An unexpected current hit on Netflix is Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, a musical comedy about a pair of struggling Icelandic musicians determined to be the country’s pick for the titular pan-continental singing competition. One of its most memorable aspects was a cameo appearance from Demi Lovato, and even more surprising was what convinced her to take part.
In the film, Lovato plays Katiana Lindsdóttir, a talented and glamorous singer whose selection to represent the island nation is pretty much a given, only for her to perish along with all the other potential contestants when the boat on which they’re partying explodes, leaving the hapless Lars and Sigrit as the only ones left.
Later in the film, Katiana reappears as a ghost offering a doom-laden (and, as it turns out, somewhat belated) portent of danger, her skin charred to cinders and flames licking about her face. According to director David Dobkin, far from Lovato being put off by the prospect of looking so hideous, it was actually what convinced her to take part.
“The real question was whether she was going to get the joke of Katiana coming back and looking like hell. And she loved it. I actually checked in after they said yes and asked, ‘Did she really read those scenes?’ I even sent some internet photos of Griffin Dunne from An American Werewolf in London to be clear, like, this is what we’re doing.”
In case you’re unaware, early on in John Landis’ iconic horror movie, Griffin Dunne is mauled to death by a werewolf and thereafter periodically appears as a ghost to David Naughton, his physical condition deteriorating each time to match the state of his rotting corpse, until the final time where he’s little more than a green and putrid mound of flesh barely recognizable as something that was once human. The parallel is clear to anyone who has seen the movie, even down to Lovato having lengthy gouges down the side of her face, and it was certainly invoked in an efficiently humorous manner.
For Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga to have Lovato to appear in such a state it took three hours in the makeup chair, all for a thirty-second joke that would have not lessened the movie had it been excised, which if nothing else indicates her commitment to the humor.