Executive Producer and star Emmy Rossum dons the blond wig and hot pink for new limited series, Angelyne. Angelyne’s larger-than-life persona covered billboards around the city of angels and catapulted her to cult status in the ’80s.
Rossum gathered hundreds of hours of footage and images of Angelyne to study her mannerisms and voice to tell the story. As a lover of etymology, she bore her depiction of one of Los Angeles’ most mysterious icons from the name.
“I had a way of breaking down her name for myself that I never actually told anybody that’s like a secret prayer I would tell myself before we rolled. When I broke down her name I got, ‘At a fork in the road, I’m reborn a messenger of God,'” she said. “I truly believe that the character of Angelyne represents something that people needed in Los Angeles which was a a bright pink light, a beacon of hope, a sense of mystery and magic, someone that could bring you joy in a barren concrete wasteland of dreams. And I really believe that her hot pink-ness brings people joy there and in that way it is a little bit of an act of God.”
Angelyne’s cult-like following serves as the prototype for what we now call an influencer. At the peak of her fame, the hot-pink-clad persona appeared in films, on television shows, and music videos – all for simply being the blonde in hot pink. As we continue to define our relationship with identity, Rossum was drawn to Angelyne’s ability to create and control her own image in a world that tells you not to.
“She’s kind of like this unicorn. She represents everything incredible about Los Angeles,” said Rossum. “What’s so fascinating about her is that she’s done the impossible which is maintained the mystery of her true identity for decades while also maintaining her cult-icon status in a town like LA that is incredibly fickle.”
Watch Emmy Rossum’s interview for The Breakdown, above, on the process of breathing new life into the story of Angelyne.