Well, Lindsay Lohan‘s finally found her Dick. Yes, every other news outlet has made this joke in the past twenty-four hours, but it’s too good to pass up. Grant Bowler has been cast as Richard Burton in Lifetime‘s upcoming biopic Liz & Dick—and it’s a good thing he was, as shooting will commence in ten days. But who the hell is this guy? I’d never heard of him, and his face isn’t that recognizable, either.
I confess, it’s occurred to me that Grant took the part because he’s not that well-known in the States yet and he’s looking for a way to break in to the biz. And if established stars like Rob Lowe and John Stamos are doing Lifetime movies, that could be incentive enough to take on this questionable movie. But you have to check out this statement from executive producer Larry A. Thompson, who also reported that “the chemistry erupted in the room.” Here’s how he describes the movie’s leading man:
“Grant will add gravitas to our couple and bring to life one of the greatest actors who has ever lived. Burton was a Welsh poet, a rascal, and a man’s man, who swept Elizabeth Taylor off her feet and flew her so close to the sun that they both exploded into stardust that still lights up Hollywood.”
That’s a hell of a lot to live up to. Here’s what you should know about Grant Bowler to prepare you for Liz & Dick.
1. Surprisingly, a lot of Grant’s TV experience has been as a reality-TV host even though he’s concurrently starring in scripted shows. (Usually you see an actor attempting to reinvigorate his career with reality shows.) He hosted the Australian version of The Mole from 2000-2003, the more serious Border Security: Australia’s Front Line, and the country’s version of The Amazing Race.
2. He can hold his own when entering established ensemble shows: In 2010, he joined the cast of True Blood as werewolf Cooter. Star Stephen Moyer interviewed him for HBO’s cute “Truebies & Newbies” video series, and Grant was able to match him joke for joke, even deadpanning about how leather “sits well” on him.
Similarly, he popped onto the short-lived GCB earlier this year as Cricket’s love interest. Joking with Hollywood Life about whether he would appear in any of the show’s many church scenes, he said, “I think after all the roles I’ve played over the years, I would just burst into flames.”