Actor Samuel Johnson has been confirmed to play Aussie music legend Molly Meldrum in the forthcoming Channel 7 miniseries Molly. Johnson was hand-picked for the role by Meldrum, and is ready to don the music icon’s trademark cowboy hat.
“I really cannot think of anyone else who could even try to play me, ” Meldrum says in a statement released by Channel 7 (via News Limited).
Johnson has already started watching episodes of the much-loved Australian music show Countdown to prepare for his performance as its longtime host, and has found his appointment to the role very humbling.
“To be honest and to put it simply, this is the holy grail, both creatively and personally,” says Johnson.
“[Molly] is a character. As an actor this is the best role you could ever hope to find. You spend your whole career dreaming of a role like this. I’m typically terrified but the panic is convincingly overshadowed by my excitement about the opportunity.”
The Molly miniseries will be based on Meldrum’s book The Never, Um… Ever Ending Story, written by journalist Jeff Jenkins, which was released in October.
The program will also see actors play musicians such as Elton John, Madonna, Renee Geyer, John Paul Young and the members of KISS. Amongst the rock’n’roll lifestyle, international trips and rock star feuds, the show will also capture Meldrum’s hometown of Quambatook, Victoria.
Meldrum is currently holidaying in Thailand, and has said he has no plans to visit the Molly set. “I’ve already lived it once,” he says. Filming for the show started this month, with the final product expected to be airing later this year.