Rami Malek will play Freddie Mercury in the upcoming biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, but the Mr. Robot star isn’t the only actor set to take on big-time biopic roles this year. Earlier this year, Steven Spielberg announced his new biopic film, which is rumoured to have Leonardo DiCaprio (arguably the king of biopic roles) portraying the American soldier Ulysses S. Grant. DiCaprio is also attached to Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, starring as former TV star Rick Dalton, and then there’s Willem Dafoe who’s signed on to play prolific painter Vincent van Goh. Recently, we got wind that Empire creator Lee Daniels is working on a biopic about the legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday and according to Variety, Andrea Day is said to be the top choice for the part of Holiday.
There’s no shortage of roles to be played in the biopic sphere, and throughout the years we’ve seen movies on models, musicians and key figures like Malcolm X. Films about trailblazers, truth seekers, and disruptors that command attention. It’s a like history lesson within a new body (trying to refrain from using literally, but literally). Oftentimes this character mirroring makes us step back and reassess our own lives. Other times it’s charismatic cinema purely fun to enjoy. Some stars just do it better than others.
Here are 14 of our favourite biopic films and the performances that made us believe, even for a minute, that these actresses or actors were in fact the character they portrayed.