Angelyne: Emmy Rossum is an LA billboard icon in the outrageous trailer for Peacock’s new TV series

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Tracing an unbelievable true story, the new trailer for Peacock’s Angelyne shows Emmy Rossum’s remarkable transformation into an LA billboard icon.

In an age of 24-hour news and endless social media, becoming a viral celebrity is a phenomenon we’re all familiar with. But in the days before the internet even existed, how did people with their sights set on the stars make it big?

Peacock’s outrageous new TV series Angelyne has the answer. Based on a 2017 Hollywood Reporter exposé by Gary Baum, the show travels back in time to 80s Los Angeles to explore the story of a little-known model and artist who became a billboard legend.

If you’ve never heard of Angelyne up until this moment, allow us to bring you up to speed. In the 1980s, a woman by the name of Ronia Tamar Goldberg set about creating a personal brand. Transforming herself by way of a huge blonde wig, a hot pink dress and a pink Corvette, Goldberg proceeded to plaster her image on billboards around LA. With nothing more than her name to identify herself in her campaign, she quickly became a pop culture sensation and secured a career in showbusiness.

Starring Emmy Rossum in the titular role, the new series will dive into this unbelievable tale, tracing Angelyne’s rise to stardom through her billboard campaign. But, according to showrunner Allison Miller, it’s not a by-the-book biopic, and will pay homage to “the real Angelyne who became a cultural icon in Los Angeles”.

“This isn’t the true story of Angelyne,” Miller told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s not a straightforward biopic. It’s a story inspired by everything Angelyne represents and so it’s a magical story, a hopeful story, a story about becoming the person you were meant to be and believing in your own inner strength to manifest your dreams. It’s a story about Los Angeles and everything the city means to people who move here and to people who dream about moving here.”

Angelyne: Emmy Rossum as the 80s billboard icon in Peacock's new TV series

Speaking about her role as the “glow-in-the-dark queen of the universe and LA’s original billboard icon”, Emmy Rossum explained that she’s been “thinking, living and breathing” this project for the past four years.

“I love Angelyne,” she said in a statement. “She’s as if Marilyn Monroe got into an easy bake oven with an 80s punk Barbie Doll and a dose of new age spirituality. She’s a trailblazer, a hustler, a visionary, the original influencer, a living-breathing piece of art.”

Rossum also explained that the show would delve into questions of identity and authenticity.

“As a society broadening our understanding of identity, this story plays with large questions. Are we defined by the historical facts of our life? Or can we define ourselves? To self-actualise, to embrace whoever we are on the inside and live whatever truth feels most accurate. When everyone’s experience of reality and truth is personal, can there ever be one true story?” 

In the latest trailer, we see Rossum’s transformation into the mysterious, real-life character.

“You really want to know my story, the story of my life?” asks Rossum as Angelyne, as she speeds away in her famous pink Corvette. “The truth is, I’m something that you have to experience.”

The clip sets out Angelyne as a busty, breathy bombshell whose image makes people crash their cars. But, of course, there is a dark side to this attention, and the series explores the cost of  “huge gigantic” fame, and the people who will say and write just about anything to be part of it.

“I’d love to be like Barbie,” Angelyne says. “ She doesn’t cry, she doesn’t hurt.”

The series also stars Martin Freeman (Fargo), Alex Karpovsky (Girls), Hamish Linklater (Midnight Mass), Charlie Rowe (Rocketman), Lukas Gage (Euphoria), Michael Angarano (This Is Us), Molly Ephraim (The Front Runner) and David Krumholtz (The Deuce).

All eight episodes of Angelyne land on Peacock and Sky on 19 May.

Images: Peacock

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Christobel Hastings

Christobel Hastings is Stylist's Entertainment Editor whose specialist interests include pop culture, LGBTQ+ identity and lore.