Anna Nicole Smith left a large mark on a then still-developing reality TV and celebutante culture, and when she left us in a wave of tragedy, it was hard not to feel for what she’d endured.
Now Anna Nicole Smith has been reincarnated in actress Agnes Bruckner, for a new Lifetime movie on the tragic pin-up titled simply Anna Nicole.
Smith had been through many ups and downs in her life, but it appeared to be the start of a new chapter for her when she gave birth to baby girl Dannielynn Birkhead. No sooner did Dannielynn make her way in the world, Smith lost her son Daniel — for whom the new baby was partially named, and very clearly the center of Anna Nicole’s world.
We all know what happened next, and whatever your opinion of Anna Nicole Smith, any grieving parent can understand the inability to go on after the loss of a child — a child that was, by many accounts, the only constant in the star’s life.
Now Bruckner’s turn as Anna Nicole Smith hits Lifetime tonight, and the star talks about the challenges of portraying a woman whose life played out in real time in front of viewers for years.
On being Anna Nicole, Bruckner says:
“I was very nervous and anxious about taking the part, because she was so iconic and so famous and larger-than-life. I asked myself ‘Am I going to pull this off?’ and ‘What kind of movie are we making?’ and all those questions … We really wanted to tell a different story. All those things gave me the confidence to play the part.”
Fans of Smith will also recall that the star’s weight fluctuated, and even her time shilling a diet supplement. Bruckner says of the costuming for the role:
“We worked so hard and we had prosthetic boobs and prosthetic cheek and neck pieces for when she was heavier. I bleached my own hair. And we also had wig pieces … she had such different looks throughout her journey. The wardrobe team created so many of these beautiful dresses that you see in the movie from scratch, working around the clock. The transformation is really a reason alone to see this movie, because it’s so unbelievable. It gave everyone chills when I showed up to set dressed as her.”
Bruckner also said she cried watching Anna Nicole Smith’s life play out in the Lifetime version, due especially to the circumstances under which the star passed away.