With a Showtime TV series of her much-loved memoir around the corner, we put forward our suggestions for the starring role
Last week, we reported that Patti Smith’s incredible 2010 memoir Just Kids had been ordered by Showtime to be turned into a limited series for television, with Patti herself co-producing, co-writing and overseeing the entire project. Now that we’ve had a moment to process that exciting news and breathe, it’s got us thinking – which actress will be playing her?
The immersive autobiography, which focuses on the unique relationship between Patti Smith and New York photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the 1970’s has slowly become a cult classic, so it will take a brilliant and unique actress to give the starring role justice (no pressure!) With that in mind, here are five Patti-a-likes that we’d most like to see play the iconic singer, poet and visual artist.
With her high cheekbones and always-monochrome androgynous style, the enigmatic model, musician and Dazed cover star alumnus bears more than a passing resemblance to Patti Smith. And although she has yet to lend her hand to acting, she’s no stranger to ripping it all up on stage as the front woman of rock rebel band Francis Wolf, who actually once supported Patti Smith on tour in Paris two years ago. “We were playing Patti’s songs along with her son, Jackson, and daughter, Jesse. It was amazing,” she told Sonic Youth frontwoman Kim Gordon for Interview magazine. “The day before the show, I rented a rehearsal space and learned every single one of her songs on piano and guitar just in case.” Just in case you needed to play her in the adaptation of Just Kids, you mean?
The rising actress, trans model and undisputed Dazed favourite has already landed a major TV role in the shape of Golden Globe-winning comedy drama Transparent, although we think with her kohl-black hair and penchant for leather, she’d be perfect playing the part of Patti Smith. It would also be cool to see more trans actresses play high profile roles. “It’s a lot easier for those people on TV to be understood and loved, even desired,” Hari told Dazed, speaking about trans visibility. “I don’t want the same trans story to be told over and over again. I don’t want people to get stuck on this very western idea of what it means to be transgender.”
With an art collective established at the age of 15, an apartment in New York and a style that embodies 1970’s bohemia, the resemblances between the world of India Salvor Menuez and the world described by Patti Smith in Just Kids is uncanny. The actress, model and artist has also starred in Olivier Assayas’ French drama film Something in the Air, a film about being a creative spirit in the 1970s, so surely a role in Just Kids is waiting to happen.
Miu Miu campaign girl and actress Stacy Martin has never shied away from a risky role, having starred in Lars von Trier’s gritty sex epic Nymphomaniac as well as an upcoming role in High-Rise, an adaptation of JG Ballard’s nightmarish novel of the same name. With an acting style as versatile as hers, we’d think she’d be perfect as a bohemian punk poet in 1970’s New York. Plus, she looks quite a lot like Patti Smith, right?
LA actress Kristen Stewart killed it as Joan Jett in the glitter-soaked glam rock film biopic The Runaways back in 2010, so there’s no reason she won’t kill it again playing another 1970’s rock ‘n’ roll icon in Just Kids. Plus, when Patti Smith interviewed her for Interview magazine, she was quick to notice their similarities. “You're so natural and straightforward,” Patti told Kristen, “and I know from my own experience that people have always thought I was standoffish or not a team player. But it's just that you have a trajectory.”
Have a read of our DA-Zed guide to Patti Smith here.