Jack O’Connell is getting a much-needed break from constantly portraying soldiers in historical wartime dramas and in his next role will play a hero of more recent vintage: Cook from Skins will appear as Lee Alexander McQueen, babies, a casting you couldn’t do better.
The film is based on 2015's Blood Beneath the Skin, the official biography by British journalist Andrew Wilson, who had access to McQueen’s family. Rather than a full or chronological look at his life, though, the Hollywood Reporter notes the film’s plot will center on “the months leading up to one of his greatest shows in 2009, providing an intimate portrait of the man behind the global brand.”
McQueen, who committed suicide in 2010, was famously inspired by his darkest impulses towards punkish excess and self-destruction, as well as his own mental health struggles, leading to some of the most beautiful and challenging works in the history of contemporary fashion—as close to “art” in the institutional sense as fashion can get. “I don’t want to do cocktail parties,” McQueen is quoted as saying in Blood Beneath the Skin. “I’d rather people left my shows and vomited.”
O’Connell, aside from the obvious physical resemblance, is known for both playing bad-boy characters and being a bit of a scamp when he was younger (the more for us to love him for, my dear). And while he’s spent his career most recently working with the elitest of the elite in Hollywood—Angelina Jolie for Unbroken; Jodie Foster, George Clooney, Julia Roberts in Money Monster—there’s still a brooding quality about him that seems perfect for the role of McQueen.
Blood Beneath the Skin will begin filming in January.