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The bad boy of ballet is making the leap to Hollywood.
Sergei Polunin, the 27-year-old Ukrainian considered by many to be one of the finest ballet dancers of his generation, has been cast in two hot upcoming titles: Kenneth Branagh’s all-star adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express and the spy thriller Red Sparrow from Fox, appearing alongside Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton.
Already a major force in the ballet world having become the British Royal Ballet Company’s youngest-ever principal at just 19 (a role he would sensationally walk out of just two years later), Polunin became an international viral star last year thanks to a video shot by David LaChapelle of him dancing to Hozier’s hit song “Take Me to Church.” The video is currently nearing 17 million views.
Murder on the Orient Express and Red Sparrow will be his first major studio features, but Polunin is also the subject of Dancer, Steven Cantor’s PGA award-nominated documentary. Polunin confirmed his new casting to The Hollywood Reporter from the sidelines of the British Independent Film Awards ceremony on Sunday night, where Dancer was up for best documentary but eventually lost out to Notes on Blindness.
Murder on the Orient Express, also starring Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Penelope Cruz, Michelle Pfeiffer and Judi Dench, with Branagh directing himself as the famed Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, is thought to start shooting in Pinewood in January.
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