Exclusive: Marisa Abela Discusses the Impact of Public Scrutiny on Her Performance as Amy Winehouse in ‘Back to Black’

Marisa Abela Transforms into Amy Winehouse for Sam Taylor-Johnson’s Biopic ‘Back to Black’

Marisa Abela’s portrayal of the iconic Amy Winehouse in the new biopic “Back to Black” has garnered attention and praise from fans and critics alike. The 27-year-old English actress recently spoke with ET about the challenges and rewards of playing the British-born singer-songwriter.

In a candid interview with ET’s Rachel Smith at the New York City premiere of the film, Abela shared her thoughts on stepping into the shoes of the “Rehab” singer. She acknowledged the pressure of portraying an artist who means so much to so many people, including herself. Abela emphasized the importance of respecting Winehouse’s legacy and preparing intensely for the role.

The decision to have Abela provide her own vocals for the movie caused some controversy when a clip featuring her singing “Stronger Than Me” was released earlier this year. However, a recently released trailer has shifted the conversation, with fans appreciating the authenticity and dedication Abela brought to the role.

Abela’s commitment to the character extended beyond just vocal performances. She underwent a physical transformation, including weight loss, to accurately portray Winehouse’s struggles with addiction and eating disorders. In a conversation with ET’s Nischelle Turner, Abela shared her insights into the challenges of embodying such a complex character.

Amy Winehouse’s tragic death in 2011 at the age of 27, attributed to alcohol poisoning, shed light on her battles with addiction and eating disorders. Her struggles continue to be a topic of discussion, with her brother, Alex, suggesting that bulimia also played a role in her untimely passing.

As Abela wraps up the press tour for “Back to Black,” she offers advice to fellow actors and singers who may take on the challenge of portraying music icons. Emphasizing the importance of understanding and embracing the essence of the person they are portraying, she encourages them to lean into what initially drew them to the role.

“Back to Black” is set to hit theaters on May 17, inviting audiences to delve deeper into the fascinating life and career of Amy Winehouse. As Abela’s portrayal resonates with fans, it serves as a tribute to the indelible legacy of the beloved singer.

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