The film will follow Darling’s “rise from childhood in Long Island beauty pageantry to her years alongside Holly Woodlawn and Jackie Curtis as a member of the East Village experimental theater group, La Mama Etc., to starring in Warhol’s groundbreaking film, Women In Revolt,” according to the outlet. Darling died in 1974 at the age of 29; she’s been immortalized not only through her performances, but in songs by Lou Reed and The Rolling Stones as well as the 2010 documentary Beautiful Darling.
Nef, whose credits include And Just Like That…, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and the upcoming Barbie movie, told the outlet, “The dream was always to play Candy, and it is the honor of my life to get the chance to do it. Candy bridged the gap between her dreams and a reality stacked so consummately against her—a transsexual glamour girl and indie icon reigning over Warhol’s Manhattan and Nixon’s America. She burned fast, and bright. More than anything, she wanted to be taken seriously as an actress. She taught girls like me how to dream—perhaps even how to be at all. She’s the blueprint.”
Transparent’s Zackary Drucker will executive produce the as-yet untitled biopic alongside producers Christian D. Bruun, Louis Spiegler, and Katrina Wolfe. In his own statement, Bruun says, “Having Hari join team Candy is exciting for us in every way imaginable. We all knew that Candy’s story deserved to be told on film, but it’s truly amazing to imagine what Hari will bring to the role and we’re incredibly excited about embarking on this journey with her.”
In an Instagram post, Nef admitted the role was her ultimate “pipe dream” and that she even has a drawing from Darling’s diary tattooed on her arm. “In preparation for the role, I have consulted her friends, her diaries—every frame of celluloid I can find with her within it,” she told Deadline. “I’m calling up theatre archives to read the scripts of the plays she performed downtown! Thankfully, the producers have already amassed a treasure trove of archival riches. We’re attacking it! I’m so excited!”