Tony winner Nina Ariander has been tapped to play Janis Joplin in the upcoming biopic, “Joplin.”
Ariander reportedly beat out other stars for the role in the much-hyped production, including Zooey Deschanel and Pink. She will work with director Sean Durkin, who has received considerable praise for his debut film, “Martha Marcy May Marlene.”
Ariander was awarded a Tony Award for her role in the comedy-drama “Venus in Furs.” She has also appeared in supporting roles in a number of films, including “Tower Heist,” “Win Win” and Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris.” She received an MFA from New York University’s Tisch School for the Arts.
“Joplin” will chronicle the final six months of the troubled singer’s life, and will be made for a budget under $20 million. “Joplin” has gained the rights to 21 of the singer’s most famous songs. This is in contrast to the upcoming Jimi Hendrix biopic starring Andre 3000, which will not be allowed to use any of Hendrix’s songs. Arianda will sing the songs in “Joplin.”
The film will be produced by Peter Newman, who said that he picked Durkin because of his work with Elizabeth Olsen, sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley, in “Martha Marcy May Marlene.”
“I’ve never in my life seen an actress (Olsen) walk on a stage and convey the duality of vulnerability with overheated sexuality, which is what Janis was all about,” Newman said. Newman has also produced many independent films, including “The Squid and the Whale” and “Smoke.” Shooting for the film is expected to begin next year.
Joplin died of a heroin overdose at the age of 27 in 1970. She is best known for songs such as “Piece of My Heart,” “Try,” “Mercedes Benz,” “Cry Baby” and “Me and Bobby McGee.” The latter was written by Kris Kristofferson and was Joplin’s only number one hit.