From Barbie girl to Warhol superstar: Actress Hari Nef has been cast as Candy Darling in a biopic about the trans icon and Andy Warhol muse.
The film will cover Darling's rise to superstardom, from a troubled childhood on Long Island to her days as a glamour girl in New York City, where she first met Warhol in the late 1960s. The actress would go on to star in two of his most groundbreaking films: Flesh (1968) and Women in Revolt (1971).
Nef, who broke out on Amazon's award-winning series Transparent, made her big screen dramatic debut in Sam Levinson's Assassination Nation (2018), followed by the Matt Smith-starrer Mapplethorpe. Ahead of the Candy Darling film, she will star in Greta Gerwig's much-buzzed-about Barbie with Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling.
Transparent scribe Stephanie Kornick will script the as-yet-untitled biopic, with Christian D. Bruun, Louis Spiegler and Katrina Wolfe producing alongside executive producer Zackary Drucker (also Transparent, as well as the HBO Max docuseries The Lady and the Dale). No director has yet been tapped.
"This was always the ultimate — that pipe dream so specific it felt silly to speak out loud," Nef wrote on Instagram upon news of her casting. She proceeded to thank Darling's dear friends, Jeremiah Newton and George Abagnalo, for giving her their blessing, as well as "mother guardian guide" Drucker.
"Candy Darling is the blueprint: A transsexual glamour girl and indie icon reigning over Warhol's Manhattan and Nixon's America," Nef wrote. "She burned fast and bright. More than anything, she wanted to be taken seriously as an actress. She taught girls like me how to dream — perhaps even how to be at all. I have a drawing from her diary tattooed on my arm. It's the honor of my life to get the chance to play her on the screen, where she remains."
"This is an overwhelming joy and a privilege I take very f**king seriously!" she concluded. "I'll see you all on the wild side."