Winehouse biopic star Marisa Abela has Maltese-Libyan lineage

The Brighton-born actress is set to star as Amy Winehouse in an upcoming biopic • First photos of her in full costume have received mixed reactions and were picked up by global Instagram account Diet Prada

First photo of Marisa Abela as Amy Winehouse
First photo of Marisa Abela as Amy Winehouse

The new star of an upcoming Amy Winehouse biopic is of Maltese-Libyan lineage and has an already impressive acting portfolio.

Marisa Abela, Brighton-born, is daughter to actress Caroline Gruber and director Angelo Abela, the latter of Maltese-Libyan and English descent. Meanwhile, her mother is of Polish Jewish and Russian Jewish ancestry.

Abela quickly made a name for herself after scoring television roles in the action series COBRA and HBO drama Industry.

In July 2022, she joined the cast of Greta Gerwig’s much-anticipated film ‘Barbie’.

Abela was in talks since July last year to secure the role of Amy Winhouse in ‘Back to Black’, a biopic about the singer directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, who also directed the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey.

But fans online are divided over the first photos of Marisa Abela in full costume. The photos were even picked up by the well-known Instagram account and fashion ‘watchdog group’ Diet Prada.

The film itself will focus on Winehouse’s years living in London in the early 2000s and will document her intense rise to fame.

A press release for the film said it will focus on her “extraordinary genius, creativity and honesty that infused everything she did”.