Sam Mendes' Beatles Are Keoghan, Mescal, Dickinson and Rowe

Paul Mescal As Paul McCartney And Barry Keoghan As Ringo Starr… Does Sam Mendes’s New Biopic Really Need To Sex Up The Beatles?

Listen, I want my (okay, fine, Sabrina Carpenter’s) tiny, handsome boyfriend Barry Keoghan to stay booked and busy as much as the next Banshees of Inisherin stan. However, I think I have to draw a tenuous personal line in the sand at seeing him in filmmaker Sam Mendes’s series of four interconnected biopics following each member of the Beatles, the cast of which is alleged to include Harris Dickinson as John Lennon, Paul Mescal as Paul McCartney, Charlie Rowe as George Harrison, and Keoghan as Ringo Starr.

Harris Dickinson. Getty Images
Paul Mescal. Getty Images

As a lifelong Ringo girl, I should be thrilled to see one of my favourite actors portraying the legendary drummer – not to mention the Paul Mescal of it all! (A surprisingly apt McCartney, IMO.) But loath as I am to sound like one of those old cranks who need you to know that they saw the Stones live in 1970-something – and also that pizza used to cost a dollar – I just can’t help feeling somewhat disheartened at the prospect of the real-life Beatles getting the full-on, glossy biopic treatment. (Beatles movie musicals, however, I’m strangely okay with; just ask me how many times I saw Across the Universe as a teen.)

Charlie Rowe. Getty Images
Barry Keoghan. Getty Images

No part of American life is too sacrosanct for the biopic treatment, but if I may pretentiously quote Zadie Smith’s On Beauty, “Our memories are getting more beautiful and less real every day.” The prevalent Hollywood attitude towards biopic casting, which seems to hold that everyone should be roughly eight times more attractive than the people in real life – albeit with a slightly more attainable-looking haircut – reflects that sentiment. (Remember Kristen Stewart and Joan Jett in The Runaways movie?) For the Beatles, though, who typified a kind of genuine, non-threatening-boy appeal from the start of their careers, this approach just breaks my heart. I mean, I’ll never be mad to see Keoghan and Mescal on the big screen, but… let men be a little ’70s-style weird with it, facial architecture-wise!

This article was originally published on British Vogue.

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