Marisa Abela’s Movement Coach Transformed Her 'Inside Out' Into Amy Winehouse With Help of ‘Plothera of Footage’

Marisa Abela's uncanny resemblence to the late singer Amy Winehouse required months of "thesis." The film's movement coach opens up about the "daunting" task!

Published on Apr 12, 2024  |  07:53 PM IST |  42.8K
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Left: Amy Winehouse; Right: Marisa Abela as Amy Winehouse in Back to Black (via IMDB)

Marisa Abela is all set for the release of Back to Black On Friday!

A lot has gone into creating the film and keeping it as realistic as possible. The creators had the goal of bringing pop icon Amy Winehouse to life on screen without portraying it as a tribute. The film’s movement coach, Sara Green, recalled the “daunting” task of transforming Marisa Abela into the Valerie singer. 

 


Marisa Abela’s transformation into Amy Winehouse

Abela is undoubtedly a brilliant actress, but the creators' vision to bring Winehouse to life put much pressure on the movement coach, especially considering the “plethora of footage” of the late singer available. Green recalled the task as “quite daunting.” 

Thankfully, Abela and Green met four times a week for three months before the shoot began in January 2023. These sessions were not mere rehearsals but a deep dive into the life and persona of the late singer, Amy Winehouse.

“It was really key that she could inhabit Amy from the inside out,” Green told Variety. “We’re not trying to impersonate Amy. We’re not trying to copy her. We want to understand why she moves the way she does.”

The duo immersed themselves in the creative process and explored the singer’s life, influences, likes, dislikes, and every other tiniest detail. “It was a bit like being a detective,” the movement coach said. “You’re investigating somebody and piecing together why they did the things they did and why they moved the way they did.”

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After the three-month “thesis” on Winehouse was concluded, Abela was ready to play the pop star. “Marisa probably knew Amy better than anyone by that point,” Green said.

 


Who was Amy Winehouse?

She was an iconic singer in the 1980s who mastered multiple genres of music, such as jazz, reggae, R&B, and soul. Winehouse’s Grammy-winning album Back to Black made her one of the most successful artists at the time. 

Unfortunately, her life was cut short with alcohol poisoning at the young age of 27. She was known for her voice, style and iconic looks that Abela and Green had to consider. 

“I think the interesting thing about the ‘Back to Black’ stage of Amy is that it wasn’t something that physically crept into her, it was a very ‘smash-into’ transformation,” Green said. “It tightened up her posture, we see her losing more and more weight and we see that in her physicality, and she suddenly becomes much lighter, almost floating away from the ground.” 

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Green talked about the late singer's physicality and iconic “beehive hair.” Being frail and having a heavy head of hair made the late singer walk a certain way. “It meant she really had to hold herself with a huge amount of strength. Pull all her weight into the center of her body to try and keep her balance.”  

She also talked about authentically portraying the Back to Black singer’s personal struggles with addiction, which was evident in her appearance at the time. 

Back to Black is set to hit the theaters on April 12. 

 

 

 

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