Many actors have portrayed Andy Warhol on screen since the artist’s death in 1987, all in a variety of different movies and from different perspectives. Now, Jared Leto is starring in and producing a biopic about the iconic photographer from the 70’s and 80’s that will be written by Terence Winter – a member of the The Sopranos writing staff and screenwriter of The Wolf of Wall Street. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the movie won’t be a specific adaptation but will be based off of the 1989 book Warhol: The Biography, which is one of the most thorough accounts of his life in existence.
As much as everyone must be looking forward to Jared Leto spending an entire press tour talking about how he got into character to play Warhol and what he learned from the experience (even if that sounds interesting now you will hate it by month three), he is far from the first person to play Andy Warhol in the movies or on television. Even though he is going up against people like David Bowie and Bill Hader (yes, really), Leto’s signature method acting could make him the person everybody remembers when they think of creative representations of one of the legendary 80’s personalities.
Possibly the current holder of this title is the aforementioned Bowie, who portrayed Warhol in the 1996 film Basquiat (an artist Warhol mentored before he died). It’s rare for Bowie to come second in any artistic venture when compare to others, so this should be no surprise. A close second is probably Jared Harris (so no Leto, you won’t be the first Jared to get this opportunity) when he played the titular character in I Shot Andy Warhol. It’s a shame more people don’t reference Factory Girl since Guy Pearce also gave a great performance as Andy in the 2006 movie.
There have also been representations like Greg Travis in Watchmen and Bill Hader in Men In Black 3, both of which should probably be forgotten. Most recently, James Cameron Mitchell tackled the difficult role in Vinyl. Also a Terence Winter project, Vinyl itself was far from a must watch but Mitchell’s performance was singular and embodied the spirit of Warhol better than almost anyone else has. Since the show aired this year, Mitchell would have been a great pick instead of Leto. Unfortunately, movies with this much prestige need a huge name and James Cameron Mitchell simply isn’t that.
Warhol’s guests and regular visitors to The Factory, as well as probable celebrities that will pop up in the movie like Lou Red and Jean-Michel Basquiat, have not been cast yet nor has there been a specific release date set. Once that happens though, you only have to subtract six months from that point to see when you will be sick of Leto’s Warhol set stories. Cherish your freedom now.
(via The Hollywood Reporter)