It recently came to light that Emile Hirsch had been cast as John Belushi in a film about the star’s life (see here), and whilst talking to Rolling Stone the KILLER JOE actor opened up a little about the project.
The actor admitted that he wasn’t all that familiar with Belushi’s work before the project but that he is doing a lot of research into his career.
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I was familiar with him, but I’m getting more familiar. He was a little bit before my time, so there’s an educational process in there. It’s exciting to present this guy to a generation of comedy fans who may not be too knowledgeable about his work. We’re trying to do him justice.
He talked about the fact that a lot of people are excited about the biopic and explained that it was director Steve Conrad’s strong vision that drew him to the film;
Conrad had a strong vision and I feel like I just fit into that. Then I read the material and really responded to it. Everything about it is interesting.
Hirsch also commented on questions about gaining weight to portray the deceased comedian to which he replied he was ‘wading in very slow’ and wasn’t going to get ‘too far ahead’ of himself.
Hirsch is one of the strongest members of young Hollywood, and his turn as Belushi won’t be his first time playing a real person. Previous films INTO THE WILD, MILK, LORDS OF DOGTOWN, BONNIE AND CLYDE, and ALPHA DOG have all seen him step into the skin of real people. All of these turns have been met with positive feedback so it seems at this stage that John Belushi’s memory is in safe hands.
The biopic will be based on the book Belushi, written by Judith Belushi Pisano and Tanner Colby, and will be executively produced by close friend actor Dan Arykroyd. Filming will start in early 2014.