Though he may have tragically passed away at the age of 29, legendary country singer Hank Williams left a defining mark on the music industry that few have replicated. It’s fair to say that Williams burned the candle at both ends, succumbing to drug addiction and alcoholism that ultimately triggered his untimely passing, and that’s a fall from grace played brilliantly by Tom Hiddleston in the new international trailer for I Saw The Light.
Taking point for the musical biopic is director Marc Abraham, who is aiming to chart the meteoric rise of the famed Alabama singer-songwriter, who won over legions of ands with a string of instant classic – most notably “Hey Good Lookin’,” “Love Sick Blues” and of course, “I Saw The Light.”
Such a career-defining rise to the top brought on problems of its own, though, and this burden was shouldered by Hank Williams’ doting wife, Audrey Mae Sheppard (Age of Ultron‘s Elizabeth Olsen). Indulging in alcohol and extra-martial affairs, Sheppard starts off by denouncing Williams’ actions to becoming increasingly concerned for her spouse’s health. A pair of raw performances will no doubt serve as the focal point of I Saw The Light, and we can only hope that the meat around those sturdy bones is just as impressive.
Based on Colin Escott’s award-winning biography, Abraham’s picture was initially pegged for a debut in late 2015, but now Tom Hiddleston will step into the shoes of Hank Williams for I Saw The Light on March 25, 2016. Bradley Whitford, David Krumholtz, and Cherry Jones complete the cast.
Hank Williams wrote and recorded some of country music’s most enduring songs before his untimely death at age twenty-nine. These songs were fuelled by a blend of turmoil and heartbreak — not surprising considering the Alabama-born balladeer’s private life, which director Marc Abraham brings to the screen with a clear-eyed appreciation of the man’s complexity. Taking stock of the central moments in Williams’ too-short career, which began when he was barely a teenager, I Saw the Light focuses, as it should, on the flaws of an artist who was endearing to his audience and enraging to his wives and lovers.
When Hank marries Audrey Mae Sheppard (Elizabeth Olsen) at a gas station in 1944, success is only a few years away, but Audrey proves a challenge as she replaces Hank’s mother as the prime influence in his career. Though ambitious, Audrey is a woman of limited talent, and Williams is caught between listening to friends who tell him to remove her from his act and a wife who will listen to no one.