Miller Mobley for Billboard
While music biopics are all the rage in Hollywood these days, one legendary musician who isn’t interested seeing his life story depicted onscreen is Billy Joel — in part, because he’s concerned about who’d play him.
In a new cover story for Billboard, Billy says, “There are things in my life that could make a good movie. ‘He married this supermodel, then they had a kid, then they got divorced, then he crashed a car, then he went to rehab.’ [But] that was like five minutes in my life. It wasn’t all sensational.”
He adds, “I just hope they don’t get a short, fat, ugly guy to play me.”
Billy’s attitude towards a biopic is the same as his attitude towards the memoir he wrote in 2011. When the publisher told him to include more “scandalous stuff,” Billy abandoned the project and paid back his advance money.
While another memoir or a biopic are unlikely, a new Billy Joel album is even more unlikely. He hasn’t released a pop album since 1993, and he’s just fine with that.
“I know some artists struggle with the idea of being relevant: ‘I have to come up with new stuff and have hit singles,’” he says. “I stopped buying that a long time ago.”
Noting that he’s made 12 albums, just like The Beatles, he adds, “I wrote some good stuff. I wrote some crap, too. But some of the good stuff is pretty damn good.”
Meanwhile, Billy’s live concert business is booming: He sells out New York’s Madison Square Garden every month and regularly fills stadiums.
“It’s a miracle,” says Billy, adding, “Onstage [I’m thinking], ‘Are you f**king kidding me? When are they going to find me out? Women are screaming at me?’ I know what I look like in the mirror.”
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