Bette Midler Will Be Mae West in HBO Biopic and the Sass & Brass Will Be Off the Charts
HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL — Living legend Bette Midler is going to star as the late legendary Mae West in a new HBO biopic about the bawdy vaudeville empress. Who better to personify West in a biopic based off the late actress' own biography, Goodness Had Nothing to Do With It? Both of these ladies stormed New York in the bossiest ways possible. Shriek!
The biopic has an impressive roster of creative already — William Friedkin of The Exorcist notoriety will direct, and the script will be written by Harvey Fierstein, of Kinky Boots (surely there will also be a bevy of kinky boots in this picture). Also on board to executive produce is Jerry Weintraub, producer of the recent runaway glittery success of the Elton John biopic, Behind the Candelabra. And OBVI Queen Midler is going to be executive producing, too.
Crossing my fingers that because the project already has a strong and raw team and because it's based on West's own autobiography that the film will focus on West's struggle with (and bitchin triumph over) censorship she faced during her long tenure as a Broadway and Hollywood star. This is, after all, the woman whose first play was just called "Sex." The project has the potential to be an ode to the seeming-insurmountable struggle to establish a strong voice in entertainment as a woman and ESPECIALLY as a woman who wants to talk about sex candidly. Not to mention this was happening literally a hundred years ago. This is the woman who was actually sent to jail for "corrupting the morals of youth." I have never wanted to put anything on my business card more than that phrase.
Annnnnd thankfully, Midler herself is THE choice to play West. Could there be anyone else? The Divine Miss M made her start in New York singing in and becoming the queen of gay bathhouses. Honestly, if Mae West hadn't still been alive when Midler was born, you'd think Bette Midler was Mae West reincarnate.
I've got high hopes for a lot of glitter, snark, sass and at the heart of it, an inspiring tale about a woman who wouldn't let anyone shut her up. It will be interesting to revisit the slut-shaming and virginizing of women on the stage and screen through the story of one of the pioneers of the taboo, as played by one of the current spearheads of big-mouthed women in Hollywood who won't let you tell them what to do. With amazing hair and costumes.
There's gonna be brass.
And there's definitely gonna be sass. Can't wait!