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Emmy Rossum transformed into Angelyne when she pitched the limited series based on the L.A. billboard icon

  • Rossum originally told her collaborators that she wouldn't attend the pitch meeting at NBC Universal. "Executives were seated around a Universal City conference table when their PowerPoint about production design was interrupted by a busty blonde wearing leopard-print arm warmers and not much else," says The Hollywood Reporter's Mikey O'Connell. "She passed out rose quartz crystals, tickled faces and necks with a peacock feather (a nod to the streaming platform footing the bill) and cooed a breathy incantation to bless their endeavor with good juju. For a moment, at least, a few folks in the room thought it was the real Angelyne. But it was a platinum-wigged Rossum, her 5-foot-8 frame propped up on stilettos and a pink lamé minidress pulled taut over the conspicuous 3-pound breastplate glued to her torso." Alex Sepiol, a drama executive at NBC Universal who witnessed Rossum's stunt, says: "She was utterly transformed. To give this kind of performance in a business meeting, no one does that. But that’s Emmy, she’s fearless and bold and just a trouper.” Rossum says of the pitch: "As my acting coach likes to tell me, intensity is not something I struggle with. I wanted to give them the experience.” For Rossum, actually playing Angelyne turned out to be painful. "Rossum got blisters from the fake breasts and suffered tear duct issues from wearing two pairs of contact lenses and from the oppressive eye makeup during the shoot," says O'Connell. "She often spent four or five hours in the makeup chair every morning before most of her colleagues even arrived on set." Rossum adds: “The physicality of the character was challenging. The body is heavy, yet it has to feel light and effervescent. But I just kept focusing on how lucky I felt. This opportunity is really every actor’s dream. You raise your hand and you say, ‘Hey, I’d like to play this, and this is how I envision the story.’"


    • Emmy Rossum says it was important that Angelyne be involved in the series: The 71-year-old Angelyne granted the series the rights to her life, trademarks, art and punk-pop music catalog, all of which are utilized on the show. “It was so important to me that she be involved in this and that we were able to faithfully recreate her iconic billboards,” says Rossum. “And it was really, really important to me that she be paid for her contribution, not just to the show, but to pop culture over the last 50 years.”

    TOPICS: Emmy Rossum, Peacock, Angelyne