The Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese-produced series Vinyl was already deep into production when rock icon David Bowie died in January. The series, which revolves around the music business in the 1970s, already planned a cameo by Bowie, of sorts. Actor Noah Bean was tapped to play Bowie in a mid-season episode, which will now be stamped a “memoriam” installment, according to Showbiz 411.
Bean, best known to audiences from his turns in 12 Monkeys, Nikita and a brief 2012 stint on Once Upon a Time, took to Twitter to acknowledge Bowie’s passing and, more recently, to comment on the upcoming Vinyl episode.
I was so thrilled and intimidated to film this before his passing, honored and saddened that it airs in memoriam… https://t.co/iyYl0mqotf
— Noah Bean (@noah_bean) February 1, 2016
Thank you David Bowie
— Noah Bean (@noah_bean) January 11, 2016
Jagger was quoted by the U.K. paper The Mirror as saying it was appropriate to acknowledge Bowie on film.
“The series is a way to honour him. His presence in the series will be a way to pay our respects, a positive way to remember and honour his life.”
“David was a very dear friend and his death saddened me very much.”
The installment of Vinyl, the sixth in the HBO series’ 10-episode run, will include a statement at the end from Jagger to honor Bowie.
Vinyl takes place in the early 1970s, which Showbiz 411 connects to Bowie’s Diamond Dogs era.
The Mirror noted Bean’s striking resemblance to Bowie, whose death at age 69 came as a shock to industry watchers, most of whom were unaware the former glam rocker was undergoing cancer treatment. Bowie died on January 10, just two days after the release of his last album.
After maintaining nearly a month of social media silence, Bowie’s widow, Iman Abdulmajid, who is normally very active on Instagram, posted a simple note on Saturday that said “love and gratitude.”
The first episode of Vinyl was also directed by Scorsese and will mark the series’ debut with a two-hour installment. Showbiz 411 reports that in addition to the character of David Bowie appearing in Episode 6, other celebrities will be portrayed in Episode 8, including Harry Nilsson, John Lennon, and Lennon’s girlfriend May Pang.
There’s another Bowie connection to that cast of characters, as Pang would later marry Tony Visconti, Bowie’s long time producer. Back in 2013, Visconti told The New York Times that he was often asked about Bowie’s reclusive nature following a 2004 heart attack. When people would suggest the musician was in ill health, he had a ready response.
“I’d say, if he’s dying, he’s the best-looking dying man I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Bowie’s passing was preceded by an 18-month battle with cancer, according to the singer’s official Facebook page.
Vinyl stars Bobby Cannavale and Olivia Wilde. According to Newsweek, Jagger first brought up the idea to Scorsese in the 1990s, but envisioned a film that documented four decades of the music scene in New York city. Focusing on 1973 served the series perfectly, according to Jagger.
“New York was very dangerous, gritty, but also very exciting musically. It is a sweet spot for early proto-punk, rock ‘n’ roll, R&B, and disco was on the brink of being discovered.”
Vinyl is also a family affair for Jagger, whose son James plays the lead singer of a band called The Nasty Bits. At the time of the Newsweek piece, posted on Friday, producers had yet to find the right actors to play The Rolling Stones, who were huge at the time Vinyl is set.
Vinyl debuts Sunday, February 14, on HBO. According to IMDB, the sixth episode, featuring Bean as Bowie, is scheduled to air on March 20.
[Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images Entertainment]