Don Cheadle is set to star in and direct the long-awaited biopic of legendary jazz trumpeter Miles Davis, Kill the Trumpet Player. We’re thrilled about this casting choice. Cheadle is an amazing actor and will likely bring just the right note of smoky intensity to the role. Not to mention he really – almost shockingly – looks like Miles Davis.
Though not the first time Hollywood’s nailed the casting of a legend, it’s still fairly rare for industry insiders and fans to agree. Here are four more biopic stars we thought were eerily appropriate lead choices.
André Benjamin as Jimi Hendrix
OutKast’s more out-there half stars as Hendrix in the biopic All Is By My Side, which focuses on Hendrix’s pre-fame years. Thanks to a quarrel with the Hendrix estate, the film won’t actually feature any of the legendary guitarist’s music, which may be something of an obstacle for a biopic. However, The Guardian called Benjamin’s performance “impeccable,” and the resemblance between the pair is striking, to say the least.
Marion Cotillard as édith Piaf
Marion Cotillard won seven major Best Actress awards for her portrayal of édith Piaf in La Vie en Rose, including the first-ever Oscar awarded for a French-language role. While Cotillard had to tone down her looks for the role, as this video shows, the resemblance was definitely there in both appearance and intensity.
Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles
Other actors may resemble the people they’re playing in films, but Jamie Foxx’s piano and singing chops elevated his role in Ray beyond imitation into something positively uncanny. The “Dean of American Rock Critics,” Robert Christgau, wrote that Foxx’s portrayal “does the impossible – radiates something approaching the charisma of the artist he’s portraying.” The Academy agreed, awarding Foxx an Oscar for his performance.
Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan
Todd Haynes’s not-really-a-Dylan biopic I’m Not There had its share of odd casting choices, notably the decision to portray a section of Bob Dylan’s life with a young black child. But Cate Blanchett – who said Haynes “challenged” her to take the role – turned in a knockout of a performance, fully inhabiting the druggy insouciance and twitchy charisma of mid-’60s Dylan. She won a Golden Globe for her performance and was nominated for both a Screen Actors Guild Award and an Academy Award. Plus, we never imagined the pair looked anything alike until Blanchett strapped on that “Mr. Tambourine Man”-wig.