Actor Jamie Bell had no idea his new film was based on a true life romance when he signed on.
In Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, the Billy Elliot star plays a young theatre actor who falls in love with a forgotten Oscar winner, as she attempts to revive her career on the stage in the U.K.
But Jamie had no idea his co-star Annette Bening’s character, Gloria Grahame, was for real.
“I thought it was a piece of fiction,” he says. “I thought it was the weirdest story to set a film around, honestly.
“I had no idea who Gloria Grahame was and I certainly didn’t know who (my character) Peter Turner was, at all. I thought. ‘It’s just a bizarre work, I don’t know how to really wrap my head around it’.”
Jamie studied Turner’s memoir and It’s a Wonderful Life star Grahame’s career and quickly became a fan of the late actress and fell for the story of her unlikely romance with Turner.