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First trailer for Hank Williams biopic I Saw the Light comes to light

Country singer/songwriter Hank Williams may have lived just 29 years, largely in the ‘30s and ‘40s, but he made his mark as one of the best during his short life. Ahead of next spring’s Hank Williams biopic I Saw the Light, we now have a look into what the somewhat odd casting of Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers, Thor) as Williams looks like on-screen. The first trailer for the film is a two-minute journey through the reckless life of the talented musician complete with wooing, drinking, fighting, and some singing too.

In order to learn how to sing and enact Hank Williams best, Hiddleston worked with the country star Rodney Crowell. In a Facebook post (via BBC America), Crowell explained how he coached the actor last year. On a daily basis, the actor read through four hours of scenes with director Marc Abraham (Children of Men, Dawn of the Dead), spent two hours with a dialect coach and ran “seven wicked miles over hilly Tennessee terrain” to look as slim as Hank Williams did.

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With those chores done, he’d then commit to six more hours of singing, over and over again, a very hard-to-master song like ”Lovesick Blues,” explained Crowell. “ When he finally unlocked the mystery of yodeling the blues, hillbilly style, and was treated to a playback of his performance, Hiddleston responded by saying “I can do it better, let me go again.”

The film, written and directed by Marc Abraham, is based on Colin Escott’s biography. Elizabeth Olsen, Bradley Whitford, David Krumholtz, and Cherry Jones also star. Aaron L. Gilbert produced the film with G. Marq Roswell and Abraham.

Williams, born in 1923, released 31 singles including I’m So Lonesome I Could CryYour Cheatin’ Heart, and Hey, Good Lookin’ over his six-year career. The film will open on March 25.