Richard E. Grant‘s heartwarming career renaissance continues! Following his Oscar-nominated performance in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, and utterly charming approach to Hollywood awards season, the veteran actor has nabbed a juicy-looking role in a British movie-musical.
Grant will play a retired drag queen who mentors a younger drag hopeful in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, the big screen adaptation of an acclaimed stage musical currently playing in London’s West End. Written by former Doctor Who writer Tom MacRae, it’s based on the true story of Jamie Campbell, an ordinary teenager from the north of England who fought to attend his high school prom in drag.
Newcomer Max Harwood has been cast as Jamie. Happy Valley‘s Sarah Lancashire will play his supportive mother, Margaret, and Catastrophe‘s Sharon Horgan will appear as his not-so-supportive teacher, Miss Hedge.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the stage musical’s core creative team (director Jonathan Butterell, writer MacRae, and composer Dan Gillespie Sells) are reuniting for the movie, which is due to start shooting in Sheffield, England later this month. If they maintain the original stage musical’s warm and witty tone, the movie has the makings of a touching and uplifting Brit-flick in the Billy Elliott mold.
Director Butterell has already told the Daily Mail that seeing Grant in drag is an “extraordinary” vision.
“By the time he’s got heels and a wig on he’s about 8ft tall,” he said. “Richard’s loving it. It’s something he’s never done before. He has now watched, I think, a thousand million episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race to learn how the kids are doing it, and also studying the story of the drag queens of the late Eighties and Nineties.”
Before we get to see him in drag, Grant will be back on the big screen in a very different kind of movie, J.J. Abrams‘ Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which arrives in theaters December 20.
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