Insiders on the set of the new Amy Winehouse biopic have expressed concerns the films leading stars don’t look enough like the singer and her ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil, it has been claimed.
Actors Marisa Abela and Jack O’Connell have been cast as the late soul singer and her former flame in the upcoming film Back To Black.
But one issue that has reportedly popped up on set is the lack of height difference between the two stars.
Amy, who was a petite 5’3, was six inches shorter than Blake while Marisa and Jack are said to be the same height.
According to The Mirror, film bosses have been trying to work some movie magic to make Marisa seem shorter than Jack.
Art imitating life: Insiders on the set of the new Amy Winehouse biopic have expressed concerns the films leading stars don’t look enough like the singer and her ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil, it has been claimed
Filming: In one scene in the film, Amy and Blake are seen drinking together in a park, with Jack spending most of his time lying down to disguise their matching heights
A source said: ‘People have remarked on how little they look like Amy and Blake – especially the height difference between them.
‘We’re used to images of Blake towering over Amy but Jack is the same height as Marisa. That’s meant flat shoes for her and an awful lot of cleverly filmed scenes.’
In one scene in the film, Amy and Blake are seen drinking together in a park, with Jack spending most of his time lying down to disguise their matching heights.
The insider said: ‘In that scene, Jack spends most of his time lying down on the grass rather than standing. There’s only so much they can do, but there’s been a lot of time and effort put into making sure the lack of height difference doesn’t jar with audiences.’
Despite reported complaints over the lack of a physical resemblance, bosses are said to be thrilled with Marisa’s casting thanks to her powerhouse vocals.
The source said the actress performed Amy’s son F**k Me Pumps from her debut album Frank during a scene filmed last month and blew the crew away.
The insider added that Jack is ‘unfazed’ by worries over the lack of physical resemblance and is thrilled to be a part of the project.
MailOnline has contacted production company StudioCanalUK for comment.
Talent: Despite reported complaints over the lack of a physical resemblance, bosses are said to be thrilled with Marisa’s casting thanks to her powerhouse vocals
Amy and Blake married in Miami in 2007 and were pictured months later after a furious bust-up where it emerged they had been taking heroin.
The following year, Blake was jailed for his part in an assault on a pub landlord which led to Amy’s famous Grammy Awards tribute to, ‘my Blake, incarcerated’.
Blake filed for divorce from the singer shortly after his release.
It comes after Amy’s father Mitch Winehouse defended the controversial casting choice for the new biopic – after many claimed Marisa and Amy don’t look enough alike.
Dad Mitch disagrees with the backlash as he shared this week that Marisa is a ‘great choice’, admitting it doesn’t matter if they ‘don’t look exactly alike’.
Chatting with TMZ on the new release about his daughter, Mitch said: ‘Marisa is Marisa and Amy is Amy… so it’s no big deal if they aren’t mirror images. Marisa is a great choice for the role.’
He continued that Eddie Marsan, who is playing Mitch, doesn’t look exactly like him either, noting: ‘there’s too much emphasis on looks.
‘Because there’s plenty of Hollywood examples of actors not looking like their real-life character.’
Familiar: Jack is playing the role of Blake (right in 2007), who met Amy at a pub in Camden in 2005 and began a famously tumultuous relationship with her
Tumultuous: Amy and Blake married in Miami in 2007 and were pictured months later after a furious bust-up where it emerged they had been taking heroin (pictured in 2007)
Mitch and wife Janis are parents to Amy, who passed away from alcohol poisoning in 2011, and son Alex, 44.
But while the casting has her parents’ seal of approval, Amy’s friends are not so convinced either.
One told The Mail on Sunday that they are unhappy at the casting of Marisa because, despite the near perfect wig she wears and the identical tattoos, they do not think she looks like the Rehab singer.
They also contrast Roedean-educated Abela’s social background with London-born Winehouse, who was known for her streetwise persona.
‘Nobody consulted us about Amy,’ said the friend.
Heartbreaking: Amy passed away from alcohol poisioning in 2011 when she was 27 (pictured with Blake in 2007)
‘How can it be authentic and accurate if they don’t know the real Amy or the truth about what happened in her final years? We are against this and we are upset. Amy was absolutely striking.’
Friends of Amy are also furious with the makers of the biopic for failing to consult them about the star’s life, claiming that executives working on Back To Black have not been in touch to ask about their memories of the late singer, raising fears that the film will be inaccurate.
Despite it being almost 12 years since Amy was found unresponsive at her townhouse in Camden, north London, in July 2011, her grief-stricken friends still believe it is early for such a film to be made.
Sources on the set of Back To Black – directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and named after Ms Winehouse’s hit 2006 album – say that filming is only due to last 10 weeks.
One insider said: ‘It all feels very fast, almost a bit smash and grab.’
Many have also doubted the film being made as a whole, accusing the project of ‘exploiting the singer’s legacy’ and ‘capitalising off her trauma’, with some calling for people to ‘just let her rest’.