Australian actor Russell Crowe will play formerly renowned chef Marco Pierre White in a new biopic, according to Marco Pierre White. Speaking this weekend, Pierre White said:
“I have just signed the deal. Russell has written the script, Russell’s company is producing it, Russell is directing it and Russell is playing the third or fourth Marco.
“When they do a movie on your life, you don’t just have one Marco – I am nearly 60. If there was anyone in Hollywood to play me, it would have to be Russell.”
The Guardian reports that the biopic has been slated for five years, with Ridley Scott attached to direct at one point. It’s a coup for White, and a welcome return to the spotlight for a chef now most famous for Harveys in Wandsworth, which earned two Michelin stars in 1990; his eponymous restaurant that earned three in 1994-95; writing White Heat; being famously aggressive and emotional in kitchens; and saying that women are too emotional in kitchens.
White also said that Crowe wasn’t his first choice, but his affection for the Australian actor — who has also forged a prestigious career despite public, and even criminal allegations against his temperament — pushed him ahead of Michael Fassbender in the race to play White. He phrased it thus:
“I thought to myself, ‘Actually, I think Russell Crowe should be playing me, not Michael Fassbender.”
With Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver surely in line for the film and TV treatment, White will likely be delighted to get ahead and on to the screen. The great unknowns: Who will play young Marco? Who will play youngish Gordon Ramsay? How much of White’s largely derisive attitude towards women will make the cut? Is it going straight to Netflix, or will White and Crowe attempt to do what Burnt and Chef couldn’t and make a restaurant film that doesn’t wallow in machismo boredom?