Amy Winehouse biopic 'Back to Black' a celebration, its makers say

Amy Winehouse's lyrics and music were the "guiding star" for director Sam Taylor-Johnson in bringing the late singer's story to the screen in "Back to Black".

The biographical feature film follows Winehouse's rise to fame and portrays her relationships with her family and former husband Blake Fielder-Civil.

It comes nearly 13 years after the six-time Grammy Award winner died at the age of 27. Considered one of the most talented singers of her generation, her untimely death shook the music world.

Telling the story from Winehouse's point of view was essential to Taylor-Johnson.

"I just wanted it to be in her perspective to kind of give her her agency back because I felt like it had been kind of taken away and she'd just become a victim of her tragedy," she said at the film's world premiere in London on Monday.

"I felt like doing it through her words, her music, kind of like brought the music back to life and celebrated her again, and that felt so important. It felt like she deserved that."

British actress Marisa Abela plays Winehouse, a role she found both daunting and a dream.

"You don't get parts like Amy every day. And that's not because she's Amy Winehouse but it's because she was everything in one.

"She was smart and funny and bold and brave, but also incredibly vulnerable and emotional and that's kind of what I wanted to bring. I wanted to...remind people of the vulnerability of Amy, the girl behind the music."

Abela, 27, who performs the Rehab singer's hit songs in the film said she took daily singing lessons for four months and studied Winehouse's lyrics in preparation for the role.

Back to Black has been approved by the Amy Winehouse Estate and Taylor-Johnson also met with Winehouse's parents.

"I didn't need anybody's approval. And that's important for me to say because it's important also to declare I made the exact film I wanted to make. I had all music approvals. But I wanted to meet with the family out of respect for the fact that I was making a film about their daughter, and it felt wrong not to meet with them. And the fact that they've approved this since seeing it, is really good," Taylor-Johnson said.

"I would hope that Amy would feel proud that her music has stood such a big test of time, and that we're here to celebrate her again," she added.

Back to Black begins its global cinematic rollout on April 11.

More from Entertainment News

On Virgin Radio today

  • Nala

    2:00pm - 5:00pm

    Playing 10 hits in a row every hour, all weekend!

  • The Middle East Hot 30

    5:00pm - 7:00pm

    Kris Fade counts down the biggest songs of the week

Trending on Virgin Radio

  • Pick the Hits

    We have money can't buy passes to premiere of Bad Boys: Ride Or Die and see Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in person at the event! Just Pick The Hits!

  • The Kris Fade Show Podcast

    Not in the car so much while Kris, Priti and Rossi are on air? Check out the daily podcast here...

  • Ed Sheeran - UAE EXCLUSIVE

    Latest album, what happened with BTS, raising a baby girl, eye surgery, and more!

  • Mais Vault on the Kris Fade Show!

    The boys tried their 'pick up' lines on Mais Vault and things did not go according to plan...