Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Amanda Fuller grew up watching Brittany Murphy so much so that her and friends would throw Clueless parties. Now, Fuller is stepping into the late actress’s shoes for The Brittany Murphy Story, set to air Saturday night on Lifetime at 8 p.m. EST.
“It’s very surreal to be in this position,” she told ABC News. “Beyond [Clueless] like Girl Interrupted, and all the films she was a part of, I feel like molded me as an actor. Maybe there was a reason why it all came together this way.”
“I knew her more from her blockbuster career, then came to realize [through her Indie movies and other smaller roles] she’s an incredible talent that was totally under utilized,” Fuller said, comparing the late star to the likes of Marilyn Monroe.
Murphy had her big break in the 1995 classic hit featuring Alicia Silverstone, but went on to forge a career all her own, starring in other movies like Just Married and Sin City. She married Simon Monjack in 2007 and mysterious died in 2009 at the age of just 32 after going into cardiac arrest. She had been suffering from pneumonia at the time of her death.
Years, later Angelo Bertolotti, Murphy’s father, claimed she was poisoned.
“I have a feeling that there was a definite murder situation here,” he told Good Morning America last year.
Fuller, 30, is more inclined to agree that pneumonia and related anemia caused her death.
“I truly believe that what we know to be true from the coroner’s report is what is true,” she said. “I don’t play into any of the controversy stuff, murder and all that.”
The movie will show how Murphy changed quite a bit physically over her career — losing weight and going blonde. Fuller said that is something she can relate to a bit.
“I think most actors go through that,” Fuller admitted, saying there have been people who focused on her weight and other physical attributes. Despite that, Fuller has risen to the ranks of TV elite, starring alongside Tim Allen in Last Man Standing.
“She had the need to and desire to be great and for people to love her,” Fuller said of Murphy. For example, “she was obsessed with high heels, because she was so small.”
“I think what was so ironic was people fell in love with her in the beginning as her authentic self,” she added. “A crazy girl from Jersey with that quirky spirit and she never lost that spark.”
As for looking like Murphy, Fuller is not blind and fully aware the two aren’t twins.
“The movie is more about trying to capture her essence that she had and shed light to that struggle she had as she went further into the business,” she said. “The producers told me ‘This is not a look-alike piece.’ Hopefully once people get into the story, they forget that I don’t look exactly like Brittany, but follow the journey of the relationships.”
Fuller said she learned a lot about Murphy she didn’t know while filming this movie.
“I didn’t know her mom battled cancer and both those times, Brittany basically dropped her career to be there for her mom,” she said, adding that during those times, Murphy got hounded by the media for various reasons like alleged drug abuse that Fuller believes is not true.
One person who does not agree with the story line of this movie is her father, Bertolotti.
“I am disgusted and outraged,” Bertolotti told Examiner of the project. He said the story is “completely untrue.”
Fuller said Bertolotti has gone as far as to tweet directly at the actress portraying his daughter.
According to his tweets, Bertolotti claims he’s upset that the biopic refers to his daughter as a “chunky monkey,” among other gripes.
Sharon, Brittany’s mother, has not been involved, but Fuller said, “I think if she were to see the film, she would see the intent was only to honor Brittany’s memory and bring her beautiful spirit to life.”
Fans of the late actress have also spoken out about the project on social media and Fuller is unfazed and proud to be a part of the film.
“It comes with the territory,” she said. “Everyone’s going to have their opinions.”
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