2020 has been a rare year, indeed. The year has seen a global pandemic, massive protests, unrest, natural disasters, and no shortage of unfortunate events. With the country winding to a close, it would be naïve for anyone to believe that all of this craziness will suddenly grind to a halt when the clock hits midnight on New Year’s Eve and we shift to the 2021 calendar.
And as if to prove that 2020 could be one of the most unsettling years in living memory, it’s just been announced that Creed singer Scott Stapp will be playing Frank Sinatra in a biopic about Ronald Reagan.
Yes, that’s right, Stapp – who’s been described as a “marble-mouthed baritone” – will be portraying the legendary crooner, Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, in a historical drama.
Billboard reports that the upcoming drama Reagan, which will star Dennis Quaid as the 40th President of the United States, has cast the alternative rock singer to play the late lone-time leader of the Rat Pack.
The casting choice is curious, given that Stapp is well known for his exaggerated and over-the-top “yarling” singing style (also known as “Hunger Dunger Dang”), which consists of a exaggerated version of the nasal baritone drone originally introduced by Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder.
Stapp himself seems aware of the irony, telling Billboard, “Sinatra in performance mode was an exercise in restraint. He had this steely, stylish swagger and his sheer presence commanded a room. I was excited to join the cast and blown away by the on-set attention to detail, style, and overall production.”
According to the magazine, it won’t be a major role, but the film does contain a scene where Reagan visits the Cocoanut Grove, a once-famous nightclub in the Boston region that was once popular among Hollywood celebs in the 1930s.
The scene where Stapp will step up on stage and croon takes place when Reagan was president of the Screen Actors Guild, a position he held between 1947 and 1951, and again in 1959.
Again, it’s a very curious casting choice, as the 47-year-old rock star hardly resembles a young Sinatra. Perhaps the studio plans to digitally alter Stapp’s voice and face so that he more closely resembles the Sultan of Swoon? Your guess is as good as ours.
Stapp has had a bit of a rough time in recent years after his career spiraled out of control due to drug and alcohol abuse, a struggle with bipolar disorder, and an eventual psychotic breakdown in 2014. Since then, he appears to be on a road to recovery and has even opened up about the fact that even his own kids tease him about his singing on songs like “With Arms Wide Open.”
Reagan is set to drop in 2021, and will also star Penelope Ann Miller as Nancy Reagan.
“We are honored to have Scott in Reagan,” director Sean McNamara said. “Scott’s known for big, high energy performances so it was a thrill to see him shift gears to embody Sinatra’s contained charisma.”
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