Amy Winehouse's dad says family 'excited' about new film that will 'relive her genius'



With her huge black ­beehive, winged eyeliner and sailor tattoos, the ­resemblance is striking.

In behind-the-scenes images for the new Amy Winehouse biopic, actress Marisa Abela is transformed into the Rehab singer whose absence is still felt by millions of fans.

Filming took place for the much-anticipated Back to Black movie in Soho, central London, this week.

It explores Amy’s meteoric rise and tragic death in 2011 aged just 27.

Yesterday Amy’s dad Mitch – played in the film by Eddie Marsan – gave it the family’s blessing.

Amy died at the age of 27
Amy died at the age of 27 ( CULDDS)
Marisa is playing Amy in the biopic
Marisa is playing Amy in the biopic ( Click News And Media /

Mitch, 72, said: “It’s something we’re excited about as a family because it will concentrate on Amy’s talent. And when all is said and done, that’s what we are left with.

“It will be amazing for fans to relive her genius and introduce her music to a whole new generation. Amy loved championing artists so she would have been so excited to see what Marisa will bring to the role and would be very supportive of her.”

Fans will have to wait until next year for the biopic but the images are sure to release a flood of memories about the music legend whose career was tragically cut short 12 years ago.

The five-time Grammy award winner was considered one of the most gifted artists of her generation and after her death her most iconic album Back to Black became the best-selling album of the 21st century.

Raised in Southgate, North London, Amy turned to music after her parents, taxi driver dad Mitch and pharmacist mum Janis split, pouring out her soul in deeply personal songs.

Amy’s dad Mitch is played in the film by Eddie Marsan
Amy’s dad Mitch is played in the film by Eddie Marsan ( GC Images)
Blake Fielder-Civil and Amy
Blake Fielder-Civil and Amy ( Getty Images)

A unique talent, influenced by her love of jazz but with the voice of a soul singer, Amy’s first album Frank reached No 3 in 2003 when she was still just 20 years old.

It was in the aftermath of its success that her struggles with drink and drugs began – especially after she met Blake Fielder-Civil, who introduced her to hard drugs and who she married in 2007.

Yesterday’s pictures show the couple together, with SAS Rogue Heroes star Jack O’Connell as Blake.

Amy’s first manager, Nick Godwyn, said: “Amy changed overnight after she met Blake. She just sounded completely different.

“Her personality became more distant. And it seemed to me like that was down to the drugs. When I met her she smoked weed but she thought the people who took class A drugs were stupid. She used to laugh at them.”

Skins actor Jack O'Connell plays Blake in the biopic
Skins actor Jack O'Connell plays Blake in the biopic ( Click News And Media /

The tumultuous relationship with Blake inspired many of the lyrics in Back to Black, including her most iconic tune, Rehab, after she swore to Mitch she didn’t need to detox. Amy did eventually go to rehab but attempts to turn her life around failed.

By the time Back to Black was released in March 2007 to huge ­critical acclaim, she was fully gripped by drink and drugs.

That year, her US tour was cancelled due to “exhaustion” and in October she and Blake were arrested in Norway for cannabis possession. Later that year she quit drugs, saying “I literally woke up and was like, ‘I don’t want to do this any more’.”

But her alcohol abuse worsened and, over the next few years, her life spiralled out of control.

Filming is already underway
Filming is already underway ( Click News And Media /

Blake filed for divorce in 2009 but a new album promised for 2010 never transpired and she never recorded any more music. Amy checked back into rehab in spring 2011, emerging with news of a 12-date European tour. But the first show in Belgrade, Serbia, was a disaster.

Clearly intoxicated, she couldn’t remember the words to her songs
or even which city she was in and she stumbled around the stage.

No one knew it yet, but it would be her last ever performance. Dates in Turkey and Greece were cancelled before the rest of the tour was axed.

Raye Cosbert, Mitch Winehouse, Janis Winehouse Collins, and Monte Lipman ( Getty Images)

On the night of July 23, 2011, Amy and her bodyguard Andrew Morris stayed up watching videos until 2am.

When he tried to wake her up at around 3pm the next afternoon, he couldn’t find a pulse.

She had died of alcohol poisoning in her bed, with empty vodka bottles scattered on the floor beside her.

Director Sam Taylor-Johnson said she feels “excited and humbled” to make Back in Black, adding: “I will create a movie we will all love and cherish forever. Just like we do Amy.”

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