Amy Winehouse’s father defends new biopic following casting backlash

"Marisa’s a great choice for the role"

Mitch Winehouse, the father of Amy Winehouse, has defended the upcoming biopic about his daughter’s life.

The casting of Marisa Abela, who will play Winehouse in Back To Black, has been criticised by some fans who claim the actor looks nothing like the late singer.

However, Mitch has publicly supported the casting, telling US website TMZ: “Marisa’s a great choice for the role, even if she doesn’t look exactly like Amy.”


According to the publication, Mitch defended the film by suggesting there is too much emphasis on looks in Hollywood films, with there being plenty of examples of actors looking nothing like the real-life characters they are playing.

He also noted that Eddie Marsan, who will play Amy’s father in the film, also shares no resemblance to himself.

The film will also star Skins actor Jack O’Connell as Winehouse’s ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil, whom she divorced two years prior to hher death in July 2011. Meanwhile, Mrs Harris Goes to Paris star Lesley Manville will play the singer’s maternal grandmother.

According to a press release, Back To Black will “focus on Amy’s extraordinary genius, creativity and honesty that infused everything she did… Back To Black crashes through the looking glass of celebrity to watch this journey from behind the mirror, to see what Amy saw, to feel what she felt.”

Bond Amy Winehouse live at Glastonbury in 2007
Amy Winehouse performing at Glastonbury in 2007. Credit: Claire Greenway/Getty Images

When set photos of Abela in character as Winehouse were released online, many took to social media to criticise the casting decision.


“They literally could have picked any other person on the planet, put a beehive on them, and they would look more like Amy Winehouse than the gal cast in that film does,” one person tweeted.

Another wrote: “It took a second for me to realise that i was looking at photos from the upcoming amy winehouse film, so incredibly disappointing.”

“Those photos from the Amy Winehouse biopic look like they came from a bad Saturday Night Live skit, that film needs to be shut down and they need to let Amy rest.” added another.

You can find more reactions below:

Abela is best known for playing Yasmin Kara-Hanani in HBO series Industry. She’s also set to star in Greta Gerwig’s upcoming live-action film adaptation of Barbie, opposite Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling.

Winehouse’s life was the subject of the 2021 BBC documentary Reclaiming Amy, released to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the singer’s death.

Back To Black is directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, who is best known for directing the John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy and Fifty Shades Of Grey.

A release date for the film is yet to be announced.

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