Known by most for her musical contributions to the James Bond film legacy, with songs like ‘Goldfinger’, ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ and ‘Moonraker’, Nigerian-Brit Dame Shirley Bassey is considered music royalty not only in her native Wales, but globally.
The BBC honored Bassey in 2011 with an hour-long program titled Shirley, as part of BBC2’s Mixed Race Season programming, that focused on Bassey’s early life as an entertainer.
While some have criticized the BBC production for not going into enough detail about the racial prejudice Bassey faced early on in her career, Shirley was well received by many critics, with lead actress Ruth Negga earning widespread acclaim for her portrayal of the legendary singer.
Now there’s word (via Digital Spy) that director Marc Evans has revealed that he is working on a movie about the early life of Bassey, titled Miss Shirley Bassey, and that “he does not have any actress in mind for the role, and will have to find an unknown to play the part of the Welsh music icon”.
Digital Spy quotes Evans as saying, “We’re going to have to find her, somebody who’s the same ethnicity as Shirley and can sing like Shirley so that’s the big challenge.”
I’m not exactly sure how to interpret Evans’ comment about finding someone “who’s the same ethnicity” as Bassey. Negga is of Ethiopian and Irish heritage; does he mean that he’s simply looking for another actress of mixed-race? Or is Evans exclusively looking to find a Nigerian-Brit actress to tackle the role this time around?
Can you think of any unknown actresses who might fit the bill?