Taylor Swift could soon be adding movie star to her resume. Variety is reporting that the top-selling pop-country crooner is close to joining the Hollywood team that's adapting the hit novel Girls Like Us, which chronicles the 1960s rise of music legends Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, and Carole King. Swift would play Mitchell, the singer-songwriter best known for idiosyncratic folk hits like "California" and "Big Yellow Taxi." Swift boasts little acting experience beyond a cameo in the romantic comedy Valentine's Day and voice work in the animated film The Lorax, though she was recently rumored to have nabbed the pivotal role of Eponine in the upcoming Les Miserables film. To the relief of many critics, that part eventually went to newcomer Samantha Bark. Does Swift have what it takes to play a complex icon like Mitchell?
Not a chance: We've just gotten over the "sheer terror that came" with reports that Swift would star in Les Miserables, says Emily Exton at Pop Dust, and now this. "We love Taylor," and she's an undeniably appealing pop star. But she has extremely limited acting experience, and playing someone as nuanced as Joni Mitchell may be too daunting. Perhaps her "first foray into into a major movie role shouldn't be portraying someone who many cite as a musical professor responsible for their emotional education."
"Taylor Swift may get a big-name movie role after all"
She's perfect: Casting Swift is a win-win for producers on both the artistic and business fronts, says Jessica Sager at Pop Crush. Swift is a natural fit for the role. Both singers have blond hair and toothy smiles, and Swift certainly shares Mitchell's "musical and songwriting chops" — not to mention her socially conscious and charitable nature. And both of Swift's previous films were box-office hits, which bodes well for Girls Like Us' fortunes. The flick would receive instant PR "merely from having her name attached."
"Is Taylor Swift playing Joni Mitchell in a movie?"
She could surprise: This isn't the first time a real-life singer has been tapped to portray another singer on screen, says Ben Pearson at First Showing. Routinely, audiences and critics are pleasantly surprised by the results, too. Look at Jennifer Lopez's performance in Selena and Beyonce's turn as Etta James in Cadillac Records. Swift could easily follow suit and turn in a believable portrayal of Mitchell. She certainly boasts the musical credentials to pull it off.
"Taylor Swift to play singer Joni Mitchell in music drama Girls Like Us"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- This is why you can't trust the NSA. Ever.
- Innocent before proven guilty? The bizarre bipartisan rush to clear Rick Perry
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- 10 things you need to know today: August 22, 2014
- Don't listen to Paul Ryan: The GOP is still the party of makers and takers
- ISIS and the echoes of the West's religious terror
- 4 things NASA can teach you about a good night's sleep
- The single best way to help your kid succeed at school
- What's wrong with Europe’s economy?
- 7 of the scariest spiders in existence
Subscribe to the Week