It’s common knowledge that actor Tom Hiddleston is one of the Britishiest Brits around at the moment, so it’s not surprising that people are a bit skeptical about the news that he’s set to play iconic American country music star Hank Williams in an upcoming biopic entitled I Saw the Light. Yeah, that’s really a thing that is happening. (Honestly, you might find it’s something that, the more you think about it, the more intriguing the idea becomes. Or that could just be me, I don’t know.)
Anyway, yeah, the film is set to follow the uber dramatic story of Hank Williams’ meteoric rise to fame in his early teens, his subsequent struggles with drug and alcohol abuse, and his shocking death at the age of 29. And we all know that Hiddleston’s a pretty good actor who’s played a wide range of roles, so what we’re all really curious about is, can he sing?
Luckily, Hiddleston himself seems to be fairly eager to answer that question. Last weekend, the actor put in a surprise appearance at the Wheatland Music Festival in Michigan, and hit the stage to get his Hank on.
His first surprise Wheatland appearance (which is worth watching just to hear some of the reactions of the fans who are filming the clip) featured a rendition of Move It On Over:
He later returned to the stage on Sunday to appear with Rodney Crowley to perform the classic(and a personal favorite) I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry:
Hmmm. I can’t say I think he sounds exactly like Williams, but that’s at probably at least as good a job as Joaquin Phoenix did playing Johnny Cash?
Hiddleston has been busy getting into character this summer, as evidenced by this image he posted on Twitter back in June:
I Saw The Light. pic.twitter.com/LBSiP5tBVb— Tom Hiddleston (@twhiddleston) June 13, 2014
Filming on I Saw the Light is slated to get underway this October, and buzzy young actress Elisabeth Olsen - whom you may have seen already in indie films like In Secret or Martha Marcy May Marlene, and will definitely see when the Avengers sequel drops next summer (she’s playing Scarlet Witch) – has been cast as Williams’ wife Audrey Mae. Williams’ real wife, Audrey Sheppard, was his manager before their divorce, so look for even more opportunity for drama there.
What do you think of Hiddleston’s country music chops? Does he sound like Hank Sr to you? Are you already preparing to book your ticket to I Saw the Light?