Richard E. Grant has signed up for the movie adaptation of the hit West End musical, Everybody's Talking About Jamie.
The Oscar-nominated actor will play the role of Hugo and his drag queen alter ego Loco Chanelle, who supports gay 16-year-old schoolboy Jamie as he struggles with the prejudice he faces at school and pursues his dream of becoming a drag queen.
According to director Jonathan Butterell, the Can You Ever Forgive Me? star has been preparing for the role by watching reality show RuPaul's Drag Race.
"It is extraordinary, that vision of Richard," Butterell told Britain's The Daily Mail newspaper. "By the time he’s got heels and a wig on he’s about 8 foot tall. I had to go to the art department and ask if the ceiling in his dressing room scenes is high enough.
"Richard’s loving it. It’s something he’s never done before. He has now watched, I think, a thousand million episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race to learn how the kids are doing it, and also studying the story of the drag queens of the late Eighties and Nineties."
The musical is based on the documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16, which followed the story of Jamie Campbell, a British teenager who wasn't allowed to wear a dress to his high school prom. He defied his teachers, and with the support of his family and friends, he gained the confidence to debut his drag queen persona, Fifi la True, at the bash.
Catastrophe actress and writer Sharon Horgan will portray Jamie's teacher Miss Hedges, while Happy Valley star Sarah Lancashire has signed up to play the teen's mother, Margaret.
Newcomer Max Harwood, 21, will play the role of Jamie, and the movie is expected to begin filming in Sheffield, England later in June.
Butterell directed the stage musical, which features songs by The Feeling's Dan Gillespie Sells, when it originally opened in Sheffield in 2017. It transferred to London's West End later that year and is currently playing at the Apollo Theatre.