – saying that it was the singer’s values that would stay with her going forward.

Luke Evans and Marisa Abela present at The BRIT Awards 2024 at The O2 Arena on March 2, 2024 in London
Luke Evans and Marisa Abela present at The BRIT Awards 2024 at The O2 Arena on March 2, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Max Cisotti/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

“There are so many [stories that stuck with me], but it’s more just her essence. I think that will stay with me forever now,” she explained, also going on to name ‘Stronger Than Me’ as her favourite of the late artist’s songs.

Abela went on to describe the track ‘Love Is A Losing Game’ as “a piece of poetry and writing that already does stand the test of time, and will forever”.

“If I’ve learned anything from Amy it’s to be fearless,” she continued. “It’s an incredible lesson to be able to get so close to.”

Alongside Abela, Back To Black also stars Jack O’Connell as Winehouse’s ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil, Eddie Marsan as her father Mitch, Juliet Cowan as her mother Janis, and Lesley Manville as her grandmother Cynthia. It will be in cinemas from April 12.

Last month, the film’s director revealed that Abela performed all the songs in the movie herself, having started voice lessons for the part.

“When we first talked about it, my first question to her was, ‘Can you sing?’ And she said, ‘I can’t,’” he told Empire (via MusicNews). “I was thinking, maybe we’ll use Amy’s voice throughout, and we’ll do it that way. She then went off after that audition – irrespective of whether she knew she’d got the part – and started training her voice.”

The actor also reflected on her weight loss for the role, saying: “I almost see my body as a true instrument that I’m training for a job. I need to work at it in the same way that I’m practising guitar.”

She added: “If I was practising for the last four weeks and I still couldn’t play a song, I’d be scared. It’s separating my feelings around weight loss, which I think for me, in the long run, will be really positive.”

The post Marisa Abela talks taking on the role of Amy Winehouse: “I’ve learned anything from Amy it’s to be fearless” appeared first on NME.


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