Last week we got our first glimpse of Tom Hiddleston as Hank Williams in the upcoming biopic I Saw the Light, directed by Marc Abraham. The film will chronicle the rise and fall of one of country music’s greatest legends, and most tragic figures. Elizabeth Olsen plays Williams’ wife, Audrey Sheppard, who was both his manager and duet partner. The two had a tumultuous relationship that ended in divorce, which only compounded the issues Williams had with his addictions to alcohol, as well as painkillers he was prescribed for his spina bifida. So like a great country song, it’s going to be a sad story, y’all.
Today, EW has debuted the movie’s first production still (which you can see below) featuring Hiddleston and Olsen, and it looks gorgeous (could just be the Hiddles Effect, though). Abraham also confirmed to EW that Hiddleston worked with Grammy winner Rodney Crowell to hone his singing and guitar-playing skills so that he could be authentic in the movie by performing his own music — not necessarily to copy Williams, but to imitate his tone and emotion. Hiddleston continues to be an absolutely swoon-worthy actor in every respect, and his desire to not just act the part but be the part, musically, shows his passion and dedication to the project. (Somebody pass me my church fan …).
As far as Hiddleston playing a famous Southerner, Abraham dismissed any doubts saying,
When people ask me, ‘Why’d you get an Englishman?’ I say, ‘He’s the best actor I know to play the part,’” Abraham says. “Who’s the most famous southerner ever portrayed in the movies? Scarlett O’Hara. Who plays her? Vivien Leigh.
So fiddle-dee-dee, skeptics! I Saw the Light is set to premiere November 27th.