Joseph Fiennes plays Michael Jackson in the British TV series Urban Myths, as seen in a new trailer released on Tuesday, January 10, nearly one year after his casting sparked major backlash.
In the clip above, the actor, 46, portrays the late superstar in a preview for “Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon,” which will air as a 30-minute episode. The plot is based on an alleged road trip that the “Thriller” singer took with friends Elizabeth Taylor (played by Stockard Channing) and Marlon Brando (Brian Cox) following the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.
“I sense the danger,” Fiennes (as Jackson) tells Stockard’s Taylor in the sneak peek.
In January 2016, the Shakespeare in Love star responded to criticism that he should not have been chosen to take on the role of the King of Pop. “I’m a white, middle-class guy from London,” he told Entertainment Tonight of playing the African-American icon. “I’m as shocked as you may be.”
However, Fiennes didn’t find the casting to be entirely unbelievable since his skin tone is similar to Jackson’s. “[Jackson] definitely had an issue — a pigmentation issue — and that’s something I do believe,” he added. “He was probably closer to my color than his original color.”
Jackson, who died at age 50 in 2009 from acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication, had a chronic condition known as vitiligo, which caused the color of his skin to lighten.
Last year, Fiennes told ET that the project shouldn’t be taken too seriously since it’s a comedy and not a true-to-life drama. “It’s kind of off the wall, but the writing is a delight, and the kind of interaction between the three of them is funny, and also full of pathos,” he explained. “It’s people who are so iconic, but also can be detached. You know, you can get detached from society. So it’s examining that kind of wonderful and mad detachment.”
Watch the preview for Urban Myths’ “Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon” above.
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