Kurt Cobain biopic: Who should play him?

kurt-cobainImage Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic.comIn a move sure to stir up scrutiny from music fans, Universal has put its Kurt Cobain biopic on the fast track, with Oren Moverman (The Messenger) set to tackle writing and directing duties. (Courtney Love is already on board as an exec producer.) So now we wait, with equal parts dread and excitement, for an answer to everyone’s big question: Will Dave Grohl PLAY Dave Grohl? Who will play Kurt Cobain?

It’s a tricky casting decision, since Nirvana’s still-devoted fanbase is sure to criticize anyone who takes the part. But we think we can narrow it down to a few key contenders:

Ben Foster
The Messenger star has proven talent and an obvious in with Moverman. Plus, he actually bears a passing resemblance to Cobain.

Ryan Gosling
He’s got indie cred, a reputation for digging deep into his roles, and actual verified musical chops. (Oops. Meant to link this. Sorry, Ryan!) What more could you want?

Cate Blanchett
There is nothing she can’t do. End of argument.

Your turn, PopWatchers: Who should play Cobain?

Comments (240 total) Add your comment
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  • Dory

    Joe Anderson from Across the Universe. He looks exactly like him and he can sing.

    • Kacey

      That’s exactly who I was going to say. He’d be perfect.

      • librahawk


      • JT

        The only choice. He looks EXACTLY like him.

    • Rebekah

      If I’m thinking of the right character from that movie (the blond one that went to war, right?), then YES, he’d be great.

      Ben Foster and Ryan Gosling are also great suggestions. They are both capable of turning out really great performances.

    • levelheaded

      You could not have nailed it better. I love him, he’s amazing!

    • Lauren

      I had to refresh my memory on IMDB and Holy Lookalike! I don’t know much about his acting abilities but he should at least be considered.

    • Dean

      Joe Anderson looks very much like Kurt. I couldn’t help think that everytime he was on stage in Across the Universe. At least one website made the connection and wrote about it, with side by side pictures…


    • izikavazo

      Most definitely. He looks exactly like him, and he has a similar voice too.

    • Levi

      Yep, I’m a Nirvana fan and that guy looks just (well, almost) like Kurt. Plus he has a good voice.

    • douche

      They should just cast the Jonas Brothers to play Nirvana, and Miley Cyrus to play Courtney.. They only reason a good biopic works is because the person that lived it puts their two cents into the story. I.E. ‘Walk the Line’ and ‘Ray’… with Love pulling the strings all we are going to see is another blemish on Cobain’s reputation… Something he can’t control anymore!

    • SAB


    • Kaley

      Totally agree. The resemblance is uncanny and he can sing really well.

    • PUNK

      Not only can he sing, but he can play the guitar also. Watch the movie, “CONTROL” and check it out!

    • camila

      4 sherrr joe anderson is perfect and he better get the prt

    • RIOT

      Best bet is to choose Joe Anderson

    • jack

      JOE ANDERSON obviously, man!

    • Kaley

      Ahh.. someone has amazing taste just like me…. <3

  • Kate

    Michael Pitt….Obviously!

    • paige

      didnt Michael Pitt do this role already? does Michael Pitt still walk around thinking he’s Kurt Cobain???

      • MoonWashedRose

        Joe Anderson Does Bear A Striking Resemblance To Kurt. But I Think Of More Than Looks When Im Thinking Of WHo Should Play Kurt. Is HE Even A Nirvana Fan!? Does He Know Anything About Kurt? Can He Sing Or Play Guitar? Micheal Pitt, Im Sorry BUt I Would HAte To See HIm Play Jurt Again. I Know Hes A Fan And Knows Alot About HIm, But That Film Last Days, Was Very Loosely Based On Kurt. I Would HAte To See Micheal Pitt Play Him In This Movie. Sorry.

  • Bill

    Hands down, it should be Joe Anderson from Across the Universe.

  • ooo

    it should be an unknown actor

  • elrich

    Emile Hirsch – He bares a close resemblance and showed in Into the Wild and Milk that he has the acting ability to pull off a great performance.

    • Sasha

      My thoughts exactly.

    • jessica

      The first name that came to my mind was Emile Hirsh! He’s a fantastic talent.

    • Lisa


  • Monty

    Jared Leto, the 30 Seconds to Mars lead singer and a fine actor. Just add bleach!

    • Patty

      I agree!

    • jk

      The only thing is Jared Leto is probably a little too old at this point to play Kurt Cobain, considering he’s 38 and Cobain died at 27. Joe Anderson is 27 right now, and even though he and Leto both look a LOT like Kurt Cobain, he seems like the obvious choice.

    • MoonWashedRose

      Jared Leto Is A good Suggestion!

    • Jen in Tenn

      Yes!!! just what I was thinking!!!

  • FH

    That guy who plays Hurley from Lost.

  • Ceballos

    Joe Anderson is a good choice. I also like Emile Hirsch.

  • Meghan

    Either Michael Pitt or Joe Anderson would be good. Michael Pitt already played a Cobain-like rockstar in Last Days, though, so I’m not sure if he’d get the part.

  • AT

    a blond Jared Leto…..lol, no I think someone unknown should play him

  • Phionaugh

    Casey James from AI’s Top 24.

    • SM


  • Steph

    I’m all for Joe Anderson, I think he’d be perfect!

  • Chelsea

    Joe Anderson looks so much like him AND can sing. He’d be my number 1 choice. If not him, I’d love to see Ryan Gosling. I wonder who will play Courtney.

    • MoonWashedRose

      I Dont Think Ryan Gosling Is The Right Choice To Play Such a Character As Kurt Cobain. No Way. He May Look A Little Lik ehIm But Is Totally Innapropriate, I Think.

      • Susie

        Why do you capitalize the first letter of every word?

  • Eros

    Ironic. The very reason Kurt killed himself is because he didnt want to be a product to be bought and sold to the masses. Now he has become one.

    • Jennifer

      No, he killed himself because he had severe mental and emotional issues in addition to drug problems.

      • Jade

        You are both right, he killed himself because he had mental and emotional issues, but he also didn’t like consumerism and the pressure of being put in front of millions

      • Jade

        i.e: listen to smells like teen spirit

    • Michael K

      ye im stuck in between being guilty of watching it for his punk rock ethos and being excited to see how ‘good’ it MIGHT be (if it’s not skewed towards making C. Love look like a heroine of K. Cobain in like every scene)idk but they should put some1 who resembles him but can play complex characters

  • An

    Chad michael murray! if you’ve seen him with the long hair (same length and color as kurt) you’d agree and he’s got that brooding look..

    • Andrea

      He might have the look but he is nowhere near talented enough to handle the role.

      • chantal


    • Ahrean

      If they freaking cast any tweeniebopper I will shoot myself in the foot. Robert Pattison (sp?), Chace Crawford, Zac Efron, Chad Michael Murray should all be ruled out based on pure principle.

      Joe Anderson or Gosling are okay, my personal preference is Jeremy Renner.

      But Courtney as exec producer truly scares me.

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