EXCLUSIVE: Here’s the striking first official image of Kate Winslet as Lee Miller in feature Lee.
The image, shot during filming on location in Croatia, shows Oscar winner Winslet as the pioneering American photographer who covered WWII in Europe for British Vogue.
Filming is ongoing on the directorial debut of respected cinematographer Ellen Kuras (Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind).
The film is not being called a biopic by Winslet and the producers, but it does explore the most significant decade of Lee Miller’s life. As a middle-aged woman, she refused to be remembered as a model and male artists’ muse and defied expectations by travelling to Europe to report from the frontline. There, in part as a reaction to her own well-hidden trauma, she used her Rolleiflex camera to give a voice to the voiceless. What Lee captured on film in Dachau and throughout Europe was shocking and horrific. Her photographs of the war, its victims and its consequences remain among the most significant and historically important of the second world war. The film will also deal with the personal price of her endeavors.
Joining the cast, we can reveal, is Alexander Skarsgård as English Surrealist painter, photographer, poet and biographer Roland Penrose. Andy Samberg is confirmed in the role of Life Magazine photographer David E. Scherman; previously announced were Marion Cotillard playing Solange D’Ayen, the fashion director of French Vogue and close friend of Miller’s, Josh O’Connor as Tony, a young journalist, and Andrea Riseborough as British Vogue Editor Audrey Withers.
Also new to the cast today are Noémie Merlant (Tar) playing Nusch Eluard; Arinzé Kene (Been So Long) as Major Jonesy; Vincent Colombe (Revenge) playing Paul Eluard; Patrick Mille (Bad Girl) playing Jean D’Ayen; Samuel Barnett (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency) as Cecil Beaton and Zita Hanrot (Paul Sanchez Is Back!) playing Ady Fidelin.
Pic is produced by Kate Solomon and Kate Winslet, with Troy Lum, Andrew Mason, Marie Savare and Lauren Hantz. Executive producers are Julia Stuart and Laura Grange, Finola Dwyer, Thorsten Schumacher, Billy Mulligan, John Hantz, Jason Duan, Crystine Zhang, Lem Dobbs, Liz Hannah, John Collee and Clare Hardwick.
The feature is a MS Participations, Rocket Science, Hantz Motion Pictures and Sky Original film in association with Pasaca Entertainment. It’s a Brouhaha Entertainment and Juggle Films Production in association with 55 Films and Vogue Studios.
Sky holds the rights in the UK. CAA Media Finance and UTA Independent Film Group represent the film’s domestic rights. Rocket Science set up the financing for the film by selling out at AFM 2021. Distribution deals were struck with Studio Canal (Germany), Australia, New Zealand), SND (France), Vertice (Italy, Spain and Latin America), Scanbox (Scandinavia), Elevation (Canada), and The Searchers (Benelux). Further distribution partners include Odeon (Greece), Lusomundo (Portugal) Forum (Israel), Front Row (Middle East), Film Finity (South Africa) Vertical Entertainment (Poland, Eastern Europe), and ACME, (Baltic States).
The creative team includes director of photography Pawel Edelman (The Pianist, Ray), production designer Gemma Jackson (Aladdin, The Gentlemen), costume designer Michael O’Connor (Jane Eyre, The Duchess), hair and make-up designer Ivana Primorac (Darkest Hour, The Crown) and music is being composed and conducted by two-time Academy Award winning composer Alexandre Desplat (The Shape of Water, The Grand Budapest Hotel). Lee is written by Liz Hannah, Lem Dobbs, John Collee and Marion Hume and is based on The Lives of Lee Miller by Antony Penrose who serves as a consultant to the production.
Filming takes place in Croatia, Hungary and London. Pioneer Stillking is the Production service company for Hungary. Embassy Films is the Production service company for Croatia. As was widely reported one month ago, Winslet suffered a fall during production but was quickly back to work after a short break.
Kate Winslet said today: “To me, she was a life force to be reckoned with, so much more than an object of attention from famous men with whom she is associated. This photographer, writer, reporter, did everything she did with love, lust, and courage, and is an inspiration of what you can achieve, and what you can bear, if you dare to take life firmly by the hands and live it at full throttle.”
Julia Stuart, Director of Original Film at Sky, added: “Sky is honoured to bring Lee Miller’s wartime journey to screens across the UK. Lee Miller was an utterly unstoppable woman, whose timeless story is as relevant now as it was in her day, and there is no one better suited to that role than the masterful Kate Winslet.”
Winslet is repped by CAA and United Talent; Samberg is repped by UTA; Cotillard is repped by CAA and Agence Adequat; Skarsgård is repped by CAA; Riseborough is repped by CAA, Untitled Entertainment, Independent Talent Group and O’Connor is repped by Independent Talent Group; CAA and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole.