‘He was devastated when she died’: Alison Steadman discusses her grandmotherly relationship with Robbie Williams – after playing his late nan Betty in Better Man biopic
Alison Steadman has discussed her grandmotherly relationship with Robbie Williams, with whom she has been starring alongside in his biopic film, Better Man.
The Gavin And Stacey star, 75, who is playing the singer’s late nan Betty in the movie, revealed she gave the 48-year-old a big hug while appearing on Tuesday’s Lorraine.
With filming taking place in Melbourne, Australia, Robbie recently revealed he will play himself in the movie after struggling to find a suitable actor.
‘He was devastated when she died’: Alison Steadman has discussed her grandmotherly relationship with Robbie Williams – after playing his late nan Betty in Better Man biopic (Alison pictured in Gavin And Stacey)
Speaking on the ITV daytime show, Alison said: ‘I was in Melbourne recently with Robbie Williams. He was there, I gave him a hug. I’m playing his nan.
She added: ‘He loved his nan and she sort of helped him through difficult times. He was devastated when she died.’
The team behind the Michael Gracey-directed flick, reportedly previously had trouble finding the perfect person to play Robbie in his younger days but an older Robbie has been found in the form of the man himself.
New pal: The Gavin And Stacey star, 75, revealed she gave the 48-year-old (pictured in July 2022) a big hug while appearing on Tuesday’s Lorraine
According to The Sun, the former Take That singer told the crowd at the Rob Laver Arena in Melbourne last week at a gig to celebrate the filming of the biopic: ‘The thing is about films is that it is a wonder anything gets made.
‘Everything gets held up in a bottleneck. It is always, “This person says no and this person says yes and this person is offended and this person is not offended enough.” It is agents and lawyers.
‘I am 97 per cent sure it will happen. I don’t know who will play me when I am younger but I know who will play me when I am older. You’re looking at him.’
Spilling the beans: Speaking on the ITV daytime show, Alison said: ‘I was in Melbourne recently with Robbie Williams. He was there, I gave him a hug. I’m playing his nan’
Serious: She added: ‘He loved his nan and she sort of helped him through difficult times. He was devastated when she died’
On trying to find the perfect actor to play Robbie, an insider told the Mirror in March: ‘Michael and Robbie held top-secret auditions to find a star to play the young Robbie recently.
‘They didn’t meet anyone they were confident could pull it off.
‘Robbie is stunned at how difficult the project has been to get made. And now he’s starting to worry it’s never going to make it to the big screen and he’ll look foolish for hyping it up.’
During a question and answer session in Melbourne last Sunday Robbie told fans the film will be a ‘warts and all’, adding that there are some sex scenes he does ‘not condone’.
Family: The Angels hitmaker shared this beaming photo of Betty (pictured with Robbie’s dad Peter) to Instagram in 2016
Robbie told the audience: ‘There are sex scenes that I do not condone. I am like, ‘If they must be in there, Michael, then you put them in there.
‘He said that it is a necessity for the script that I get completely naked and I am not sure why as there is one scene where we are in a church and it does not call for it.
‘It is my life and it is what I got up to. It is not anodyne, it is not vanilla. It is drugs, the ups, the downs, the women, the sex.’
The project will follow the singer on his rise to the fame and the demons he battled both on and off the stage.
Movie star: With filming taking place in Melbourne, Australia, Robbie recently revealed he will play himself in the movie after struggling to find a suitable actor
Sources say Hollywood is excited about the movie following the success of other singer’s lives captured on film such as Elton John’s Rocketman and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.
Insiders believe it could help Robbie crack America, after struggling to make it big across the pond – despite success in Europe when he first went solo after leaving Take That.
A source previously told The Mirror: ‘Early indications are that it may really cut through to US audiences, not least as the people in place on it have such pedigree.
‘Movie chiefs think the script – essentially a stirring story about an underdog catapulted to fame – will really resonate with people, even those in America who may not know much about Robbie himself.’
Cast: Movie bosses reportedly had trouble finding the perfect person to play younger Robbie but an older Rob has been found in the form of the man himself (Robbie pictured in 1993)
Directed and co-written by Victorian filmmaker Michael, the film will offer an introspective look into the experiences that shaped the English entertainer, both on and off stage.
It was announced in December, producers would begin filming at Docklands Studios in Melbourne in early 2022.
‘To tell Robbie William’s beautiful, distinct story, back home, in my own city, is a dream come true,’ Gracey said in a statement.
‘There is a creative energy that burns across the Melbourne film industry, and I know this movie will thrive here.’
Michael said the film will not be like Rocketman or Bohemian Rhapsody, which were about musical prodigies that the world had to catch up to.
He described Robbie as an ‘everyman’ who has an ‘incredibly relatable story’ about following your dreams.
Robbie found fame as a teenager as a member of Take That and found wider success when he went solo in 1996.
Michael confirmed Robbie’s music will be re-recorded for the film and producers will be looking for a studio to buy the movie at the upcoming European Film Market event.
Iconic: Robbie rose to fame with Take That who formed in 1989 and went on to achieve 12 number one singles on the UK Singles Chart along with eight number one album (pictured 1993)