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Tom Hiddleston Talk ‘Becoming Hank’ for Biopic ‘I Saw the Light’ [Exclusive Premiere]

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The much-anticipated Hank Williams biopic I Saw the Light is set for release later this month, but Taste of Country fans are getting an early look inside the creative process from lead actor Tom Hiddleston and musical director Rodney Crowell in this exclusive clip.

I Saw the Light is based on the 1994 Williams biography by Colin Escott, George Merritt and William MacEwen. Hiddleston plays the brilliant, doomed singer, and Elizabeth Olsen stars as Williams’ first wife, Audrey. Bradley Whitford stars as music publisher and songwriter Fred Rose, Davis Krumholz plays New York journalist James Dolan and Cherry Jones portrays Williams’ mother, Lillie Skipper.

Written and directed by Marc Abraham, I Saw the Light focuses on the years between Williams’ marriage to Audrey and his death on New Year’s Day in 1953 at the age of 29, chronicling both his massively influential musical career and tortured private life. Hiddleston has been the subject of much advance critical praise for his sharply-drawn portrayal. He says Crowell really helped him gain insight into how to play the country legend by giving him a key piece of advice.

“I remember asking him, ‘What do I need to do to? I’ve got four months to get myself ready for this. These are big boots. What do I need to do?'” Hiddleston recalls in the clip above.

“And Rodney says, ‘Before you do anything else — before you think about sounding like Hank, playing like Hank — learn the songs. And learn them for yourself. Find out what they mean to you.’ Essentially just to invest myself in the meaning of those songs, and then come see him again in a few months’ time, and Rodney would work on modulating tone and rhythm. But initially, the simple work was actually just to mean it … because that was the only way I think I was ever gonna translate the power of his music to people.”

I Saw the Light is slated to open on March 25. Take a look at a clip from the film, and see stills from the production below.

See Pictures From ‘I Saw the Light’

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