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Marisa Abela recently starting filming the Amy Winehouse biopic Back to Black and opened up about the “Amy boot camp” she went through to transform into the late singer.

The British actress spoke to the Before the Lights podcast about losing weight in a healthy manner in order to portray Winehouse at her lowest point. “For my own mental health, it’s been really positive because my relationship with food and my body has always been so personal,” said Abela.

“My relationship to my body did change and I became more conscious of the way that I look. Even now, people are talking about my weight loss,” she continued. Abela said she views such comments differently because she had to lose weight for this specific role.

The discussion also touched upon the difference in losing weight in a structured, healthy way versus the unhealthy way Winehouse lost weight. The late singer battled eating disorders and alcoholism.

Weight aside, Abela said she enjoys her regimen because she’s learning to become a better singer and guitar player. “You can either hear, see, feel the benefits actually happening,” she said. 

Abela also worked with a dialect coach to mimic Winehouse’s North London accent, manner of speech and unique style of singing. The actress also had to learn how Winehouse’s voice changed as her health declined.

“It’s an immense privilege that I don’t take lightly. I feel like it’s a responsibility,” Abela said of the upcoming movie role. She acknowledged, “I would be doing a lot of people a disservice if I didn’t put 110 percent into this and that’s what I’m thinking with the training.”

A release date for Back to Black is unknown at this time.

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