On Friday, news broke (via Matthew Belloni’s Puck newsletter) that Rooney Mara has been cast as Audrey Hepburn in an upcoming biopic to be directed by Luca Guadagnino. People were IN their FEELINGS about this, mainly because Mara is sort of famously glum and Audrey Hepburn did not have that reputation, but there is also now a full-on stan war between Lily Collins fans and Rooney Mara fans, which is best summed up in one image:
Of course, if we’re talking facial fealty, Lily Collins looks more obviously like Audrey Hepburn. But Rooney Mara lives in the same neighborhood of delicate features and big eyes, so it will be fine. Looking exactly like the subject isn’t the most important thing in biopic casting. Like, the problem isn’t that Nicole Kidman doesn’t look like Lucille Ball, it’s that Kidman isn’t an expressive performer and Ball was famous for her expressions. Kidman’s performance as Ball in Being The Ricardos is fine when she’s just inhabiting “Lucille Ball” as a person behind the scenes, it’s when she tries to recreate Ball’s expressiveness as a performer that Kidman runs into trouble. In that way, I don’t think Mara will have any issues. Hair and makeup can do a lot, and again, she has a similarly delicate face, so it’s not like the makeup artists are starting from scratch. And Mara is a good actress, she might have a dour reputation on the red carpet, but there’s no reason to think she can’t deliver, performance-wise.
As for the currently untitled biopic, it will be distributed by Apple and Mara is one of the producers. Michael Mitnick, of Vinyl fame, is writing the script. Hepburn’s family doesn’t appear to be involved, as her son, Sean Ferrer, told Fox News Digital that he “was not aware of the project”, but he also doesn’t sound put out about it, going on to say that “Rooney is a delight”. If Hepburn’s family isn’t involved, I’m curious to see what Guadagnino and Mitnick make of Audrey’s life. With no descendants to appease, they don’t have to white-wash her history. Might we see a depiction of her failed love affair with William Holden? And if so, who plays Holden? Might I suggest Chris Pine?