How does one prepare to play a pop icon? According to Evan Rachel Wood, it’s all about the facts.
Wood plays Madonna in the Roku Channel’s “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” opposite Daniel Radcliffe as the parody singer himself. The film premiered at 2022 TIFF, where Wood exclusively told IndieWire that meeting Madonna over the years helped prepare her for the role.
“I love Madonna,” the “Rising Phoenix” activist said. “I’ve met her before. We’ve been very friendly. So I think we’re cool. I’m hoping we’re cool.”
She added, “The good news is nothing in this movie actually happened, so I’m a little safe there.”
Plus, Wood is doubtful that Madonna will address her portrayal of her short-lived romance with Weird Al, who co-wrote and produced the film. “I don’t think she’s going to respond at all,” Wood said. “She has other things on her mind and other things to do.”
“Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” is one of two upcoming musical biopics that chart Madonna’s fame in the 1980s. The Grammy winner herself has co-written her autobiographical film, set to star Emmy winner Julia Garner. Madonna is slated to direct, with Garner having undergone a reportedly “grueling” audition process with casting director Carmen Cuba putting the actress through extensive singing and choreography rehearsals. Garner was offered the role in June 2022, beating out Florence Pugh, “Euphoria” star Alexa Demie, Odessa Young, and Emma Laird to play Madonna.
“I have a very long script that is really hard for me to make shorter,” Madonna previously told Variety about writing her life story for the screen. “I’ve been whittling away at it, but it’s like hacking off my limbs.”
Madonna continued, “I’ve had an extraordinary life, I must make an extraordinary film. It was also a preemptive strike because a lot of people were trying to make movies about me. Mostly misogynistic men. So I put my foot in the door and said, ‘No one’s going to tell my story, but me.’”
Fans will have to wait for that movie. But in the meantime, “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” will premiere on the Roku Channel on November 4.