‘A dream’: Angelina Jolie on playing Maria Callas in new biopic

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Angelina Jolie has been cast as the legendary Greek American opera singer, Maria Callas in a new biopic simply titled Maria.

The film’s Chilean filmmaker, Pablo Larraín, had previously directed Natalie Portman and Kristen Stewart to Oscar nominations for playing Jacqueline Kennedy and Princess Diana.

Jolie has signed on to play Callas, the famously tragic opera star known for her great talent as well as her temperamental behaviour and doomed love affair with Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, who left her when he married Jacqueline Kennedy.

Maria Callas, born as Cecilia Sophia Anna Maria Kalogeropoulos, was born on the 2nd of December, 1923, in New York City.

While the film’s in its early stages, here’s everything we know about Maria, including what Jolie has said about the chance to play the woman Leonard Bernstein once referred to as “the Bible of opera.”

In a statement, Larraín said the film will tell: “the tumultuous, beautiful and tragic story of the life of the world’s greatest opera singer, relived and re-imagined during her final days in 1970s Paris.”

According to Bazaar, it is also likely to cover some of the soprano’s infamous relationships such as her marriage to Italian business tycoon Giovanni Battista Meneghini, whom she accused of stealing from her, and later Aristotle Onassis whom she met in 1957.

Maria Callas with ship owner and millionaire, Aristotle Onassis. Photo: Reg Davis / Getty Images

It is hopeful the film will cover her long-running feud with rival Renata Tebaldi who Callas once told the press, to compare their voices would be like comparing “Champagne with Coca-Cola.”

Angelia Jolie called her casting as the inimitable Maria Callas “a dream” following the announcement.

“I take very seriously the responsibility to Maria’s life and legacy,” Jolie said in a statement.

Hollywood actress, Angelina Jolie.

“I will give all I can to meet the challenge. Pablo Larraín is a director I have long admired. To be allowed the chance to tell more of Maria’s story with him, and with a script by Steven Knight, is a dream.”

For his part, Larraín called Jolie “a true gift” to his “long-awaited” biopic.

“Having the chance to combine my two most deep and personal passions, cinema and opera, has been a long-awaited dream,” he said in a separate statement.

“To do this with Angelina, a supremely brave and curious artist, is a fascinating opportunity. A true gift.”

It is expected that Maria will be released sometime in 2024.

READ MORE: Unpublished letters by Maria Callas detail painful relationships with husband and Aristotle Onassis

SOURCE: Bazaar

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