Montreal-based Christine receives direction from Jeff Woolnough while rehearsing scenes for the TV biopic on Celine's success story
Photo: © Canadian Press
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The up-and-coming actress stars alongside Enrico, who plays the songstress' manager-husband Rene
Photo: © Canadian Press

Newcomer Christine brings Celine to life in TV biopic

17 APRIL 2007

Quebec-born chanteuse Celine Dion may still have a long career ahead of her, but her life so far clearly has all the ingredients for a drama-filled biopic. The singer is being portrayed in the made-for-TV movie Celine by newcomer Christine Ghawi, whose uncanny resemblance to the Canadian superstar in her Nineties heyday helped land her the coveted role.

The 23-year-old put in some considerable research before auditioning to play the legendary singer, delving into the Grammy-winner's CDs, music videos, taped interviews and concerts to get her every nuance down pat, including a memorable performance of Titanic theme tune My Heart Will Go On.

Christine, who was working on set in Toronto on Sunday, says she particularly relates to Celine's famous rags-to-riches story. "I really think this is a role that... I was very well equipped to play," reveals the 23-year-old starlet, who appeared in university and independent films for six years before landing her big break.

The inspirational screenplay is based on the biography of the superstar Celine Dion: A New Day by Barry Grills and Jim Brown, which chronicles Celine's fascinating life from her humble upbringing as the youngest of 14 children in Charlemagne, to her rise to fame and the love story between the star and her manager-husband Rene Angelil.

Filming is set to continue until May 8 in Toronto and Hamilton, with the TV movie airing on CBC early next year. It also features Veronica Mars actor Enrico Colantoni, who plays Rene, and Grant Nickalls who portrays Canadian-born music producer David Foster.

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