Amy Winehouse’s ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil shares reaction to controversial film Back to Black

Fielder-Civil appeared on ‘Good Morning Britain’ to talk about how he’s depicted in Sam Taylor-Johnson’s new biopic about the troubled star

Roisin O'Connor
Friday 12 April 2024 10:05 BST
Amy Winehouse's ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil reacts to singer's biopic Back to Black
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Blake Fielder-Civil, the former husband of British singer Amy Winehouse, has revealed that he found it “therapeutic” watching the portrayal of himself in Back to Black, a controversial new film about the late artist.

Fielder-Civil is portayed in the film by Jack O’Connell, known for his performances in hit teen series Skins, Netflix’s western drama Godless, and the streaming service’s 2022 adaptation of Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

O’Connell stars opposite Marisa Abela, who plays Winehouse, with Eddie Marsan cast as the singer’s father, Mitch.

Appearing on Friday’s (12 April) episode of Good Morning Britain, Fielder-Civil told the ITV show’s hosts that he found the film “almost therapeutic in a way” and that he believed some parts made him felt seen “in a more accurate representation”.

“Not in a sense of being let off the hook or whitewashed, as [has] been alluded to... just in a sense of it wasn’t all about addiction,” he said.

“As much as that might have been the salacious headlines, and the papparazzi’s goal, there was addiction, but it was only an aspect. The relationship started like every relationship does.”

Blake Fielder-Civil appeared on ‘Good Morning Britain’ to discuss the new Amy Winehouse biopic (ITV)

Host Kate Garraway, citing criticism that he was being depicted as a “Disney prince” in contrast, then asked if he agreed with Taylor-Johnson’s claim that she wanted to show how the two fell in love, and what attracted Winehouse to him in the first place.

“The problem is, the story that had been perpetuated, or the narrative, is something I learnt quite quickly [the film’s cast and crew] weren’t interested in repeating,” Fielder-Civil responded.

He revealed that O’Connell came to see him before making the film: “Not asking for any notes or anything, just out of respect.”

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Marisa Abela and Jack O’Connell as Amy Winehouse and Blake Fielder-Civil in ‘Back to Black' (Focus Features/StudioCanal)

Then a production assistant, Fielder-Civil met Winehouse in a pub in 2005. They began dating soon after and were married in 2007, but their relationship was marred by their respective drug addictions.

Winehouse once said that their “whole marriage was based on doing drugs”. The couple were divorced in 2007 but continued seeing each other on-and-off. Winehouse died in July 2011 of alcohol poisoning, aged 27.

Later on GMB, Fielder-Civil said he “understood” Mitch Winehouse’s feelings about him: “I hope that he would see that there was genuinely love there, I love Amy,” he said, “and she loved me too. If there was anything that could bring her back, I would, obviously.”

Blake Fielder-Civil has previously hit out at those who hold him ‘responsible’ for Winehouse’s death (Getty/ITV)

In a previous interview on the show last year, he said he was no longer able to carry the “burden” of Winehouse’s death alone.

“For me personally, I’ve needed to stop carrying that cross on my own. I’ve carried that burden myself for over 10 years,” he said. “I feel, to be honest, that I’m the only person within that story that’s ever held any accountability, that’s ever tried to say, ‘Yep, I made some huge mistakes.’”

Asked to expand on those “mistakes”, he replied: “I was a twenty-something-year-old drug addict. So I had absolutely no idea how to make myself clean, let alone somebody else who was a big cog in a machine for a record label, and there were vested interests in Amy carrying on performing.”

While Taylor-Johnson went into Back to Black with the blessing of the Winehouse family, she told The Independent in a new interview that there was no compromise regarding the film she wanted to make.

Marisa Abela in the Amy Winehouse biopic ‘Back to Black' (Studio Canal)

“From the outset, I said to [producer Alison Owen]: ‘I need full control. I can’t have anything that ties my hands in any situation. So if there are approvals with family and things like that, that won’t work for me. Because I really need to make the film instinctually. And obviously, they’ll find things that they may not be comfortable with.’”

If you or someone you know is suffering from drug addiction, you can seek confidential help and support 24-7 from Frank, by calling 0300 123 6600, texting 82111, sending an email or visiting their website here.

In the US, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration can be reached at 1-800-662-HELP

If you or someone you know is suffering from alcohol addiction, you can confidentially call the national alcohol helpline Drinkline on 0300 123 1110 or visit the NHS website here for information about the programmes available to you.

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