Director Defends Decision to Cast Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson
Filmmaker Ben Palmer has defended his decision to cast Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson in a new British TV drama amid a backlash from the King of Pop’s family.
The first trailer for Urban Myths, featuring the Shakespeare in Love singer as the pop superstar, debuted earlier this week, and Jackson’s daughter and nephew were quick to criticize.
Paris Jackson, 18, took to Twitter on Wednesday and blasted the trailer as a “shameful portrayal” and accused Palmer and casting directors of “insulting” her father. She claimed the teaser made her want to vomit.
Her cousin Taj was also appalled, tweeting: “Unfortunately this is what my family has to deal with. No words could express the blatant disrespect.”
Bosses at Sky Arts, the network behind the drama about an imagined road trip Jackson took with Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York, have defended the project, and now director Palmer insists Fiennes brought something special to the role.
“We were really looking for the performance that could unlock the spirit, and we really think Joe Fiennes has done that,” he tells The Guardian. “He’s given a really sweet, nuanced, characterful performance…
“It’s a really lovely, sweet film. I’m really looking forward to seeing how people react once they’ve actually seen it.”
Urban Myths also features Albert Finney as Brando and Stockard Channing as Taylor.
The new season of Urban Myths will also include a skit about Adolf Hitler, featuring Game of Thrones villain Iwan Rheon as the German dictator and Harry Potter star Rupert Grint as his friend.
The show debuts in Britain on January 19.