The Many Saints of Newark star Alessandro Nivola might be starring opposite Michelle Williams in Todd Haynes biopic of singer-songwriter Peggy Lee called Fever. According to Deadline, Nivola will play Dave Barbour, Peggy Lee’s husband, whom she married in 1943. Barbour was a brilliant guitarist whose passionate love with Lee deteriorated as he succumbed to alcoholism. Barbour died at the age of 53 in 1965.
The director behind movies like Carol, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, and Dark Water, that starred Mark Ruffalo and Anne Hathaway, Academy Award nominee Todd Haynes is directing the biopic Fever with Doug Wright (Quills) writing the script.
There is no information on what period of Lee’s life would be covered in the film. Still, given Nivola’s involvement as Barbour, the production is expected to cover the early years of her career prior to her recording of Fever in 1958.
Peggy Lee, real name Norma Deloris Egstrom was born in 1920. Lee is perhaps best remembered today for her seductive cover of the song Fever. At 16, she started singing professionally and, at 22, recorded her first number one hit, Somebody Else Is Taking My Place. During her career, she became an accomplished actor. She was Oscar-nominated for her performance in 1955’s Pete Kelly’s Blues as a despairing alcoholic blues singer. She died in 2002 at the age of 81.
Nivola’s other projects include the Untitled David O Russell film, which has a host of amazing actors, including Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, and Robert De Niro, just to name a few, and Jeff Baena’s comedy Spin Me Round that he co-stars with Alison Brie.
He recently joined the cast of 20th Century Studios thriller Boston Stranger starring Keira Knightley as the journalist who helps bring attention to Boston’s most notorious serial killer.