Harry Styles is to play Mick Jagger in a new film about the Rolling Stones’ 1972 album Exile On Main Street. The decision to have the One Direction heart-throb act the part of the legendary Stones lead singer in the biopic is based on their striking resemblance to each other.
The film in which Harry Styles is cast to play Mick Jagger will chronicle the band’s 1972 double album recorded in France where they led a lifestyle enhanced by drugs and alcohol. The band was reportedly lying low in Keith Richards’ South of France villa, to escape tax problems in Britain.
Although Harry Styles at 22 is slated to play Mick Jagger who was pushing 30 during his halcyon days in France, the age discrepancy is not an issue. A make-up artist is expected to make things right while capitalizing on the physical likeness between the two. Another noted similarity is the One Direction star sharing Jagger’s penchant for womanizing.
Exile is scheduled for a Winter release, but the filming is not yet underway, making a delay likely. However, Harry Styles has his hands full with the Dunkirk shoot, which is currently in full swing, giving him good acting exposure before he has to play Mick Jagger.
A report by Harpers Bazaar indicated that there’s no word yet on the rest of the cast or a firm date for the movie’s release, providing Harry Styles enough preparatory time to play with. The two things giving him somewhat of a head-start are assets he shares with Mick Jagger: their shaggy long hair and celebrity status.
One Direction member Harry Edward Styles, before landing the role to play Mick Jagger in the Stones biopic, started as a struggling artist with his band White Eskimo, who performed in Holmes Chapel, Cheshire. After auditioning as a solo artist for the British television series The X Factor in 2010, he was eliminated as a solo performer, but brought back to join four other contestants to form a group later known as One Direction.
The time period for which Harry Styles is being groomed to play the Stones frontman, is during the band’s hiatus following the release of the 1971 classic Sticky Fingers. Mick Jagger and his merry men left England for financial reasons, having reportedly spent money owed in taxes, hence the need to stay outside of the United Kingdom.
Keith Richards owned a villa in the South of France, which he rented to his band mates and they holed up in the basement serving as a recording studio. It is a setting Harry Styles needs to project himself into so as to play Mick Jagger with conviction.
The dark aspect to this arrangement is that squeaky-clean Harry Styles would have to relive the time Richards was having thousands of pounds worth of heroin to play with, shipped in for himself and fellow user Mick Taylor, while Mick Jagger, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts mostly abstained. The different levels of drug use created conflict, but the band managed to come up with the double album, Exile on Main Street by May 1972 regardless.
Harry Styles would have to immerse himself in a repertoire of songs like “Rocks Off”, “Tumbling Dice”, “Loving Cup” and “Stop Breaking Down”. Designed to play to the changing tastes of seventies youth, the songs were effectively rendered by Mick Jagger, sending Exile to number one in the album charts in both the U.K. and the United States.
According to Pop Crush, Harry Styles is not quite suited to play Mick Jagger just yet, but Christopher Nolan did cast the One Direction singer in his serious World War II flick Dunkirk, lending at least some credibility to his acting abilities.
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]