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For an unbelievable tale like that of Mötley Crüe, it took nearly two decades to get it right.
The band’s four members — Vince Neil, Tommy Lee Jones, Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx — are at the center of Netflix’s The Dirt, starring Douglas Booth as Sixx, Machine Gun Kelly as Jones, Daniel Webber as Neil and Iwan Rheon as Mars.
“There’s so many fans that know this story inside and out. We wanted to service that for the fans, but also tell the story for a whole new generation of people,” Booth tells The Hollywood Reporter during the latest episode of In Studio.
He added, “It’s a fun window into a completely different exotic time because rock and roll styles aren’t like this anymore.”
Booth, who leads the film’s narration, had to explore both the band’s success and the complicated story of Sixx. Says Booth, “It’s what’s interesting and exciting as an actor to play these troubled characters because that’s the meaty stuff that we love to get our teeth into, and someone with so many layers. I thought I was going to play Tommy Lee at the beginning and they were like, ‘Would you audition for Nikki? We think you could actually be right for Nikki. He’s slightly more complex and you can’t put your finger on him as easy as Tommy.”
Among the layers of Sixx’s story was his addiction to heroin, which the musician chronicled in his autobiography, The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star.
Booth says they chose not to shy away from Sixx’s addiction. “We basically locked ourselves in this really dark room and they gave me freedom to just be like, ‘Here’s this space; we’re just going to film you.’ So I had the unpleasure of crawling around this space, injecting different parts of my body at different times. It was a dark moment in filming.”
Of Sixx’s reaction to Booth’s portrayal, the actor says, “He was so excited and pleased — and, I guess I would be if I was having someone play me, relieved. It’s got to be a very unnerving thing relinquishing your life story to someone else.”
Watch Booth’s full interview above, where he talks about the bond formed between his co-stars, filming in New Orleans, his favorite Mötley Crüe song to perform, the story of Ozzy Osbourne snorting ants, and more.
The Dirt is now streaming on Netflix.
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