In what might just be the most spot-on piece of casting since Helen Mirren played Queen Elizabeth II, it has been announced that British actor Jack O’Connell will play Alexander McQueen in a new biopic about the late fashion designer’s life.
McConnell, who first found fame in E4 teen drama Skins and Shane Meadows’ This Is England, has carved out a niche for himself playing troubled, passionate men – and it’s self-evident that he already looks the part.
The as-yet-unnamed movie is based on Blood Beneath the Skin, Andrew Wilson’s 2015 biography of the designer, and will be set in the months leading up to a 2009 fashion show in which McQueen reinvented his past designs.
“In 2009, Alexander McQueen put on one of his greatest shows – a stunningly beautifully re-working of his greatest designs from the past 15 years,” said Pathé in a statement. “It was a show that he dedicated to his mother and one in which he tried to make sense of his life and art.
“The film explores McQueen’s creative process in the months leading up to the show providing an intimate portrait of the man behind the global brand – a moving celebration of a visionary genius whose designs transcended fashion to become art.”
O’Connell, 26, has won critical acclaim for his roles in films including prison drama Starred Up and Angelina Jolie-directed WW2 thriller Unbroken. He won BAFTA’s Rising Star Award in 2015, and most recently appeared alongside George Clooney in Money Monster as a bankrupt man on a suicide mission.
Lewisham-born McQueen, who died in 2010, was – and remains – one of the world’s most legendary fashion designers. His extravagant and edgy designs were internationally lauded for their originality and technical brilliance, winning clients ranging from David Bowie to Prince Charles, and his close friendships with famous women including Kate Moss and Sarah Jessica Parker made him a tabloid staple.
But he was also notorious for the wild behaviour and controversial collections that characterised his early career. His autumn/winter 1995 ‘Highland Rape’ collection remains one of the most controversial fashion shows of all time, and he struggled with drug addiction throughout his career.
McQueen committed suicide in 2010, the night before his beloved mother’s funeral.
Filming for the biopic will begin in spring 2017.
Images: Rex Features