Jonathan Rhys Meyers already played one of the most iconic fictional rock stars of all time in 1998’s Velvet Goldmine when he portrayed a mash-up of David Bowie, T. Rex’s Marc Bolan and gender-bending 1970s singer Jobraith. Now, in the upcoming feature London Town, he gets to dig in for real as The Clash leader Joe Strummer.
The film, directed by Derrick Borte (The Joneses), debuts at the L.A. Film Festival on Friday (June 3) night, where audiences will get the first glimpse of a story inspired by the Clash that follows the path of a 14-year-old boy (Daniel Huttlestone of Into the Woods) who travels to central London to find his estranged mother and then falls into the burgeoning punk scene. His world is turned around when his mom mails him a cassette of the Clash’s “White Man in Hammersmith Palais,” which leads to him discovering his first love, Vivian.
Rhys Meyers is captivating as Strummer, capturing the late Clash singer’s manic stage energy and in-your-face urgency as part of a cast that also includes Dougray Scott and Natascha McElhone. Just ahead of its film fest premiere, IFC Films acquired the U.S. rights to London Town.
Check out this exclusive clip of Rhys Meyers singing the Clash’s “White Riot” on Billboard below.