Recently, news broke that Shakespeare in Love actor Joseph Fiennes would be taking on another iconic role. He’s set to play Michael Jackson in a bizarre-sounding road trip TV movie called Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon. Since Joseph Fiennes is a white dude from London, the hiring of Fiennes to play Michael Jackson has had some people riled up. As it turns out, Joseph Fiennes is just as shocked as you are. Here’s what the actor had to say in a recent interview.
I'm a white, middle-class guy from London. I'm as shocked as you may be.
Joseph Fiennes has a pretty good acting career and has appeared in a ton of varied projects. When giving the opportunity to play a fictionalized version of Michael Jackson who will be road-tripping with both Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando, he obviously wasn’t going to say no. So he’s set to star in the TV movie, which will feature fictionalized versions of each of the iconic celebrities opting to take a road trip across the country after they are unable to get a flight due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Obviously, the whole project is pretty wild, and adding Joseph Fiennes into the mix doesn’t really change that.
Joseph Fiennes also told Entertainment Tonight that he thinks he can pull off the role of Michael Jackson, as he feels their respective skin tones match more than people are giving him credit for.
He definitely had an issue -- a pigmentation issue -- and that's something I do believe. He was probably closer to my color than his original color.
Still, there’s definitely going to have to be a lot of makeup involved. Whatever your personal feelings on Fiennes’ bold claim, there’s a real question I’m not sure Joseph Fiennes is considering. That question is: Can the actor dance? If there are no solid dance moves, I’m not down, at all.
Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon has already received a lot of notice thanks to its casting choices (Brian Cox and Stockard Channing are also attached). The TV flick is being setup by Sky Arts in the UK and is supposedly based on a true story, albeit one that has surfaced from secondhand accounts, including a 2011 interview noting that all three celebrities were in New York just before the terrorist attacks. After finding out they couldn’t catch a plane, they hopped into a car and headed to Ohio. Thus Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon was born. Sky Arts has also stated the company stands by its casting.
We’ll let you know how this one shakes out. In the meantime, here’s what’s coming up on TV this winter.