If you were to write a list of stage props we regularly see at Eurovision, well-oiled backing dancers may spring to mind. From Malta’s Thea Garret to Ireland’s Ryan Dolan, they’re a recurring feature of the song contest.
And it seems they’ll get plenty of screen time in Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga — the upcoming Netflix comedy from Will Ferrell.
On Monday Dan Stevens — who portrays a Russian singer called Alexander Lemtov — shared a photo from the film on his Instagram account. And it suggests that he and producers have gone all in.
Dan Stevens shares photo of Netflix Eurovision character Alexander Lemtov
The photo sees Dan standing centre stage in a flowing black and gold robe with large black cuffs. He wears the robe open, showing off his gym-honed abs as he raises his left hand toward the rafters, suggesting that he’s feeling the song with every inch of his body.
He teams the ornate top with a pair of black jeans and knee-high boots with gold embellishments and a sweetheart opening. A black belt with gold buckle adds another focal point, completing a look that is at once luxurious and rock ‘n roll.
Dan will star as Alexander Lemtov, a Russian contestant competing in the song contest with a song called “Lion of Love”. As you already know, he’ll play alongside Blades of Glory actor Will Ferrell and Mean Girls legend Rachel McAdams. They’ll play aspiring Icelandic musicians Lars Erickssong and Sigrit Ericksdottir, along with Pierce Brosnan who stars as Erick Erickssong, “Lars’ father and the most handsome man in Iceland.”
USA Today reports that Dan’s character is a “big-cat-loving Russian singer” — which might explain why his Instagram post includes a lion emoji.
“His performance is insane,” Will Ferrell told the paper. “It’s very real in a way, yet so over-the-top. He’s kind of the Russian George Michael. It’s a far cry from ‘Downton Abbey.'”
“We had fun with the characters, and we capture the scope,” he adds. “But it’s still a love letter to the Eurovision contest, surprisingly written by mostly Americans.”
David Dobkin, the film’s director, suggested that Dan doesn’t cover up much in the flick.
“When Dan finally saw the movie, he texted me saying, “‘I can’t believe we succeeded, I never actually wore a shirt the entire film,'” Dobkin said.
Dan, who rose to stardom as Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey, is supported by four shirtless dancers wearing gold lamé hot trousers and matching golden sneakers. They appear to be using jazz hands to great effect, with the two dancers on the left performing a “burst” motion, while the two dancers on the right focus dangle their fingers to draw attention to their eyes.
Paired with the stage lights and an LED which resembles an animal print, it seems producers are going for a sense of visual realism as they re-create the Eurovision Song Contest for the streaming site.
Dan has done significant work since leaving Downton. More recently he made a turn in Beauty and the Beast and has buffeted his fame in the US as part of the cast of Legion. He received the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2013.
Savan Kotecha produces songs for Eurovision Movie
The USA Today article also mentions one very tantalising fact: Music producer Savan Kotecha has worked on the songs in the film!
Savan has 17 Grammy nominations and his back catalogue is truly lit. Songs include Maroon 5’s “One More Night”, Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do”, Katy Perry’s “Rise” and One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful.”
Are you excited to get this sneak peek of the movie? Do you think Dan Stevens has the voice to convincingly portray a Eurovision star? Sound off in the comments box below!
— wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) May 18, 2020